Garden Share Collective : June 2014

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I have missed my garden, the feel of the soil in my hands, the watering in the afternoon sunsets and harvesting hidden treasures. It was only a short break till I got back on my feet and worked out our baby carrier. With Roy back in PNG it is up to me again to maintain the garden, lucky for me I love a challenge. I have managed to water the garden everyday this week with Isla in the front, harvested the garden for our weekly farm gate and of course for ourselves.

Now that I am back in charge of my garden its time to start making a to-do list and expansion is on the horizon. Yes, I want to expand my garden and make it bigger, again.

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Broadbeans are something that Roy and I grew in wicking beds in the city and were very successful. Here I am trying to grow a mighty crop for drying and planting again next year in our garden. They have been flowering irregularly and are still growing upwards. I was hoping that a mild Queensland winter would be exactly what these guys want to produce a bumper crop. I guess I will just have to wait and see.

Another issue in the garden of late is aphids, we have a plague of them. They started off in our snake beans covering only the bean and then we found them in the broccoli and then all over our kale. This has meant that my leafy greens have been in short supply – I have over 30 kale plants so not being able to pick a bunch is a little scary.  I started spraying EcoOil on the aphids this week, i am going to keep doing it each week to see if the results change. Usually we have plenty of lady beetles in the garden to eat the aphids and I haven’t seen one. Where did they all go?

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Its the start of broccoli season for us on the farm. I do hope to grow it all year round though I am not sure broccoli will handle the summer sun. Only one way to find out though.

Also another thing we have in the garden is the tomatillo’s i am really not sure of when to pick them or what to do with them. They are for Roy to experiment with in cooking Mexican food for us. We have so many so hopefully they are also good preserved.

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The cool lantern shape of the tomatillo

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In one end of this raised bed I have beetroot thriving and in the other end I have planted out some strawberries. I want a whole raised bed of them. Homegrown strawberries are the best.

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My Rhubarb bed coming along after we spread it with chicken manure from the hen house.

The far end of my veggies patch with rows of garlic, broccoli, silverbeet and rainbow chard, basil and kale.

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PLANTING: We have planted out all of our seedlings from last month ; zucchini, cucumbers, broccoli, cabbage, onions, beans, silverbeet, beetroot, coriander, asian greens, lettuce and the last of the tomatoes. We have also planted out more seeds which are onions, asian greens, leeks and basil. This month I have also planted out strawberry runners and a couple of strawberries I got from Bunnings which are not the running variety and are only clumping – I did not do any research about strawberries until i got home from bunnings. I will aslo get some runners from a neighbour to add to the bed and see which ones work and take over the bed. i don’t mind as long as I have a whole bed of stawbs. I want to be able to sell them at my farm gate along with our rhubarb. Now to find asparagus crowns – I only want about 8.

HARVESTING: This past month we have started our farm gate up again so harvesting has been really quite fun and rewarding. We are picking; kale, silverbeet, asian greens, tatsoi, beans (snake and green), zucchini, the start of the heirloom tomatoes and the start of the broccoli, digging spuds (pontiac and dutch creams), plenty of sweet peppers, chili’s and loads of herbs.

TO DO LIST: Expand, expand, expand. Over the coming months I want to dig a new patch for growing the longer more slow growing veg like spuds, garlic, turmeric and ginger. We have them in the main garden however I want to move them further away as they don’t need as much attention as the rest of my garden does. Plus crop rotation would be a hell of a lot easier if they were else where. I also want to finish filling our raised beds so one can be an asparagus  bed while the other will be our beetroot and carrot bed. Maybe some radishes too. Otherwise I am keeping on top of the aphids and cabbage moth at this time of year. Its seems we don’t have fruit fly but have vinegar fly instead in the garden on our tomatoes. Not too sure what to do about them yet.

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I wanted to see how much my garden would grow in a month. So we have filled all of our garden, there is no more room for anything else. Above is half of our bottom bed which we planted out with snowpeas, tomatoes, broccoli and cabbages. On the otherside between the peppers and the eggplants we planted out more zucchini’s cucumbers, beetroot, beans and silverbeet.

 

The Garden Share Collective is a group of bloggers sharing their veggie patches and the up’s and down’s that come with home gardening. Its a platform for us to share our experiences and pick up a few tips along the way. If you are keen to join email liz@strayedtable.com for more info.

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21 Comments

  1. Your garden looks wonderful, how brilliant that you’re able to get on with everything with Isla and have so much enthusiasm for expanding! She is going to grow up eating such an amazing range of healthy veggies.

  2. I love checking out your farm Liz, it looks fabulous as always. You guys are amazing! You have not skipped a beat with Isla’s arrival. I look forward to watching the expansion of your garden. Love the look of the tomatillos. I have never used them so no help from me there sorry. Have a great month. x

  3. Lovely to see your tomatillos. I love growing them and cooking with them — athough I only ever make green salsa with them. I’ve used as early was when the little lampshades first split open, up until they’ve fully matured and fallen off the plant. And I always leave a few rotten ones on the ground in the hope of getting some free seedlings.

  4. I love your space! I can’t wait to get planting again! Tomatillo’s are so pretty!

  5. Gosh nothing holds you back, good to see you are enthusiastic as ever and introducing Isla to gardening early on. Those tomatillos look yummy, I have heard that they make awesome salsa. i hope those ladybugs start arriving in droves.

  6. Looking amazing! You are certainly instilling the gardening habit in Isla young 😉

  7. Hey Lizzie .. you have so much happening in your garden! Love the pics … just super. I think I might give strawberries a go this year and also rhubarb, which I’ve never grown before. 🙂

  8. Mr Fig wants a tomatillo and I too wouldn’t know what to do with one! I’m planning on growing cape gooseberries in the spring. Your tomatillo’s papery lanterns reminded me of them. Good on you for getting out there with Isla! It’s a busy time for you 🙂

  9. wow! You have done an amazing job! I too would love strawbs all year round and have been really impressed with the small patch we started with, as it has given us such a long season of strawberries that I think I’ll double the plants soon! As for the raised beds,, they look amazing with all that produce flourishing. Can I ask, do you put the chicken mature straight on the bed? I read somewhere it needed to compost first…I’d love to know what you do with it, as now that I have chickens, it would be great if their manure could be put to use! Sorry about my late entry. So fun joining in xx

    • Brenda, i put the chook manure straight on to the rhubarb as it loves any sort of food and can handle it. I put it around the plant not on them directly, so when they are watered it slowly goes into the ground. Otherwise definitely compost the chook poo as it is strong stuff, we do it for 6months before using it.

  10. Your garden is absolutely amazing Liz. I think I would just wander around all day marvelling at it all.
    I’d love to have some strawberries. Maybe I’ll re-do the stacking garden with them. Hmmm

  11. Wow Liza, I’m always in awe of your garden, this is impressive. In particular your broad beans, how do you get them to look like that? Do you do anything special? I just plant mine like usual I would with any other vege seeds, they grow up and then before any flowering, they just start wilting and the leaves get all blotchy/yellow 🙁
    Also impressed by your broccoli! I’ve decided to take pause on growing any brassicas given whenever I start, aphids just invade EVERYTHING…

    • I am yet to see any broadbeans on my broadbeans so I am not too ambitious yet. They have flowered but nothing. Aphids are terrible, this is my first time with a plague of them and I am not happy about it. Fingers crossed the problem will be resolved by the end of the month.

  12. Wow Lizzie, you guys sure have been busy! I know I’ll be sounding like an old mother hen here, but just go easy in yourself. With a new baby and a hubby away it can be tiring. Just do what you can and leave the rest. Don’t run yourself into the ground. It’s not worth it. Sorry if I sound bossy, but I’ve been there. Being a Mum is a big job and you need to be kind to yourself so you stay healthy and happy. Much love Mumma. xxoo Julie

  13. Your garden looks great! You have so much going on.
    I find there is a huge difference between the flavour of strawberry varieties, but no strawberry ever tastes bad. Just not quite as good as that other one.
    Would you ever consider growing aspargus from seed? I have both crowns and from seed and 4 years on they are pretty much on a par.

  14. I am extremely impressed. Our garden is undergoing renovations – one thing we are doing during renovations is digging out what we suspected may have been tumeric, but it has gone so feral and is taking over everything so be aware!!!

    BTW – a friend has recently moved into the general vicinity and is in need of some good organic sustenance, so I will subscribe to your email thingie so I can send her towards your farmgate.

  15. I’m in awe of your ability to keep the garden so neat and tidy with a young baby to take care of too. Isla is a lucky girl – she’ll grow up understanding the seasons and the soil, as well as eating fresh, homegrown veggies. The aphids aren’t so great… good luck with getting on top of the invasion soon. We had a summer with hardly any ladybirds last year, but this year they are back and chomping on the aphids – thank goodness!

  16. Wow Lizzie, I can’t believe how much you’re getting done with a new little baby! Put me to shame I have to say. Garden looks amazing. I’d love to stop by your farm gate!
    Happy digging over the coming months 🙂

  17. Thanks for organising. Your garden is looking great at the moment.