Welcome to the launch of The Garden Share Collective which is a group of bloggers who are willing to share their backyards with us once a month. We take a look at growing veggies, herbs and fruit trees. Learning from one another to kill pests and bitch about the weeding that might need to get done. Here we plan to keep each other motivated by growing our own clean food for our tables. We have eight members in the collective and at the bottom of the page there is direct links to their veggie gardens for you to see what is possible in any backyard.
To kick things off I am going to show you around my veggie patch and what I have at the moment. I will talk about what I expect to see over the next four weeks with a to do list in mind.
Herb Garden: Roy and I created a herb garden next to our shed so we could run out while cooking dinner to grab any last minute flavours. With the rain at the start of the year I am slowly replacing my drowned herbs. At the moment I have spring onions, sweet basil, curly parsley, flat leaf parsley, chives, coriander, one chili plant, Greek basil, oregano, sage, rosemary, thyme and tarragon. The big bush towards the back is a gooseberry which is sacrificial so the bugs eat it and not all of my herbs. The gooseberry will also create some shade through the hot summer months.
Above is our first garden bed we made. We have a real bandicoot problem and had to fence it off with bird wire and then during summer had to make some beams to hang shade-cloth as the lettuces were roasting. At the moment I have 3 rows of silver beet on the left with one row of lettuces, tomatoes/okra a couple of brussel sprouts, then on the right working forward I have more tomatoes, lettuces, celery, kale, a stray broccoli and four Italian peppers. This bed is in need of some weeding and mulching. Alas it rained again and now my mulch is stuck to the top our paddock, so will have to slash a new section when the weather fines up again.
The eggplant will be harvested by the next time we take a tour around my veggie patch but I have several more flowers coming on, which is good news. I just need to keep those pesky caterpillars from eating the leaves away. Another great surprise with all the rain we have had is mushrooms which have been popping up through the garden. The spores stay in the mushroom compost when we spread it over our soil and the climate must be perfect for growing right now. Mushrooms are quite expensive so I am living it up at the moment eating ours freshly picked from the garden.
I had to expand on my little garden as I was running out of room so just next door I have another bed divided into three rows with broccoli, kale and tomatoes down the middle. Once again weeds are growing to quickly from the rain we have just had over the weekend. I have my fingers crossed that the rest of my tomatoes don’t split on me too. This bed needs mulch and constant attention as the broccoli has been very prone to caterpillars. I use dipel a product made by yates – its natural to keep them at bay.
Below are three photos of our newly ploughed/planted yet to be finished garden on the bottom paddock. The garden is 4 meters wide and about 25 meter long working with the contours of our block.
The first section here you see that is all nicely mulched is tomatoes, sweet potato, kale, broccoli and on the very top I have planted some comfrey to create a natural border between the grass and garden.
The second section here is garlic and potatoes, the bottom row covered with mulch is garlic and the others are all spuds of different varieties. We worked only a couple of days ago on this section and we had to put mulch down between the rows as it was raining. That day we had 32mm of rain. On my to do list is to finish mulching the rows where the spuds are planted.
The final section of the garden that is yet to be turned, weeded and hilled up for planting. Just looking at the photo makes me cringe. I know I have to do it ;-(. The cool thing is that I will get to share with you the huge difference of planting in line with the moon calendar. The potatoes that are in the ground now will be huge in comparison come four weeks time.
My To Do in the Garden: Keep caterpillars at bay spraying weekly with dipel. Finishing off the last section of the bottom garden and get all the remaining potatoes in and plant some beans in two weeks time in one of the rows. Roy and I also bought a couple of fruit trees a lemon, mandarin, pawpaw and another mulberry – so i would like to see them in the ground too.
Now you know what I am up to this month take a look at the gardens of the rest of the Garden Share Collective.
Claire @ Claire K Creations – Qld
Kerry @ Eat Drink + Be Kerry – Qld
Louie @ Flame Tree Flowers – Qld
Melissa @ Melissa Loh – Qld
Shirley @ Rhubarb Whine – Qld
Clare @ The Life of Clare – Vic
Jane @ The Shady Baker – NSW
If you would love to get on board with this project please check out the Garden Share Collective page.