Thursday, May 1, 2014

Garden share collective - wrapping up April on Mayday

Once again it is time to get together with the rest of the gardeners in the garden share collective and link with Lizzie at Strayed from the table.  for the Garden share collective. Congratulations on your new little baby girl, Lizzie.
Happy Mayday everyone!  I wish I had a little basket of flowers to give to each of you.   I would leave it on your doorstep, then ring the bell and run away so it wold be a lovely surprise :)
There have been big changes to the veggie garden since last months update. Last month I said I was hoping to be harvesting lots of vegetables already.  Since then we had a cyclone, with its accompanying weeks of rain, so the vegie seedlings have really just langushed in the garden waiting for some sunshine.

The grass in my backyard has really just been the path, and if there is one thing grass does not like it is being walked on.  Since I increased the size of my veggie garden this meant the grass  got even more traffic and of course the little strip was in shade for a lot of the day.  Eventually we had just had enough so it had to come out!  Luckily with the ground so sodden the  grass came out easily, and as I dug it out I upturned it into the now further extended veggie beds.   Cardboard, pavers and stones, and voila!  A lawn free backyard.  It looks like a potager now!



The dirt that I dug out I upturned into the part of the beds that has been extended. Evidently as long as grass is piled like this (roots up and covered with mulch) the grass will die and eventually form lovely friable soil.  I know there are plenty of earthworms so they can help with that job. I popped a few squash seeds into the top of the mix and mulched with lemongrass.  Not sure if they will grow, I think as vegetation is breaking down it robs the soil of nitrogen, but I couldnt resist popping a few seeds in.  





I had e-mailed Bunnings about the peeling paint on the little herb pots, and sent photos.  I was told that I could keep the pots and they would give me some more.  When I went in, they no longer carry the little ones and so they gave me two much bigger ones.  I said that I felt I was taking advantage, but she told me it was customer service.  well!  Here is one very happy customer!  Of course I then had to buy potting soil and plants to fill the new huge pots!  One pot has an olive tree, with rosemary and thyme  in the pockets.  the other has capsicum and two different types of chillies.   It looks rather Tuscan doesnt it?  This is a lovely place to sit and watch the veggies grow - or is that the same as watching a kettle boil?



The snow peas are looking a bit frazzled since it really is too hot for them. They might take off now that it is cooling down just a tad. Bok choy has been great, and lettuces and rocket, but wow the weeds have done best of all! :0   I thought the cucumber would like all the rain but two of my vines curled up their toes and one is still struggling on.  I purchased some apple cucumber vines and planted them against the fence.  Maybe they dont like the soil in the middle bed.  I did add some lime this year whch I never have before.  Everything I read that says if you add lots of compost then you really should add lime.  I have one of those stick ph readers but it never changes, so I think that is a good sign that it is broken.  Does anyone else test their ph or have their soil tested?


To do:
1. Seed tape: Now that the rainy season seems to be coming to an end - (at last) - I hope that my garden is going to spurt forth with new energy.  I dont have a "potting table" under the eaves any more, and in reality my plants seem to be better planted straight into the ground.  Bare ground just fills up with weeds though, so I am going to make up my own seed tape, and pull back just enough sugar cane mulch to lay the strips down. MrFothergills is the one that first got me onto seed tapes and I had a lot of success with them. I will let you know how it goes making my own.  The grandkids especially love the seed tape as it is easy for them to handle, and it will be fun to make our own.
2. Worm castings: My worm buckets are doing great.  I am amazed at how much those worms eat!  I alternate the extra bucket as a "top story" and then the worms migrate into that, leaving behind pure worm castings in the lower bucket - although there are always a few languishing in the bottom layer that need to be picked out.  So far I have used the castings as a side dressing, but I am thinking of making up a tea with the castings - does anyone do that?
3. Sit in the garden admiring it!
4. Eat delicous veggies out fo the garden!

24 comments:

  1. Thanks for the trip around your garden. I even got to see you in the window ;-)
    Your garden is looking great. I'm not sure if you can sit and watch long enough to see the vegies grow. Weeds on the other hand, I'm sure they grow before my very eyes.
    I hope you get plenty of opportunities to sit and admire!

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    Replies
    1. Tracy,
      I photobombed my own photo! I have been concentrating on taking time out to just sit lately and it is wonderfully theraputic! certainly I think the weeds grow while I am watching!
      take care and thanks for stopping by.

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  2. I like your pathway, very stylish! Lovely to see your garden and how well it's doing; things are going great in the UK too, although not much to eat yet. I'm very pleased to see your polystyrene planters; I had a few of those from the supermarket fish counter last year and they were excellent for growing salad leaves in! (Must get round to doing my GSC post!)

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    Replies
    1. Caro,
      You certainly have been busy, and your pots lined up on the shelves look so neat. I use those polstyrene pots for things that get bacterial wilt as they cannot grow in the soil we have here. I notice that they are different heights now for some reason.

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  3. Hi, great post! I should test my pH but I'm bad I don't. I would also love paths around my vege garden. Like the idea of mulching with the lemon grass. I have never made seed tape - best of luck. Thanks for sharing :)

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    Replies
    1. Those paths are great, and I am liking the weed cloth - I just dump the weeds onto them, and they dry out. Occasionally I turn the cloth over and they are nice clean paths, and the weeds are eradicated. I will do a tutorial on the seed tape.

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  4. your new pathway is not only practical but very smart. adds a lovely edging to your potager garden.
    i need to ctach up on your bloog as i've been away for a bit, bit it looks liek you weren;t too badly hit by the cyclone? just lots of rain? i hope so.
    and it's good to have somewhere to watch the garden grow. it may be slow going but it's very productive; time well spent!

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    Replies
    1. Yup just lots of rain, which led to working out a better way to deal with the mud. I had to take the weekend off gardening this weekend in order to clean the house :) lol

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  5. i've just scrolled thru to your cyclone and butterfly posts.
    glad to hear you are okay.

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    Replies
    1. beauty comes out of most situations I find - you just have to look for it.

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  6. Making your own seed tape sounds fun. What do you use as a glue?

    I am using one of those three-tray worm bins, and the "tea" comes out the bottom. It needs to be watered down a LOT. One year I didn't water it down enough, and the tomatoes looked like they had been hit by weedicide.

    And can you grab one of those pumpkins on the front step as you run away after leaving the flowers. Thanks!

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    Replies
    1. Linda,
      I tried some over the weekend, will be making a tutorial once I get some more photos.
      Yes I am not sure what happens to my "tea" - it must just go into the ground, but I am sure the soil benefits. I would love a pumpkin....

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  7. You have done exceptionally well in your garden...it does look like a potager now.
    I'm glad that the worm bins are working just as you expected.....score!!!
    Bunnings seem to be a good company that continues to put customer satisfaction first....that is admirable in these days....enjoy the new pots.
    The new walkway looks nice too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Virginia,
      It does inspire me to keep things clean and tidy. I made myself silly researching those worm bins before I started, and am pleased that they are not as complicated as I once thought. Going to see the worms is now the grandchildrens favourite thing to do when they visit. Yes I have been happy with their response.

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  8. Hello, I'm a fellow GSC blogger! I love the Potager style of your vege garden and was really interested about your comment on using Lemongrass as a mulch. I have a monster Lemongrass plant that I grew from seed in the spring. I'm waiting for the roots to fatten up and in the meantime have been using the leaves to make tea. However, leaves for mulch sounds great too!

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    Replies
    1. Sarah,
      Cutting back the leaves doesnt seem to harm the lemongrass at all. I dont have very bulbous roots, I think there are different kinds. I also found that once a year it is good to pull out all the dying bits of grass to give the bulbs room to fatten up. that is when I cut it right back as well so I can see what I am doing. Next time I plan on not being so lazy and cutting the leaves into smaller pieces :).

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  9. Fantastic that you got to extend the garden, much better than grass :-) It's looking great. I hope the cyclone didn't cause any damage.

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    Replies
    1. Kyrstie,
      Yes I am loving it - so much cleaner. We were really lucky with the cyclone, just a few branches and lots of leaves.... we had no electricity for three days, so lost all our food in the fridge and freezer.

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  10. The one thing I really cannot grow is lemon grass. I have killed 3 so far, not sure I am game to try another. Love the new path! We have the same problem with the grass around our beds, but we are considering using sawdust rather than stones.

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    Replies
    1. Welcome, I couldnt find your blog (or maybe you dont have one?) would love to see some photos of your garden. I find that here any sort of wood mulch attracts ants and/or termites, but that may just be a tropical thing - it does look soft to walk on though and is biodegradable. I have a good cheap source for rocks so that is the main reason I use them.

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    2. Our blog can be found at http://akailyardinadelaide.wordpress.com
      We are part of the garden share collective. Hadn't considered termites! I know sawdust works really well in Tassie, but will need to investigate if it's ok for Adelaide, thanks for the tip.

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  11. Lovely to tour your garden, and see all the things you're doing. Like you, I can't resist popping seeds into every spare spot of soil... just to see if they'll grow into anything edible.

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  12. Sue,
    It does seem a waste to have seeds sitting in little packets when they could be growing something doenst it?

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  13. What a transformation; it looks gorgeous. I am jealous! I am also jealous that your grass doesn't like to be walked on. Here it doesn't care about anything and grows and grows and then grows.... into the vegies, in the gutters, just everywhere!! Oh for a grass-free garden!!

    ReplyDelete

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