Monday, September 1, 2014

Garden share collective August 1st

I had a break last month since I was overseas visiting my brand new grandson in America.  My poor hubby was battling bandicoots and scrub hens while I was away, but I returned with renewed vigour and enthusiasm for my little veggie patch. A reader asked what bandicoots are - they are like a huge rat that burrow into the garden looking for grubs. I have been going through each bed, weeding, mulching and even planting so I hope the wet season takes its time coming this year, allowing a bit more prime veggie growing time. The first two beds were weeded and cleared immediately I returned.
 Last time I posted I talked about purchasing a dwarf avocado, and on my return I found a grafted avocado at the markets.  It is flowering and has been planted in  the hole that used to be the in bucket worm farm so I imagine that soil must be pretty good.  That was a pretty good reason to get out there in the garden.

I have been given conflicting advice, some say these flowers will fall off, but the lady I bought it from said I will have avos this year.  I am sure you know which  I hope will happen :)

My tomatoes have been going great guns and I am especially loving the yellow tomatoes.  I see a package from Eden seeds in the planted section , heirloom open pollinated - yeah.that means I will be saving the seeds.  In fact I forsee lots of seed saving in the next couple of months. Bok choy, rocket, rosella, tomato just to name a few.

My herbs are doing really well, and there is nothing better than cooking a meal that is seasoned with something out of the garden.  We entertained some dear friends on my first weekend back and sitting out in the garden under the stars munching on freshly baked sundried tomato and herb foccacia was a a lovely way to celebrate being back home again.  MrFothergills sent me some more seeds and I planted out chamomile, borage and summer savory, not sure how they will do in this climate, but I am giving them a go.  

The flat leaf parsley is doing great in the besa brick edge

I have purple basil, green basil and now bi-colour basil, so plenty of basil, and I love making pesto, although my old food processor seems to not be up to the challenge anymore for some reason :(.

Gem squash is popping up, I am always willing to try them, even though our climate is not ideal.

My peppers always seem to be on their last legs, but I do get peppers and chilis, I am not sure what I am doing wrong, does anyone have any suggestions? 

 Look, something is happening to my coffee bush - am I going to get coffee beans?

 In fruit salad alley things are also looking exciting - strawberries....
 The herb spiral looks like an overgrown mess, so there is still work to do - I musn't get conplacent.

To do:
I have been reading a lot about biochar lately - how marvellous it is for tropical soils as it sequesters nutrients that are often lost in runoff during the wet season.  When added to the soil it can absorb those nutrients from your soil, so it is best to mix in with some manure and rock dust.  This mixture is left sitting for a couple of weeks before being added to the soil.   I am thinking this might be something I want to add to my soil.   For more info here is an interesting article permaculture institute on biochar.  Has anyone else done this?

Save seeds
Grow microgreens and sprouts in my sprouter to go with my lovely tomatoes.  Harvest as many greens as I still can in the garden before they all start going to seed. 


  1. never heard of bio char but then i am not exactly in a tropical climate ;-) the variety you can grow is always astounding and wonderful.

    1. e,
      I think bio char is found everywhere, and I read about it years ago, but then never followed it up.

  2. So much going on in your garden, isn't spring a wonderful time of year

    1. Sue,
      winter is our best growing time, once the wet season sets in with its drenching rains and fungus, we grow the tropical veggies, like snake beans, and loofas.

  3. What weeds - you have certainly dealt with them post haste. Great multi coloured basil they must look so pretty combined. Thanks for again reminding me to plant ínside' the hebel blocks.

    1. Merryn,
      Well, I only showed you the areas that have been dealt with! lol. It does look nice in salads, and doesnt have an overpowering flavour which I like. I am hoping that the parsley will keep goinig for a couple of years there - I think they are supposed to last for two years.

  4. I've got mulberries coming on too! I love that you were sitting out under the stars at night, I think last night was the warmest it has been and I could of possibly gone out without a jumper. Fingers crossed for your avo, I am sure you will get fruit even if it is two. See you next month.

    1. Oh lovely Liz, I bet you have a big tree! Yes we are lucky to live in this climate. Then again it is not so pleasant outside in the middle of the wet season!

  5. Hi, I bet your garden is pleased you are back! :) It's wonderful being able to zip outdoors and grab some fresh herbs - I still relish doing this. So much happening in your garden. Looks like you are going to be busy. I read some good articles at school on bio char but didn't implement any of them. Wish I knew where they were I'd send them on :) Good luck with that.

    1. Frog,
      Oh yes, I love to do that.... Oh if you find that info I would be interested to read it.

  6. So that's what a mulberry looks like....all I know of mulberries is the children's nursery rhyme.
    Here we go round the mulberry bush...the mulberry bush, the mulberry bush
    Here we go round the mulberry early in the morning.
    Your garden is coming along fine.. my garden on the other hand the butterflies laid all their eggs on my favourite greens and the caterpillars ate all my bok choy, kale, and salad greens....I have to replant.

    1. Virginia,
      as a kid we used to sit in the branches of a huge mulberry tree stuffing ourselves. My mother would despair at the stains in our clothes. so sad about your greens - were they the cabbage moth? A lot of gardeners have had success with netting them.

  7. Well done Gillian. I've got the autumn harvest happening here just now. We've had the juiciest mulberry threes around us in OXON, but I've never done anything with them. They look so great though. That's fascinating about the biochar. I guess tropical soils behave slightly differently to temperate soils. Over here I'm almost ready to sew a winder rye ground cover to boost the little garden for next year. :D

    1. Veronica,
      I prefer mulberries, just eaten raw, but if pushed with a glut I wouldn't mind making mulberry jam! Yes everything breaks down so quickly here. I was thinking of looking into a green manure crop this year.


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