Monday, April 14, 2014

Jindivick and a Delightful Visit

Last Saturday was the Rare and Unusual Plants Fair at Jindivick, and it was a gem. Only drawback was the light rain and occasional cow pat under foot. Good range of plants (although not many veggies, plenty of herbs) and I thought the prices were quite reasonable.

Renaissance Herbs/Di's Delightful Plants were there, and it was good to briefly meet Clive, from Clive's Corner.
Then, on the way home we had the absolute delight of calling in to see where Donna Digs. Along with Brian and family (which includes a dog to die for, as it chases cockatoos off Russian Giant Sunflowers).

I don't need to describe Donna's Garden, as the blog does that really well - except to say that it is BIG, glorious, and my beloved wants to steal her orchard.

We swapped a few plants, adn I am off home to try to save some seed for Donna. is this the one you want? Don't be confused with the normal capsicum growing behind it.


If anyone knows the name of these little cappies (you find them in delis stuffed with cream cheese), or knows where to source seed, Donna would be very happy to hear from you. Otherwise, I will be saving seed and hoping like mad that it is not hybrid. These came in a six punnet mix of three types that we got this year from BAAG, and have temporarily (!) misplaced the label.

Trying to take a close-up photo (do you like the scale?), I have noticed that as they ripen, what is usually the base of a capsicum points upwards. Quite strange.

Friday, April 04, 2014

April in the Garden

It is that time of month again, when gardeners across the country, and across the world, report on their activities, as part of the Garden Share Collective. This is kindly hosted by Liz at Strayed from the Table.

You can see last month's report HERE

Here is the veggie garden on 4 April - all the huge white bird nets are gone, but so are all the tomatoes too. There is a little bit of fine black netting on a back bed, but it is nowhere as near as intrusive in the photos.

But it did work - despite the very poor season for tomatoes, we hardly lost any to the birds. (And yes, it did look like a well-draped four-poster bed!)

It is nice and damp here, and the smoke has mostly gone away, although there were big explosions in Morwell this morning. We wash all we eat very carefully.

And big news - if you look at bottom right in the above photo, you will see some pink lines. Maybe, just maybe, the patio with extended garage and, YES, the garden shed!!!! is going to happen. Just means a bit less morning sun on the veggies though.

This is a slightly skewed view - you cannot even see the black netting on bed one. Nor can you see the pumpkins that covered the fence - they are all gone (nine nice butternuts from one compost bin, thank you very much!).

And I am very happy with the lemon an the lime in the half barrels. The first fruit is hanging on, and the leaves are a lovely, healthy green.

This is a closeup of Bed 1 - the Engineer and I have had a spirited discussion about how to refer to the sub-beds - he wanted A, B and C, starting from the fence. I wanted A, B and C, starting from the end closest to the camera! We finally settled on North (closest to the camera), Central and South. No arguments that way.

This is where I am working most at the minute - South has been dug over, and has some of the new Broad Beans (no way the bloody birds will be able to lift those bricks!), then garlic, carrots, two lots of potato onions (thanks RLH), then a punnet of leeks. Little bit of space left that will get some tree onions soon.

Next I will dig over Central, put in more garlic, more tree onions and maybe some All Year Round Carrots. All the others say do not plant here until August.

Then get North under green manure. And all of Bed 2 under green manure. Once I can get the capsicums and chillies out of there (if I don't give in to a temptation to try and overwinter them - they are very late)

Then, there is one of this year's successes in Bed 2 - we picked up a packet of mixed lettuce seed from one of the online suppliers, and it has been fun. So much so that I am going to save lettuce seed like that in future, just throwing it all in the one bin. I may lose a type or two, but should still work.

Speaking of saving seed, see below/end.

Meanwhile, over in the pot area, the cherry tomatoes and most of the cucumbers are out - just an occasional cuke struggling on. Most of this area is supposed to go for the sun room, so I am trying to cut back on pots I have been growing "just because I can". I am genetically programmed to propagate plants I do not even want!

And this is one of my pride and joys - the large strawberry pot with rosemary and thymes - although I have not yet been able to pick up all the thymes I want - I hear there is a specialist herb nursery out Mount Evelyn way - feel a need for a road trip. In the meantime I have filled a few slots with Lobelia.

And my bad news for the month? Not only did my Giant Sunflowers turn out to be Pygmies - they were descended upon by cockatoos, which rapidly demolished them. End of sunflowers again for me.

Now, to tick all the boxes:

Last month planted garlic, carrots, broad beans, potato onions, tree onions, leeks.
This month to plant more garlic, more tree onions, maybe more carrots. And green manure.


Last of tomatoes, last zucchini, last cucumbers, spring onions, lettuce, beetroot, climbing beans (Blue Lake have been stunning), capsicums, peppers, a handful of spuds (threw a spouting one in a pot - they were nice!), pumpkins.

Plus all the herbs - mainly parsley (two different), basil, mint, sage, chives, rosemary, marjoram, summer savory and thyme. And nastursiams - were do they fit? And how do you spell them?

To do

Mainly overwinter the beds, with green manure or digging in manure. 
Empty compost bins/bags onto beds, and get more ready for next year. I am liking these bins/bags as "pop-up" gardens for potatoes, pumpkins and zucchini.

And tomorrow - take out a trip out to Yinnar, where they have not only community garden, but also a new seed exchange. I will take out some tree onions and some Italian flat-leaf parsley. (If anyone else wants some Italian flat-leaf parsley, drop me a note - they are easy to post around)