Morning meander...

18 November, 2012

Yay for lazy Sunday mornings and gentle starts to the day. Walking around the garden and checking up on the plants with a cup of coffee in one hand is the perfect way for me to slowly approach the day.

Firstly into the backyard where edibles and ornamentals share.

The shallots and potato onions (if only I could remember which is which; I'll have to wait until they grow and I can tell the difference...) are doing well. Note to self; must think of something to plant between them where I pulled up the elephant garlic. The step over apples are looking a bit sad and perhaps dry with their leaves folding up, but I've given them a good water a few days ago and they don't seem to be pepping up. Must keep an eye on them and investigate further if they don't look any better.

The gifted extra store bought tomatoes (handed over the fence by my next door neighbour Mick when he realised he bought too many) are growing well - better than my home sown seedlings in fact! Ah well. I won't be complaining when I get some early fruit.

The melons are going well, protected by their drink bottle enclosure. I've planted these next to rocks so that hopefully the rocks hold extra heat and help the fruit (please let there be fruit) ripen quickly. We shall see.

Moving around into the front yard (also edibles and ornamentals togeather), more melons and an early sown eggplants are doing well in their plastic mini-greenhouses.

The cucumbers are coming along. I'm following 500m2's cucumber growing method, where the cucumbers grow along the supports, but the cucumbers hang down allowing for easy pickings. I'll be building another structure when the sown seeds are bigger. The good sized ones are the bought ones which I couldn't resist, given my early sowings all died. (Please ignore the going to seed lettuce and cardboard round things that I used to build up my potato plants last year and never got around to putting away.)

On closer inspection the seeds I sowed last week (or was it the week before...) are up. I cover all my outdoor sown seeds with a tangle of tree prunings so that the seeds can't be dug up by any creature that loves to get its paws into lovely fresh soil.

Yes, those are snail pellets. I am a bad organic gardener. Well, I try to be organic, until the snails eat all my cucumber seedlings. Now they must die. I will be checking out organic snail pellets, and am planning trialling a copper tape system, but for the here and now I need to protect my baby cucumbers.

The beetroot forest continues to take over the garden. When the plants die back and start to dry out I'll be pulling them all out and drying the seeds.

The now well protected raspberries are coming along.

This poor zucchini seems to be holding in there. It was another one that I couldn't resist buying, as it looked so healthy at the nursery. But then it got planted and was dug up by some marauding animal not once, but twice. I've replanted it each time and now have added a protective layer of twigs, but it's looking a bit sad, but like it will just hold in there.

The outdoor sown seeds of zucchini are up, and when they're a bit more grown I'll pull out the weaker seedlings and just let one grow.

The artichokes continue to prosper.

I am picking them and gathering a hoard in the fridge so that I can preserve some. But I've been researching about preserving in oil and botulism risk on the interwebs, so may need to rethink my plan.

The Huonville Crab apple tree is by far and away the most prolific apple this year. I think I counted 17 apples on it.

The little purple fruits look amazing!

The purple podded peas are drying up, and I'll be saving the seed for next year.

My corn seedlings are up, if a bit poorly spread out. I just threw down the handful or so of saved seed from last year and they have come up erratically. I'll need to get in there and spread them out a bit better.

The plan it to trial a three sisters type arrangement (where you grow corn, beans and cucumbers togeather, the beans climbing up the cucumber and providing additional nitrogen to the soil, which helps the corn and cucumbers grow well, and the cucumber shades the soil and provides almost a living mulch to stop the soil drying out. Genius!)

The white mulberry, which fruited for the first time this year, is looking a bit odd.

Must get onto Diggers about that. This is the second time they've sold me mis-labelled plants. Not happy Jan!

But on to happier things. Just for the Gumboot Greener, here is my strawb patch. As you can see it's somewhat shaded by a large camellia.

There are plenty ripening and lots more to come.

In and amongst the strawbs under the nets are two of the three deciduous blueberries.

I actually hadn't planned the netting this way, but it will protect both crops as the blueberries ripen.

The cherry is doing well.

The protection appears to be holding up well. Shouldn't be too long now!

The belgian fence espaliered pears are doing well, but putting on too much extra growth. The extra branches will be cut back and the trees trained this weekend.

Another good reason to do this is the pear and cherry slug has started its offensive on the trees. Cutting the trees back will allow for an easier time with the pyrethrum spray.

But in the meantime...

I'll just squash the buggers.

Now its time to go inside and get another cup of coffee. The raised veg patch area will have to wait.


  1. I have to say I don't buy things from Diggers, partially because they tend to be so slow but also they seem to mislabel things with alarming freqency. For me it has only been things like snow peas/sugar snap peas but still it is annoying when you think you're getting one thing and something else grows instead.

    1. Yes, I still occasionally buy from them, but not much now mostly because they are so slow. But this experience hasn't helped.

  2. Hmm I bought soybean seeds and peanuts from diggers and still waiting for something to come up.... Soon maybe. I was telling the husband about your huge supplies of fruit/veg and he asked why we didn't get as many strawberries in. Not sure if I should confess she who waters the garden gets to have a feast? Your garden is looking quite fabulous

    1. Thanks. I fully support the notion that garden consumption is entirely the right of the gardener!

  3. I've had a similar "white" mulberry situation, but I bought my sapling from Bunnings - it was in the "pick-me edibles" range. This is its first year to fruit, and it has tiny little mulberry-coloured mulberries. I'm not averse to mulberry coloured mulberries, but if that's what I'd been after, I would prefer to have had a grafted plant that grows luscious big mulberry-coloured mulberries.

    1. Ah, I feel your pain. I also wouldn't have minded a mulberry-coloured-mulberry, if it was in fact what I wanted to purchase. But it was not. My mother has a mulberry tree too (not sure if its red or black) which is not particularly tasty. I mean, its ok, but not fabulous. I think it must be very much down to variety.

  4. Thanks for sharing, Bek. It's always good to see that other people experience a few misses along with their hits. We recently transplanted 8 or so tomato seedlings. They are all not gone. :( I think I was a bit gung-ho about it. Having said that, we have some good tomato plants coming along from some seeds we just scattered and from seeds that have germinated from the compost. Go figure?

    1. I think so too. There are always successes and failures in the garden! Sorry to hear about your tomatoes. But at least the volunteer seedlings have saved the day!

  5. Thank you for sharing the strawberry patch photos. We put ours in an old gutter and hung it from the shed wall. I have barely had a chance to taste any as my children eat them before they are ripe. I think I have mentioned their preference for tart fruit lol