Garden Share Collective: June...

01 June, 2015

Welcome to this month's edition of the Garden Share Collective. Many thanks to Lizzie for the GSC.


We are officially in winter. Depite the cold weather we are occasionally getting a bit of sun and blue skies.


Backyard:


 Frontyard:


Most of the garden work lately has been maintenance. There is not a lot of planting going on here, but all the tasks that I put off during the rest of the year when there are more exciting gardening things to do.

I've repaired the mini greenhouse above which was starting to crack. Sticky tape has proved enough for patching up the cheap plastic cover. Hopefully this will survive for another year. 

I've been staking the peas with an external structure around the wicking beds to prevent punctures.
 

The artichokes have been divided and are taking the hacking apart and replanting well.


The new chicken house has been started, with a method adapted from foodnstuff's technique.


This has been due to the new wicking beds and is coming along well. Detailed post to come when it is finished.

Next to the new chicken coop is a lean to which will house the cherry espalier (moved from the backyard) and I will be growing a grapevine over the top.


The espalier is a rough fan shape and and will both help shade the house in summer (when they grow a little) and allow sunlight in winter.


Now moving onto the proper gardening.

Planting:

I've planted out my onion seeds. These have been direct sown into the spare bed in the orchard, which gets full sun through winter. That's about it.

Harvesting:

The only remaining summer harvest is the capsicums. I'm hoping the mini greenhouse will keep them going a little while longer. Otherwise we are well and truly into winter harvests. Kale and silver beet/perpetual spinach are regular harvests, as is self sown lettuces. I'm eating the odd carrot and a few self sown beetroots.

Fruit wise I'm rationing the four remaining Pink Lady apples, and a few odd raspberries. Lemons also abound. And I harvested my first mango!


There are a few more harvests on the way, but probably not very soon.

Fennel
 
Cabbages coming along

Shallots and Potato Onions

Garlic growing strongly

Banana Passionfruit flowers

To do:
  • Finish the chicken coop.
  • Plant more onion seeds.

Make sure you check out what is happening in other gardens in the GSC.

24 comments:

  1. The chicken coop looks brilliant! I'm really chuffed you thought my design was good enough to copy and thanks for the link as well. I like the way you've attached the stakes to the sides of the wicking beds, too. If those are the metal stakes with the green plastic coating, you'll find the coating cracks in the sun and falls off over time and then the metal rusts, but you should get a few years out of them and the way you've got them attached makes replacement easy.

    What variety is the cherry? I want to put in another couple this winter.

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    1. Thank you for the inspiration and the detailed info in your post. It was surprisingly easy.
      Yes, they are the plastic covered metal posts. I've had them for a few years now with little degeneration but it's good to know what to expect.
      These cherries are 'Napoleon' and 'Regina.' I also grow 'Stella', 'Simone', 'Merchant', and 'Early Burlat'. 'Stella is by far and away the best performing, but the others are younger threes so may catch up.

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  2. You've got so many good ideas!

    What's that black stuff around the shallots, potato onions and garlic beds? It is attractive. Looks like something I can use to make irregular raised beds throughout large established shrubs. Is it strong, does it need a lot of external support? Is it easy to use? It looks like the perfect material for me. Thanks.

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    1. Cheers. The black stuff is plastic garden edging I get from Bunnings.
      http://www.bunnings.com.au/our-range/garden/landscaping/garden-edging?gclid=COrDiofL78UCFYZvvAodKKAAQQ
      It has been the easiest thing to use to make random garden beds. It has been very strong, but needs support of the pegs you buy with it. I find you need a peg around every 60-80cms. I have also part buried it so it is a bit more stable than simply being on the soil surface. It is really easy to use, but is much better in summer if you leave it out in the sun for a couple of hours as it is much easier to mould to the shape you want then when it is cold.

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  3. You chicken coop looks great. Congrats on the mango and enjoy the apples :-) You have a wonderful array of winter produce on the go. Have a great month, I look forward to seeing how the chicken coop progresses.

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    1. Cheers! I hope your month ahead is productive too!

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  4. Mangoes in winter, crazy. I just want to eat that raspberry, mmmmm. Lots happening in your garden even for this cool weather. Look forward to seeing your chooks they are such helpful gardeners especially when it is time to dig things up.

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    1. I know! I couldn't believe that's when it chose to ripen.
      Yes, chickens. I can't wait to have the pen ready for the new chooks.

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  5. I hadn't thought about the issue of wicking beds and staking. Your solution looks good though. I loved the overview photo of the backyard.

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    1. It's taken me a while to come up with this solution, but I think it will work pretty well. My prototype is doing its job beautifully.

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  6. Glad your not stuck inside still eating mango! Looks like you may have had a bit cooler snap than us. Thought the coop frame looked familiar, Bev's done a cracking job on hers. So productive at your place, inspires me to get back on track :)

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    1. Haha, the mango did not last that long. Luckily weekends recently has brought some nicer weather which allowed for garden tasks.

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  7. I'm so impressed that you're growing mangoes in Melbourne. How many chooks are you planning to get?

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    1. Cheers! I'm planning on three, but most likely will get heritage breeds that are not daily layers so won't be totally overrun with eggs. The chook pen is about 7m x4m so I think it will be big enough. I want them to have plenty of space.

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  8. Down here in Tassie banana passionfruit is a curse. At least the parrots eat most of the flowers on our property. There are some seriously good benefits to providing nature with habitat ;). You couldn't do any better than Bev's excellent tutorial on how to create happy fowl habitat. Love the espalier cherries and kudos (again) on the mango. I am too scared to venture up into Sanctuary (my fully enclosed veggie garden) as we walked past it the other day (to see if the chooks had reduced my recent acquisition of a mountain of horse poo down to flat brown earth ;) ) and it looked like a jungle inside. NO idea what is going on in there but it is obviously growing well (probably banana passionfruit competing with the blackberries ;) ). I love to visit your garden remotely as like Bev's, it gives me hope :)

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    1. Interesting. I am thinking of growing another one up the inside of the chook pen, to provide the chickens with shade and a more jungle like environment. This may be of double benefit if the birds find they like banana passion fruit flowers like your locals do. Thanks for the heads up!
      I love how you have named your veggie garden, and how you have put the chickens to work. Nothing wrong with a forest of banana passion fruit and blackberries, though maybe not the thorny weed one.
      I too love the garden snooping pleasures of checking out what other people do with their gardens. It's so interesting to see what others do.

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  9. You have certainly been busy with putting up structures etc, even if your main gardening season is drawing to a close. I am amazed that you have been able to grow mangoes in Melbourne. That banana passionfruit flower is very pretty - does it produce edible passionfruit?

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    1. Yes, it does! They are long and yellow, hence the banana name, and are apparently delicious. The are more cold tolerant than most of the other, especially grafted passion fruit and so should be more productive than my Panama red, which has only ever, in five years, produced one passion fruit.

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  10. Love the chook house! We only have a tiny space left in our garden so no chickens for us, instead I just envy everyone else's. Totally impressed with your mango growing abilities.

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    1. Cheers. I am very lucky to have this space, I know!

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  11. bek, you are the closest to me in climates amongst the garden sharers, an you have so much more going on than me! winter has definitely arrived. it's a great time of yer to do structural things - like your chicken coop and espalier frames. wonderful to see tings still happening in your garden.

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    1. I tell you it doesn't feel like much. So many things are just stunted, hardly growing at all. I think I will have a lot of cabbage fails this year, with my late planting out. But still, progress on the maintenance front is good. I'll take what I can get.

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  12. Beautiful garden - the frost is very pretty on the leaves! I have never had any luck with cabbage, maybe I should wait until later in the season to put it in. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Cheers! I do find myself that cabbage, like all brassicas, is better put in early rather than late, which for us is mid summer. But your climate may be different of course.

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