Garden Share Collective: July...

05 July, 2015

It's that time again, welcome to this month's instalment of the Garden Share Collective.


The days are short and there isn't much time to spend in the garden. Weekends go too quickly and weekdays hours outside of working life are dark and dreary. But still the garden goes.

Backyard


Frontyard


Orchard


The last few days have been rainy, which is most welcome given the lack of rain we have had so far this year.

As one would expect in winter, most of the leaves have fallen and the branches are barren. But this allows for a bit of garden maintenance.

I pruned back the cherry and plum trees.

Cherry trees planted in a Spanish bush method.

Bare branches also allows for investigating fruiting buds for next year and imagining lots of fruit on it's way.

Almond buds.

Other garden tasks have been to make a more structured support for the peas in the wicking beds.


This should stop them from flopping all over the place.

I also sowed direct two lots of onion seeds. This is what has come up so far.


i.e. Not a lot. Luckily for the purple sprouting broccoli in that bed, otherwise I'd be feeling like there isn't anything at all happening.

Also luckily there have been self sown onions from last years crops that didn't crop under the apple espalier.


If nothing comes up soon I'll try sowing some in punnets, so see if it dud seed or if it is eaten by bugs. I've never had onion seed not come up like this. It's been 3 weeks, so I'd expect to see some movement by now.

I've also started some manuring and mulching, mainly over the asparagus bed and summer fruiting raspberry bed.

Asparagus beds with stalks cut back, lavish spread of well aged pigeon manure and a heap of mulch.

Raspberry beds got the same treatment.

Planting:

Apart from the onion seeds which haven't sprouted, absolutely zilch. This is by far the quietest month in the garden for the year, with only little gentle harvesting and garden maintenance. June is the month of taking stock, doing tasks when the weather permits, and generally waiting for winter to pass.

Harvesting:

Garden harvests continue to be pretty good.

There is lots of brassicas including the cauli's, broccoli and purple sprouting broccoli. Likewise greens like lettuce and silverbeet are almost daily harvests.

Looks like the silverbeet on the right is in need of a picking.

The cabbages continue to elude me and are only just starting to form hearts.


On the fruit front the apples have all been picked, but the raspberries continue to amaze with a handful or two of harvests each week.


The lemons however are not so stingy. The Eureka lemon has been generously giving lemons regularly, so picks like this to make lemon cordial today are not uncommon. I could pick basketfuls like this for weeks and barely make a dint.


Another harvest has been the violets. These are great as decoration, but I'm still toying with the idea of making another batch of sugared violets.


To do:

  • Keep an eye on the onions and maybe resow more seed.
  • Audit the seed boxes and make a list for seed buying for the coming summer crops.
  • Figure out how to prevent earwigs from eating my apple blossoms and preventing fruit set. At this stage I'm thinking some sort of sticky barrier on the plant stems and supports to prevent them climbing the trees. Any additional suggestions would be most welcome.
  • Spray the stone fruit (peaches and nectarines) with copper spray before bud burst to prevent peach leaf curl. Typically bud burst is around end August, so I need to spray before then and make sure the copper spray doesn't get washed off by rain in between.
  • Maybe do some super early sowings of tomatoes, just for a trial. 

What is your garden plan for the coming month?

22 comments:

  1. I don't get a lot of raspberries at one time either, but occasionally they will put on a spurt. I think the summer ones are fading though and the fall canes won't be far behind.

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    1. Mine definitely have a peak, usually around November/December. But they produce a good ongoing crop for months afterwards. These autumn fruiting types are going well into winter, which has surprised me. I'm not going to complain though :)

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  2. sometimes I think we could be writing the same post, bek - definitely agree with your opening para. you've inspired me to check out my fruit trees to see if they are budding. it is always so exciting - like spring bulbs poking thru - a little bit of hope in a dreary winter.
    ps lucky you on rain - we haven't had any for a bit here.

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    1. Haha, it very much feels that way. I love checking out the fruit trees at this time of year. It's great to see the fruiting buds, so I highly recommend a regular check on the trees.
      Yes, we only had some rain last week. Not enough, but better than nothing.

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  3. Earwigs, I hate them. I think they are the bain of every gardener, they have pretty much destroyed my bok choi this year. Your raspberries look delicious!

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    1. They are the devil.
      Cheers. The raspberries are not really as tasty as the summer one, but are still pretty good.

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  4. Oh I am envious you have berries! I love the rounded design of your front yard beds. It looks beautiful and your orchid - wow!

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    1. Cheers! I call it my 'choose your own adventure garden', as the paths all intertwine. The orchard is a great space, and very productive. I love espaliers for fruit trees, especially apples, and this works really well to get a lot into a small space.

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  5. Your garden always looks so organised - I love the way your beds are arranged. Gosh those raspberries made my mouth water.

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    1. Cheers! Trust me, they don't look that neat all the time. :)

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  6. Gosh, how organised is your garden? Aren't raised beds just the best? Those raspberries look amazing .. I think I have berry envy :)

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    1. Thanks. Raised beds are indeed the best. Haha, berry envy. A terrible condition.

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  7. Hasn't it been a dry start to winter, this is my first year of mini red cabbages and mine are slow to heart as well.

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    1. It has. Winter has been very mild this year so far. I think it's partially my fault with the cabbages, they were planted too late. Hopefully I'll get something off them, though.

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  8. You have been busy. So much to do to get ready for the warmer months ahead and you seem to be on top of it. Your garden is looking really great and very productive. Look forward to coming back next month to see if you have any asparagus.

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    1. I think it gets easier every year. There is a bit to do, but it's not unmanageable. Cheers. I hope I have some too! Usually it comes up in august/sept, but occasionally there are a few early spears. :)

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  9. You make such excellent use of the space available to you.. What trees are you growing in your orchard?

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    1. Cheers! The orchard holds the majority of the espaliered apple trees, there are 36 apple varieties espaliered there, from early (Jan) to late (July) cropping apples. Most are espaliered in a cordon, but three are in a modified t-shape. I also have a peach and two nectarines along the fence, and a grapevine. The asparagus patch also sits along the fence line, and the two raised beds in the middle have whatever I can't squeeze into the rest of the garden.

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  10. I can't believe that 's just a quarter acre block! There's just so much there!

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    1. Believe me there is not a corner unused :)

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  11. I really should get back into GSC, helps with motivation and thinking about what you are doing. Gee it is looking great! Strange, I too have had no luck with onion seed. Tried 3 different varieties, 3 different locations and none have come up. Tried a second time and still no joy. Earwigs, pains. I cut off sections of old hose (about 20-25cm long) put on ground in beds and in the morning bang the hose on the ground and squish on those EW's that have sheltered in there. I lost a complete bed of potatoes 2 years ago to the buggers. A neighbour uses yeast in water and catches thousands, I tried it and not a one!

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    1. I think it's great! As much as I think it helps me set tasks for the month ahead, I love the camaraderie and seeing what is happening in others' gardens, both in similar and in very different climates.
      I've had a heap of one onion seed come up in the recent rain, but the other type I sowed has literally TWO seedlings up.
      I will try your earwig trick. I like that idea. I hope it works for me. Cheers!

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