Garden Share Collective – April Update

Once again the new month has ticked over and I find myself offering up my monthly garden update.  Sadly the garden, and my newly planted seeds/seedlings have been fairly neglected with other parts of my life taking over far too much this month.  And of course this is being hosted by Lizzie at Strayed from the Table, where you will find other glorious garden delights.

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This last month finally saw me get to planting some seeds for the winter garden in seed trays.  Unfortunately I had a terrible success rate, two trays had not one seed come through at all, and I neglected the ones that did come through so by the time I planted them in the garden they were very leggy and droopy.  I don’t hold much hope for them, but I have planted them out anyway.  These seedlings included: Red Russian Kale, Rocket, Chinese Cabbage, Red Cabbage, (one) Cauliflower, and Green Sprouting Broccoli.  I’m wondering if I would have more success planting seeds straight in the ground as I did with my tomatoes and eggplants in Summer.  What do you think?

Of course in order to plant out my seedlings I had to clear out one of the garden beds I still had summer crops in.  So out came the rocket, lettuce and pak choy all gone to seed (I collected some seeds and hopefully some will self seed too), the corn stalks and the cucumber (picking the last two cucumbers in the process).  I left in the silverbeet, still going strong, some cosmos and a few white radishes.  This is also the bed that house the potatoes I dug up earlier in the month (the harvest was a bit disappointing, mostly very small spuds, but they are delicious!).  I will plant broad beans in this spot soon as well as in the section along the fence.

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The rest of the garden looks like the Amazon jungle with sprawling tomatoes and an ever expanding zucchini plant.  I will tackle some of these soon as many of the tomatoes have died back considerably and have just about finished fruiting, others are still going strong.  I have one plant absolutely covered in fruit, all still very green.  I have a feeling I’ll be picking them green and turning them into green tomato pickles.  My cherry tomatoes have done extremely well this year, but the larger varieties have been pretty disappointing.  The zucchini still looks like it has a lot of life left in it.

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My plan for these beds include: a combination of beetroots, turnips (and other root veg if I have seeds) and  more winter greens, snow peas and purple sprouting broccoli in another section and the some more cauliflowers and broccoli in the final section.  Given my terrible history with seeds I’ll do a combination of seeds in trays, seeds in the ground and if all looks lost I’ll buy seedlings.

My harvests over the last months have included the potatoes, pumpkins (six in total), lots and lots of cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchinis, corn, a few strawberries, herbs and some greens.

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On the to-do list is to finish off the garden paths (an ongoing job it seems), a big clean up of the rest of the garden beds, more and more planting – including some flowers out the front – and sorting out my pots.  I have one big half wine barrel waiting for something to go in it.  I thought I might re-pot my lemon tree into this one as it is a bigger pot.  (Speaking of the lemon tree, it is looking much better so thanks for all the advice.  It’s covered in flowers, but still is a little sparse on leaves.)  Sadly, my potted bay tree which I’ve had for years curled up and died overnight.  I tried topping up the potting mix and giving is some slow release fertilizer and worm wee, but nothing has helped.  I’m not sure what happened there, but I guess I’ll have to find another plant for that pot now.  My blueberry is also looking rather sad in its pot so I think it might be time to plant it out in the garden.

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That’s it for my update, be sure to follow the link at the top and see more.

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21 Responses to Garden Share Collective – April Update

  1. Jenny Pearson says:

    Hi Barbara, I too have been tidying up my vegie garden, taking out the almost dead tomato plants, some silver beet plants that were not a success, leaving the healthy ones for feed for my girls, and for me to make a type of spanakopita, yum!! The capsicums have started to really fire after almost cooking in that heat that seems so long ago. Soon I’ll give it a really good tidy up and let my ”girls” finish it off, before adding compost and other goodies and leaving until summer planting again, I don’t do winter planting due to our rather heavy frosts – never seem to have much luck. On another note, if you have an Aldi store nearby, do have a look on their site for the Special Buys for this coming Wednesday – there may be things of interest to you. The book bought for your beautiful girls is on it’s way to you for the Easter get together, and yes I am still on the hunt for more. More power to you for all the things you have on your plate – you appear to be a very good juggler!!!

    • Barbara Good says:

      Oh Jenny, I’m hoping my efforts at winter gardening don’t get destroyed by frosts here. I didn’t have to worry about that in Melbourne too much, but it might be a different story in Ballarat. I really enjoy gardening in Autumn/Winter/start of Spring – it gives me motivation to get outside even if it’s a bit cold, but not so demanding in terms of watering and weeding. Much more manageable for me at the moment. My capsicums did nothing at all this year, pity. Love the idea of letting chooks loose on the patch, but I’ve decided to hold off a while on those. I just couldn’t cope with another living thing I’d have to look after at the moment. Once a made that decision it was a real relief – plus I have a great friend who has chooks so we swap garden produce for eggs – perfect!

      I’m off to check out the Aldi website right now to see what offerings they have. Can’t wait for the book – think the Easter Bunny might be bringing that one. As for juggling, most of the time I can keep all the balls in the air (at least that I’m not working as well), but at times one or two drop. That’s life though, and I really wouldn’t have it any other way.

  2. ockduspock says:

    How disappointing about your seedlings 😦 My brassica seedlings were a bit funny this year as well, not as strong as they usually are. Great harvests you been making!

  3. Hi Barbara,
    your harvests are gorgeous. I especially love those beautiful looking pumpkins. I have found with my seeds that if I have not stored them properly then they do not have a good rate of success. My garden shed tends to be a little chaotic so the lid of the box often slips and stays off…..Good luck with you next round of seeds.

    • Barbara Good says:

      Yep, my seed storage has been terrible since we moved, plus I just noticed lots of my seed packets have expired! That might explain my lack of germination. Time to restock I think.

  4. narf77 says:

    Lubbly jubbly harvest ma’am 🙂 I have about 168 square metres of pumpkin vines that are covering everything else so I can’t reach it or identify it. I headed in (with zealots eyes and a pith hat) to try to identify something other than pumpkin vines and flowers (not many pumpkins as the possums ate them all…) and found a stash of big yellow zukes (one dissolved overnight in the box I was storing them in ECH) a couple of usable cucumbers, the rest had turned to slush and seeds and a few green tomatoes most pathetic in that they all fit most comfortably in the base of my palm… lots of big green grosse lisse (or however you spell them!) tomatoes but no sign of ripening so it looks like Steve is going to get his green tomatoes to make wine this year :(. Next year I will be ready! I will plant earlier…I will grow cover crops…I will blah blah do-ditty-do…(next year will most probably be exactly the same as this year except I will be a bit longer in the tooth and will have a slightly more manic look in my eyes and my pith had will be tangled up in the pumpkin vines…) sigh…

    • Barbara Good says:

      Eeek, dissolving zucchini – hope the others were okay. And yellow ones, I should try those sometime. I too have loads of green tomatoes, all my big varieties were pretty disappointing this year. I’m yanking them this weekend if the rain stops for five seconds. And I’m sure, so sure, next year you will be the very picture of garden organisation and orderliness, truly!!

      • narf77 says:

        The yellow ones were MUCH hardier than the green. I am thinking I had a calcium deficiency in one garden bed and not the other so will add some organic lime that we sourced (from somewhere I can’t remember ages ago 😉 ). I am looking at these monster green tomatoes and thinking “ripen you swines!” but I feel winter nipping on my early morning heels and am rugged up to the 9’s and wearing a wooly jacket and uggies today so I am thinking that Steve and his green tomato wine are going to win that crop this year. I have grown my own winter vege this year so that is a start on the road to organisation and orderliness. A small step for narf-kind, and whatever mankind think about it who CARES. 😉

      • Barbara Good says:

        That’s interesting, the yellow definitely sound worth a go. My green tomatoes are currently sitting on the spare bed (it’s the sunniest room) but I don’t hold out much hope of them ripening either. Green tomato wine? Sounds intriguing. Good luck with the winter veg!

      • narf77 says:

        My green toms are still on the vine as we have been having some nice sunny (albeit cold) weather. We live on the river (Tamar) and we also live on a steep rocky property which means that we tend not to get frost here so fingers crossed we might get at least a blush of colour so that some of them can ripen on the windowsill but I am not holding out much hope. Noticed that the cherry tomatoes are ripening though so all is not lost :). Steve says “You can make wine out of just about anything including my old socks” O…K… Steve… note to self “don’t drink any more of Steve’s wine!” 😉

      • Barbara Good says:

        Um…. okay! Old Socks Winery could be a future business perhaps!

      • narf77 says:

        Don’t knock it, I dare say Steve’s socks are SO full of fermentation I wouldn’t even need to get the wine yeast! 😉

  5. you have so much going on still! i love the look of the dark cherry tomatoes – what variety are they called please? it’s great to see such abundance coming out of your vege patch still. we are winding down here in hobart, and soon it will be time for my massive end-of-season clean up.
    i love that pic of your little girl and the monster marrow, just gorgeous!

    • Barbara Good says:

      Things are winding down slowly e, but I find this time of year difficult – when do I decided enough is enough and pull that zucchini or those tomatoes still fruiting to make way for other plants? The dark cherry is called, imaginative, Black Cherry – I’ve picked kilos of them. And I love that picture too.

  6. What beautiful tomatoes – all of your vegetables are wonderful. Did you actually cook that marrow (or zucchini)? Your gardens looks very green and thriving , well done for April 🙂

    • Barbara Good says:

      The tomatoes (or at least the cherry tomato varieties) have been wonderful. I did cook that enormous zucchini, it was a little tasteless but made a good base from things with stronger flavours. I think I got about a weeks worth of meals out of it!

  7. Lizzie says:

    Love that photo of the giant zucchini. You have had a great harvest over the past month. Hopefully your potted plants get a new lease on life once planted into the ground.

    • Barbara Good says:

      It’s a great picture isn’t it. And that zucchini fed us for a week I think! It wasn’t the greatest flavour wise but teamed with some strong flavours from other ingredients it made a great base, and not woody at all which I was expecting. The potted plants are still sitting untouched, but after four days of constant rain not much of anything has happened in the patch.

  8. Pingback: The Garden Share Collective : April 2014

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