Thursday, August 13, 2009

Late Winter garden

Like many bloggers I've read about lately, I'm also experiencing an early taste of Spring weather. My garden has responded by coming out in new growth or bolting straight to seed. Like the bok choy. Don't mind the kiddy-sized wheelbarrow - it's helping to deter kangaroos.

It barely made it into the ground from punnets, before it went to seed. Even those I planted from seed, bolted straight away. I was actually getting them confused with the broccolini I'd scattered seed around with too.

These broccolini plants have done exceptionally well, and while we haven't eaten any yet, the leaves are catching all the morning due, so it won't be long now. Much like their larger broccoli cousins who are starting to head really well also.

I thought this plant was done for, after I plucked off 12 fat caterpillars stripping the leaves bare. It has done really well since though, even better than it's neighbour who has gorgeous leaves but a very small head. So I'm stripping leaves regularly from the other one, to feed them to the chickens.

Still in the veg garden, here are some celery plants we bought from the shop, marked down to 21 cents a punnet. There are two punnets in this circle, so a total of 81 cents! Not bad for value.

This celery circle is a bit of an experiment. I've dug an old 1.5L soft-drink bottle in the ground, which has small holes drilled into it's sides and the base cut off. It was located in the middle of the circle to access all the plant roots - in summer I plan to water the celery via the bottle. You may also notice the green plastic fencing around it too.

This is for keeping kangaroos out, but also for holding the celery together as they grow. I'm even contemplating lining it with shade cloth when they get bigger, to help blanch the stems. Outside the circle, I've planted some sugarloaf cabbages in hope they will also benefit from the continual moisture.

My potatoes are chugging along nicely as well. This was a bit of an experiment too, as my mum had some potatoes sprouting in her pantry and offered them to me. I thought, why not?

The buckets are there to place over the tops at night, so they don't get burned off by frost. We haven't had any yet but it's certainly a possibility nonetheless. I love those experiments you just chuck in the ground and see how they go!

Speaking of experiments though, here are a few pineapple tops and choko seeds. They've all rooted and grown in their pots; once spring arrives I have a place already planned for them in the garden.

I got my wish for my birthday last month however - fruit trees! My beloved Dave got me two apple trees, a red and golden delicious. They should help cross-pollinate each other. But then another surprise came along recently...

A Granny Smith apple seed has germinated for me! Yes, another one of my crazy experiments. I figured Granny Smiths are only really a cooking apple anyhow- so even if the fruit turns out to be small and tart it won't matter to an apple pie or apple cake.

Still in the greenhouse, I've got some old-man saltbush seedlings coming along. I want these as a windbreak eventually.

I was really happy when I got them to germinate, although some are doing better than others. I will probably have to try germinating more.

And finally to my mixed lettuce seeds...

Several have come up and growing well. I'm plucking the leaves regularly for the chickens. I've had a few too, but at this time of the year the chickens aren't getting that many greens. I'm going to have to rectify that in Spring, by planting a lot more silverbeet and bok choy!

I've got more pictures of the garden to share, but I think that's enough image downloading for one post!

**apologies...I've edited the title from "Late Autumn garden", to "Late Winter garden." What on earth was I thinking?**


  1. Geez you have been busy!
    I like the 'celery circle' idea- and what a bargain!!!

    I'm excited about your apple trees too, but horrified at your granny-smith-a-phobia... cooking only indeed! We go through LOADS in our house (unfortunately not home-grown, but local orchard) Truthfully they are often a bit sour for me, but my son (4) absolutely loves them. Weird. I think grown from seed, apple trees take years to fruit...? Worth a try though.

    And I'm going to use your 'kids-wheelbarrow-fending-off-roos' excuse for my messy garden! (We don't actually get roos, but I have got loads of stuff lying round!!!)


    PS-how annoying for you about the spam thing, I notice lots of blog are moderating now :(

  2. I liked the Celery Circle idea too, it's sounds very poetic as well. My celery is pathetic, it has been in all winter and is about 5cm high. Probably not enough sun so maybe now that spring is almost here it will take off. Might try a circle next time.

    GS apples are too tart for me but they're fantastic when juiced with carrot and ginger.

  3. Yes it's the sourness that doesn't make the Grannysmith a good table apple, but like your offspring ;) mine also loves GS apples too. But I have to peel and slice them thinly first!

    You're very lucky to have a local orchard nearby.

    Greenfumb, my celery has been slow to grow as well. The photo I took was after they'd been in the ground for at least 3 weeks. I hope by spring they take off too. :)

  4. Hello Chris
    I just read your comments on Simple Green Frugal and thought I would drop by to say hello and let you know that I think you were right on target. I love your blog and will be visiting again.
    Take care

  5. Thank you for visiting Linda and I appreciate your comments. I thoroughly respect the author I made comment to on Simple Green Frual recently, but sometimes I have a different point of view. It's good that we can exchange them. :)

    I visited your blog for a quick look and I'm also learning about successive planting and planning ahead. I still haven't managed to master the art of it yet, but every year I make more progress.

    I look forward to reading your blog more thoroughly. :)

  6. Hi Chris, I just wrote a comment and it didn't go through. If this is the second one, please forgive me:)
    I could see that you were respectful. I just have chose of late to only explore blogs that present alternative points of view, perhaps because I also hold them myself. Anyhow your comments were very intelligent and I was proud of you even though I don't know you.
    I am a complete newbie as a gardener and so succession is not my forte just yet but I will die trying! I'm glad you are doing it too. Look forward to reading more about it here. Take care.

  7. wow Chris your winter gardens look great.
    nice idea with the celery :o)
    i lov that you got apple trees for you B'Day :o)


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