Saturday, 29 October 2011

Garden Notes October

Spring this year has been completely weird. Initially, it began in early August when the front verandah jasmine burst into flower. But all the warm weather seeds I put in didn't sprout because either it has been so cool, or my seeds were too old. Only now has it begun to warm up enough to plant down here in the micro climate of our valley, so during this favourable moon, I've planted:

Seed house bed:  Carrots, spring onion, onion, leeks and beets, all appear to be sprouting into cloudy drizzly days. Perfect for germination and the first couple of cm growth

Bed 1: Cleared and planted out with chook fodder (mixed old seeds) and sunflowers for when chooks move on in Jan

Bed 2: Centre cleared of potatoes (Kipfler - nice crop) and planted with Sunflowers for the chooks. Edges still producing leaf for the chooks.

Sown into punnetts:

2 x kale, Red Russian
2 x lettuce Lollo Biondo
6 x bok choi
2 x lettuce, Red Coral
12 x pigeon pea
2 x endive
1 x lettuce, Freckles
2 x kohl rabi, Purple Vienna
2 x parsely
2 x celery
2 x silverbeet
13 x rosella
2 x button squash
2 x capsicum, Californian Wonder
1 x perennial capsicum
8 x green sprouting broccoli
2 x dwarf bean
12 x sweet basil
1 x turkish turban pumpkin
1 x zucchini
2 x thyme
1 x greek oregano
2 x rainbow chard

To do:

Bed 6: Plant out beetroot seedlings and spring onions etc when 15cm tall.

Bed 3: Centre cleared of Turnips. Will plant out with Basil advanced seelings. Plenty of leaf for chooks.

Bed 4: Currently bearing prolifically and harvesting: lettuce, zucchini, 

Good soaking rain the last couple of days but not too much; just enough to keep everything moist and out of direct sun thanks to cloud cover. I also have up two hail guards which are shade cloth and can be dragged into position over newly planted beds if necessary. Thank you Geoffrey!

New season paths are laid and the newly dug rock-filled drains ready for this year's deluge. Geoff has also built a bund along the front edge near the gate to deflect flow around the garden gate and down along the side so it doesn't enter to flow down through the path and take all the bark with it. The paths are there to prevent me from slipping in the greasy clay beneath.

Chooks are now permanently housed in the back garden now - no more manhandling them across the great divide of the house to the front. That garden is now covered in several tonnes of rubble. It will be in the first instance a planting of green manure cover - mung beans, sunflowers, weeds, grasses etc to get a cover happening, then begin to sheet compost the area to make topsoil. Eventually, it will be an orchard, but until I can get some fertility happening, it is just a bit of a red, rocky desert at the moment.

Also on the cards is a renovation of the seedhouse. It suffered a bit (well, a lot) of rot from the inundation last season and all the shelves have given up the ghost along with it listing to the left. It is empty of all my gear so that Geoff can fix it structurally, part of which is going to take up that idea of putting guttering along the outside of a house. In this instance, he's going to use old guttering, about three layers deep, in which I can place punnets of seedlings. They can also more easily be covered and sealed off from rodents. We'll see.

Potatoes, about 2 kg Kipflers
many bunches of parsley, silver beet, kale and coriander
several kg of beans, endless lettuce- several varieties including a new endive - very soft and frilly.
spring onions and leeks
buckets of zucchini and zucchini flowers

Coming On: 
aubergine, capsicum, Lebanese cucumber, basil, second flowering of strawberries
Pests in October:
Stink bugs on the citrus. Very annoying, but a daily preen seems to keep them down and actually, they don't do a bad job of pruning the excess fruit.
First grubs on kale. Noticed lacy leaves yesterday

Good flower on citrus this year. Villa Franca lemon tree loaded with baby fruit, as is blood orange, mandarin, lemonade and navel. Lime not so, as I pruned it hard last year and there is only a couple of branches of old wood. Same for Dad's navel and the back garden mandarin which suffered a broken limb last year. The self seeded Bush Lemon is going like the clappers. Will graft onto it from my blood orange.

Lost the front Black Genoa fig to the rubble, so have its children in pots and have planted one on the front northern corner of the garden and one in the front central lilly garden out front of the house. Also purchased a new variety, Brown Turkey and planted along side that.

In addition, two new trees - a tropical apple and peach where I can keep an eye on them from the front verandah

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