Garden share collective – July

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I am very happy to be linking up with a group of fellow gardeners from around the world who share what has been happening in their gardens in the last month.  This initiative was started by Lizzie from strayed from the table, to share and encourage  us to grow more of the food we eat.

It has been a dry start to winter here in Adelaide, I make the mistake of not watering enough thinking it will rain soon, or, the soil is OK from the last rain forgetting when that was.  Even with the little rain we have had the weeds have been pulling up pretty easily!!  I was chatting with my friend over the fence yesterday laughing about how much weeding we do!

Harvesting

I staggered my broccoli planting this year and have already harvested 2 big heads and have been harvesting off the side shoots waiting for the next lot to be ready.  We are not big cauliflower eaters but I couldn’t resist a purple cauli so have 1 in and it’s already heading.

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This bed of leafy greens has been supplying all of our salad greens, the red lollo lettuce self seeded in this bed and it has worked out perfectly.

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Looking forward to some fennel and peas, just noticed the first of the red podded peas, looking forward to them.

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The kitchen garden is supplying us with all of our herbs:parsley, coriander, oregano, thyme, still getting some chillies, spinach and beetroot leaves.

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Planting

I have cleared and got the strawberry bed ready for the runners in the next week or so, some more beetroot and maybe an advanced broccoli seedling.

Jobs to do

I have got a new garden gadget, a soil blocker so will be making some blocks for seedlings, stay tuned for that post.  I have a bed of perennials to prune as well and will need to spray the orchard before bud burst for curly leaf and fungal disease.

orchard pruned

orchard pruned

Thanks for having a look around, hope you have been able to get out into your garden.

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Looking back at February in the garden

February, Phew glad it’s over! It’s a hard month on the garden.  My garden was in  fairly decent form early in the month and went downhill from there.  While the shade cloth frames protected the plants from the scorching heat these domes became aphid breading grounds.  It didn’t take long either, 3 days of being covered and the jalapeno leaves were covered.  A strong jet of water blasted them off and I was pleasantly surprised how well they came back and are still producing.

I didn’t do a lot of gardening this month there were no new plantings, a little weeding, lots of covering/shading and plenty of harvesting and preserving.

Is that a rat I can smell…..

Our dog is a super snooper, if she is snooping there is a rodent somewhere that we can’t see and she will do whatever she can to get to it.

she has the scent

she has the scent

This is a gardening blog why am I writing about rats?  Because as Mr gardening hands says:

“they are everywhere, don’t worry about them, they won’t come near you, they are as afraid of you as you are of them.”

I’m going to put it out there, I am frightened of rats, ok and mice as well,so when the dog starts snooping around I am on alert.  You know what I mean, heart starts racing, eye’s darting around everywhere looking for that rat that is going to run straight at me up my leg and…… I don’t know what really.  Still it’s enough for me to stand inside while I send out the hunting party, Mr GH and dog to find out what is capturing her attention. photos 136 Now this post is really a word of warning to fellow gardeners, this time last year my kitchen garden was stripped bare of it’s chilies by rats, the one’s that I shouldn’t be able to see but last year our dog and the neighbor’s cats couldn’t keep them under control because I could see them. I grow basil in my kitchen garden and around this time of year in Adelaide it’s going to seed.  I love  the leggy seed heads on the basil, so did the rats last year they were all over it, at night I could see them climbing the branches eating the seeds.  I  even found the seeds heads stored away in between some bricks on the other side of the yard, that is how much they like them.

rat re-enactment

rat re-enactment

I had forgotten about all of that until the other day when the dog was going mad around the kitchen garden, I saw the seed heads on the basil and remembered last year! Yikes, that is not going to happen again, off with their heads! photos 176

When is a caterpillar too big to squash?

Everyone will have a different answer to this, I asked some friends and this is what they said:

“Never, I always kill them I squash them with my shoe”

Another friend said:

“I pick them off and give them to the chickens”

I have had a few days of not paying a lot of attention to the garden, I went down today and saw some tell tale signs of caterpillar destruction on my tomato’s.

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The first signs were the bright green poo and boy they were big, holes in the leaves and then i saw this guy poking his head out.

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This caterpillar is too big for me to squash!  I don’t want to put him under my shoe and step on him and I don’t have chickens so I left him out for the birds and he was gone in a few hours.

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Now all I need is some decent summer weather here in South Australia and WE can eat the tomato’s

If you are interested in other ways to combat the tomato caterpillar or budworm (Helicoverpa spp) may I suggest the Organic Gardener site.