10 April 2013

This week in the Country Garden

The zucchini has all finished.  The squash was cut back last week to the last few bits still producing and has now had a new lease on life, it's taken off again with more squash coming through.
I planted a few sage cuttings through the beds last year when we had a rodent problem as it's supposed to discourage them.  We haven't had any rodents this year, and the sage plants are now huge and taking over the beds!
 Winter seeds are now planted: fennel, turnip, carrot, beetroot, purple sprouting broccoli, broad beans...
The banana capsicum is still producing large quantities of capsicum, which are slowly turning orange and red, and there are many flowers still developing on the plants.  I'm very happy with the decision to just plant this variety of capsicum this year.
There is masses of celery in various beds all doing really well.  It's even growing in a polystyrene box with hardly any soil and still thriving!
A mixture of seed and seedling brassicas have been planted, with some space for a few more in the coming week or two.  This year we are sticking with Purple Sprouting Broccoli for its longevity of season and delicious taste, and trying a few brussels sprouts in their own tub.  The brussels got overwhelmed by other vegetables last year and didn't get anywhere, so hopefully we can get a crop this year.  We decided that cabbages and cauliflowers take up too much space for too long, are a constant fight against bugs and then ultimately produce too little to bother with in the Country Garden.
This year's crop of basil is the most successful we've ever grown, and it's still doing really well.  I've been making heaps of pesto and yet can't keep up with it.  It was planted in the tomato beds with marigolds and parsley as companions.
This is our third crop of beans for the season.  Not sure if we will get much from them, but there are plenty of flowers, so hopefully if the suns shines for a bit longer there will be some more beans before the season ends.
This bed has had a constant crop of silverbeet and kale since last year.  There's also some celery at this end and the second crop of beans hidden behind the silverbeet.
We have been experimenting growing leeks in polystyrene boxes as they take up so much space in the main beds.  They don't grow to giants, but as long as they aren't too crowded they are actually doing quite well.
And the sunflowers have now finished so I harvested the flowers to dry off to give to the chickens in the City Garden, although they showed no interest at all when I gave them a few to try...

8 comments:

  1. I love reading about your garden... always taking notes for my next season.

    I didn't know that about sage.

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    1. Thanks for your lovely comment Kathryn. It's great to be able to compare notes against other countries' seasons. You're just coming into the really fun part of the gardening year I think!
      I can't really tell you whether sage works as I rotated the crops that were attacked by the rodents but not the sage! But there haven't been any rodents this year. Mind you, it didn't stop a kangaroo munching on a few things...

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  2. I'm taking notes here as I prepare to do more planting this year in raised bed/boxes this year rather than my few barrel on the driveway. I've been watching my sun patterns so I get everything placed right.
    --And I just planted sunflowers today--I hope eventually one will be as successful as yours.

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    1. I love having sunflowers in the garden. Mine took ages to grow this year, and didn't last that long but were still worth the effort for the short time they were flowering. Make sure they get lots of water. Mine drooped quite quickly if they got too hot. Enjoy those extra garden beds you're getting, it's so much easier to garden in raised beds.

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  3. Interested in the sage theory - I will have to plant out a lot more next year. I tossed a sunflower to our chooks too with much the same results you experienced but then my chooks look suspiciously at most things....

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    1. I really wish I could remember where I read about sage as a repellant for mice. It's so easy to propagate I reckon it's worth a try.
      I thought my chickens were being fussy when they turned their beaks up at the sunflower seeds, so I tried one. I must admit, there wasn't much going for it, I wonder if you have to do something to them to make them more edible?

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  4. Its been a great season for Basil, first time ever for me its still growing in April! I planted a simular pepper and have been really impressed with the amount of fruit which they have produced, at times up to 23 peppers on one plant!
    Good luck with your brussel sprouts!

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    1. 23 on a plant is fantastic! And I love the way you can start eating them when they are still quite pale yellow but they continue to colour up until they are bright red. Definitely winners!

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