Sunday, March 10, 2013

The great garden experiment #6

the summer garden coming to a close
Australian summers are all about beach combing, swimming days, bare feet, picnics in the great outdoors, gardening, enjoying the sunshine and cloud watching. It's just been so hot lately. We have stayed inside with the air conditioning venturing out when the shade comes across in the afternoons so we don't get sun burnt. I've longed for beach days but with a newborn l haven't wanted to risk Tully getting heat stroke from to much sun and heat.

The heatwave has knocked my garden around which isn't a great surprise. It's a result of no rainfall, longstanding heat and all day sun pelting down on my seedlings and plants. Oh I've watered but it hasn't helped much and l have excepted that this summer isn't going to be a heavily productive one for all of my crops. 
The tomatoes have gone crazy and are coming to the end of their season. I've harvested a good 20+ kilos of summer heirloom tomatoes. But no zucchini's as yet, the plants are still green but struggling to harvest with no fruit. My squash has just started fruiting and l will be ready to harvest in the week. I got a bowl of beans before the bean runners got fried. l have seeds already dried for next season's planting + sunflower seeds for next year.

pumpkins, sweet peppers and squash 
After having so many tomatoes in various colours and varieties, I found myself looking into the fridge for a snack only to find no little red morsels only little yellow pear tomatoes. I can't believe I've gone through the lot.

It's amazing how years gone by it was hot but plants seem to hold their own, with these current heatwaves little has survived. I harvested three kilos of mixed potatoes from my potato wire enclosure not a great result but they are tasty. And a bowl of lush purple eggplant that we had three ways. A eggplant salad with a yoghurt dressing, an eggplant pickle and in a hot curry. I was surprised that my pumpkins, capsicum and zucchini plants are still alive, there's hope I might have a small crop still to come. It's always a gamble about what will grow and succeed. 

My lime tree and blackberry after a long water have bounced back. After I spent two afternoons pulling my tomato plants, potatoes, beans and corn out I've left the garden to rest. I've been waiting for the long weekend with the plan to dig in blood and bone to recondition the soil and give it a really good water. I'll need to wait another week or so before l dig it over again and start planting or I'll kill the seeds with to much fertiliser. 

The neighbors are moving out next-door tomorrow along with the cats so I'm praying my garden once again becomes mine. A space where I can plant seeds, water and mulch knowing it'll all be there in the morning. No more morning surprises of garlic dug up in my garden or seedlings crushed + trampled.

harvesting eggplants, potatoes + a flowering lime 
With both my little ones being sick the last two weeks everything has been put on the back-burner. We've has so many medical appointments that a long weekend with ads home is needed. It's been a bit crazy with illness impacting on my little tribe. Perfect example, tonight after enjoying homemade pizzas on our webber we had to call an ambulance as Miss Three slipped + head butted the corner of the couch and put a dent in her forehead. She might be waking up to a black eye but she's going to be OK much to relief of her parents. Life with the tribe has been eventful but you just keep keeping on. 
Miss Three is excited to start planting in the garden with me. I'm looking forward to planting out carrots, kale, leeks, broccoli and autumn seeds with Miss Three and getting the ground ready for a bumper autumn/winter crop. There are two bales of hay waiting to warm the ground as the weather cools.

I also want to get the worm farm and compost bin going again with the change of season. 
I envisage this taking a couple of weeks as it's a bit of work and lets face it the little ones come first. Autumn is such a great time, with the mix of warm, rainy and windswept days in the garden when the leaves change, the wellies come out, the ground is turned over and new planting begins. 

What's happening in your garden? 

x Mummafox

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