Friday, October 26, 2012

In the Garden - October 2012

Last month I planted some seeds and seedlings, ready for a summer crop. Regardless of the beer traps, the slaters dessimated most of the seedlings as they emerged. They seemed to be helping themselves to the beer, but not before feasting on the zucchini, cucumber and pea seedlings. Determined not to let this happen again, I did away with the beer traps (which smell really bad if you don't empty them regularly) and planted some new seeds in pots. The physical barrier seems to have done the trick, and seedlings mk II are now hopefully big enough to hold their own and be transplanted into the vege patch.

I didn't have anymore zucchini or cucumber seeds, but I did have a lot of other options so planted dwarf beans....

...peas and watermelon in the background.

Something I thought the slaters would leave alone due to their lack of real leaves, are perennial carrots.

I thought I'd try my luck with spinach straight into the ground, because the thought of transplanting spinach plants wasn't particularly appealing. Similarly, I'm lazy and never thin my carrots, but it makes for some interesting shapes and sizes.

I think there may be one saving grace for the spinach. At the end of each row, a rhubarb plant has re-emerged. When we returned from our Gypsy Getaway, my rhubarb plants (of which I had 3 established) had vanished without a trace. I was a bit disappointed as they were doing well, but they have come back! The slaters love the leaves but don't affect the stalks so this may just be my new slater solution.

The chickens did a great job preparing the tomato garden plot, and this week I transplanted the cherry tomato seedlings I grew in pots from seeds (or rather I dug holes and Chicky did the planting). We planted 7 plants, which will inevitably be too many, but I will attempt to tame them with tomato mesh so we can keep some sort of control on the area.

Here are the girls, looking puzzled about why they're no longer allowed to forage in the tomato plot. Or maybe it has something to do with their tiny brains. :)

Veges aren't the only things blooming in the garden at the moment. The grape vines have gone from dormant to prolific in a matter of weeks. The 5 vines we currently have are in their second fruiting year and teeny tiny grapes can be seen everywhere. I can't wait!

The mandarin tree has some very small fruit emerging. Fingers crossed the birds save us some.

The orange tree, although struggling with some kind of leaf curl, is also managing to fruit this year. Citrus need a lot of TLC in our sandy soils, and really benefit from regular fertilising. This is hubby's job. My slap-dash approach to the garden doesn't involve such luxuries for the fruit trees.

The passionfruit vines seem to take it in turns fruiting, and I was a little surprised to see one of them flowering given we had a winter crop. Providing we get enough bees, I think these will be the purple-skinned fruit. I love the flowers, they are just a little bit Little Shop of Horrors-esque.

Finally, here is what I hope will be a potato patch. I had a few sprouting spuds in the larder so scattered the tubers and covered them with soil. I'll add some more soil when the sprouts emerge and try to get a mound happening, to maximise yield.

For now this is all that's happening in my garden, but with spring in full swing things are moving swiftly.  It's great, and I don't need to play much of a role. Now I sit back and watch things flourish. I'd love to hear what's happening in your garden this spring (or otherwise, wherever you are).


  1. Absolutely inspiring. One thing that would deter slugs and snails is crushed egg shells. You could try that :) - Shantha

    1. Thanks Shantha, I've heard of egg shells to keep caterpillars/moths away, so it might just work for slaters. At the moment I'm happy to feed them my rhubarb leaves it means they'll leave everything else alone!

  2. Pam, what are perennial carrots? I've never heard of them before! I'm sorry you've had your seedlings decimated - we grow ours on a heated mat indoors now, partly for that reason!

    1. Now you've got me second guessing the term! Google helped me. "Perennial" is a plant that lives for more than two years. Carrots, it would seem, are actually biennial, so you harvest and eat crop from the first year, then leave some in the ground to flower and go to seed the following year. I was told they were perennial by a gardener once, but apparently the term is often misused. Horticulture lesson for the day kiddies!