How does my garden grow?

We are having very stable Autumn weather at the moment. It’s my favourite time of the year, especially to garden. The soil is still warm enough to plant things in (although very dry) but the cooler nights are turning the leaves into glorious reds and yellows.

But it is dry ~ our driest start to a year on record. That’s a scary stat, because we are well used to dry conditions. So, let’s hope for the rains to come soon.

Let’s turn our eyes away from that for a little while, and look to what is happening in the garden, because I have been trying to get things under control.

As you know the front yard is our veggie patch. The corn, beans and tomatoes are finished, and I cleared away all that debris. We left the corn roots to rot down into the soil ~ it’s not just laziness!

At the moment there is nothing to see, except the spread compost. If you had x-ray eyes you would see the pea seeds and snow peas seeds beginning to germinate under the soil.

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Nothing to see here!

The bees have been very active over the last couple of months. At the moment the rosemary bush is one of the few food sources for them. It looks scraggly, but the bees are loving it. And I have been delighted to see a native blue banded bee. It is a beautiful bee, with quite a loud buzz. They are solitary bees and you can find out more about them here. The backyard bird bath is too deep for bees, so I set up their own water station  in a shallow bowl and stones under the rosemary. I will say that I’ve never seen them use it!

The other thing to show you before we head down the back is the containers ready for my neighbour to collect. Dagmar lives in a flat, with no chance for her own garden. Like all of us, she hates wasting her food scraps, so we have set up a system where she leaves her scraps and coffee grinds. We put them into the compost or worm farm and return the washed container. The drop off point is the blue stone block near the tap.

Chillies are the only produce to share with her at the moment.

The backyard is looking more under control too (well, parts of it).

The salvia is growing so well I have planted two more.

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A helebore made it through years of neglect, so I figure they grow well in the garden too. Two more have gone in.

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The tatty one on the right is the older plant. One of the new plants is at the back, behind the foxgloves.

Mum gave me a punnet of corn flowers. They are doing well, growing at the base of the sedum.

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The poor fuchsia isn’t doing so well. It may need more sun. And a repot.

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The pelargonium is flowering well, but something gets in and munches the flowers before the bud opens. Any thoughts?

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But the begonias are thriving on neglect

While our vine is looking rather tatty, and there are so many leaves to sweep…

I am lucky to be able to enjoy the neighbour’s tree from my back door. Autumn is a magical season.

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How does my veggie garden grow?

I was going to show these photos in my earlier post about Autumn in my garden. However, I was using the WordPress app for the first time and finding that adding photos was a little trickier than I was expecting. I can’t seem to add captions, and that surprised me.

Let’s begin anew, with apologies for any glitches in the last one and glitches that may be there in this one!

I have told you that my veggie garden, which is in the front yard, had been a waste land over summer. In March I dug and mounded and added compost. Then I planted. Look at what is coming up.

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Remember this silver beet that had been lingering in a pot? It is much happier now. Behind the 5 silver beet plants are rapa. Nope, I had never heard of it either. It is a relative of broccoli, but you eat the leaves instead. I will keep you informed.

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The leeks are not quite big enough for leek and potato soup, but they are doing well. That’s garlic growing behind. My neighbour told me today that she gets a severe reaction from garlic. Wouldn’t it be sad not to have garlic in your diet?

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The broad beans are also doing well. I planted more seeds about two weeks
after these poked their leaves through the soil. The idea is to crop beans over a longer period. Good idea only if you like broad beans!

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Lastly, the parsley is still growing strongly!

How does my garden grow….in early Autumn (Part 2)

Our front yard faces north. That is the direction that captures most of the sun in the Southern Hemisphere. It is a reasonable size, about 3 x 2 metres. So it is the perfect spot in my garden for growing veggies. Unfortunately, last year it was simply a pile of dirt, even though I tried to trick myself into believing that it was left deliberately as fallow ground! All that grew were untended parsley and strawberry plants.

This Autumn the time had come for an upgrade . My Fella grabbed the fork and turned over the soil. After some lovely soaking rain I added compost and lightly forked it again. Then I mounded it into “beds”. Two of them are finished; the other half is still to be worked.

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I planted out the silverbeet that had been growing in a pot. I rummaged through my old seed packets and found broad beans, radishes and beetroot. They weren’t too far out-of-date, so in they went too. All enjoying today’s lovely soaking rain, no doubt.

I planted the silverbeet with a dollop of worm castings. This is an amazing, magical ingredient, which you get free from the worms. It is surprisingly soft, rather like chocolate mousse ~ and I am sorry if that image has put some of you off chocolate mousse for life!

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I also use the worm juice (the dark liquid that comes out of the worm farm into the square bucket). Diluted down it makes excellent liquid fertiliser and helps plants get established.

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There are some of my little beauties, munching their way through the kitchen scraps and leaf litter. Remember though, worms for the compost and worm farms are not the same as worms found in the garden. If you wish to set up a worm farm (and it is very easy), you will need to get the appropriate worms. That could be from someone else’s farm or compost. If you live in Melbourne, come and visit and I will give you some.

I mentioned parsley before. It loves my garden and all my plants are self sown. During the front garden’s “fallow” period it grew like topsy and set more seed.

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An avenue of parsley!

Just look at all the parsley seedlings we have growing ~ and this is only a small number of them!

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I have also planted out sweet pea seeds in the back garden. I quietly picked these seeds from one of my very favourite gardens in the neighbourhood. The gardener had mass planted the sweet peas so that they tumbled down her fence. It was a riot of flowers and colour and perfume. So I only quietly picked a few pods from the mass, and they were on the street side of the fence ~ and I am sure she wouldn’t have minded!

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Last thing to tell you about is my hellebore. Once I planted about half a dozen bushes under my maple tree. Only one survived. Imagine my delight when I looked the other day and saw that it had had babies!

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When I looked further I saw that one little leaflet was growing up between the bricks in the paving, surrounded by weeds. (Brick paving is rather grandiose, but that’s a story for another day.) Not the best spot, so I dug it out. I thought it would be a seedling. Instead it had this strong root system that made me think it was a runner rather than a seedling. Does any one know? This is the root system.

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It is replanted nearer the parent plant. I hope it will have a long and happy life! It may be sharing its life with sweet peas, because I sowed the seeds around there too.

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