Wednesday, November 10, 2010

November 2010 - Rain and More Rain

So far in November 2010, the Gosford area has had 168mm of rain in 11 days.

This has provided plenty of water for the vegetables to thrive.Unfortunately the wet weather has also increased the number of pests in the garden. Many of my young plants have suffered from bug attacks. The solution is to ensure that the foliage is sprayed regularly with Pyrethrum (Defender) and that Snail baits are used around the garden to reduce the numbers of snails.

Most of the seedlings planted two weeks ago have survived and the lettuce and tomatoes are going very well. The chili plants have suffered from pest damage and were also being slightly shaded by the parsley growing in front of them.

My next job in the garden will be to add a few more large tubs. I am going to move the chili plants to a tub near the citrus trees. This area gets a lot of sun and will be more protected from ground pests.

The pumpkin plants are getting larger and I will need to remove the wire mesh from this end of the garden to allow them to spread.

Until next time. Enjoy your gardenings.

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Saturday, October 16, 2010

October 2010 - Chillies and Capsicum

More seedlings planted into the garden this weekend. I picked up some more bell capsicum seedlings and some chilli bush seedlings from a local nursery and planted these out to replace the capsicum plants lost to the local wildlife (rabbit).

As well as these seedlings I also got some mixed lettuce seedlings which I have planted out. These were more established than the seedlings I have grown from seed and I will use my seedlings for a second crop later in a couple of weeks.

My tomato seedlings have reached the stage where they can be planted out, so I put these in next to the lettuce. I selected the three strongest looking seedlings and planted these. I will probably thin these out to the two strongest in a couple of weeks as they will require more space to grow.

The pumpkins are growing well and I have three healthy looking plants.

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Sunday, October 10, 2010

October 2010 - Fruit Trees and Rabbit Protection

Busy day in the garden today. I planted two fruit trees into some large plastic containers. This is a technique I saw used on Better Homes and Gardens and thought I would  give it a try. It has the advantage that these plastic tubs are very inexpensive compared to large planters and the only necessary modification is to drill some large holes in the base for drainage.

The trees I planted today are a dwarf lemon (Eureka) and a dwarf lime (Tahitian). There trees only grow to around half the size of a normal citrus tree and can be grown in large containers. The fruit produced are of a normal size.
Along with planting the citrus I also planted some more corn plants. The reason I had to do this is that our pet rabbit has recently been spending more time outside his hutch and has managed to find my garden.

After replacing the corn into a not so accessible part of the garden I also spent some time creating a barrier out of chicken wire and tent pegs to try and discourage the rabbit from nibbling on the seedlings.

The tomato and lettuce seedlings in the planter are going well and hopefully will be large enough to plant out next weekend.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

October 2010 - Seedlings Planted into Bed

As it was a nice cool and wet weekend, I decided to plant out the seedlings I had purchased last week.

I planted Butternut Pumpkin, Sweet Corn, and Capsicum.

Hopefully, I will have better luck with the Sweet Corn this year. Last year I planted the corn in one long row and had issues with the pollination of the ears. This year I planted them in a clump of eight plants. This should encourage pollination.

Instead of the squash I grew last year I am going to try and grow some butternnut pumpkin. It is easier to find recipes that use pumpkin.

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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

September 2010 - Seedlings Ready for Planting

My second attempt at growing seedlings has been slightly more successful and they are now only a week or two away from being ready to plant out. The second planting consisted of two types of tomatoes and mixed lettuce.

To supplement these seedlings I also purchased butternut pumpkin, sweet corn and capsicum seedlings from the nursery. These seedlings will be planted out this weekend.

Last weekend I prepared the garden beds. The weeds were removed and the soil turned over down to around 20cms. I then put in some cow and chicken manure to improve the soil condition and removed more clumps of clay. The soil has definitely improved from the last year and hopefully will improve further as more organic material is added.
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Sunday, September 12, 2010

September 2010 - Spring Preparation

Over the last 3 weeks I have been slowly preparing the garden to receive the first plants of spring. The remnants of the winter crop have been removed and bags of chicken and cow manure obtained to renew the soil prior to planting.

As well as preparing the beds I have also been attempting to grow some seedlings from seeds. I used the same seed planter from last year and planted lettuce, squash, and tomatoes. These were the most successful of last years crops and I know will provide a good harvest.

Unfortunately, just 2 weeks after the seedlings sprouted I left them on the outdoor table in full sun on the hottest day so far this spring. All of the seedlings bar a couple of the squash plants were withered. Today I replanted  the seeds, hopefully I will be able to plant these out by the end of the month.

Next weekend, I will prepare the garden beds for planting.

Friday, July 2, 2010

July 2010 - Winter Update

It has been a couple of weeks since I fertilized and re-mulched the vegetable garden and this has definitely promoted better leaf growth on the Pak Choy. I have managed to harvest a number of leaves from the 6 plants I have and I am looking into some recipes to use it.

Over the last week we have had some very cold nights and mornings and the temperature has dropped below zero. One morning it was -3 and the ground was covered in frost. These cold snaps caused some leaf burn on the pak choy but the damage was minimal.
The broccoli plants are still growing but probably need more water and nutrients. Over winter it is difficult for me to water the garden because it dark when I get home from work. It is not advisable to water in winter after dark because of the risk of fungus and mould diseases caused by the damp.

The self propagated tomato plants are still growing and do have some fruit on them. At the moment they have not started to ripen but I am still hoping to get some fruit off these before spring.