I'm terribly sorry I had such a long break from here... I was completely bogged-down with work (a very heavy workload until recently!) and PhD-related stuff. Now I've got a reasonable schedule again!
Sadly, my gardening efforts were almost a complete failure last year. I had to grow stuff in pots because of the hard clay, and I think the cheap potting mix, combined with my lack of skill, contributed to my garden's demise. I had pickling onions grow ok, but they unfortunately tasted so horrible they were inedible. I got about 5 raspberries, ZERO goosberries (some bug chewed through the outer layer and ate them all from the inside. Lettuce grew well enough in a styrofoam box, as did mustard. I got a few tomatoes from my diseased plants, two chillies grew and died, and I only have a couple of plants remaining which were hardy enough to withstand the diseases I couldn't identify, as well as some neglect when life got busy.
I'm determined to do better. I have about 9 months until I need to move to Sydney for at least a year (university-related), but until then, I'm seriously considering just concentrating on a very simple, very managable set-up using the square-foot gardening method. I am thinking that 2 one square metre raised beds (not raised very high) should do the trick. I'll make the best soil I possibly can, and since I've got a book to instruct me, I probably won't make as many mistakes. I think a major mistake I made last year was not knowing how to control pests and disease. I wanted to do it organically, but I didn't have the know-how.
By the time I'm in Sydney, I hope to have some successful harvests under my belt, a functional garden I can leave behind for family members remaining here in Brisbane, and skills I can use when I build a garden in Sydney.
Anyway, it's nice to be back :-)
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