Hi everyone. I'm a long time lurker and have finally joined. I guess I mainly keen to document my gardening experiences for my own future reference. I've been a sporadic gardener all my adult life - currently I will have a year or so of regular gardening then one of my other interests take over. Then my garden gets weed- overtaken until my out of town in-laws come and visit and rescue me from the jungle. The only permanent features of my garden have been some basic herbs, six chickens, a mango tree and a mulberry tree.
I had a visit from them in March this year when my four raised beds were cleared and I started my planting. I have done fairly well - one bed of corn seedlings produced 12 cobs of corn - not bad for late planting,I thought. I had a good winter of snow peas from seed, not so good for podding peas (the packet of seeds was neglected after opening for several years). I'm still growing silver beet which my children still haven't tasted as many stems are going to the six hens. My broccoli wasn't wonderful but is having a second growth at the moment. Bok choi was a good early crop.
I have a butternut pumpkin vine grown from seeds that were already sprouting in the pumpkin I bought and opened in April. Currently it's disappointing because female and male flowers are too many days apart.
My tomatoes planted as seedlings in March ( Grosse lisse and tommy toe ) did brilliantly up to early July when the cold seemed to kill off the Grosse lisse. The tommy toe has kept growing but has developed a very bitter taste - I'm not sure if that was the companion planting of basil going to seed or just the cold slowing growth too much. The tomatoes were cut back and are now regrowing - I'm leaving for the moment as they are way ahead of the seedlings I've been growing over winter. I assembled some small (90cm square) metal frame beds from Crazy Clarks and have some small crops growing in those.
In June I suddenly decided to try broad beans and they are growing quite well - small handfuls only so far but good for a snack while cooking something else.
Four weeks ago I did a massive seed planting into small punnets and soon after my in-laws came for another visit - now the front garden is cleared of weeds and with only a few perennials left I have more space for food growing. I have put in some artichoke seedlings and started some bean trellises. I hardened my heart and pulled our the first snow pea plants despite a few remaining flowers, so that I have room for tomatoes in a few weeks time.
The podding peas have already been cleared to allow digging over before cucumber seedlings were planted out.I have also planted out zucchini seedlings this week. Still slowly in their original punnets are tomatoes (Rouge de Marmande and Sweetie), green pattypan squash, watermelon, honeydew, cucamelon, cape gooseberry, chervil, marigolds, silver beet and beetroot. The cucamelon was extremely slow to germinate and I don't know if the gooseberry is germinating or I have casual weeds being cultivated very carefully. I sowed some thyme but nothing is happening yet.
I have planted some corn in a bed I have been layering carefully since March. My big aim is to plan to allow space for succession planting to get continuous food for the kitchen - not just for corn but for all the vegetables I grow. My general planting scheme is meant to be a rotation of crops but I must admit I get quite confused with companion planting - I tend to decide what the main crop of a bed is and rotate from that.
I own The Kitchen Garden Companion which I use for suggested number of plants and cooking suggestions but rely on Annette Macfarlane's site for timing. I 'm hoping being on the site regularly will give me reminders of what veggies I could try out.
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