Garden monthly, October 2014

 

Purple flowers everywhere attract pollinating insects.
Purple flowers everywhere attract pollinating insects.

Spring has slowly arrived. September was frosty and windy; only now the fruit trees are beginning to blossom. The ground has been too cold to plant seed, but with a few more hot days and some welcome rain, October will be a busy month. Although the plants won’t notice, an extra hour of light at the end of the day and not the beginning, will be most useful for this gardener.

fave/ broadbean flowers
fave/ broadbean flowers

My tasks include:

  • sow summer crops keeping rotation in mind.
  • planting out the tomato seedlings raised by my son in his hothouse.
  • enriching beds with compost and crumbled cow manure, then mulching.
  • building shade cloth covered fences on the south and west sides to protect the garden in summer.
  • remove dead wood from the strawberry patch and add compost then straw. Look for poly pipe to make a cloche for summer protection.
delicate quince blossom
delicate quince blossom

The most vigorous specimen of Cavolo Nero ( black kale) is now flowering for seed collecting, as well as attracting more bees. I have enjoyed tracking its life through these monthly garden posts. When the seed are harvested, probably in summer, I will have plenty to distribute so contact me if you need some.

Cavolo nero going to seed.  This bush has been going for more than a year.
Cavolo nero going to seed. This bush has been going strong for more than a year.

The overgrown sage bush is in flower, attracting more bees to the garden. When the flowering is finished, I’ll chop it back and make cuttings to pot up. Blue and purple flowers attract bees and other insects, necessary for pollinating summer flowering vegetables. I find that endive lettuce and raddicchio  flowers are the best for this purpose.

Radicchio
Radicchio

I have many out of date seed packets. At the end of Last April, I used old seed to plant a random winter crop garden. I am still eating the produce from that sowing. These seeds will be thrown randomly into a compost rich bed this week. Surprise beds are fun.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Harvest includes silverbeet, rugola selvatica, radicchio, beetroot, broad beans ( the early ones), broccoli side shoots, parsley and lettuce. All these make lovely green feasts and are added to pastas, pies, salads and soups.

garden greens and fetta pasties
garden greens and fetta pasties

This post forms part of the garden share collective, a monthly roundup of vegetable gardens around the world managed by Lizzie. It serves two purposes. It allows you to connect to other food growers around the world, but also forms a useful home garden diary where weather events, seasonal change and particular micro-climates are recorded. If you like growing food, check out the others at the collective.

 

21 thoughts on “Garden monthly, October 2014”

  1. My cavolo nero is going to seed now also and the sage is in beautiful flower. We have enjoyed it’s abundance over Winter. I love your idea of a random garden with your old seeds. I look forward to seeing what pops up in it. Have a great month.

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    1. Hi Krystie, we must be living in a similar climate. It was quite a surprise over winter, the old seed produced tons of brocolli, mustards and other leafy things. Its a matter of having a spare bed for this experiment.

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  2. I love seeing what you are growing Fancesca. Is the purple flowering plant at the top the sage you spoke of? Those fava bean flowers are stunning! Wow. Legume flowers are usually pretty, but those are stunners. Did you watch Gardening Australia this week where they talked about eating the flowers from the cavolo nero? Eating the flowers diminishes the seeds, though, so I’m sure you don’t want to do that in your case. Those pasties with greens and feta look delicious. Thank you for a very interesting post and lovely photos! 40 C here today! Yikes!

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    1. No I didn’t see ‘Gardening Australia ‘ this week but I must catch it on iView. The purple flowering plant at the top is a wall flower near my front gate: all my ornamental garden is in mauve, purple and sage green- most of it is drought hardy as the summer temps here are horrendous- sometimes 44c for a week. But if it is already 40c in the centre- YIKES indeed.
      I usually make greens and fetta pasties in the usual Greek way, but as I had a bit of leftover puff, I made these big pastie shapes for my daughter.
      Thanks Ardys.

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  3. I’ve been growing a special type of radicchio (zuccherina di Trieste, from my hometown) for many years now and cannot get it to go to seed. The leaves on some of the plantings just get bigger and we keep eating them. It’s like a bottomless cup of coffee. Still, shouldn’t complain, it’s a lovely salad green to eat – traditionally with hard-boiled eggs.

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  4. Gorgeous photos! I have never seen cavalo nero flower, we never leave ours in long enough. Might have to try next year 🙂

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  5. there is a small window of good weather between the cold winter, the late frosts and unpredictable spring, and then the heat of summer. even in hobart, we seem to have such a small window of good sowing/planting weaather.
    i love the quince flowers. my parents have quince trees and like yours, the large cup-shaped flowers are as beautiful as any rose.

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  6. Hi Francesca, I am seriously jealous of your radicchio! I love it raw in salads, grilled or even pan fried. Such a versatile veg. Things are cooling down here on the other side of the world, but can understand the infection of “new growth” spirit that spring brings.

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    1. I am really please re the Radicchio too. The older I get, the more I appreciate bitter leaves, or need them. Not sure what this says about my mental health, but my taste buds are definately more discerning. Spring not only brings new growth, but the rampant gardens with jobs galore! Enjoy the best season – Autumn.

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  7. It’s always a pleasure to wander through your garden. I love to eat vegetables & herbs but I could easily grow broadbean, cavalo nero, raddicchio, sage, etc just for the flowers We were in the country last weekend and got to experience some of the seasonal changes first-hand; the last buds on late winter flowering trees and the first flowers & leaves on others. Even our garden, which relies on it’s own devices and really could do with some rain, had managed tiny yellow irises and masses of purple wisteria.

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  8. Your quince blossom is such a delicate pale pink, it is too lovely to turn into a fruit. The broadbeans are looking good and how delightfully curly is your radicchio? My leaves are a similar colour but bloom out in a straight manner. You must have unique seeds Francesca and your garden is flourishing 😀

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    1. Thanks Meryn, they must be a curly radicchio. The striaght one I know of is called Treviso. I looked at the quince flower stoday: no longer pale and delicate but fully open, waiting for the bees.

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  9. I have never seen any kale go to see before, so its kinda cool to see. i am not sure it may be too hot where we are to go to seed though one would think that it would be ideal to get it to bolt.

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    1. Kale loves a crisp winter, it is the Prince of Winter, and develops lovely dark green leaves in frosty weather. When I let mine go over summer, it gets infested with bugs. I think it may be too hot in your area for this kale.

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