Garden Monthly. December 2014

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAA Garden Monthly diary is a beautiful thing. It’s handy to be able to scroll back to last month’s post to see if anything got ticked off the list. And I am happy to report, YES, we did achieve most of our goals.

We keep two kinds of lists here:

  1. The Daily List, a list of things that need doing, the demanding list, and
  2. Eric’s List. Eric’s list is more of a concept list. Named after a wonderful Swedish man we met when wandering through Laos, Eric’s list is more about desirable things to do-
    there is no need to mark anything off with a big black line. Once you have written the list, you have achieved your goal. Drawings and colouring in are acceptable too. Arches, designs, fantasies, as if we had all the time in the world. We keep a special book for this list- Eric’s book. Sometimes things get upgraded from Eric to Demanding Daily.

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But back to the garden. We finally installed the shade cloth and bird netting over all our berry beds and the results speak for themselves. We have an unbelievable berry crop. I am picking a kilo a day. We cut some metal reo into manageable lengths and with poly-Β piping, made hoops over the beds, then covered these with bird netting. When the season becomes even hotter, we will add some shade cloth. I have a few lads in the building game keeping an eye out for discarded reo. I love the stuff.

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The cucurbits and lettuces will need shading too and maybe by February, the tomatoes. The season is predicted to be hot, dry and windy. I am not looking forward to those days.

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Below is the largest tomato bush I have ever grown. Talk about a Triffid. It is already a metre wide and a metre tall. It bears miniature yellow pear-shaped fruit. If the crop is as good as the bush, I might open a market stall. I gave it some manure ‘tea’ when it was little and it went berserk. Next month, I hope to be able to report on the crop. It is out of control. I don’t usually prune laterals as our fruit needs as much shade as it can get. We have already eaten a few miniature tomatoes. This has never happened before Christmas.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe zucchini have started their long march into the season. The early ones are always most welcome. I try not to buy zucchini between the months of April and November. Six months of zucchini and six months of no zucchini seems about right. These will make some little Greek fritters this week.

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Further tasks this month.

  • build more hoops over other beds
  • collect more manure to balance the compost.
  • collect and preserve more berries
  • harvest garlic and dry out, then clean and braid.
  • water more often as the season is predicted to be nasty
  • fix fencing in the front paddock.
boysenberries  and youngberries.
boysenberries and youngberries.
mostly raspberries
mostly raspberries

This post is linked to Lizzie’s Garden Share Collective. Check it out here.

 

 

 

25 thoughts on “Garden Monthly. December 2014”

  1. Berry envy! Every thing looks scrumptious. Next GSC, show us how you braid your garlic. I’ve tried in the past and always end up with stray bits here and there. I don’t know if I’ve said this before, but you have a beautiful space to grow fruit and veg.

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    1. It is a lovely space but also a demanding space. The lists keep growng: at that point we tend to run away. I have just frozen loads of berries. The beach calls and so expect some fishy posts next week.
      Last year, a Wwoofer, Alessandra braided the garlic. She watched a youtube video and copied it. The garlic lasted the whole year and only now, as I am pulling my first lot, have we run out. No green shooting, all stayed fressh for one year. They were stored, braied, in a dark laundry/pantry in a basket, covered with hessian. I only had one braid out for decor- even that lasted well.

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  2. Netting the fruit bushes is something I always mean to do, but never get around to. By the look of your berry harvest, it’s well worth the effort. You sound to be having very warm weather out there already – I read it was the warmest spring on record, is that right?

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    1. I don’t think it’s the warmest Spring, not in Melbourne. Some of the flowers that usually appear in November aren’t out yet. But it has been a little too dry.
      The nets are worth the investment. If you get good quality ones, they should last forever.

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  3. Wow! Your garden looks amazing Francesca. Gosh I love the netting over the berries. I can’t imagine getting a kilo per day. As for your tomato! Has to be on steroids. Wow, mine are tiny in comparison. Yes my zucchini are on the way ..they are machines. πŸ™‚ lovely pics

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  4. Wonderful looking garden Francesca, and I’m very envious of the berries, but I’m not surprised you describe it as demanding! My parents have a huge and very productive garden also, and really struggle to get away at all during summer πŸ™‚

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    1. We are like your parents- we holiday at other times of the year as the season can be demanding. But as February hits us like a furnace, we are often fored to escape.
      The berries are the best this year.

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  5. How tremendously satisfying to go into your backyard and pick all those gorgeous berries. It’s great you have them protected so you get to eat them and not be growing them for the birds. It sounds like you have a lot of work to do but it must be so enjoyable. The zucchini look great xx

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    1. Thanks Ella, the break was wonderful. Telstra service to mobiles was adequate but slow internet meant I enjoyed a real slow down. Just the sound of the crashing waves along the 90 mile beach, lots of rain and reading.
      Now back to berryland.

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