Garden Monthly April 2015

My orto needs some serious attention.  Some remaining Autumn crops are happy to linger longer and fatten up. Other beds need digging over, re- seeding and mulching. The rabbits got in and munched all my lettuce, parsley, radicchio, rocket and coriander! Some one left the gates open while I was at the beach. This invasive pest (the rabbit, not the gate person) also finds a way through our Fort Knox fencing during Autumn, especially when it’s really dry and the green pickings are slim in the paddocks and bush. The kangaroos are also desperate, jumping the fences to dig up the remaining vestiges of green grass around the veggie patch. They have also taken a fancy to apple trees. This is unusual behaviour as only wallabies tend to be so destructive. Too many jobs, not much will or time.

Now for the happy news. The eggplant are ripening and so long as the frost stays away, they should continue for a while.

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We also have belated borlotti beans. I tried to plant these in December but they couldn’t cope with the blasting heat. I re-seeded some in late February and the mild weather seems to suit them. Again, stay away Jack Frost.

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We have had zucchini crop continuously for five months now. I am happy not to buy any after their demise. We harvest a few each week.

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Some self-sown lettuce popped up with the latest rain. I usually relocate them when they are a little older and not deplete the soil of the same nutrients.

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It has been a wonderful year for pumpkin and other cucurbits. They liked the milder weather and scrambled all over the garden. They need a few more weeks to ripen and harden in the remaining sun.

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It’s also time to make a few basil things for the freezer- basil butter and frozen pesto ‘bombs’ which will bring a touch of summer to a winter soup.

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To do list this week:

  • Remove remaining bird nets from strawberries and raspberries
  • make basil butter and basil oil
  • investigate products in Australia for frost protection of limes and lemon grass.
  • make a small mix of concrete to plug rabbit holes in fence
  • collect more cow manure and spread about
  • sow turnips – such an easy crop
  • cut back herbs
  • bake remaining apples and the lone quince!

Are you a keen food gardener? Do you grow herbs, vegetables or fruit? Do you need assistance or advice to get you started? Go and check out the other posts this month at Lizzie’s Garden Share Collective. 

The Garden Share Collective

31 thoughts on “Garden Monthly April 2015”

  1. thakns for sharing the pics of your mature garden – I would like that eggplant for some soup this week!
    and quick question – can you tell me more about basil bombs?

    I will go to lizzie’s blog now… 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It all looks pretty good considering the munch attack! I’ve had no luck with curcubits this season at all, even with hand pollinating the pumpkin would be embarassing to photograph! I’m led to believe spraying with seaweed extract etc helps with frost protection. Love those beans, so pretty.

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  3. great post Francesca. Love that garden mulch! Aren’t you good relocating those lettuce seedlings .. Your fresh veg looks fab too. We missed out on toms and no pumpkins this year either. Quick, plug up those rabbit holes 🙂

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    1. A ancient Italian man, Vittorio, taught me to tear off the growing top leaves of the lettuce when transplanting the, giving the roots a better chance at settling in. And only on a most day. we will see- I’m running out of transplanting time before Indonesia.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Darn rabbits eating your seedlings, such a shame. On the bright side your eggplant looks nilly ready to pick and those beans are very handsome, for some reason our beans are taking forever to get going this year. Nice looking pumpkin too.

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    1. It is so amazing, the seasonal variations, not just from Victoria to Queensland, but within Victoria itself too. That’s what I love about keeping this garden diary- a way to check, from year to year, about seasonality of crops. This year was a pear/apple year so next year they will probably have a rest.

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  5. It all looks fabulous considering the pesky wabbits! I will probably get almost no veggies in this autumn again as I really need to spend the time establishing perennials (including fruit trees) on the rest of the demolished garden before spending to much time on seasonal stuff…by spring definitely though!

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  6. Interesting that you qualified “invasive pest” – I would have thought the gate person! Thank goodness we don’t have kangaroos or wallabies here in the UK. Good luck with those borlotti beans. I’ve had terrible luck with them in the past, and I do love them, particularly fresh.

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    1. Kangaroos are usually benign and are not a pest. They bounce about the paddocks and eat grass and provide amusement for visitors. I have never know them to eat fruit trees and branches before- this behaviour suggests that our drought is very serious. Rabbits, on the other hand, are an introduced pest, breeding at such a fast rate. one breeding pair can produce thousands in a year. We have a variety of programmes available- poison, provided by the council, which relies on the neighbours co-operation, netting and ferreting – an expensive operation done by professionals, shooting- gun regulation means that one must apply to the police for a licence and have a legitimate purpose and training ( unlike the USA) . The latter option is also regulated so that if shooting feral animals, all neighbours must be informed of the hours of shooting. There are also cages and baiting- slow and, from our experience, ineffective. The rabbit population becomes more of a problem when grass is scarce in the paddocks. So yes, that gate person is very much the pest. Leave gates as you find them is the old country rule.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Your comments regarding rabbits triggered a memory (no pun intended!). I remember watching a documentary on the huge and very persistent problem you have with the rabbit population in Australia. I believe these pests were originally introduced from Britain. What were they thinking? Obviously there were no environmental impact studies done in the 18th and 19th centuries! I, too, have severe problems with US gun laws (or lack thereof). Much better to be responsible – and being able to prove it!

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      2. Not only rabbits, but foxes and blackberries, to name just a few other pests that were introduced at the time of the British invasion/colonisation.
        It breaks my heart to see the slaughter that occurs in America in the name of a Constitutional right.

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  7. How disappointing the gate was left open. So sorry for all the damage. The grasshoppers are still doing damage to what little is left of our edibles in the garden. I’ve noted they have almost exclusively eaten the European herbs and trees, leaving the natives completely alone. The natives have been damaged from the heat, so on the whole our garden is needing some serious work, too. Those eggplant look gorgeous, though, and the fresh pumpkin should be wonderful too. Best of luck with what is left! xx

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    1. It’s funny that- the native bush is rarely damaged by pests, although bell birds do damage here to gum trees, casuing die back. Not much left except those two items, and a few herbs I’m afraid. Sad.

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  8. Such a shame about the rabbits, but the rest of your garden looks very productive. I’m glad that I am not the only one waiting for their pumpkins to ripen.

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