Garden Share Collective monthly round-up

Welcome to our first Garden Share Collective post. January has been an odd time weather wise here in Adelaide. We had a week in the low 20s and two weeks of heat wave. On 14/1 we hit 46 degrees! So, much of this month has been spent trying to save the garden from the heat.

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We did this by erecting tents over the vegetable beds, heavily mulching the plants with pea straw and watering three times a day on those days it was over 40. The tents worked amazingly well and surprisingly we didn’t lose any plants. That said, we believe the crops were affected as we have not had the yield of previous years.

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We kept the compost alive by daily deposits of ice-cubes made in empty ice-cream containers.

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Our squash crop was a great disappointment this year. We had our first harvest for Christmas lunch, but since then nothing! The squash are growing and look beautiful; however, days before they are ready they turn brown and yucky. Even picking them early and putting them on a windowsill to ripen didn’t work. We think it’s a combination of the plant (the squash was one of the few plants we bought from a well known hardware store rather than using heirloom seeds from Diggers) and the heat.  It can’t be the soil as we planted them both at home and at our community garden 3 kilometres away.

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We still managed to harvest quite a bit during January. We had spinach, corn, carrots, cucumber, zucchini, squash, tomatoes, lettuces, spinach, silverbeet, red spring onions, garlic, rainbow chard, rocket, grapes. Not quite enough to feed ourselves but certainly enough that our shopping bill was much less.

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We are looking forward to our eggplants and watermelons.

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Sadly, we ran out of rain water this week (we have a 3400 L and a 1500 L tank). We had to begin using mains water on the beds.

Harvesting

Red spring onion, basil, zucchini, 4 types of mint, rocket, Buttercup pumpkin, Tigerella tomatoes, Tommy-toe cherry tomatoes, Roma tomatoes, kale, squash, capsicum, jalapeño and habanero chilli, grapes.

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To Do

Plant broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage seeds in germination box. Plant carrot and radish seeds directly into the ground. Remove the squash and refresh the bed with chicken manure and plant a green manure crop. Get a worm farm. Water, water, water.

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About A Kailyard in Adelaide

A Kailyard in Adelaide! We are working hard to be domestically sustainable in the foothills of Adelaide. As we both work fulltime this is not an easy task, but we do our best growing much of our own produce in our yard and in our community garden plots. We reduce, recycle and reuse as much as possible and try hard to not consume mindlessly. We have 5000 l of rainwater, a 5 kw solar system, and use a green energy provider for all our excess needs. Rachel: Mother, partner, teacher, writer, reader, crafter, cook, gardener, artist. Jamie: Father, partner, lecturer, therapist, would-be-politician, gardener, photographer, music lover.
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12 Responses to Garden Share Collective monthly round-up

  1. Erin says:

    Well done guys, your harvest is amazing considering the weather we have had in Adelaide this summer. I am also glad to not be the only one using bed linen as temporary shade 🙂

  2. The heat can be so cruel to vegetables. I love your tents that you made, i would of loved to see your neighbours faces when they caught a glimpse of your veggie patch. Your harvest is looking pretty good for the conditions you are battling. Hope some rain and cooler days come for you soon.

    • Rachel and Jamie says:

      Thanks! Today was milder and hopefully rain will come soon. One bonus from the heat has been the watermelons. They have grown from an inch long 2 weeks ago to 50 centimetres and still growing!

  3. Barbara Good says:

    Welcome to the club, looks like your garden and mine have been experiencing much the same conditions. The tents look like a good idea, my beds had to suffer through with daily (or every second day) watering and lots of mulch. I only lost some beans so that’s not too bad.

    The grapes look great – are they for eating or wine-making? And wow for being so organised in thinking about planting seeds for the next season. I suppose I should do that soon too, though I don’t think they’d do so well in this heat. Need to think about setting up a potting station somewhere a bit protected I think.

    • Rachel and Jamie says:

      Hi Barbara! The two weeks of heat is starting to take its toll on the garden. Plants are dying far quicker than normal. The grapes are sultanas for eating! I wish we had enough room for wine grapes; both Jamie and I love a good red!

  4. Alex says:

    ingenious ways to beat the heatwave! Fantastic harvest too, thanks for sharing.

  5. Pingback: Garden Share Collective: February 2014

  6. steffy says:

    yes, fantastic harvest! Congratulations for your hard work! Thanks for sharing!!! Steffy from France.

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