So once again I am behind due to the dreadful cold I have been nursing. Luckily (or unluckily depending on your point of view) I have been sick for the duration of the school holidays and so have inflicted my misery only on those close to home. The garden meanwhile has been coming along nicely. The seeds we planted in one of the beds are growing well. I am looking forward to harvesting the rocket, fennel and parsley-parsnip we are growing there.
We found a nice surprise out the front under the Golden Elm.
It is a Haemanthus Coccineus or Blood Lily. In the spring it has two enormous leaves, at least one metre across. Once they die down the weird flower comes out. It’s a fabulous plant, but we find it hard to keep the leaves in spring as the snails love them.
Earlier this month we went to a garden talk with Sophie Thompson, from the ABC’s Gardening Australia, at the Happy Patch Community Garden. We learnt lots of invaluable tips on getting rid of unwanted pests while still retaining the good bugs.
The community garden has been inundated with white fly due to one leasee planting brassicas and letting them go to seed over summer. That particular patch was full of white fly and they quickly migrated everywhere! We used chilli spray on our patch which kept them to a minimum. Only a small amount of damage so far.
What we didn’t realise before hearing Sophie speak was that the chilli spray also kills the beneficial insects such as the parasitic wasp that feeds on white fly larvae. So now we have put up sticky yellow strips which attract the white fly. Hopefully not too many of the good bugs will get caught in the traps.
We also planted on either side of the patch – in March we planted out the middle with cauliflowers, cabbage, broccoli and kale. On one side we planted purple and orange heirloom carrots.
Plus some heirloom Romanesco broccoli.
On the other side we planted spring onions and Johnny Jump-ups to attract the bees – and because they are one of my favourite.
Plus some garlic and more cauliflowers.
It is now completely full. We are looking forward to the produce!
Meanwhile, at home we planted some flowers in a few of the boxes to attract beneficial insects.
In other boxes we sowed some coriander and perpetual spinach seeds, all organic from Diggers. We used our cute new seed markers made with wooden pegs, paint, a sharpie, mod podge and a bamboo stake.
In one galvanised bed we put the Romanesco broccoli, green sprouting broccoli, snowball cauliflower and green macerata cauliflower we grew from Diggers seeds.
Along with the brassicas we have more marigolds and some plastic butterflies to try and fool the cabbage moths. The other galvanised bed has been sown with green manure to improve the soil.
We have also planted out the two remaining wooden beds. One has been sown with yukina and silverbeet seeds as well as kale and red pak choy seedlings.
The final bed has miniature snowpeas and more Johnny jump-ups.
Along the fence and rainwater tank we have planted broad beans and some sweet peas to attract the beneficials.
The garden is looking great!
Jamie found a baby lizard while moving some pots.
We gave him a new home under the thyme.
We have also started a facebook page for this blog. Maybe we will see you there!