Garden Share Collective – January

Happy New Year to all at the Garden Share Collective. A wonderful group of vegetable gardeners from across the globe who share their gardens every month thanks to Lizzie of Shared from the Table.

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December was a very busy month for us and not just because of the holiday season. We were lucky enough to receive an offer of free mulch. Given that Adelaide can get extremely hot over summer, we naturally did not refuse. It was, however, a shock to receive so much!

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The front garden looks great with it’s extra thick layers of mulch.

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We ended up not only mulching the front garden but covering the grass on the front verge and around the back vegetable plot! Fingers crossed it kills all the grass that grows in those areas. We are really happy with how it looks but it was backbreaking work over a number of days.

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The little round bed on the grass is Ruby’s, it was her Christmas present along with some kid sized tools, a garden apron and seeds.

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From the front garden we are getting plenty of tomatoes and leeks.

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The watermelon has flowers!

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The herb garden is attracting the bees as hoped.

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Ruby’s sunflowers are huge!

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The geranium I planted as a stick is flowering.

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The lime has attracted the caterpillars of the Dainty (or Dingy) Swallowtail. We collected 4 caterpillars and 2 pupa and put them in an old fishtank. I couldn’t resist the idea of a real life biology lesson for Ruby, plus it meant the lime was not stripped of all its leaves! The caterpillars have since gone into their chrysalis stage. In a couple of weeks we should have butterflies which we shall release in the garden. I say should because according to the Botanic Garden the butterflies can suspend emerging until next Spring if they decide it is too late in the season!

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This is a photo Jamie took in December 2013 of a Dainty Swallowtail resting on the lime.

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Out the back the heat has already begun to effect some of our vegetables. The squash were pulled at the end of December. The ones at the patch were planted later and so are still growing well and just beginning to produce. The zucchini are still going though.

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We have had a couple of cucumbers already.

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And there are a few baby pumpkins just starting to show.

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There are loads of grapes on the vine that are almost ripe.

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At the Patch the rapid growth has been astounding in our first bed!

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We are getting loads of enormous zucchinis from the plant we fondly refer to as the zucchini monster.

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We have corn cobs with red silk! Not sure why but apparently it is not unusual.

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The violas that continued to flower all year because last summer’s watermelon gave such good shade, has spread its seeds all around the Patch. We keep finding them growing in the paths and in other people’s gardens.

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We have discovered three watermelons so far.

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The second bed still has room for more plants and we shall fill it once the weather cools a little. The Amish tomatoes have the most amazing flavour.

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Harvesting: Spinach, zucchinis (too many), cucumber, 5 types of cherry and Amish tomatoes, fingerling eggplants, leeks, squash, basil, 6 types of mint, chives, parsley, thyme and other herbs.

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Plus the last of the carrots and radishes.

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To do: Spread the last of the mulch evenly, plant radish seed, keep everything alive during the heat!

We have already had two days of extreme heat with temperatures reaching 44°. The vegetables were covered with sheets, shadecloth and an old apron to cope.

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As I write the CFS are still fighting an enormous bushfire to the north of Adelaide. Many homes have been lost plus countless amounts of wildlife. Our thoughts go out to all those fighting the flames and the people and animals affected.

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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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21 Responses to Garden Share Collective – January

  1. glutenfreeveganduo says:

    Woaw! This garden is truly amazing! How I envy your January gardening! 🙂

  2. Fantastic photos and harvest. Where was your last photo with the fire in the background taken?
    Enjoyed all the ‘food for thought’ discussions last night. Our brains needs feeding too 🙂

  3. Awesome load of mulch! It makes such a difference to have a nice thick layer of mulch. We have a similar butterfly called an orchard swalowtail, and I love to host them, but they do munch a lot of leaves. Dont you have to give them something to eat if you pick them off? I left one catterpillar and he has been muching all the new tender leaves on my lime tree!

  4. Lizzie says:

    Wow that is a mighty fine pile of mulch. I too would not want to turn that down. Looks like plenty is happening in your patch and your watermelon looks so happy. Little jealous here as mine have been a big fail this year. Who knows with all the rain we are having they might just produce something. Take care and well wishes for all those around you in the fires.

  5. Barbara Good says:

    Fantastic looking harvests and the garden is looking quite prolific. Good luck dealing with your zucchini monster, a glut of them does tend to try ones patience and taste for zucchini after a while.

  6. What a fantastic haul of mulch. It always looks great when it is first laid. Zucchini are wonderful to grow but by the end of the season we all have had plenty until next year 🙂 I love that watermelon. I have never been able to get one to grow. It looks great. Have a great month and stay safe. I hope that is the last of the fires.

  7. Francesca says:

    Fabulous produce from your plots. Interesting way to cope with heat stress via the use of sheets and other covers: an idea well worth copying on nasty days over 40c. Mucllching is essential in dry climates and what a bonus to get a free truckload.

  8. Wow you have so much going on. I love how watermelons can seem like they aren’t doing much and then BAM – there is a massive watermelon!

  9. Three watermelons already! — I’m seething with jealousy. I can’t believe how much you’ve got going on. I hope it wasn’t too hot when you were spreading all that wonderful mulch.

  10. Your garden is lovely. And I have mulch envy at the moment!

    How frightening that the fire is so close. Prayers to everyone and everything that they get it under control quickly.

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