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.
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!
The front garden looks great with it’s extra thick layers of mulch.
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.
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.
From the front garden we are getting plenty of tomatoes and leeks.
The watermelon has flowers!
The herb garden is attracting the bees as hoped.
Ruby’s sunflowers are huge!
The geranium I planted as a stick is flowering.
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!
This is a photo Jamie took in December 2013 of a Dainty Swallowtail resting on the lime.
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.
We have had a couple of cucumbers already.
And there are a few baby pumpkins just starting to show.
There are loads of grapes on the vine that are almost ripe.
At the Patch the rapid growth has been astounding in our first bed!
We are getting loads of enormous zucchinis from the plant we fondly refer to as the zucchini monster.
We have corn cobs with red silk! Not sure why but apparently it is not unusual.
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.
We have discovered three watermelons so far.
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.
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.
Plus the last of the carrots and radishes.
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.
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.