Our Summer Gardens ~ December

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

This year with the yard update & the many other things we've been doing outside, we were able to extend out our garden beds.  This, and the ability to water (WATER!!!) the gardens has enabled us to have a proper summer garden. 
As we live on an ironbark ridge, the soil is quite poor, so we have found it best to garden in raised beds.  We now have four garden beds which measure 4.8 x 2.4 m each.  We carted in soil for them & surrounded them with pebbles (this is because we were growing nothing but weeds between them previously).  This is their layout as seen from our back door:

The first garden on the left contains cucumbers, corn, silverbeet, beetroot & carrots.
The middle rows at the front are the beetroot.  The front row on the left is silverbeet & on the right I did plant out carrot seeds.  Unfortunately none appeared, so I decided to purchase carrot starts.  I'm not sure how they will go.  As I was planting, I did notice a couple of the original seeds had just shot, so maybe I will end up carrots ( I've never  had any notable success with carrots).
 The corn is obvious & is growing every day.  Tucked behind it are the cucumbers.  To my surprise, I found they were already blossoming! We may have cucumbers in time for Christmas!!

The next garden along looks very bare.  That is because the sunflowers I planted at the back simply haven't appeared (well except one). With so much bird life around, I presume they went to bird food!  The random bush on the left is some coriander left over from winter.  I let it go to seed as I am wanting to harvest the seeds for our winter's garden.   If you look closely, at he front are chilli plants, with one exception ( the larger plant) which is a capsicum.  I had started both chilli & capsicum plants inside & they were growing well, but I suspect I transplanted them a little early as they slowly wilted into nothing once outside.  The big, green section is a bush bean variety.

Here is my lone sunflower plant!

And the bean blossoms - that are so pretty!

The third garden is rather bare as well.  At the back is rockmelon & watermelon vines.  I'm not sure how they will go, but I can only try!  At the front I again was unsuccessful with bok choy & lettuce transplants.  Also the broccoli & cabbage seedlings (which did come up) were quickly eaten out.  So I replanted, this time the front left are eggplants & the next row is chives (but they are too small to be seen here).  There is nothing on the front right row, but this is where the dog likes to lay, so I don't know how much would be successful there anyway.

The fourth garden has potatoes in the back left side, zucchini next to that.  In front of the zucchini is spaghetti squash.  I've always had a fixation with these, so I'm eager to see how they turn out.  In front of that is an assortment of heirloom pumpkins.

 And the zucchini are flowering!

 As are the potato plants.

We also have a strawberry patch.  While I would love for you to see this in pristine condition, I only thought to grab my camera yesterday & this is what it looked like.  It sorely needs weeding ( although it seems it needs weeding the next day after I weed it) and mulching (as do the other beds now that the plants have grown.  Mulching is on my list of jobs for the next week.  We have been able to harvest enough strawberries to snack on, but are hoping for a more abundant harvest as there are many green berries. 

After our success last year with growing our tomatoes in the shadehouse, we decided to replicate it again.  I have a few different varieties, but mainly TommyToe (for cherry ) & Amish Paste ( I really do like this variety & it's not because of it's name...) planted here.

I just had to include our orange tree.  This tree came with the house & it has produced oranges almost every year (after we gave it a good cut back).  At the moment it is laden with many, many green fruit. 

And so we continue to watch, weed, water & wait.  I have loved gardening this year, now that we have a water solution (previous years we ran out of water, so the gardens had to be let go).  In fact, simply being outside is so much more appealing now that there are things growing!
How is your garden growing?
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