December in My Green Garden
We had a blast of very hot weather from the middle of November after a very cool start, so the garden was primed and ready to burst with the consistent warmth. With this dry spell, the lawns showed it the fastest but they are not given anything but rainfall. It’s my vegies that get the precious tank water. Although Melbourne doesn't have the type of water restrictions that we had in the past, the cost of water has risen so gardeners now know not to wasteful with this precious resource.
The frenetic spring preparation in the garden has now eased, with mulching, watering and cropping being the main activities from here on. Excitement mounts as we discover some trees showing promise where we have seen nothing before, namely this time on the pear trees. Finally there are some fruits developing!!
- Mulberries are still producing though the tree was having a break after its abundance last year. The leafy output is enormous as usual and the tree provides us with welcome shade on the west side of the house.
- Cherries this year are being closely guarded and netted against birds. They should be sweetly ready early in December.
- The bramble berries (young berries, boysenberries) and the raspberries are all cropping this month. Picking is a prickly proposition but well worth it!
- Leafy greens are providing a salad for us at least 5 nights a week and I have them interplanted in several beds amongst the other vegies. Seedlings have popped up also wherever I put down compost as I must have put some seedling heads of lettuce in there at some point! However, any check in their growth with this warm weather represents bitterness in their taste, so keep plenty of water up to any lettuces you are growing.
- Most of the garlic beds have been harvested with mixed results. Some of the bulbs were beauties whilst others remained ordinary. This happened in the same beds, same growing management – so go figure!
Still to do:
- Erect a proper net structure for the other fruit trees as the fruit starts to mature. Possums are a-plenty in these parts!
- More beans to go in amongst the sweetcorn and the sunflowers and when the shallots are finally mature enough to be pulled out, I will put in the last of the beans that I intend growing. Far better to successively sow beans than have them all cropping at the same time. But the shallots, looking quite mature, still have their tops nice and green, while I need them to brown off before pulling up. Beans and onions do not make good companions in the vegie patch, so I need to wait.
- Trim spring flowering shrubs and make more compost with them, the chook poo from my hens and the bags of coffee grounds that a friendly café owner gives us.
And then there’s Christmas and all the preserves that i want to make to give away!