December in My Green Garden
We had a blast of very hot weather at the end of November after a dry-ish late spring, so the garden was starting to look at bit parched. The lawns show it the fastest but they are not given anything but rainfall. It’s my vegies that get the precious tank water. Water restrictions have also been eased in Melbourne but I think gardeners now know not to wasteful with this precious resource, after many years of drought.
The frenetic spring activity in the garden has now eased, with mulching, watering and cropping being the main activities. Excitement mounts as we discover some trees showing promise where we have seen nothing before, namely this time on the Avocado (Bacon) tree in a large pot. Finally there are some fruits developing!!
- Mulberries are still producing though the tree was having a lean season this year. The leafy output is enormous as usual, which is lucky as we are feeding several hundred, if not more, silkworms that hatched out earlier.
- Cherries this year are being closely guarded and netted against birds. They should be sweetly ready this week to pick.
- The bramble berries (young berries, boysenberries) and the raspberries are all cropping now. 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. This year I am also gowing iceberg lettuces just to see how they grow and we picked a couple the other night. Not sure how the growers get such dense heads, without any earwigs – but I don’t want to think about it too much. All the fertiliser and pesticides used makes me shudder..
- Two 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!
- I fossicked around my potato tower yesterday to check out the progress of this new and improved version, and sure enough, just below the surface were some beautiful gems of potatoes. I will leave the others to develop a bit more in there but it’s going to be hard for me: I love pulling up potatoes!
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 and they have been stripping the foliage off my apricot trees already.
- Keep sowing lettuce seeds in amongst the vegies. Even though they will end up being shaded by the taller plants surrounding them, this is better for them to help them resist the bolt that happens as the weather warms up.
- More beans to go in amongst the sweetcorn and when the white onions 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 onions, looking quite mature, still have their tops nice and green, while I need them to brown off before pulling up.
- 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!