Pen Pals!

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Does anyone write good-honest-old-fashioned letters any more? I’ve had various pen-pals on and off over the years but it’s been a good two or three years since I’ve had a regular pen pal (except for my young man with whom I’ll soon be sharing a home with so I won’t be expecting his love letters through the postal service any more.)

I was packing up all my stationery today and I sure have a lot of it!  It would be nice to get using it again.

So I was thinking it would be nice to have another pen pal, I don’t mind if they’re from Australia or overseas. Is anyone interested?

 

A Quick Update

Well as I said last week I didn’t get much time in the garden this weekend. But I managed to snap some quick photos and plant some more tomatoes.

Garden Overview

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The photos this week aren’t the best as I took them in a hurry while it was very sunny outside. It’s starting to really heat up an we’re investigating shade cloth for the vegies.

Root Bed

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Root bed growing well. Wondering when silverbeet and beetroot will be ready to harvest!

 

Legume Bed

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Brassica Bed

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Fruit Bed

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Things are growing nicely in here. I have my first marigold flower:

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And the cucumbers are growing up the trellis well. I actually had to rescue a nearby tomato seedling that had a tendril growing around it.

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I also planted one of my tomato seedlings in this bed. With my other tomatoes already bearing fruit I hope it’s not too late for my ones grown from seeds to grow and bear fruit!

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And talking of fruit…

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How good do these tigerella tomatoes look?

I also have a few fruits appearing on one of my other tomatoes too.

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Pumpkin Patch

The pumpkin patch has exploded and we’re letting the vines grow over the ground around the bed. But when I got out into the garden on Saturday I found the pumpkin leaves all droopy.

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So I googled it and just like always got results ranging from “they have some disease and they’re all going to die and you won’t be able to grow pumpkins there for 50-billion years” to “They need more water”, “they’ve had too much water”, and “it’s just getting too hot for them, put up a shade cloth.” I wasn’t able to do anything about them on Saturday so I’ll see how they look next time. It’s starting to warm up so it looks like it might be time for shade clothes etc.

 

Melon Patch

Plants are growing, and not much to say here!

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The Ditch by the Fence

As well as planting the tomato in the fruit bed I got four planted in the ditch.

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It’s a Jungle Out There!

Here I am again with another update from the garden this weekend. I’ve still been a bit sick all week but was feeling better by the weekend. Sadly my boyfriend is now getting sick as I am getting over it. So We took it relatively easy this weekend.

Garden Overview

The garden, however, hasn’t been taking it easy. It’s been growing.

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It’s much greener than it was last week.

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Look at how much the herbs ha herbs have grown!

Root Bed

Things are growing well here.

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I Thinned out my carrots a little and planted another two half rows of each variety (those following this blog might remember my young man telling me he could eat a carrot a day without even trying)

My silverbeet and beetroot are growing well.

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And for those who missed last week’s bug’s eye view of my silverbeet, here it is.

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That’s a lot of growth in a week!

Legume Bed

I finally got in the frame for everything to climb up.

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This frame is actually built out of kits for tomato cages. We bought tomato cages to make wigwams for the tomatoes as I’ve heard they’re more stable than the cages, which left us with a lot of spare connectors. I made two walls of stakes, leaned them in and tied them at the top then used the spare connectors to build rungs up the side. I’ve given it a good shake and it feels pretty stable. It’s also dismantable and moveable for crop rotation. What is an unknown is how long the plastic connectors will last outside in the sun.

Brassica Bed

Things are growing here too!

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Many of the plants are still little but it’s nice not to have this bed so bare in the middle.

From left to right in the bed we have…

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Baby Broccoli was planted directly into the bed and is growing strong

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Purple Sprouting Broccoli, Mini Cauliflower and Sicily Purple cauliflower all of which I started out in punnets and have grown well since I transplanted them.

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Baby cos, great lakes and crispmint lettuces, only the latter of which really grew at all well in the punnets (and has transplanted well). The other’s I’ve planted directly into the bed when I transplanted everything else out. You can see the great lakes lettuce at the back was planted  the seed raising trays on the 13th of September and transplanted out into the garden on the 5th of October, the same date the lettuces at the front were planted as seed. They are about the same size.

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Finally the rocket. We should have eaten this last week but we left it too late and it was very bitter when we tried it this week. I’ve planted some more seeds and we’ll try eating it sooner.

Fruit Bed

There’s been changes here too. My boyfriend had some scrap metal lying around. Actually, he’s got a lot of scrap metal lying around but this bit was something he wanted to use in the garden somehow and it was up to me to figure out a way to use it. I decided we could train the cucumbers and capsicums to grow up it, as I’ve read you can do this. I also potted on some more tomato seedlings into bigger pots to add to those I did last week.

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Here it is just after I finished, looking a little messy as I haven’t cleaned up yet.

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Here is a closer view of the frame and the tomatoes I potted on.

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Here are the tomatoes I moved into larger pots last week. They seem to be doing well so far.

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Here are my first tomatoes!

Pumpkin Patch

My poor pumpkin patch. This is where the real jungle is. It’s grown so much since last week!

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My main concern here is I’m growing too much inn the bed. I really do want a variety of pumpkins and don’t mind if I get fewer per vine than I should but I don’t want none because they’re overcrowded.

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Here is how the bed looks. There is space around the bed fro them to sprawl over if that works!

Melon Patch

My melons are growing well.

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I have my rockmelon.

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And my watermelon.

The Ditch by the Fence

A lot of progress was made here but I forgot to photograph it! We finally finished getting the rest of the edging in and filled it up with soil.

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That’s all for this week! I’m not sure how much, if anything, we’ll get to do next week as my boyfriend’s mother is visiting from out of town.

In leaps and Bounds

The garden that is, not me I’ve been sick for over a week now, but at least my garden is looking great!

Garden Overview

Despite me being sick a lot has happened in the garden

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Here’s how it’s looking as of yesterday. The fence is multi coloured. My young man decided to prime it with primer he already had to same money. He ran out. Fortunatly he had another primer, the same thing just in a different colour to finish it. This weekend our friend came round and painted the side of the fence we can’t see with the finished colour. He is actually a interior painter by trade but can’t work because he is disabled and can’t reach above his shoulders any more, but he’s not disabled enough to receive disability as he can still paint skirting boards and the bottom half of walls. Strangely enough no one will hire him to paint the bits of their walls below his shoulders so he appreciated a day’s work at our place. Once he leftmy young man started painting this side of the fence and you can see the finished colour on the far left.

Root Bed

My root bed is going well

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From left to right we have beetroot, silverbeet, purple carrots and red carrots. I was told today by a certain dashing young man that “I can eat at least two carrots a day without even trying” so I think that’s a hint to plant more carrots. I’m going to order some orange ones and a heirloom mix that was out of stock when we did our big seed order

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Here is a bug’s view of my silverbeet because why not?

Legume Bed

The beans and peas are continuing to grow. The baby sun beans I planted weren’t growing, only one had shown and didn’t look like I expected so last weekend I planted some more. Well, this weekend the ones I planted last weekend were all showing and they looked how I expected so the other one must have been a weed or something.

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The peas were really needing some support so I popped a few stakes in for now and next weekend we’ll have to get the pea and bean frame up.

I also transplanted a few more russle lupins into this bed

Brassica Bed

There’s been some action in this bed. Last week I transplanted some of the seedlings into the bed and this weekend I noticed the transplants were much larger than the ones I left in the seed trays so I transplanted a lot more. I also did some direct sewing last week to compare if I really need o start them in seed tray next time.

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You can see from all the plant markers that this bed will start looking exciting soon1

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You can see my baby broccoli is not so baby anymore!

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And my rocket is looking good enough to eat, I’m not the only one who thought so but I haven’t seen anymore nibbles since I put eggshells around it.

Fruit Bed

There’s been some changes here!

My capsicums are huge!

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The seeds were planted less than a month ago.

The tomatoes seedlings are growing well too.

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Last week I put some capsicum seeds direct into this bed, but after seeing the success of transplanting small seedlings that didn’t look big enough I transplanted some of the little seedlings this week. I also took the biggest of my tomato seedlings and put them in bigger pots. I only had 12 pots so that’s how many I moved. I want to move some of my second planting of tomatoes as they were different types, but that will have to wait until I get some more pots! The ditch by the fence will be full of tomatoes! I was going to toss the rest because we don’t need 50-billion tomatoes, but my boyfriend suggested we plant them in the seedling trays the herbs came in and give them to people to plant in their garden. I like this idea!

Pumpkin Patch

Even our painter friend commented on the pumpkin patch.

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I really do want a variety of different pumpkins but would rather fewer types than none at all because they are overcrowded. If they can sprawl on the ground around this bed, is it still too crowded? They’re monsters already! I’m wondering also if I should move the little one in the middle to the near right hand corner where there’s more space.

I can’t believe these things were seeds less than a month ago!

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Melon Patch

My melons are growing well!

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I was worried last week when I saw the spots on my watermelon leaves but apparently they’re meant to look like that.

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My rock melon, like many things in the past two weeks, has grown a lot as well.

That’s all for now. Next week there’s more transplanting to do we’re thinking of mulching some of the garden beds.  There’s more work on the fence to do, not to mention the chicken coop and the compost bays to build.

 

October Garden Share Collective

Hello, this is my first post for the Garden Share Collective. I’ve already found so many fantastic blogs through this and I’m excited to be a part of it. This post was meant to be posted a week ago, but for various reason’s that hasn’t happened so here it is now. For those new to my blog, I’m from Brisbane, Australia and beginning to set up my first ever garden. September has been a very busy month for us. We just managed to get the garden beds in place for planting, and boy, have I planted LOTS! We have a four raised bed crop rotation system with our brassicas and salads, legumes, roots and fruiting veges. We also have a pumpkin bed and a melon bed. We also have a strip near the fence which we’ve dug into the ground and are still in the process of edging. The first lot of planting I did was on the 7th of this month, where I planted out some tomato seeds in some seed trays on our made-from-scrap seed table. The next weekend we finished off the garden beds and planted a whole heap of things. In the seed raising trays we planted capsicums, russle lupins, more tomatoes, lettuces, broccolis and cauliflowers. Here is our seed raising table on the 13th 20140913_153803   You can see in the background the raised beds and the fence which isn’t finished. The plants on the table are herbs we bought (and some dying tree seedlings, but that’s a story for a whole nother time) 20140920_091329 20140920_091424 By the 20th some of the seeds were starting to show! There was more growth the next week. 20140927_143621 The broccoli was starting to grow and a few capsicums were starting to show. 20140927_143633 A few of the second lot of tomatoes I planted were showing and some of the russel lupins 20140927_143548 And the tomatoes grew taller. This weekend I started transplanting a few and have moved the seed raising trays into the beds. I think all the other seeds are growing fantastically there, these might too! Most of our initial planting was done direct into the garden beds. I spent quite some time getting all my labels together. 20140913_111137a   In the legume bed I planted some beans and peas. I planted a blue lake climbing bean, a baby sun dwarf bean, climbing snow peas and chickpeas. By the next weekend one of the beans was beginning to show and grew two leaves in a day. 20140927_144111a The garden had erupted but the 27th and all the beans were growing well except the baby sun beans. 20141005_172507a By this weekend only one of the three baby sun beans was showing so I planted some more. I also moved the russle lupins into the front of this bed. In the fruiting vegetable bed I planted three tomato seedlings, a grosse lisse, a tommy toe and a tigerella. These were from diggers advertised as a ‘long harvest’ collection. Around these I planted marigold seeds and three cucumber seeds. 20140927_143933 Two of my cucumber seeds sprouted and one of them was the first and biggest seed to show in the main beds. I have been tracking its growth with much excitement. I was a bit worried about one of my tomato plants (the one on the far right) but it looks like it is coming right. I have been giving my tomato plants crushed eggshells.   20141005_172142a Here is the bed as of this weekend. The cucumbers are to the left. I planted another cucumber seed and some capsicum seeds to see how they compare to the ones I started off in the seed trays, which aren’t looking very exciting yet. My brassica bed was looking sad for a long while. One row of rocket at one end and one row of baby broccoli at the other, and nothing really much to see. This week both has grown considerably and I transplanted half of the brassicas I’d started off in seed trays (I’ve left the others to try next week or the week after as I think I might have moved them too early. I also sewed some seeds directly into the beds to see how they went. In this bed now I’ve got a whole rage of lettuces, cauliflowers and broccoli. 20141005_172420 In my root bed I planted two rows of carrots (a purple one ad a red one), a row of silverbeet and a row of beetroot. 20141005_172024a The plants are coming up nicely! In the melon patch I planted two rockmelons and two watermelons, planning on plucking out the weaker if two of each came up. Only one of each came up so that was perfect. 20141005_172247 Finally I planted some pumpkins. I had a pumpkin seed mix and two other types of pumpkins. I planted eight seeds and seven cam up! I’ve cut down to five but think it might still be too crowded, especially when I see how fast they are growing. 20141005_172323a From planted on the 13 of September, look how but they are by the 5th of October! The final thing we planted were herbs, these were all put in as seedlings  except we also started of some Basil and parsley seed in trays because they were free! 20140921_081547 Here’s how the herbs look just a few weeks later 20141005_172352   Finally we planted some corn in the ditch I dug by the fence. We’ve also transplanted a logan berry there from my mum. It didn’t look too happy after the 45 minute car ride but we gave it some fertiliser and good soil and plenty of water. 20141005_171819 As you can see, it’s been a busy month! We haven’t harvested anything yet (except for a few leaves of herbs) but boy do we have a lot of plans! We’ve been working on building the fence and ran out of palings to finish it, so getting more wood and finishing it is on the to-do list. You can see it is multi coloured in the photo. My young man decided to use a primer he already had to save buying more, and ran out, so used another primer. He didn’t seem too worried about the finished paint looking two toned so we’ll see! The fence isn’t exactly straight so at worst it will just really look home-made by loving hands. If you look to the white part of the fence you can see the green garden edging by the corn. About 1/3 of the ditch has this, so doing the other 2/3ds is on the to-do list. We dumped half the soil from the ditch elsewhere on the property so once the edging is in we can replace it with the good soil. It will be a slightly raised bed. Then we have to continue to plant out seedlings and think about planting more of things we wish to succession plant. My young man has informed me that he could eat two carrots a day without even trying, so I think that is a hint to plant more. Outside of the garden we’ve got the chicken coop to build and fencing to improve.

Well, that’s enough from me I’ve got to write up this weekend down and find time to read everyone else’s garden shares!