Posts Tagged ‘garden’

Stay warm, little veggies

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It’s going to be a very cold night after what had been the hottest winter on record in Canberra. To protect or baby tomatoes, it’s stakes, plastic and bricks to form a makeshift temporary cloche. It should be enough to keep the veggies safe. Hopefully it defrosts soon!

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Companion planting

This is a post from a while back that didn’t get published at the time.

These days we’re coming to think of our garden as a tiny created ecosystem. I’m now trying to expand what started with companion planting and the chickens to another kingdom: fungi. The idea of foraging for mushrooms is a tempting one, but comes with its dangers. Foraging for spore-bearing mushrooms for companion planting had many of the benefits without the risk!

The ink caps are endemic it seems and grow on decomposing matter. We have a ready supply of decomposing matter in our chicken manure, so I hope to be able to keep a colony supplied. And curiously, structures in the fungus are damaging to nematodes. Nematodes are a natural part of the soil, but some species eat vegetable roots.

We have what appears to be a species of ink cap that grows naturally in the garden:

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Using some shaggy manes (I think!) that I found in a garden, I’ve inoculated my garden beds.

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Hopefully they’ll flourish and I’ll have a poo-digesting, nematode-busting, soil-stabilising and curiously autodigesting ally in the garden!

First broad bean sprout

Our first broad bean of the season has just poked its head out of the soil!

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We have a row planted where the bean curtain was over summer, a spot that’s roasting in summer but might not be sunny enough in winter. Time will tell.

[edit: a sprout, not a spirit!]

Mmm beetroot

A friend brought us some beetroots today. Instead of doing them savory like I usually do, I went with sweet:

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It’s 200 grams of melted butter, 3/4 to 1 cup of cocoa, 1.5 cups of sugar and four eggs beaten together, with 3/4 cup floor folded through, then 6 big beetroots, boiled and peeled, then grated. Add salt if you’re using unsalted butter. It goes in the oven at 180 which you turn down to 160 after 20 mins. Skewer should come out a bit gooey. Probably a bit too beetrooty for the kids, so I might do 4 beetroots next time. I like it though!

Rainbow chard on a sunny afternoon

Our prolific silver beet and rainbow chard

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New vegetable garden

In about October, we built a new garden bed. It’s next to a public path but sheltered by trees.

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We filled it with salad veg (rather than tomatoes or berries) because we figure if you encourage opportunistic dog walkers to pause and sample the produce, their dogs will leave their thanks by proxy. No one is going to stop for a silver beet snack!

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Two months on and the bed is looking good! Lots of silver beet, which graces the table pretty much every day. But what has become of the kale?

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Apparently caterpillars don’t like to eat stems! Does anyone have a preferred control method?

Exploding strawberries

The rain, sun, good soil and fertiliser have done amazing things for our strawberry plants:

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Can’t wait till they start to ripen!

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