Ruffian

It's springtime...

60 posts in this topic

It's spring again.

Actually looking at the garden it's halfway to summer, and I'm once again trying to juggle unlimited ambition with limited time, space and patience in the veggie garden.

So far I have decided on-

tomatoes (how could you not have them?),

snowpeas (already flowering)

celery (already half way to soup status)

lettuce, plain and fancy (already half eaten)

spring onions (so much more economical grown at home)

bush beans (butter beans because you can't easily buy them fresh)

cucumbers (personal challenge, as they were bitter the past two years I planted them, and I AM gonna get it right this year)

corn (a waste of space, but tasty and fun for the kids)

and either watermelon or rockmelon, probably watermelon because we had a glut of rockmelon last year and it has a strong flavour that kind of...stays... with you.

And all the gaps are filled with herbs, particularly chives, basil and dill, golden shallots and bloody parsley - which I don't like much but which seems to quite like our garden. The woody herbs - oregano, thyme, rosemary etc are perennial and so don't count for this exercise, but they are ticking over nicely too.

No chillies as I prefer to use a variety of sauces, dried chillies etc for different dishes rather then just the same one or two varieties over and over. That said, well grown fresh jalapenos are delicious. Hmmm... maybe I could squeeze in one or two...

Anyone else planning out/planting out their garden about now?

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It's spring again.

Actually looking at the garden it's halfway to summer, and I'm once again trying to juggle unlimited ambition with limited time, space and patience in the veggie garden.

So far I have decided on-

tomatoes (how could you not have them?),

snowpeas (already flowering)

celery (already half way to soup status)

lettuce, plain and fancy (already half eaten)

spring onions (so much more economical grown at home)

bush beans (butter beans because you can't easily buy them fresh)

cucumbers (personal challenge, as they were bitter the past two years I planted them, and I AM gonna get it right this year)

corn (a waste of space, but tasty and fun for the kids)

and either watermelon or rockmelon, probably watermelon because we had a glut of rockmelon last year and it has a strong flavour that kind of...stays... with you.

And all the gaps are filled with herbs, particularly chives, basil and dill, golden shallots and bloody parsley - which I don't like much but which seems to quite like our garden. The woody herbs - oregano, thyme, rosemary etc are perennial and so don't count for this exercise, but they are ticking over nicely too.

No chillies as I prefer to use a variety of sauces, dried chillies etc for different dishes rather then just the same one or two varieties over and over. That said, well grown fresh jalapenos are delicious. Hmmm... maybe I could squeeze in one or two...

Anyone else planning out/planting out their garden about now?

I haven't planted much yet. We get late frosts and tomatoes can't go in till november. This is where a greenhouse would come in handy. The sage, rosemary, thyme, tarragon, mint and parsley (and vietnamese mint surprisingly) have survived the winter. Preparing the ground mostly. Seasol, compost and pea straw. Thinking about green zebras on the tomato front. I don't know what it is about Cucumbers. They always develop a fungus. They start off fine and then right up until fruit forms. Then they turn to crap.

I planted a big crop of broad beans last year so I'm hoping that this will pay dividends this year. Plenty of water in the dams comparatively. Should be a good season. I might even go for some berries this year. I never see much point in growing what's cheap to buy. I have limited space.

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last year i germinated a pack of pumpkin seed, and took down to a local creek , and scattered em about, i moved away from the area now, but when i go back ill look for pumpkins growing wild

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Sadly, not planting anything this year. We move out of this house in mid-summer and there's no point planting anything on the vacant block when there'll be people with backhoes and so forth moving in there any day now. After that I'm likely to put in raised veggie beds and fruit trees for NEXT spring. And get chooks again.

I've got an overabundance of flowering plants on the old side though. The place is gorgeous. But, nothing you can eat.

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i leave the plant decisions to my horticulturist house mate/friend/LL. i look after the weeding, watering and eating!

we currently have:

3 different limes

paw paw

grape vine

chillies

different lettuce

rosemary

mint

beetroot

celery

leeks

spring onions

onions

beans

tomatoes

chives

lemon grass

some strange fruit tree that's a foot high and never grown any bigger (i suspect it's plastic)

carrots

zucchinis

rhubarb

snow peas

parsley

basil

coriander

and a couple of odd looking things that might be weeds

in Brisbane so most things grow, even if they don't thrive all year round.

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I have:

snapdragons, oh I love their little faces

Kaffir lime tree

Lemon tree

Some kind of yellow flowery thing

Some kind of creeping thing which gives me wicked itches

Jasmine a go go

Possums and wallabies

Fortunately these do not require planting.

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I have:

snapdragons, oh I love their little faces

Kaffir lime tree

Lemon tree

Some kind of yellow flowery thing

Some kind of creeping thing which gives me wicked itches

Jasmine a go go

Possums and wallabies

Fortunately these do not require planting.

are they good eating?

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are they good eating?

The bush turkeys have got their babies wandering around and I mentioned that they looked perfect for deep frying.

I cowered downstairs for a few hours after that :)

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The bush turkeys have got their babies wandering around and I mentioned that they looked perfect for deep frying.

I cowered downstairs for a few hours after that :)

i've got a perfect bush turkey recipe for you.

in a large pot put onions, house brick, garlic and other flavourers with the turkey.

bring to a boil and then simmer for several days. when the brick is tender throw the turkey away and eat the brick.

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i've got a perfect bush turkey recipe for you.

in a large pot put onions, house brick, garlic and other flavourers with the turkey.

bring to a boil and then simmer for several days. when the brick is tender throw the turkey away and eat the brick.

ROFLMAO. :lol:

A classic Nth Qld recipe. :yes:

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i've got a perfect bush turkey recipe for you.

in a large pot put onions, house brick, garlic and other flavourers with the turkey.

bring to a boil and then simmer for several days. when the brick is tender throw the turkey away and eat the brick.

I think "stone soup" was an aesops fable or similar, was trying to tell the girlfriend it the other night.

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ROFLMAO. :lol:

A classic Nth Qld recipe. :yes:

i must have got the joke/recipe when i lived in the north. any animal is edible if you cook it right (and have enough spices).

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I don't know what it is about Cucumbers. They always develop a fungus. They start off fine and then right up until fruit forms. Then they turn to crap.

it may be due to the leaves getting wet when you water them. you want to aim for the base of the plant and avoid getting the leaves wet or the fungus appears. if you catch it early you can stop it fairly easy by spraying the fungus with a mixture of milk & water (5-10% milk) in the evenings or early morning. apparently it changes the ph just enough to kill the fungus.

i did well with cukes last year, a little too well to be honest. i think i will give them a pass this year. will go with tomatoes, mini toms, and not sure what else... snow peas i'm guessing and lots of herbs--i don't mind buying veggies but buying 'fresh" herbs is expensive and usually wasteful... but i have a very small patch so there won't be a lot of variety. at the moment, however, most of my patch is occupied by garlic which should be ready for harvesting pretty soon...

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it may be due to the leaves getting wet when you water them. you want to aim for the base of the plant and avoid getting the leaves wet or the fungus appears. if you catch it early you can stop it fairly easy by spraying the fungus with a mixture of milk & water (5-10% milk) in the evenings or early morning. apparently it changes the ph just enough to kill the fungus.

i did well with cukes last year, a little too well to be honest. i think i will give them a pass this year. will go with tomatoes, mini toms, and not sure what else... snow peas i'm guessing and lots of herbs--i don't mind buying veggies but buying 'fresh" herbs is expensive and usually wasteful... but i have a very small patch so there won't be a lot of variety. at the moment, however, most of my patch is occupied by garlic which should be ready for harvesting pretty soon...

Thanks urchin. I'll give the milk solution a go. Hope your holiday went well.

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Tomatoes

Cucumbers

Raspberries

Strawberries

Blueberries

Gooseberries

(Dwarf lemon trees)

(Dwarf orange trees)

There was one or possibly two other vegies I planted before heading o/s but I can't remember what they were. I also had an onion growing in a jar full of water. :)

Unfortunately I can only grow in pots which limits what I can grow (though have planted some strawberries as ground cover). Flowers should also be mandatory in any garden if you want nice fruits...

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Gardens should be about enjoyment as much as sustenance.

Given the limited space in suburbia, my philosophy is to grow things which will be nice and/or tasty rather than purely practical. It is also maybe a little bit reactionary against my fairly pragmatic upbringing.

Flowers are important, especially for the womenfolk who seem to like to drag them indoors a lot. Also for the kids, who like snapdragons too...

Berries are another good choice as they are all about the delicious, and can't be bought in good condition (except some blueberries, some of the time).

Regarding strawberries, in the past I have always had good success with the alpine strawberries.

I was pleased to see some growing in a public veggie garden as a ground cover, but that swiftly changed to irritation when I realised the species used was the wrong one - little round relatively tasteless berries - rather than the small, delicious, elongated edible alpine strawberries.

Good alpine strawberries taste and smell so good that I am prepared to forgive their small size and slightly weird texture. They also keep bearing for long periods of the year, unlike commercial strawbs which have pronounced flushes of production.

I love berries, but so do the possums, so my experiments with berry-growing have been limited here.

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...Also for the kids, who like snapdragons too...

Hey! I resemble that remark. Snappies are brilliant, you can muck around for hours making them talk to each in silly voices.

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Regarding strawberries, in the past I have always had good success with the alpine strawberries.

I was pleased to see some growing in a public veggie garden as a ground cover, but that swiftly changed to irritation when I realised the species used was the wrong one - little round relatively tasteless berries - rather than the small, delicious, elongated edible alpine strawberries.

Good alpine strawberries taste and smell so good that I am prepared to forgive their small size and slightly weird texture. They also keep bearing for long periods of the year, unlike commercial strawbs which have pronounced flushes of production.

I love alpine strawberries, having picked them wild in childhood. I have planted a variety previously but it came out watery and bland. So my experience echos yours :(.

Do you have the name (or seeds) of the fragrant flqvoursome variety?

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I love alpine strawberries, having picked them wild in childhood. I have planted a variety previously but it came out watery and bland. So my experience echos yours :(.

Do you have the name (or seeds) of the fragrant flqvoursome variety?

No, but I am actively hunting them.

I have had them once before as an adult, a vigourous strain which grew and produced well, with at least a few berries for about 9 months of the year. Unfortunately I moved on and while I was gone, the house was sold and the plants went with it...

Some of the more heirloom seed companies say they stock them, even a white variety, I think - but I want to make sure I get 'my' strain.

Perhaps I'll just have to buy one packet of each type of seed and take it on as a project.

One of the problems is that there are several dud types and fewer (maybe only one) good one. Don't get the ones with yellow flowers, or the ones with very round fruit. Neither is any good to eat, although both make nice groundcovers.

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I have only put in a tomato so far.

I am a little hesitant about planting this year.

Last year I was fairly shaken when, after planting a pumpkin, I got some lovely watermelon. It certainly made the scones taste a bit funny.

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I've got some climbing beans in which are doing extremely well.

I just had my zucchinis come up, it's quite amazing to have only one tiny seedling in the morning and then see another three emerge by the end of the day.

I have also planted some cherry tomatoes but they aren't up yet. I didn't have much success with big tomatoes last year, but I hear the little ones are bullet proof. That theory has been proven this year by a giant feral cherry tomato vine growing in one of the non-vege garden beds that is massive and covered in fruit.

I have a dwarf lemon in a pot which we got last year. It did nothing until the last three months but now it looks like a proper little tree. I have two tiny little baby lemons on it but I don't know if they'll come on to maturity.

I had a problem with snails over the last month with all the rain in Brisbane, my best snail deterrent is picking them off one by one and throwing them on the roof. I also made a mistake I think in using shredded paper as mulch. It rots and the snails eat it, attracting them toward anything I put it on.

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It's spring. And as it's started raining again in canberra after a 7 year drought I've done a full 4 hours spadework in preparation. Two types of poo dug in (Chook and Cow) and now ready to plant. $50 bucks spent on poo and plants. I'm going to keep a tally and see if I can break even this year.

Plantings:

Capsicums

Spring onions

Peas

Black russian and roma tomatoes

Chiles - cayennes

I find the minuette lettuces are less affected by bugs so probably some of them.

A friend has tomatoes trained up wires strung between star pickets and I was thinking about trying this technique. She gets yields of 10kg per plant with this method and the most I ever get is around 5kg.

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It's spring. And as it's started raining again in canberra after a 7 year drought I've done a full 4 hours spadework in preparation. Two types of poo dug in (Chook and Cow) and now ready to plant. $50 bucks spent on poo and plants. I'm going to keep a tally and see if I can break even this year.

Plantings:

Capsicums

Spring onions

Peas

Black russian and roma tomatoes

Chiles - cayennes

I find the minuette lettuces are less affected by bugs so probably some of them.

A friend has tomatoes trained up wires strung between star pickets and I was thinking about trying this technique. She gets yields of 10kg per plant with this method and the most I ever get is around 5kg.

I going to post all costs related to having a vege garden versus the benefits. Each time take something from the garden I'm going to apply a price to it to see once and for all if the input costs are worth it in terms of the outputs for a small vege garden. I'm not counting the feel good factor of having fresh herbs and veges etc available or the knowledge that it was grown without pesticides or the educational benefits for children etc. Just the hard nosed economic facts. Inputs and outputs.

The garden cost ~$200 to set up. It's 400 sq feet of tilled soil

2* two bags of manure ($7 each) $14

2 bales pea straw @$30 $60

1 litre seasol concentrate $30

seedling cost $80

wear and tear on tools $30

First harvest 2 bunches of dill $6.00

1 bunch shallots $3.00

$200 of which I have recouped $9.00. It's been a little humid but so far the early tomato planting looks like paying off. Where's the water cost I hear you ask? So far I haven't needed any additional water. The season is looking bright.

Total: $191 loss so far

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I going to post all costs related to having a vege garden versus the benefits. Each time take something from the garden I'm going to apply a price to it to see once and for all if the input costs are worth it in terms of the outputs for a small vege garden. I'm not counting the feel good factor of having fresh herbs and veges etc available or the knowledge that it was grown without pesticides or the educational benefits for children etc. Just the hard nosed economic facts. Inputs and outputs.

Total: $191 loss so far

My God you are brave!

As far as I can tell veggie gardening - at least in the early years - is like owning a yacht, it's a hole that you throw money into. Once the systems are in place, soil improved, composting turning over regularly, seeds saved etc things improve a little. But not by that much, if water continues to be as expensive as it looks like it will be.

In my efforts to renovate the front lawn I have bought 18 bales of rotten pea straw, sheep sh*t, an entire irrigation system, and who knows how much in bits and pieces this year. I have stopped tallying the cost and have just written it off. After all, the digging and the fresh air are presumably doing me good, not to mention the mental exercise of installing the irrigation.

I used to smoke, this veggie garden is almost as enjoyable - and probably still less expensive.

(Hey, look at me, I can rationalise anything!)

And in the meantime we have fresh peas that are so sweet the kids fight to pick and eat them, ditto raspberries, as well as spring onions, golden shallots, chives, pumpkin from last year, and more oregano, chervil and thyme than we know what to do with.

Dill has also been a bumper crop this year, and vast quantities of self sown cherry tomatoes that are just coming into fruit now.

Lettuce has grown OK but is kind of infested with earwigs - which doesn't affect eating quality but DOES mean you have to wash each leaf fairly carefully if you don't want your salad to bite back.

Bok choy was a disaster and bolted straight to seed due to an unfortunate string of hot spells.

Other veggies in but not yet yielding include zucchini, more pumpkin, watermelon, rockmelon, three varieties of salad tomato, butter beans, sweetcorn, cucumbers and basil.

The garden yields pretty well, and I like being able to grow varieties that are hard to get or that deteriorate badly due to transport, but I don't think it will be a paying proposition for a long, long time.

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My God you are brave!

As far as I can tell veggie gardening - at least in the early years - is like owning a yacht, it's a hole that you throw money into. Once the systems are in place, soil improved, composting turning over regularly, seeds saved etc things improve a little. But not by that much, if water continues to be as expensive as it looks like it will be.

In my efforts to renovate the front lawn I have bought 18 bales of rotten pea straw, sheep sh*t, an entire irrigation system, and who knows how much in bits and pieces this year. I have stopped tallying the cost and have just written it off. After all, the digging and the fresh air are presumably doing me good, not to mention the mental exercise of installing the irrigation.

I used to smoke, this veggie garden is almost as enjoyable - and probably still less expensive.

(Hey, look at me, I can rationalise anything!)

And in the meantime we have fresh peas that are so sweet the kids fight to pick and eat them, ditto raspberries, as well as spring onions, golden shallots, chives, pumpkin from last year, and more oregano, chervil and thyme than we know what to do with.

Dill has also been a bumper crop this year, and vast quantities of self sown cherry tomatoes that are just coming into fruit now.

Lettuce has grown OK but is kind of infested with earwigs - which doesn't affect eating quality but DOES mean you have to wash each leaf fairly carefully if you don't want your salad to bite back.

Bok choy was a disaster and bolted straight to seed due to an unfortunate string of hot spells.

Other veggies in but not yet yielding include zucchini, more pumpkin, watermelon, rockmelon, three varieties of salad tomato, butter beans, sweetcorn, cucumbers and basil.

The garden yields pretty well, and I like being able to grow varieties that are hard to get or that deteriorate badly due to transport, but I don't think it will be a paying proposition for a long, long time.

Yeah it's not gonna pay for itself. I'll be pleased if the loss is under double figures. Still the intangible benefits are many as you say. I might have to up the prices as I'm growing organically and so should price against the farmers market organic veges. $$$

Your own sounds pretty good. Have you tried the wet newspaper remedy? We have had slater issues. Wet newspaper in a shallow container - the slaters gather under the paper and you remove them en masse. Not sure if it works for earwigs, but they seem like the same type of scuttling beasties.

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