Summer Ready

The temps have already topped 30 so I’ve spent quite a bit of time over the last 2 weeks getting the garden summer ready. Mainly mulching to help it withstand the hot, dry days. We are coming into the season where not just bandicoots, moths, caterpillars and possums assail my garden, the sun is joining their ranks. Mulching is something I didn’t get into until too late last year and my veggies paid the price – especially the greens. They simply couldn’t stand up to the blasting sun. I hope the sugarcane mulch helps.

This year it’s even more important as I’m about to abandon my garden. My nephew will be house sitting which includes tending the garden beds while I’m away. As I huddle in the German winter, I’ll think about John spending hours every week with cans filled from my rainwater tanks, nurturing my plants.

I’m posting snaps of most of my garden so I can remember how wonderful it all looked in spring. And because this is close to the anniversary of my getting into gardening after being gone from the house for 3 years. We’ve come a long way in a year.

First up, the potatoes. They’ve gone a bit crazy if you ask me. More like runners than shrubs. I dug down because I’m not a patient person and, sure enough, there are potatoes down there! The horseradish is doing really well and a new horseradish plant appeared along the fence. Strawberries are producing, kohlrabi is feeding some critter (snails?) and the snow peas are starting to flower.

These are the 4 middle beds. From top to bottom: (olive tree) sweet corn w/zucchini; a mixed bed with lettuce, capsicum, tomatoes, carrots and spring onions; a bed with tomato & basil plus some shooting Brussels sprouts (doubtful they’ll be harvestable) and beetroot underneath (ditto on my doubts); a mixed bed with tomato, celery, spinach, silverbeet, red onions, capsicum, lettuce.

This ginger bed is still awaiting the ginger to shoot. I couldn’t wait any longer to mulch it but I’m sure that won’t deter the ginger (the ginger I planted late last Nov didn’t sprout until end Dec). There are also several garlic plants here, a couple of red onions (considering dying), 2 jap pumpkins, a healthy-ish horseradish and some indoor plants. Since I’ll be gone for most of the summer, I decided to plant some of my kitchen leftovers. About 10 potatoes and a couple chunks of ginger were planted in the front/middle & back of this bed respectively. I then reapplied the mulch and you can’t even tell they’re there (yet).

This is the shady bed I planted out in April with a diverse collection of non-edibles bookmarked by 2 lemongrass. I later surrounded the bed with 5 blueberry plants. Everything (edible and non) has survived and most of it is thriving. With the notable exception of the lemongrass at either end. They’re both alive but not making much progress. I’m not keen to harvest and potentially slow their recovery – maybe this summer.

Moving up the hill, next comes the bananas (with a mango in front). The bananas look great and I hope we have even more spears this year than we did last. Last year’s first spear appeared mid-Nov and we started eating the fruit in early April

Herbs come next. This batch along the house is crammed with the parsley I sowed from plants in the same spot, the mint that spreads everywhere (mowing the lawn gives a gorgeous scent), an oregano plant that is more than holding its ground plus 2 chilli plants, a sole sage and last year’s one remaining basil.

This bed is becoming my second herb bed. I’ve got coriander, thyme, marjoram, basil and chives in here. And some celery, lettuce, spinach, rocket, with a row of snow peas at the back. The passionfruit on the fence is covered in flowers, this will be a good year for passionfruit.

The last bed is primarily a holding bed with plants that need a more permanent home but will have to wait until Autumn to get one. It also has some strawberries and yet more spinach. There are 2 warrigal greens and a couple of lettuce in here as well.

And that’s the lot. All looking good, all ready for summer.

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About Laura Rittenhouse

I'm an American-Australian author, gardener and traveller. Go to my writing website: www.laurarittenhouse.com for more. If you're trying to find my gardening blog, it's here.
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6 Responses to Summer Ready

  1. gosh it is looking good. You have really achieved a lot and everything looks healthy. Have a great holiday!

  2. AA, Thanks on both fronts. My nephew promises to send me snaps of the garden while I’m gone so I might still be posting, but definitely not eating as much. I’ll miss it, but it’s pretty great to think the plants will continue on even without my TLC.

  3. shanegenziuk says:

    Great work there Laura. Those bananas look fantastic, hope you get a chance to eat them before you head off?

  4. karen says:

    Amazing!

    Is there anything you haven’t planted? I can only imagine how hard it was to leave all of that! Glad your nephew gets to enjoy it, though!

  5. I haven’t planted watermelon and your gardening blog made me jealous. Maybe next year….

  6. Pingback: Potato Lessons | Laura Rittenhouse's Gardening Journal

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