Thursday, 29 September 2016

What's My Gardening Philosophy?

Welcome to this months Garden Share Collective, hosted by Kate from Rosehips and Rhubarb and Krystie from A Fresh Legacy. This months theme is PHILOSOPHY.

My gardening philosophy is to keep things as simple and easy as possible by cutting down on the amount of work that I need to do in the garden, and only growing the vegetables that my family and I enjoy eating.

Growing vegetables can be hard work if you let it be, so here are a few things that I have found that have made it a little easier for me. 

Install a watering system - Watering (especially in summer) takes up a lot of a gardener's time, and I don't know anyone who enjoys standing out in the summer heat watering the gardens to keep plants alive, installing a water system not only cuts down on the amount of time you need to spend in the garden, it also cuts down on water wastage.

Mulch, Mulch, Mulch - I cannot stress enough how important mulch is in the vegetable garden or any garden for that matter. It helps keep the soil cool, which creates a good environment for earthworms who in turn help break down the mulch which enriches the garden's soil. It helps to keep the  soil moist, which means less time spent watering, and it suppresses weed growth which is always a good thing. *Gardening Australia's Peter Cundall does advise against mulching onions as they need the warmth of the sun to swell and ripen. 

Invest in insect netting - If you don't like the idea of using pesticides in the veggie garden then you may want to buy yourself some of this, it will not only stop the White Cabbage butterfly laying her eggs on your brassica plants, but it will also prevent a myriad other insects devouring your vegetables. Old net curtains bought from your local op shop will work too, as long as it has a very fine weave.

Only grow what you like to eat - Those glossy purple eggplants might look delicious hanging on the plant, but if no-one eats them, they will only go to waste, the same goes for trying to grow veggies that aren't suited to your local growing conditions, so save yourself the time, money and stress, find out what your family likes and dislikes and do some research on your growing area before you plant anything. 

So, that's my gardening philosophy, I guess it's nothing new, but it works for me, and I hope you find some of it helpful.

Harvesting

Lots of peas, Oregon and Melting Mammoth snowpeas, Purple Podded, Telephone, Early Crop Massey, Blue Bantam and Sugar Snap peas. 
Oregon snowpeas.

Purple Podded peas.

Early Crop Massey and Blue Bantam peas

Harvesting them has been made considerably harder by an unexpected guest.
Mother Blackbird sitting on the nest she made amongst the Telephone pea vines.
And the eggs she is sitting on.
I harvested the last of the cauliflowers which was small but perfect.

Also in the picture is the last of the asparagus. They did not do as well this year as in previous years and I only picked enough for a couple of meals, it could have had something to do with all the rain we've had over the last few months, but I'm not really sure.

My only other harvest for this month wasn't edible, but it did make me very happy.
Sweet peas, so beautiful and their fragrance (especially the white ones) is divine.

 I had forgotten how much pleasure growing your own flowers can bring and I will be making sure that these won't be the last for the year.

Sowing

The last lot of seeds I sowed was in early August and not one seed germinated, I blame it on the seed raising mix I used, it was a lesser known brand and it dried out very quickly. I have since bought a better quality seed raising mix and on Tuesday I sowed not only this month's seeds, but last months as well. I won't bore you with the names of all of them, there was a lot, I just hope that they germinate this time. I also direct sowed five varieties of bean seed.

Things to do

Lots of waiting happening at the moment. Waiting for seeds to germinate, waiting for the seed pods to form on the broccoli plants, waiting for eggs to hatch and baby birds to fledge, and waiting for peas to finish their growing season, so there isn't a lot I can do in the garden at the moment. As soon as all that happens, I will be able to sow the corn, the pumpkins and the salad greens. I am growing tomatoes, capsicums, chillies in pots again this year, hopefully next year I will be able to start growing them back in the garden again, and as I've never had any luck growing cucumbers in the garden I will be growing them in pots as well. I need to get the chick peas in soon as they need quite a long growing season, hopefully that will happen this weekend.

That's it for this month's Garden Share Collective, If you'd like to know the gardening philosophy of other GSC members drop by Krystie or Kate's blog. See you next month.

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