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Poppies growing in our old Rushworth garden, from seed collected from our old Ramco garden in South Australia.

End of Summer in the Vegie Patch

The pumpkins under the clothesline taking over – we’ve had to hang everything sideways on the line. Might keep it a bit simpler under there when deciding on the next crop for that space.

We had two very large pumpkin patches from spring last year onwards; one nicely tucked away down the very back of our yard where there is plenty of room to spread, the other patch was under our clothesline (lesson learnt) and completely took over paths, other gardens, the neighbour’s fence, the shed and the lemon trees.  I could not wait to get rid of them, patiently waiting for March 12th (and for the Autumn heatwave to be over), the date of the Harcourt Applefest this year.  My Harcourt resident friend, who also grows heirloom vegies from seed, had a stall for her heirloom seedlings and invited me along;  I made over a hundred bucks on most of those pumpkins that day (still a few left).  My whining and moaning about never growing them again turned to “maybe I’ll just grow them down the back next year..”

 

I grow golden zucchinis almost every year for their delicious buttery flavour. This is the leaf from one of the plants, the plants can grow to about a metre in diameter.

Golden zucchini leaf.

Portal

Looking through the umbrella hole on an outdoor table.

Saving my trashed seedlings

I had a bunch of old heirloom seeds planted in pots and growing in a makeshift hothouse while waiting for the weather to warm up.  Yesterday the strong Spring winds knocked it over onto it’s back, making a mess of my seedlings.

Of course, on a day like yesterday (37 degrees celcius and howling wind) I wanted to be outside gardening, right in the middle of the day.

Not really, but on spotting my seedling rack lying on it’s back on a trip out to the compost bin, I decided I better inspect the damage…

I almost had a tantrum on seeing this, after all the effort that is put in. Instead I pulled myself together to see what could be saved.

I slowly retrieved one pot at a time, picking up seedlings in handfuls of dirt and placing them carefully in a plastic tub to move to a more sheltered area. Once I had all I could fit in the tub I gave them another drink. 3 tubs later I have a bunch of seedlings doing ok but in need of a new home; thankfully they are mostly big enough to go straight into a garden.

I’m just glad that earlier in the day I selected the seedlings for donation to my son’s school for their vegetable garden. No damage and delivered safely this morning.

Path feature

I’ve claimed my own space down the back to fill up with vegie beds and do what I please with.  On marking out paths and beds I decided I’d put a layer of crushed gravel on the paths, so I’ve started with one trailer load (about $40 from the local nursery).  While unloading the first shovel loads I decided on the spur of the moment to fill in what was going to be a large plain space in the path (one entrance to the back space) with something artish.

My patch taking shape. I started by defining the boundaries of the space I had to work with, then marking out a path along the back fence (that lovely green row of weeds you see along the back). Once that was done, I made vegie beds of the rest, making them no more than approximately 2 metres wide for access from either side, but no limit in length. This determined where the next path would go. I made the beds from around the edges first then filled in the middle, making paths only wide enough to get a wheelbarrow through. I went for this approach (making the whole space garden and fitting in paths) with the hope that I would end up with more growing space; the area is not square or straight sided, so throwing in a bunch of rectangular beds was going to waste some space.

I’d already laid some gravel but not too thickly. I started with a pile of broken bricks around a pot; I’ll grow a succulent or a herb in the pot that will tolerate warm dry conditions; the heat will reflect off all the gravel and bricks, and pots generally dry out quicker than garden beds.

I developed a bit of a mandala pattern with some more bricks. We are lucky to have some stacks of old bricks sitting around, as well as plenty of large rocks and larger cement bricks that we’ve already started using along garden and path edges. This old bridge (also already here before we moved in!) marks one border of the back patch. I’m going to put wire on this side of the bridge and grow beans and maybe cucumbers along it.

Getting it as level as I can, near enough is good enough for this space.

Once I had the pattern how I wanted it I buried it!

Then grabbed a broom; the fun part was rediscovering the brick pattern.

Got as much as I could done with one trailer load, then it was time for a shower!

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