Friday, December 25, 2015

Have a wonderful Christmas



Have a happy and safe Christmas!

I hope that you get some great gardening gifts for Christmas.

See you in 2016

Sarah



Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Summer in the City - December 2015



Sarah’s Melbourne Kitchen Garden


DECEMBER 2015


Welcome to Summer!


THINGS TO DO IN DECEMBER
  1. Tidy the garden for Christmas - mow lawns, trim edges, consider placing some pots of seasonal annuals to add colour
  2. Outdoor decorating & lighting - Be sure to test all lights before putting them up, and make sure there is someone with you if you are getting up on ladders.
  3. Are you going away at all?  Don't forget to place indoor plants into a bathtub of water (about half way up the pot), set outdoor sprinkler/hose timers if you have them, and arrange for a mail redirection. 
  4. If you get any time to do any actual gardening, give the weeds a once over 

SOW & GROW

 

Seeds: Beans, beetroot, watermelon, punmkins, cucumbers.
Seedlings: Well established tomatoes, capsicum, chill, eggplant
   

HARVEST NOW

Salad greens, 
Herbs, Onions, Leeks, Garlic, Spring Onions, Stone fruit & early fruiting berries; early tomatoes and zucchinis (if you are lucky)

PRESENTS FROM THE GARDEN

PRESERVES
Jams and Preserves made from your garden produce make lovely gifts for family and friends.  You can make some wonderful labels and lid covers to add a personal touch.  Recipe ideas are available through our "Using Produce" Page: Link

POTTED PLANTS 
Fellow gardeners love receiving clippings from each others garden. Consider potting up plants which strike readily. You can be as creative as you like with your pots and accessories. 



TIPS - DECORATING USING ITEMS FROM THE GARDEN
Floral arrangements: I have to admit that I bought these ones.  I just ran out of time.  Fresh flowers make a wonderful addition to any Christmas table, and if you use ones from your own garden, they are already paid for.


Home made wreaths:  Have you considered making a Christmas wreath using plants and flowers from your garden?  They can look great and are a nice crafty touch.  The one below is from this craft blog: http://lorributera.blogspot.com.au



WHAT'S ON IN MELBOURNE - CHRISTMAS

2015 Christmas Lights

Santa Tracker: Where is Santa?






Have a wonderful and safe Christmas and New Year




SARAH’S MELBOURNE KITCHEN GARDEN – SUMMER 2015 - BLOG LINK

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Melbourne Cup and Roses

Although I am not a fan of horse racing, I am a fan of roses, and roses at Flemington are a big part of the Melbourne Cup.  If you are having a bet, then good luck to you, otherwise just enjoy the roses!

Image from "The Age" 
Image from "thecultureconcept.com"



Sunday, November 1, 2015

Welcome to November - Spring 2015

Sarah’s Melbourne Kitchen Garden 
NOVEMBER 2015


 
THINGS TO DO IN NOVEMBER

- Check on the progress of all of the Summer seedlings
- Fertilise tomatoes and other plants
- Stake tomatoes
- Weeding
- Tie up and tidy dying foliage from bulbs (no not cut off unless dead)
- Give your fruit trees the once over - do you need to net the fruit?


SOW & GROW

We are now getting to the time of year where anything grow and grows rapidly. 
Seedlings
- Tomatoes 
- Chillies
- Capsicums
- Eggplant
- Zucchini
Sow: 
- Chervril, chives, coriander, punmpkins (and other gourds)
- All salad greens (put keep an eye on them if there is a bout of hot weather - they will bolt to seed)

HARVEST NOW

You should be getting into the big harvest season now.  Check on your:
- Peas, beans
- Carrots, parsnips, potatoes, turnips
- Onions, garlic, leeks, spring onions
- Salad greens and herbs 

TIPS – GROWING ZUCCHINIS

I love zucchinis and it just wouldn't be summer without them. They are one of these plants which grow pretty much anywhere and are equally successful whether grown from seed or seedling.  They are greedy plants and require a lot of space and regular watering.  I wouldn't fertilise them (beyond mulch and manure in the bed/pot pre-planting) otherwise they will take over the entire yard. I wouldn't recommend planting more than two or three plants unless you are planning on sharing them or making relishes (see Using Produce

Find out more about zucchinis on the Growing Vegetables page.

EXTRAS - CHRISTMAS IS COMING

With the Christmas season just around the corner now is the time to plan out any garden decorating ideas, and consider what social events may be occurring in your garden space.  Check any paving and garden edges to make sure that they are even and safe, schedule some time to mow lawns, trim vines and shrubs, and clean the outdoor furniture.  You may wish to buy some cheap annuals/potted colour to give your garden a more festive appeal. 


PESTS AND PROBLEMS: WEEDS
Spring brings warmer weather and lovely conditions for gardening, but it also encourages the growth of weeds. Depending on how you manage your garden, you may decided to use a commercial weed spray to tackle the problem (very effective but read labels carefully before use), or you may take the old fashioned route of pulling them manually.  Manually weeding is the most effective, but it is labour intensive.  It is important to pull weeds before they flower/go to seed (not always possible) and to pull out the root system.  Some weeds twist themselves around other plants, making them difficult to remove.  As a preventative measure, I find that a good layer of sugarcane mulch helps reduce weed growth.


SARAH’S MELBOURNE KITCHEN GARDEN – SPRING 2015 - BLOG LINK

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Friday, October 30, 2015

Post Holiday Garden Explosion

For those who are unaware, I have spent the last three weeks in Canada and USA. I saw some lovely gardens and Autumns colour 





but came back to a jungle! It must have been a combination of hot, humid and wet weather here in Melbourne for the growth to be this prolific.  When I look at the photos it all looks rather lovely and lush, rather than the untidy reality.








I have started working on the tidy up and calculate that it will take me at least a week to get things back in order. I also need to replace one of the side garden arches as it has collapsed either from the weight of the vines or strong winds.





Thursday, October 1, 2015

Welcome to October - Spring 2015

Sarah’s Melbourne Kitchen Garden 

OCTOBER 2015






THINGS TO DO IN OCTOBER

- Harden off summer seedlings
- Weeding
- Clean and repair outdoor furniture
- Buy seedlings (if you haven't grown your own)
- Mulch and Fertilise soil
- Prepare beds for summer crops

SOW & GROW
Plant summer seedlings:
- Tomatoes, capsicum & chillis
- Eggplants
- Zucchinis

Sows: 
- Beetroot
- Beans 
- Eggplant, tomatoes, zucchini, 
- Pumpkins, squash & corn

Buying Seeds and Seedlings on Line:
Diggers Club: Diggers Club Link
Garden Express: Garden Express Link

HARVEST NOW
- Potatoes
- Peas & beans
- Carrots, parsnips, turnips
- Onions, garlic, leeks, spring onions
- Salad green

TIPS – GROWING LEMONS AND CITRUS
I have had very limited success with citrus over the years, but have learnt many valuable lessons on the way.  Make sure that you give each plant plenty of room.  Do not plant other plants within the canopy of the trees (the area underneath the branches) as citrus doesn't like to share.  Treat sooty mould (sticky black substance on leaves) with white oil as soon as it appears, cut out gall wasp as soon as you see it, and regularly use an organic citrus fertiliser.
For more information on growing fruit link to this page: Fruit Page

PESTS & PROBLEMS - SCARECROWS

I love having a scarecrow in the garden.  They are fun to make and look great.  However, they do not seem to make any difference in terms of scaring off birds or other pests - I would recommend getting a fake owl, hanging old CDs or getting pin wheels (movement) for a more effective solution.  I will be making new scarecrows this year and will put the details up on the blog as I go. 

SARAH’S MELBOURNE KITCHEN GARDEN – SPRING 2015 - BLOG LINK

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Lovely Spring Bulbs

I am so happy with my Irises and tulips that I have decided to buy loads more for 2016 - namely white irises (of which I have one) and tulips. Loads of tulips. No I am not buying them bow - I will pick them up from the garden show in March.





Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Spring has Sprung - September 2015

Sarah’s Melbourne Kitchen Garden 


SEPTEMBER 2015

 
Things to Do in September
- Order summer seedlings
- Propagate summer seeds
- Start removing finished winter crops
- Conduct soil tests on veg beds
- Mulch veg beds, fertilise (add manure, compost and alike)
- Weeding
- Clean and repair outdoor furniture
- Clean BBQ

SOW & GROW
Tomato seedlings and/or seeds
Potatoes
Sow seeds:
- Beetroots
- Carrots
- Radishes
- Spring Onions
- Melons
- Beans & peas


HARVEST NOW
Cabbages, Broccoli, Cauliflowers
Salad greens, spinach
Herbs
Peas, Beans

TIPS – GROWING STRAWBERRIES
Strawberries are very easy to grow and can be planted anywhere and in anything you can get sold into.  They are grown from runners: off shoots of existing plants.  Strawberries need regular watering and minimal fertiliser, but it is essential that the fruit is kept off the soil. I use a layer of sugarcane mulch (straw) to ensure this. For more information on growing berries and other fruit link to this page: Growing Fruit



PESTS AND PROBLEMS: HARDENING OFF SEEDLINGS

Hardening off seedlings refers to the process whereby you acclimatise a new plant to the outdoors.  Most seedlings are propagated from seeds in a controlled environment (green house, seedling mini green house).  When a seeding is ready to plant (I like the plant to have two little leaves at least) take it outside everyday for about two weeks, bringing it in at night.  Try and place it near to where you intend to plant it. It should be hardy and ready to plant!  


WHAT’S ON IN MELBOURNE:
THE ROYAL MELBOURNE SHOW

Saturday 19 to Tuesday 29 September
Melbourne Show Grounds
SARAH’S MELBOURNE KITCHEN GARDEN – SPRING 2015 - BLOG LINK