Sunday, December 25, 2016

Merry Christmas!

I hope that you have a safe and happy Christmas, and loads of good things for the garden.




Thursday, December 1, 2016

December - Summer

Sarah’s Melbourne Kitchen Garden


DECEMBER 2016


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. 
Potted herbs make great gifts too!
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 to the left is from this craft blog: http://lorributera.blogspot.com.au




WHAT'S ON IN MELBOURNE - CHRISTMAS

Santa Tracker: Where is Santa?





Have a wonderful and safe Christmas and New Year


SARAH’S MELBOURNE KITCHEN GARDEN – SUMMER 2016

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

November - Spring

Sarah’s Melbourne Kitchen Garden 
NOVEMBER 2016


 
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 FIGS

Figs can be grown in most parts of Australia and their fruit is great for jams, chutneys, jellies, cakes and tarts. They like full sun and well drained soil. If planted in the ground they will grow to about 3 metres with a canopy of up to five metres. They are a deciduous tree, so the best time to prune them is in winter.  For more on growing figs download our fact sheet: Figs Fact Sheet

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. 


SARAH’S MELBOURNE KITCHEN GARDEN – SPRING 2016

Saturday, October 1, 2016

October - Spring

Sarah’s Melbourne Kitchen Garden 

OCTOBER 2016






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 ONIONS

You can grow onions from seed, or seedling. They can grow in pots but are better in the garden. If growing from seed, I recommend that you grow them in a seed tray for about five weeks, rather than sowing direct. I prefer to plant them in Spring (Autumn harvest) but you could equally plant them in Autumn or late Summer. Onions are a long haul plant - in that they will not be ready to harvest for at least 6-8 months from planting, so make sure that you have the room for them.

For more information on growing onions, refer to our handy fact sheet: Onions Fact Sheet

PESTS & 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 2016

Monday, September 26, 2016

Thursday, September 1, 2016

September - Spring

Sarah’s Melbourne Kitchen Garden 


SEPTEMBER 2016

 
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 BLUEBERRIES
Are you interested in growing you own blueberries? Here are a few tips to help you on your way:
-  Blueberries need a freely draining, acidic and preferably sandy soil.
-   Water regularly but don’t soak out the roots (drip watering is great)
-   They grow best in full sun
-   Plant from late Autumn to early spring. You will be sold a bare-rooted, dormant plant (looks like a stick with roots)

For more information download the Blueberry fact sheet: Blueberries Fact Sheet


PESTS AND PROBLEMS:  MAKING A SCARECROW 

Making a scarecrow can be as easy or as complex as you wish it be. It is a great DIY project for the whole family.  All you need are some old clothes, straw and stuffing, a few bits of wood and your imagination.

Great guides are available via these websites:

www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au

www.bunnings.com.au

http://www.yates.com.au


WHAT’S ON IN MELBOURNE:


Royal Melbourne Show
17th-27th September 2016
Melbourne Show Grounds
                        
  SARAH’S MELBOURNE KITCHEN GARDEN – SPRING 2015 

Monday, August 1, 2016

August - Winter Gardening

Sarah’s Melbourne Kitchen Garden

AUGUST 2016

Things to do in August

Weeding – Winter is a great time to get those weeds under control.  Remember to pull them out by the roots rather than just take the leaves off the top.

Cleaning out your shed – Time to sharpen those tools, check the expiry dates of seeds, and do a general stock take of fertilisers and additives.

If you haven’t already done so, prune the fruit trees and other dormant trees and shrubs.

Check your fencing, gardening edging and paving. Best to do any heavy manual work while the weather is cool.

Sow & Grow

Sow: Salad veg, Asian greens, hebrs, parsley, onions, broad beans
Plant seedlings: Broccoli, Cabbage, salad greens, herbs
Plant trees/fruit: Citrus, stone fruit, apples, berries.  

Harvest now

Potatoes
Salad greens
Spinach



Fertilisers – Manure

Manure makes a great fertiliser. It is natural, breaks down well, and helps to condition your soil by adding nutrients and assisting with water storage.


When using manure, dig it into your garden, with a garden fork, as soon as you can as manure loses its nutrients if it is left sitting.

The three most common types of garden manure are: Cow, Horse and Chook. For more information on manure for the garden, download our handy fact sheet: Manure Fact Sheet  
Tips – Growing Mint

Mint is difficult to grow from seed, but easy to grow from seedling, or cutting. Mint grows well in a pot and can be grown on balconies and indoors. It has a lot of weed-like properties and will quickly take over garden beds and lawns of planted directly into the ground – consider yourself warned. If you want to try and control it, consider planting it in a pot, into the ground.

Mint like warm, moist, loose soil. Mint seems to grow happily enough in either full sun or shade, provided it has sufficient water. Plant seedlings about 15cm apart (they will spread to fill the gaps). I wouldn’t waste time and resources fertilising them, but use your best judgment. 
For more information on growing mint download the Fact Sheet: Mint Fact Sheet

SARAH’S MELBOURNE KITCHEN GARDEN – WINTER 2016