Friday, March 25, 2016

Have a Happy and Safe Easter

I hope that you and your family enjoy the Easter break. Stay safe and spend some time in your garden!   


Tuesday, March 22, 2016

March Fact Sheets - now available for download

The following fact sheets were added in late February/March 2016:

Berries: Berries Fact Sheet 
Blueberries: Blueberries Fact Sheet
Lavender: Growing Lavender 
Loganberries: Loganberries Fact Sheet
Manure: Manure Fact Sheet
Raspberries: Raspberries Fact Sheet
Strawberries: Strawberries Fact Sheet

You can access all of the available fact sheets via Fact Sheets Page

Thursday, March 17, 2016

2016 Melbourne International Garden Show

I made my annual visit to the Melbourne International Garden Show yesterday. A great day as always, with many wonderful and interesting competition entries and displays. There were fewer displays than last year, but I guess we can attribute this (at least in part) to the crazy weather we have been having here. (On a personal note my garden has been less than successful in the last few months). 

Anyway I have posted a selection of photos below. The garden show is open now up until Sunday 20 March at the Royal Exhibition Building & Carlton Gardens, Melbourne.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

March - Autumn, Easter and the Garden Show

Sarah’s Melbourne Kitchen Garden

MARCH 2016

Things to Do in March

  • Prepare the garden for any Easter activities (such as outdoor entertaining & Easter Egg hunts)
  • Deadhead flowers
  • Thin out Summer crops & remove those which have finished
  • Fertilise Citrus trees
  • Tidy shed and sharpen garden tools
  • Decide on Winter crops want to plant
  • Get stuck into the weeding
  • Attend the garden show (see bottom of page)
Sow broccoli, broccolini, cauliflower, and cabbage seeds in seed pots for planting later in the season.
Plant direct: 
Beetroot, Asian greens, Salad greens, Peas, Beans, Beetroots, Carrots and Artichokes.  You may wish to try some onion and garlic but I usually put these in later in the season.


You should still be getting produce from your Summer crops (providing that the weather has been kind). 
You should be looking at: 
Tomatoes, Eggplants, Zucchini, Salad Greens, Capsicum, Chilies, Figs, Strawberries and Raspberries


Extreme dry and heat. This is likely to occur in January and early February and no amount of watering seems to help.  I have heard of people setting up umbrellas and shade cloth during really hot spells to protect their precious plants.  I suggest using a drip filter system and watering either late at night or early in the morning (taking into account local watering times and restrictions.)

HumidityYour lettuce and salad greens will bolt to seed with humid, hot and rainy weather.  Sometimes I just let them go and self seed the bed.


 My tips for growing salad greens are:

Baby Cos Lettuce
1.  Keep an eye out for slugs and snails.  It may be worth getting a snail trap to deter the little so and sos from your garden.

2. If you get a heat wave or sudden burst of hot weather the lettuce (and alike) will very quickly go to seed.

3. If you let them go to seed, the seeds will fall into the soil and self seed (the plants look ugly though).

Spinach and Lettuce - ready to pick

4.  Pick greens while they are young,  The longer you leave them, the more likely they are to become bitter.

5.  Don't sow all the seeds at once.  Try and plant a couple out every few weeks so that all of the greens don't mature at once.

6. Spinach freezes well, but lettuce doesn't.


Book your tickets to the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show - on 16-20 March 2016:  Garden Show Link