Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Winter Garden Work

It's hard to find the motivation to do any gardening at all, with the weather being a cold, rainy, windy, and generally unpredictable. I use the Winter months to do my maintenance work - tidy the potting shed, repair trellises, weed and mulch. (so not much gets done). This year, I'm hoping to finish painting the side fence in the front yard - it's only been half painted for the last 5 years!. Wish me luck.

Monday, August 20, 2018

You can pre-order your copy of "Gardening for Beginners" now

"Gardening for Beginners: Hints and Tips for Melbourne Australia" by Sarah Jackson

Pre-order now through Amazon


So you want to start a garden? No idea where to start? Then this may be the guide for you. "Gardening for Beginners" is a handy reference book with basic hints and tips for the new gardener. It contains no fancy terms, no superior expertise, just honest advice from someone just like you. There are sections on what tools to buy, growing vegetables, fruit, herbs and flowers, dealing with pests, and working out which fertilisers are best for you.
It is written for a cool climate, but the advice is useful anywhere. The book is based on the quirky and informative blog Sarah's Melbourne Kitchen Garden.

Pre-order now through Amazon

Friday, August 17, 2018

"Gardening for Beginners" by Sarah Jackson - Based on this blog!

"Gardening for Beginners: Hints and Tips for Melbourne, Australia", the latest e-book by Sarah Jackson, will be available from 3 September 2018. 

In the meantime, check out the promotional video at You Tube

Friday, July 27, 2018

A little joy for Winter!

Melbourne Winters can be cold and bleak (not snow cold, but certainly drizzly and grey). It can be hard to force yourself out into the garden to do those much needed tasks when the weather is more conducive to snuggling into the couch with a hot chocolate and a blanket. This is why I plant a couple of early flowering bulbs into the garden. 

There is nothing nicer than heading outdoors and seeing the pretty white flowers (and smelling the strong perfume) of the Erlicheer (double daffodil), and the delicate buds of the Snowdrops. 

Enjoy your winter gardening!




Saturday, July 21, 2018

Pruning Fruit Trees

I find it really hard to get motivated to go out into the garden on these cold winter days. In Melbourne (at the moment) we are lucky if the temperature reaches 12 degrees celsius (with a 'feels like' temperature of about 7). But I need to get out into the garden regardless, and attend to various tasks like repairing trellises, painting the fence, weeding, and most importantly, pruning my fruit trees, roses and vines. Pruning is essential for keeping your plants under control (size and shape), clearing excess foliage from the centre of the plant (to allow for air circulation), and to encourage new growth in the spring. I've attached a promo "how to" poster for those just starting out. Good luck with your ventures!


Sunday, July 1, 2018

Book for this blog due out soon!

"Gardening for Beginners: Hints and Tips for Melbourne Australia" by Sarah Jackson

So you want to start a garden? No idea where to start? Then this may be the guide for you. "Gardening for Beginners" is a handy reference book with basic hints and tips for the new gardener. It contains no fancy terms, no superior expertise, just honest advice from someone just like you. There are sections on what tools to buy, growing vegetables, fruit, herbs and flowers, dealing with pests, and working out which fertilisers are best for you.
It is written for a cool climate, but the advice is useful anywhere. The book is based on the quirky and informative blog Sarah's Melbourne Kitchen Garden.

Anticipated release date: 1 September 2018

Friday, June 1, 2018

Winter Gardening

Sarah’s Melbourne Kitchen Garden

WINTER











THINGS TO DO IN WINTER


  • Clean out the potting shed
  • Clean garden tools
  • Spread sugar cane mulch  
  • Order fruit trees and berry canes
  • Prepare locations for fruit trees and berries
  • Conduct soil testing, prepare soil, add in manures and composts
  • Prune fruit trees


SOW & GROW

Salad Vegetables - Sow seeds or plant seedling: Asian Greens, Lettuce, Endive, Salad Greens, Silver Beet, Spinach, Herbs 
Plant Legume seedlings: Beans, Peas
Sow seed for Root Vegetables: Beetroot, Potatoes, Radishes, Parsnips 
Order Berry canes: Raspberry, Blackberry, Blueberry, Strawberries
Order Fruit Trees: Cherries, Apples, Pears, Citrus, Stone Fruits

HARVEST NOW
I personally never have much on in terms of produce in early winter, but you may have some luck with:
  • Potatoes
  • Peas and beans
  • late raspberries
  • Salad vegetables
  • Coriander 
For more seasonal information download the Winter Fact Sheet: Winter Fact Sheet 

PESTS AND PROBLEMS: SLUGS & SNAILS
There are thousands of varieties of snails and slugs in the world, and all of them like to eat your favourite garden produce. Getting rid of snails seems like a never-ending battle, but here are some suggestions:

  • Manual eradication (crushing them under foot)
  • Snail baits 
  • Snail traps/beer traps.
You can get more information about dealing with snails and slugs by downloading the fact sheet: Slugs and Snails Fact Sheet



TIPS – GROWING BROCCOLI & BROCCOLINI
Broccoli and Broccolini can be grown from either seed or seedling. I would recommend seeding at this time of year to enable sufficient time for the plants to grow and produce by the end of winter. They require well drained soil, like full sun and regular watering. They can be grown in pots. For more information on growing broccoli and broccolini, download the fact sheet: Broccoli Fact Sheet

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Happy Easter

Wishing you all a fun, safe and happy Easter! I hope that you get to enjoy some time in the garden over the holidays.




Thursday, March 1, 2018

Things to do in Autumn


Sarah’s Melbourne Kitchen Garden

AUTUMN



THINGS TO DO IN AUTUMN

 -  Weeding
 -  Plant sweet peas
 -  Remove withered Summer crops
 -  Plant Spring bulbs
 -  Test soil PH levels
 -  Dig in manure/compost into soil
 -  Plant sweet peas
 -  Order winter crops
 -  Sort through seeds, throw out expired ones

SOW AND GROW

Sow cauliflowers, beans, broccoli 
Sow salad vegetable seeds
Plant onions, garlic and root vegetables
Prepare beds for cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower seedling 
Plant sweet peas and spring bulbs




HARVEST NOW

- End of season zucchinis, eggplant and tomatoes
- Pumpkin and squash
- Apples, berries and figs
- Salad greens
- Capsicum and chilly


You can get more information on things to do, sow and grow, and harvest from the Autumn Fact sheet.


PESTS AND PROBLEMS

Do you have a lot of millipedes in your garden? Generally you find them under rocks or in piles of lumber, compost and leaves. They generally eat rotting leaves and wood and shouldn't cause damage to your garden. Portuguese Black millipedes can be a pain, as they also eat seedlings and live plants. They can sometimes get into kennels, sheds and houses and may be a problem for you then. I don't actively remove millipedes from my garden, but I have noticed that since I have installed a bird bath, the millipede population has reduced significantly - so they must taste ok. You can try chemical control solutions if you wish, but a good tidy up of the garden and removal of hiding places would be a start. You can get more information on Millipedes by downloading the fact sheet: Millipedes Fact Sheet


GROWING BULBS
Plant your flowering bulbs for Spring in Autumn (April-May in Australia).  This allows the weather to cool down sufficiently so that the soil is not too hot. In warmer parts of Australia, it may be beneficial to keep the bulbs cool before planting – you can store them in your veg crisper in the fridge.
When Planting bulbs place the pointy side up. (Don’t panic is you can’t work out which is the pointy bit – the seedling will turn itself up under the bulb and grow anyway).  Dig a hole about twice the length of the bulb, and plant bulbs about the same distance apart. 

You can get more information on growing bulbs by downloading the fact sheet: Bulbs Fact Sheet



Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Valentine's Day

I hope that you get and give lovely flowers this Valentine's Day! 

Monday, January 29, 2018

Tomato Time


The tomato crop has being going off like a frog in a sock this season. Even with the possums eating their share, I've had more than enough to eat, keep for preserves, save for seeds, and still have plenty to give away. 

Want to grow tomatoes:  Tomatoes fact sheet
Want to make a great tomato relish/sauce: Spicy tomato relish recipe
Want to use the unripe ones: Green tomato chutney recipe

Friday, January 26, 2018

Peaches

My peach tree has been going strong for three years! It's survived extreme dry heat, hard frosts, and a nasty bout of leaf curl last year, but finally it's happy, healthy and has actually produced some fruit. Okay, the possums took a single bite out of over half the crop, but that still leaves some for me! (guess who forgot to put the net over the tree) 




Monday, January 1, 2018