Monday, 10 March 2014

The End of the Summer Garden is Nigh

I'm doing a post of the garden tonight because i think i am in danger of being perceived as a social butterfly with all the recent goings.  With Tupperware parties, weddings and mega birthday weekends I seem to have had a run of activity which is very unusual, welcome but also very tiring.  My usual routine is work, cook, sleep, housework, work, cook, sleep housework etc with a bit of a play in the garden on weekends around shopping and you guessed it more housework.  "Oh shut up," i can hear you say.  I'm not Robinson Crusoe.
It seems we are all showing platters or baskets of summer produce at the moment, so I'm joining in. I'm fairly rocking this pink tablecloth.  It seems to be the backdrop for all my pics these days.  This tray of produce was picked one evening this week.  Small cheat.  The little fellow on the left (butternut) is mine but it was grown off site in a friends yard.  I don't have enough space yet until i get some really strong arches in for vertical growth.  I gave him the seed so we are sharing ownership.

Sadly though, the summer garden is coming to an end and I'm picking from some very sad and sorry plants. Question is, when is it time to rip it all up and start preparing for winter crops?  Do i wait for that last tomato to ripen or do i run the risk of getting pests and disease on weakened plants.

Looking very straggly  but its still fruiting.
Is the small amount of produce I'm getting worth the water I'm investing?

The plants are of course staggered and I've been lucky enough to get a few freebies popping up at various spots in other beds.  So even though the main tomato bed is looking very sad there are some quite healthy plants singularly scattered around.

This one appeared when i took out the corn.  It has lots of small green fruit and flowers.  I'm going to have to pinch out those extra leaves to let the light and sun in if I'm going to get something ripened on the vine.  
Gosh I'm getting so slack with my pics.  The cover of the phone was in the way of the camera lens.  Sorry. 

Another freebie all on its own.  

Remember i pulled out most of the zuke plants to make room for other things, well the single plant that i left (which was planted in spring) is still producing heaps.  
The beans plants look terrible but I'm getting lots of beans.

Is there a reason that most of them have a slight curve?

OK, so here is the big big issue.  There is something in this garden that has to go and quickly.  It soaks all the moisture out of everything and it creeps into everything and it causes so much work.  Problem is that is also looks beautiful and has been there since before my veggie patch (18 years) and is soft and garners lots of compliments.

Its the grass - Kikuyu.   I did lots of swearing in that sentence but i've deleted it all and decided to be good.

I cannot keep it out.  This bed was weeded only a few weeks ago but because the beds are watered that is where it heads.   I may even make the decision not to have a winter garden but to start from scratch and empty the beds, kill the grass and then start again before spring.   We are thinking of keeping only a small section of grass for Tilly and for those visitors who like to play with her on the grass but to have it boxed in and definitely nowhere near the beds.  Anything poking its green head up in that direction is going to get shot in the head with something very yucky. Yes, i hear you Jessie, get rid of the lot but if i do then you wont be able to say "I told you so".

Not sure what will go down in its place but it will probably be something similar to the Tuscan toppings out front on the nature strip which means no more gardening in bare feet.  I need to level the yard to help my wonky ankle as the soft spongy uneven grass now makes it uncomfortable. Probably for the same reason i wouldn't go for mulched or living paths though this would be a good use of space.  I see a lot of work ahead of me this year.

One thing i do need to do is find a way to keep the moisture in the top half of the beds.  It drains down hence the green green grass.  I don't want sloppy paths either and so I'm going to have to have a moisture barrier about 45 cm down on the high beds. Something that will really soak it up and keep it there.  Any ideas?  I was thinking of a wood layer.

Oh bloody hell again.  While I've been having fun here i have boiled a pot of potatoes dry and the house stinks.  If there is one thing that Aspie's hate is smelly food things.  I'm in trouble.

Just in case you thought i was truly house bound this weekend, my big sis came to stay and we just did normal things while chatting.  She lives with her daughter and two small children and every few weekends she escapes to have some adult time.  We watched Gravity and Captain Phillips on Sat night in the home media centre and on Sunday evening we went to Campbell's Cove (only 15 min but the first time id been there) to check out the old bathing boxes that the council are always trying to get rid of.  I didn't know that it was a clothing optional beach until i saw a few bare bums and little maps of Tasmania (OS people should look at a map of Tasmania) and so we headed quickly in the opposite direction and scared the small crabs in the shallows instead.

This was her favorite box, it was purple and yellow and for sale.  First thing id be doing would be to put in some bigger windows and a front veranda.  Then it would need a rain tank and a few solar panels and and and.........   
Oh, almost forgot.  I also went to Ella's in Lara for breakfast with my Bestie on Saturday morning.  The boys sleep in and im an early riser so why not.

To finish off (I have to go puree some pumpkin soup made with our little friend above and some homemade stock I made yesterday) I'll share a photo of tonight's sunset.

Thanks for Visiting Living In The Land of Oz


  1. Great post! It's always so interesting to me that just as you are starting to putting your garden to bed, I am getting ready to put my seeds in to get started. BTW - map of tasmania??? That made me laugh so hard. Love it!

  2. Wicking beds perhaps? If not wicking beds (ask Gav for best info ;) ) then I'd say youned to dramatically increase the humus in your soil. Lots of compost and full of water absorbing things like charcoal, leaf litter and breaking/broken down sticks and twigs which all absorb water like nobody's business.

    I shall practice my "I told you so" and have it allr eady for delivery. ;)

    No winter gardens? No garlic, onions, potato onions, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, brussel sprouts or kale then I guess. :(

    1. Oh I think there will be something in. Im getting ready to take out the tomatoes and its one of the low ones so can the onions and garlic follow? Im waiting for you to give me the go ahead.

      Yeah, I was thinking of going out to the farm and getting as much rotting wood and stuff as possible to put on the bottom. I might cheat on this winter bed and after spraying the grass on the outside, ill line it with weed mat and then cover it with everything I can find. Im going to have to go through the soil very carefully and remove all the grass.

      I will need to rehome the strawberry plants which at the end of the same bed. All leaves no fruit that wasn’t eaten before I got there. I really want them in their own troughs up in the air away from crawlies that eat them and where I can cover from birds. Im going to get my thinking cap on.

  3. Lynda, i wanted to come by to return the blog visit and thank you for reading mine! Your garden looks great, even the problem grass. All I could think of when I saw it was how my goats would love it, LOL

  4. Oh no I love your grass, its the greenest most lush grass Ive seen. BUT I dont think I would be to impressed about it in the vege garden. Your going to be a busy bee for a few months. Ha ha I would of loved to have seen your face when you realized what sort of beach you were at I had a bit of a giggle


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