Friday, 11 April 2008


Below is my reminder, written on the back of an envelope (which the scanner thought was blue!), for what I was supposed to be doing today. So often I spend the whole day in the garden and never actually do what I went out there to do! I come inside to get dinner and see my note, still on the kitchen bench or I find it later in my pocket. Today I actually did all these things....well, almost all.

Maggie and Bob have been busy getting seeds going and seedlings in as you can see in their post from yesterday and it is a lovely time of the year for gardening in southern Australia - cooler days, a bit chilly at night and the odd spot of rain. As I wrote once before, most of our local, native plants begin coming to life in autumn with flowers and new growth. At the same time, in our (or at least my) vegetable gardens, summer is still in evidence with those amazing capsicums, eggfruit, squash, lettuce,cucumbers, sweet potato leaves and so on, providing us with daily food. It is a transition time and it is worth trying to bridge the gap in produce that can happen if you rip everything out to make a fresh start, leaving nothing to pick at all.

One of the most outstanding plants this year so far has been the self-sown chicory. I have lost count of the number of times I have completely removed all the centre from it and, within days, it is regrowing again and still it looks fabulous. It remained fresh even in the heatwave despite not being directly in line with the drippers. This one plant has provided us with all the cooked greens we have eaten for months - partly because, of course, there is so much else to choose from during summer.

The Snake Beans are setting seeds in these enormous long, fat pods - too long to get all of this one in the photo! Even the cucumber is still flowering and setting and Andrew's coloured chard has taken off and soon I will begin to pick it.

After gardening today I decided it was time to wash all my gardening pants - ranging from summer shorts to the thick jeans (an event that I am sure my mother would think should be done far more often!) - and in the pockets of these 5 pairs of pants this is what I found. Lists of things to do, empty and full packets of seeds, irrigation bits and pieces, pea straw twine, a chili (!), labels of seeds once sown and my little radio, with a flat battery.

One of the things on that list was - sow parsnips 1". This is a reminder for something Deb told me she discovered recently. Sowing parsnips 1" deep makes for a better germination rate - she has tried it with great success. So today I sowed 3 seeds into each of these 1" deep holes. We will see what happens. More will be sown into the garden as room becomes available but I find these large terracotta tubs good for carrots and parsnips.

It is a messy time in the mind of a 4 season gardener who does not want to miss a single day of picking a meal from the garden, from one season to the next and who wants to save the seeds of all the successful varieties of everything, while not letting any space go unused but at the same time needing to feed the soil between crops. Having failed Roger's assessment of one who can adequately show some/any understanding of spacial concepts, I remain totally confused about what is coming out, what is going in and have grossly overestimated how much can be squeezed into the space I have! Someone once said 'gardening wasn't meant to be easy' didn't they?? Well they should have!

1 comment:

Maggie said...

That's a good tip about parsnips, I might try that.
What confuses me with the seasons is that I read so many northern hemisphere blogs my mind actually lives with all the seasons swimming around in my head.
Matron has had snow this week as has Theresa in Canada, Pattie has cherry blossom, all the KGI people are all over the place. I have to look outside sometimes to check whats happening here.
I even keep thinking I had best buy some summer clothes.!!!
Hey its wet outside, all the snow must have melted now, is it spring?