Tuesday, November 6, 2012
the not so abundant garden
I'd like to apologise in advance for this slightly depressing post. Let me tell you about the sad state of my vegetable garden. Which hadn't been doing too badly. Up until now that it is. It had managed through frost, occasional snow and icy winds to keep us supplied with spinach, silverbeet, rocket and kale over Winter. Of course every year I look forward to the time when we can put the frosts behind us and plant those tomatoes, zucchini, peas and other sorts of wonderful summer growing things.
But it's a bit of a jungle out there. In an aphid, cabbage moth infested kind of way. Not a lot has been spared. All my Winter greens have shot to seed. Despite daily watering and some mulching my garden is so very dry. Top ups with home grown compost, though improving the soil, don't make up for the scorching sun. Only a few seeds seem to make it to the seedling stage. Silverbeet is my one redeeming vegetable.
Locals here often wait until after Melbourne cup to plant frost prone vegies. So despite these setbacks I'll be visiting the nursery this week to pick up some seedlings, while praying for no more frosts. And for some much needed rain.
It's the most difficult area I've ever gardened in, and I have to admit that sometimes I question the wisdom in living in an area that is so very difficult for growing. Locals say that you need to undo all the gardening you have learnt elsewhere, as it's a different set of rules here. The cold is very cold and the hot is very hot, with not a lot of weather in between. I'm aware that I need to put more time into my garden, but the heat is so very draining. Some natural pesticides probably wouldn't go astray either.
However rain brings hope, and I know from experience that conditions can improve quite quickly here. It's all about timing and getting those seeds and seedlings in just before a rainy week forecast. If you are so fortunate as to get one.
I will keep reminding myself of the bumper zucchini crop of two years ago, the daily supply of little sweet cucumbers last year and the amazing potatoes dug up in Autumn.
On a more positive note our fruit trees are absolutely thriving. Our hedge is above head height and there are flowers in the front garden. It's been many years since I've had my own flowers, and I'm so grateful to have some once again.
Meanwhile I'll be watching the skies today hoping for that thunderstorm forecast to eventuate.