Well that’s Gardenfest over. A lot of work (and talking) but well worth it. We sold out of Pop-Ups and got some local full installations to do. The stall set-up looks really good. The pop-up in the photo has 43 plants in it so it that size would suit a lot of gardeners.
Watersaver Gardens are launching the revolutionary Pop-Up garden at Gardenfest. We will have a demo garden on site, info on why they make gardening a breeze, and a special price for Gardenfest visitors. Like the Watersaver Facebook page to be in the running to win your own Pop-Up garden and ask your friends to like the page, if one of them wins you get a free garden as well. The winners will be announced on the 12th May. The gardens will be delivered freight free anywhere in QLD, NSW or Vic.
My garlic started to appear after only one week in the ground. It looks strong and healthy already so the effort to heavily compost the soil has definitely paid off. Nothing can go wrong from here? Not sure about disease but with the watersaver garden I can be certain it will not get waterlogged or die of thirst. I don’t intend to feed it any more before harvest, I think there is enough in the soil to sustain it through the whole growing season. Hope so.
The compost I was waiting for finally got to the stage where I was happy with it on the first of March. I planted 34 purple garlic and 4 elephant. The following Wednesday I put in another 31 purple and 11 elephant. That’s when Jaye gave the order to cease planting. A bit late but I am confident that the quality of the composted soil and associated worms and micro-organisms will feed the hungry garlic right through winter and give me a bumper crop. We are still eating the garlic from our last harvest.
Their is a ton of science behind quick composting but I am not one to be out there with a thermometer in the middle of the night. I have been a bit slack and just cranked up my volume of compost for the big garlic planting in a couple of weeks. If the compost is not ready it will take nitrogen away from the garlic in the early stages which is not a good thing.
There are still plenty of veges to grow in now: cabbage, carrots, lettuce, chinese veges, onions, peas, shallots and silverbeet to name a few. I’m sticking with what works for me, spring onions (they grow quicker and have a better yield than schollots), chinese cabbage, carrots, chinese veges (still a fast grower), snow peas and silverbeet. I have already planted some ‘green manure’ in about one third of my garden area which will be ready to dig in for planting August/September. I will be taking out my sixty odd garlic then as well and plan to plant a heap of spuds and ginger. Fresh ginger from your own garden is just the best.
I have been experimenting with new versions of my gardens which has meant I have had to put more in much to my wife’s disgust. I filled this garden with a range of seeds all in neat rows with lovely little markers. The flooding rains came and you would think that would be the end of that. But no, even though the seeds got washed around more than clothes in the washing machine many germinated over time. What a wonderful time bomb a seed is.
I am flat out at the moment building gardens but thought I would show some photos of a couple of plants that do well in my gardens. I bought the eggplants as established seedlings but almost always use seeds for the carrots. Occasionally if I see a punnet stacked with carrots I snap It up. Just wash (swirl around) the seedlings in a bucket of water to separate them. I can get fifty carrots out of a punnet this way. Yes, I know I’m tight.
Aunty Coriander is to me as important as old Basil. Obviously a must for asian dishes but can give anything a lift. I struggled getting enough of a harvest because it will go to seed in a flash. After having to buy bunches it finally dawned on me: that was the way to grow it.
I just love Uncle Basil. It will go with so many dishes and is worth a try to left any meal out of the ho hum brigade. I start with an established plant as soon as the frost is finished and then grow from seed. We also have a Thai Basil which I don’t like as much but it gives us an alternative in winter.
This was an interesting job, converting half the chook run to a high garden. Three of the walls walls were already there so I added the fourth to separate the chooks from what they love most. Then it was wood chip on the bottom to lift the level.
When I pulled the last of my tomatoes out they still had a lot of green (tear drop) ones on the vine. Being tight, I didn’t throw them away. I tried some of them in a Thai curry just cut in half length ways. Combined with some eggplant from the garden they really gave the curry a lift. Put them in for the last half hour.
My broccoli and sugar-loaf cabbage are coming along just fine thanks to the netting keeping out the cabbage moth.
If you are living on the Darling Downs here is a list of what is best to plant this month: Bean, Broad Beans, Beetroot, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts (yuk), Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower, Celery, Lettuce, Onions, Spring Onions, Peas, Radish, Spinach, Silver-beet, Turnips, and Swedes.
Students of St Mary’s College Toowoomba are set to benefit from Watersaver Gardens. I have just completed two of three gardens on what were unfortunately the hottest days of summer to date. The location was such that all material had to be barrowed some twenty metres. I firstly levelled the area with sand before installing the gardens. ￼￼
I built two large gardens for Danielle (not his real name), a local identity in legal circles. They were completed on Melbourne Cup day but immediately ran into trouble. You see Danielle has a militant group of chooks called the Bolsheviks that, given his political views, have free rein of all the territory. As a consequence of Danielle’s charity the Bolsheviks were able to fly up to the gardens despite their left wing being far stronger than their right. Consequently the gardens were decimated in the interests of feeding the proletariat ￼
Jeff and Carina met when they were both working in Singapore. Carina’s family have a farm and businesses outside of Davao City in the Philippines. When she visited Australia and Toowoomba for the first time she said Australia was a very strange country. She had never seen animals with clothes on before (horse rugs), and at our place she saw me putting clothes on my tomatoes!
Recently put in four gardens not far from Lake Annuad. The site had been a garden but was on a fairly steep slope and hard to manage because of its size. The site was ideally situated to receive plenty of sun. It was a novelty to shovel soil in the shade of the carport. Petty more jobs didn’t come with an adjacent carport!