Lorne Street Garden

Self sufficiency and sustainability in Fawkner, Melbourne, Australia, and beyond!

Warm Autumn

This warm Autumn has been really frustrating.   My brassica crop has been nearly wiped out by cabbage whites and the marigolds are still thriving (nice for the bees though).  So we’ve decided to try and adapt to this and plant out something different for winter in the form of lots and lots of beans and peas.   Gardenate seems to think that now is still a fine time for beans and peas,  and this would help replenish the soil after the years of tomatoes and broccoli.   All the trees still have their leaves,  which is going to make pruning a challenge..

Also,  rather than totally give up totally on the front garden,  we are rethinking.   Someone said to me, “don’t plant under a pine tree”,  and we have a massive one.   I’m not sure how true this is,  some sites seem to suggest this too,  but the front garden never seems to do well apart from in isolated beds.   My understanding is pine trees can raise the soil acidity.  Not to be beaten,  I’ve removed all the pine needles and have gone crazy with beans,  which can grow well in slightly acidic soil (hopefully not too slightly acidic).   Rach has decided to build a terraced veg garden with old bricks and bamboo (away from the tree).    Planted within is greenfeast peas (upper) and multi coloured silverbeet (lower).   Being next to the front path is should looks quite attractive if it started to grow.

Also,  surely we can make a veg bed out of an old drum?

And we had our first Olive “harvest”!  Great for a pizza,  in a few months after the brine!

And the nature strip boxes are going fantastically!

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A very “tomatoey” update

It’s been a very long time since I’ve posted.   There is no excuse other than slackness on my part.   I think in general I’ve concluded that there is not a lot to post over the Summer months until the end.   Of course,  Summer is supposed to be over now in Melbourne,  but it certainly does not feel that way right now with our warm and humid weather.

I would say warm and humid has been a good summary for this summer in general.   It’s not been very pleasant here in Melbourne, just my opinion,  but the garden seemed to love it.

After what seemed to be a very disappointing start to Summer we’ve actually ended up doing very well in terms of crops.   We were expected to not perform very well at all with Tomatoes,  but we’ve ended up with a fantastic yield.  I really should have weighed each harvest.  We’ve jarred an amazing amount and frozen lots too.  There is still another large crop to harvest!  This will be revealed in the pictures.  This is all while eating an almost continual supply.  My Lycopene levels will be very high.

The Zucchinis have been as always brilliant,  and for once,  we have beans in the freezer stored.   Also we did exceptionally well with Cucumbers for one.  We’ve not had to buy a single one all summer.

Perhaps most excitingly though has been the capsicums.   All the plants have performed fantastically.  Again,  no need for shopping,  it’s amazing what you can grow at home.

We also found an awesome purchase at the local Bunnings.  Collapsible greenhouses,  2$ reduced from 20$….  We have 10.  These are going to be fantastic for keeping the capsicums alive and boosting the seedlings.    They also fit perfectly over the smaller wooden raised beds.

And….

We started to harvest honey using the honey flow.  I’m not sure if we had as much success as we would have hoped, probably due to my nervousness. We harvested several flow frames,  but did not get as much honey as we would have hoped.   I then investigated internally and discovered that only the front cells opened.   After reading up on this via the honey flow forum,  it seems this is a common issue and I need to have another go.   Still,  I think the product still has merit.  It has not stopped me inspecting the brood etc and all seems well.

I thought I would include a few pictures of the main veg bed and how things have transitioned over the past few months.  Certainly it’s evident that I should have done a lot more weeding,  but that’s OK, once the tomatoes are finally gone I can dig it all in.

I hope this slideshow works…

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Some random pictures

 

 

 

And when I get organised I will upload a video of the honey flow in action

 

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