Saturday, February 20, 2010


Pretty warm today and back on bushfire alert because it just feels like one of those afternoons.
The lettuce seedlings are lying down flat and, frankly, who can blame them? They needed an afternoon sprinkle as well as a morning splash.
But on the other hand, I have my first Autumn Crocus (Sternbergia lutea) of the season, and a lovely thing it is, too.

I'm hoping that the passionfruit will finally set some fruit - it has tried, and we've had a million of those spectacular flowers, but the tiny fruits keep poaching on the vine on hot days. With the cooler nights, we might just be in luck.

A Belladonna lily has popped up twenty feet away from where I was expecting it to appear.
Gardening is often so wonderfully random.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

So close

It's so close to autumn I can feel it. There's moisture in the air of an evening, early morning fog, the odd downpour, lovely sunshine and cool nights. What could be better? All that and it's still February.
So we have the gorgeous autumnal feel plus the summer harvest.
I've noticed how this year, as the garden becomes more productive, and I get better at managing it, that the bounty has led into cooking things I wouldn't normally bother with. Babaganouj, for example. Usually just buy it. It's a thousand times better fresh. Same with pesto.
Not only do I make these things - I feel like making them, feel like engaging, feel like experimenting and creating more than the usual staples.
So I have a weekend coming up of jam making and pesto preparation. I have my dozens of jars. I have my fresh new lids in a range of sizes and colours from Green Living. I have more basil than anyone could ever wish for.
But I also have plenty of garden jobs to do.

February garden tasks:
- Summer prune and feed for roses so they come back into bloom in autumn
- Move and/or divide bearded irises to encourage flowers next season
- Spray gardenias for scale (Pest Oil or white oil)
- Spray grevilleas to deal with caterpillar plague (garlic and pyrethrum or Dipel if it's very serious)
- Keep down the weeds that spring up after the rainshowers
- Fend off those bloody rabbits again
- Keep watering even if it seems to have cooled down - there are weeks of no rain and quite drying winds
- Order spring bulbs (this takes hours - of brochure gazing and day dreaming)
- Sort out bulbs dug up last year and get ready to replant
- Plan new planting and get in early with the plant purchases so they have plenty of time to get established
- Try new assault on the Portuguese millipedes (wit's end nearly reached)
- Prick out the self-seeding coriander.

I've also sown more lettuce and beetroot in the propagator, along with some of the winter tomatoes from Burke's Backyard magazine - all the way from Siberia and worth a try.

- Pears
- Tomatoes
- Eggplants
- Basil
- Autumn raspberries
- Rhubarb (there is always rhubarb)
- Rocket
- Lettuce.