Monday, August 4, 2014

Garden share - August 2014

We had some heavy frosts in July and a little bit of rain (a very little bit).  I checked the Bureau of Meteorology website and Kingaroy had 13 days with minimums below 0 in July, with the lowest temperature for the month being -5.7 degC.  Total rainfall was 6 mm.  My garden is a mix of green and brown, some plants are thriving in the colder temperatures and lower evaporation rates, while some of my poor tropical plants have died back (hopefully to regrow when the temperatures increase again).  Technically much of QLD is still in drought (and NSW is in bad shape too), with many localities "drought declared" - this means that the rainfall in these areas over a three month period is in the lowest 10% of monthly rainfall records over the past 15 years (if you don't like statistics, its just means that rainfall is extremely low compared to the last 15 years of records).  Its not easy to garden in these conditions, and its certainly not easy to farm, particularly since some of these farmers have been in drought for over 12 months now.  Just wanted to remind everyone that the farmers are still struggling....

Here's some photos from around the garden.  We are eating lots of greens at the moment!

harvest basket August 2014
frost on a broccoli plant
the galangal and frangipani are brown,
but many other plants thrive in the cold (including the chickweed!)
self-seeded broccoli and my kale "trees" that have survived several
years through frost and drought!
marigolds popping up everywhere among the greens
asian broccoli flowers
and "not asian" broccoli flowers
lemons at last!  these poor container trees, I can't wait to plant them out!
broccoli - I usually only get many small heads...
self-seeded greens are thriving, plenty to pick here
and the occasional strawberry, tiny but SO sweet
not many peas, but I left a few for seeds too
Jobs for August - just keep harvesting and weeding, and sort out my seed collection so I can plan some spring planting.  I'm going to do a seed-swap as soon as I work out which ones I have spare, so come back next garden share and I will have some seeds to share!

How is your garden going?  What are you plans for August?




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9 comments:

  1. Glad to see we arn't the lone rangers with the drier conditions. Your lemons do look good considering they are potted, they will go mad when you plant them out. At least you seem to be growing a good amount of greens, we have nothing this year, halted it all except potatoes here on the coast, and didn't get anything in up at the farm, so we are hoping for rain so they we may at least get a spring garden in like you.Your chillies look good too.
    Cheers,
    Jane.

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  2. Thanks for the update re drought. Its good to remind us southerners every now and then exactly what's happening in our own country. If its not broadcast in the media then we are generally unaware. It must be very difficult to have to deal with this issue over and over again without becoming fed up and giving up. With our crazy weather going from hot to cold i've not been successful with brassicas as they keep going to seed before fruiting. I guess this is reflected in the market as on Sat broccoli was almost $8/kg and cauliflowers almost $4. Needless to say they are off the menu for a while.

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  3. It is so dry isn't it. I spent the afternoon picking food along the creek for the sheep and goats- can't wait for my tagasaste seeds to grow into trees! Isn't it amazing how we keep right on growing even without much water- I love your 'kale trees' !!

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  4. I dream of growing lemons, but I'm way too cold for them. I hope you all get some rain.

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  5. We have been in Australia 10 years and this is the driest winter we have ever had. Everything is brown. Its hard to imagine frost in queensland!

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  6. It's been ridiculous hasn't it. After my last visit up your way the frosts have definitely killed the grass back and there is not much fodder around. You are proving that it is possible still to grow veggies in a backyard even through drought. I find that kale is super sturdy too, mine are still in and have been for a couple of years now and suffered my neglect. Fingers crossed for spring showers and a nice wettish but not too wet summer

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  7. I didn't realise that you would also have frosts in your zone. The frosts ahve been deadly here, burining the limes and lemons and wiping out the chilli plants, potatoes and so on. Yes, the drought is a worry.

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  8. I love that you've left your Kale to just keep growing! I always pull mine up... I can't believe how thick their bases are!

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  9. Have you tried wicking beds? Self-watering pots on steroids ;-) Without them I would not have any crops - we converted above-ground beds by digging out the mix then lining the edges with plastic. Put in an overflow and refill with mix. There's umpteen variations on the theme and they can be as simple as mix all the way down with an overflow hole, there is no need for a fancy reservoir. Some people use old baths with an overflow (the overflow is the clue to the whole thing) any container will do. Add some compost with worms and your soil biota is there to do its wonderful work. There's lots of info on the net, can recommend www.waterright.com (Colin Austin did much to popularise wicking beds) and many posts and pix on http://brisbanelocalfood.ning.com/.

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Thanks, I appreciate all your comments, suggestions and questions, if you need me to reply personally to a question, please leave your email address in the comment or in your profile, or email me directly on eight.acres.liz at gmail.com

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