I know it’s been a while, but it’s a very cold Autumn here in Melbourne so far and there is not much planting to be done. Since my last post all the leaves on the trees in Melbourne have turned yellow, then orange then red then brown … and have fallen off. I meant to catch it on film but never got around to it. I have misplaced my camera battery recharger and so the camera is out of action for a bit until I can find it!
So, I’ve been looking up what should be done in the garden and apart from prepping soil (which I don’t really have the need to do) the things that can be planted in Autumn are:
- garlic (apparently according to the lunar planting guide this weekend is the best time to plant garlic http://www.stuff.co.nz/life-style/blogs/woman-v-wild/7026456/Five-for-Friday-thanks-shallot)
- onions (wont be ready for a few months)
- silverbeet and
Now is good time to plant green mulch. This consists of clover, fenugreek, mustard and some other plants which are really good at putting nutrients into the soil. The idea is you plant them for a month or so over winter, then two to three weeks before planting your spring crops you get a spade and chop the plants up and dig them back into the soil and let them act as a green mulch! Pretty easy.
So I planted my silverbeet and carrots and they are coming across nicely. Have also got a new phone with a good camera so will take pictures tomorrow in the daylight.
In other news some friends of Tim and I moved around the corner about a 5 min walk away and they have two or three vege garden beds out the back of their rental property which they have no interest in using. And have offered them to me to use! Presumably they will tax the results, but if they are in charge of watering them Im sure that is just fine!
So off to Bunnings I went today to pick up supplies. As I said, there is not much to plant right now but I did pick up some all year round potato (Otway red and Australian variety), broadbeans, garlic and onion. I also got some green mulch seed mix. In addition I got a soil Ph testing kit as I dont know what kind of soil they will have in their garden. Clay, most likely, but in order to properly prep the soil I need to know how acidic or not it is. This should be a fun experiment! Looks like Tim and I will be planting these tomorrow or Monday, so pics should follow soon.
In addition to these things I got a little carried away and made a new friend…. and by that I mean I bought a Fig tree and named it Terry!
After potting Terry into this terracotta pot using terracotta pot and planter mix (hence “Terry”) I realised the pot had a crack in it 😦 not happy. But that gives me an excuse to go back to Bunnings again tomorrow I guess!
Don’t be worried that he has no branches, he has been pruned recently and is supposed to look like this. The lower branches of figs are pruned to shape the tree in the way you want and to encourage fruit growth from what I have read.
Anyway Terry is a Brown Turkey edible fig variety, and lots of internet sources say that fig trees grow really well in pots because they get out of control if the roots aren’t bound up. They prefer all day sun, warm conditions and as they are deciduous they loose all their leaves and hibernate/are dormant in winter. The Brown Turkey is a “prolific fruiter” apparently so Im quite looking forward to how old Terry the Turkey grows!
Some of the information about figs I have been reading:
Apparently once they are established figs don’t have many problems, only need feeding once a year after the first frost in Winter and need pruning about the same time once a year. It will take about two to three years for it to establish and grow fruit, but I think that is a worthwhile wait! Might have to bring it indoors if it gets too cold but I think our deck is probably sheltered enough.
I also pulled up the last of the purple runner beans (still growing beans but not to full size) and planted 6 garlic bulbs in its place. I re-planted the rosemary into its own pot to encourage it to grow and heavily trimmed back the mint which was waterlogged from all the rain (don’t recommend using self watering planters outdoors when it rains a lot!) and had died back a bit.
Well that is all for now, will post pics of prepping our friends’ garden and planting the winter crops when I remember most likely!
stay warm xx