Potager Journal 2015

Photos of veges can be found in the 'Photos' section above.

Happenings September - Spring!
September 1 - Weather gusty with rain for days, the potager is awash, the path treacherous! A quick check of the glasshouse and seeds are germinating. Sweet corn, tomatoes, borage, green beans, calendula, turnip, collards, red onion and lettuce have so far popped up through the seed mix.

Cauliflowers are making hearts and looking good. Slugs think they taste good too and are getting the big heave-ho under the boot! Onions and leeks are growing well. Brusselsprouts appear to have been the main course, though not on my table...

September 6 - Rain for days, in fact every day so far this month. There is a mud trail forming from the house to the potager, getting very messy.

Sow seeds of pumpkin - Austrian hulless, Maria de Choggia, butternut, Clementine tomato, Thomas Jefferson tomato and yellow capsicum. All these seeds were saved from last years plantings. They are heritage, hope they germinate!

With all the rain over the last week the cauliflowers have exploded! They doubled in size and in just 2 days were attacked by slugs and snails just when I was about to pick them. I spent an hour a few days earlier picking off the random slugs never realising that they hide up under the florets just waiting to spring an all out invasion. Most of the cauliflowers ended up in the compost bin, I saved what I could. pfft!

Happenings August
Picking kale and silverbeet.

Weather very wet, paddock a bog, garden heavy. The strawberry bed is at the top of the potager and has the best drainage so I managed to dig it up, make a mess, add compost and replant with runners from last year.

August 17 - Burnt prunings from tansy and beech hedge, nice and warm on a cold day, attacked rampant boysenberry.

August 18 - Sow seeds in glasshouse: capsicum, red onion fr, tomato fr, turnip, french marigold, calendular, lettuce fr, collards, borage, zinnia, cleome, purple broccoli fr. Getting an early start on spring with the hardiest. Sow more peas direct.

August 20 - Sow more seeds: aubergine, courgette, dwarf french green bean, yellow bean, echinacea, sweet corn. Pot up lavender cuttings taken in summer. Pot up Annes rose which has taken from the cuttings done in April.

Happenings June - Winter
June starts very wet, digging is difficult. The ground is still quite warn and the weeds are rageing! Picking kale and silverbeet. Peas are slow growing but delicious eaten straight from the pod.

Lots of fejoas. Best year for taste.

June 12 - Planted out more broadbeans, weed around beans and peas.

Started new hen run build, biggest task is choosing the colour!

June 23 - Planted onion and leek seedlings.

Coldest morning in a long while. 2deg. Frost heavy.

June 25 - Plant out pea seedlings and weed legumes. Plant cabbage seedlings, Copenhagen Market, weed brassicas

Happenings May
Plant 1x row cauliflower. Weed brassica.

Harvest pumpkins and clear old plants. Pumpkins are large and well formed.

Take down netting and harvest tomatoes, remove old plants to burn pile. Save some toms for seeds next year.

Bought new incinerator and sited it in the potager for perenial weeds and diseased plants.

May 5 - Dig another area in bed 3, brassica, add chopped straw and cover with weed mat. Same for the old pumpkin bed.

Weed bed 2, alliums. Completed half and covered with straw and weed mat ready for garlic. Remove old swan plants.

Sort tomatoes for next years seeds. Ripening in pottting shed.

May 7 - Dig over and weed bed 1, roots.Half done and composted. Plant golden beetroot, red beetroot and carrots. Franchi seeds of Nante2, yellow and red, and a heritage Paris one which is very round and compact.

Clear all weed piles, tidy garden, put up windbreak around brassicas. Storm coming, rain starting, finished just in time!

May 10 - Plant red chard, organic. Weed brassicas. Bought timber for hen pen build.

May 11- Plant more peas, dwarf french beans from glasshouse. Sow more broadbeans. Weed. Collecting a large container of fejoas daily, very nice fruit this year.

Acorns starting to geminate!

Dug over rest of bed 4. Weedeat around edges, mow.

Dug up straw pen and added straw. Rain starting, very heavy clouds, storm here.

May 29 - Sow peas in glasshouse. Repot tiny Flanders Poppy seedlings sown from last years seeds.Patch sow carrots where snails had fed. Sow more broadbeans in glasshouse and plant out 1st sowing. Add compost and chopped straw to bed 4, legume.

Add chopped straw and leaves to straw pen for girls.

Happenings April
Take cuttings from deep, burnt red rose from Anne. Hope it grows, it is gorgeous!

Water seedlings, cut lower leaves off tomatoes. Tie up and pick. Pull more dock from staw pen.

April 8 - Trim back beech hedge from behind potting shed. Weed along path. Pot strawberry runners.

Paint soffits and bargeboards on potting shed

Rototill and prep bed 3 for brassicas. Harvest pumpkins (franchi).

Clean glasshouse and pot more runners. Repot geraniums on potting shed pergola.

April 12 - Weed straw pen, make new bed and plant oregano, lavender, borage and nasturtium dug from herb garden in there. Weed existing rose.

April 15 - Remove weeds and dig bed 4 for legumes, plant peas and celery.

Continue digging bed 4, add compost, plant more celery.

Dig part of bed 3 brassicas. Plant 1 row each brusslesprouts and silverbeet.

April 20 - Re-tie part of tomato netting. Start composting in hen pen.

Mow. Mulched caught grass clipping around orchard palms. Washed glasshouse for winter seedlings

Take lavender dentata cuttings.

April 25 - Anzac day. Sow Flanders Poppy seeds. Take cuttings of lavender (Hidcote?). Sow beans (dwarf french), broadbeans, peas (early) red cabbage, green cabbage (Copenhagen Market)

Weed peas and celery. Plant kale

Happenings March - Autumn
Potted up seedlings of celery, Tendercrisp. Sow kale and cavalo broccoli

Weed tomatoes and pumpkin (franchi)

March 4 - Prune beech hedge and weed. Tie up tomatoes.

Put large frame from cheap pergola thing over the second tomato planting. They are just starting to fuit. Net over compost heap, pukekos are making a mess taking out the kitchen scraps.

March 11 - Potting up plants given to me by mums' old neighbour Anne. Includes Pink Salvia from Ayrlies, 3x Begonia (different leaves and flowers, no names) 1x creamy rose (no name), 1x large clump of Michaelmass Daisy. Thank you Anne :)

Pumpkins and tomatoes all growing huge!

March 13 - Bought more Franchi seeds, loving these as so far they have out-performed any others I have used. The germination rate is almost 100% and they are strong growers. Includes Onion (Tropea Rosa), Butternut (Rugosa), Carrot (Nantes 2).

Sow onions, sprouting broccoli and peas (Early Massey). Tie up capsicum.

March 17 - Make seaweed tea (Hatfields Beach). Weed aroung potting shed. Transfering piles of Monarch catapillers from chewed plants to new ones. Trying to keep some plants in reserve so there is always food available.

March 22 - Sow leeks, lavender and upright oak acorns.

Trim beech hedge around potager and weed around glasshouse. Mow strip around hedge. Cut off dry aggie heads from around pond.

March 26 - Collect acorns from beneath evergreenoaks. Rake leaves for mulching from planes and oaks.

Collect sunflower seeds for next year. Plant acorns.

Happenings February
Tie in tomatoes, water, weed. Repot hydrangea on potting shed deck.

Weed around glasshouse and inside. Trim bay trees in the herb garden and weed. Plant lettuce.

Break up hard, compacted soil in bed 3, rototilland add compost, prepare for tomatoes

February 5 - Continue prepping lower part of bed 3. Then plant out range of tomatoes growing in glasshouse. 8x St Pierre (franchi), 1x Clementine (yellow cherry, french heritage), 1x Roma orange (koanga), 1x Tommy Toe, 1x Black cherry, 2x ... name unknown, (turned out to be red currant tomato)

Trimming hedges around house, grisalinia and box, water everything.

February 16 - Cutting dock and weeding in straw pen.

Weeding bed 4 and found Lou Lou's eggs! Thought she had stopped laying when they were clearing out the remains of this bed, a pile of 15 eggs. Brat! Clean out hen house and waterblast. Tie up tomatoes and weed

February 28 - Experimenting with sweet potato slips, cutting sprouts off cupboard tubers and planting in sandy compost.

Happenings January
Harvest onions and garlic. Tie up and remove lower leaves of heirloom tomatoes sown in late Spring. Weed and water.

January 13 - Lay bird netting over tomatoes, water. Pot up heirloom tomato seedlings growing in glasshouse, new bed not ready yet.

Repot more tomatoes, clean potting shed, weed, tie up tomatoes.

Weed day, digging out thistles from hedges and around garden. Re-net, birds still sneaking in.

January 18 - Rototill part of bed 4 with my Christmas pressie, great machine! Dig in compost and plant capsicum (franchi). Compost pumpkins and water everything, quite dry.

Dig out stray thistles from around the hen pen border and weed.