The Garden Share Collective December 2013

This month has consisted of only a few things in the garden - watering, mulching and combating the snails!  We've had barely a drop of rain this past month, and the water tank is dry. While last month I wrote about how caring for the garden was a cathartic experience for me in lots of ways, this month it's settled into more of a strict regime, with the plants all needing water daily...the flip side is that it's definitely heating up and things are starting to really get growing now. The greatest success has been the No Dig Garden, which retains moisture so well. We are going to be away for a few days over Christmas, and I'm not sure how the garden will go unless it rains...will let you know next month.

The other challenge has been pests - snails completely decimated my two cucumber plants in one night, sucking the life right out of their stems - so no cucumbers for us this year. I replaced them with a yellow Zucchini, fair swap I think. I've also had some hungry caterpillars on my kale, though I can deal with them taking their share. What I can't handle is the black birds stealing my blueberries! They keep finding their way into my netting, and getting stuck after pecking at all the best bloobs, naughty little things. I think soon the tomatoes will be large enough to cut off their entry into the netting, I just hope it happens before I lose too many.

I think just about everything is ready for a feed, so we'll use some of the worm castings from the bottom of the worm farm to make a 'worm-poo slurry' {sounds sexy, huh?} to pour around - this might also help my worm farm to produce more worm tea, I think now the castings are soaking it all up and holding it in the bottom even though I leave the tap open all the time.

I'm waiting impatiently for the garlic to be harvestable - I think in the next two weeks...and once it's out, we'll dig in some compost and plant out our basil, which is still growing happily in my little 'hothouse'. Nothing says summer like basil and tomato, and I'm going to savour every bite of both of those home-grown goodies. Everything else is growing well, with my favourite salad ingredients just out the back door providing me with more than enough for a daily salad. One thing I am disappointed in is the radish - does anyone else think they are pretty tasteless, or is it just me?

Planting

I've just planted some more radish {to finish the packet} and also some wild rocket and flat leaf parsley. I didn't follow 'Moon Planting' times for these guys, so I'm crossing my fingers they still germinate at a good rate. All the tomatoes went in the ground early in November, and my pumpkins and zucchini did too. I also sprinkled a vacant, and finicky, garden bed out with some flower seeds for visual appeal and to attract all the good guys in to help keep the pests at bay.

Harvesting

Salad greens, radish, spring onion, garlic chives, perennial basil, pineapple sage, blueberries, kale, chives, the odd garlic bulb and perpetual spinach. And, of course, lemons.

To Do

Fertilise with the worm-poo slurry, keep my fingers crossed for the germination of the parsley and wild rocket, and maybe transplant a poorly positioned pumpkin. Water, water, water.

I hope November has been kind to your garden - what have you been harvesting? Had any experience with transplanting pumpkins? And what do you think about radish?

The Garden Share Collective is a monthly collection of posts collated by Lizzie over at Strayed from the Table from gardeners across the globe, sharing their veggie patches, potted gardens and windowsill herbs…Go and check it out! “Creating a monthly community to navigate through any garden troubles and to rival in the success of a good harvest we will nurture any beginner gardener to flourish. Each month we set ourselves a few tasks to complete by the next month, this gives us a little push to getting closer to picking and harvesting. The long-term goal of the Garden Share Collective is to get more and more people gardening and growing clean food organically and sustainably.”