This year for gardening in Woodend has been really good as we have had quite a bit of rain over the hot months, Our tomatoes are just starting to turn red and we have already had some harvested, the Corn has been growing strong along with our Rhubarb, (we made a apple and Rhubarb pie) the birds pinched our Blueberries and the Cucumber is going feral.
Cucumbers Herb Bath
A Roo having a sticky beek.
I have just planting out Peas, Beans (This is our second planting of Beans), Onions and Carrots and have cut a lot of our herbs and drying them by putting string around the bottom and hanging them upside down, the Garlic was really successful and the Chard and Sorrel is rewarding us immensely.
Some of the Beans
I made some stick signs to mark the veggies, quite simple to do, I used some timber pickets cut them down and cut a point on one end, then painted the name and gave them a good helping of varnish, the signs are around 400mm long.
I am wanting to plant a lot of trees with flowers along the back as we back on the Black Forest Rd and I want to help deaden the noise, the back is around 200m long, so I am going to need a lot of plants, the ones I have been most successful with is the Hebe plant and the Buddleia, I have around 60-70 growing in pots, I took a lot of cuttings and used hormone rooting powder and they are really coming along well.
I feel its going to be a really tough year for veggies this year, its into July and we have had very little rain see our weather station history at www.woodendvillage.com.au/weather
Usually our dam is quite full, BUT this year there is hardly any water in the dam and we use the water from the dam to water our veggies. We are not on town water, but tanks only.
Our Broccoli is doing great, we prefer to grown the broccoli that grows multiple smaller heads rather than one single large head. The Garlic is now starting to come through in the garden beds that have just had a great addition of compost that we have been adding too all year. Our potatoes are now starting to show this year as well.
I have re planted my blueberries in a different place (more sun) as I felt they wernt getting enough sunlight, I have now planted them near our Strawberries, Blackcurrants, and Raspberries, all acid loving plants.
over the last year we had tremendous success with our tomatoes, these were planted through weedmat and had some garden/river rocks placed around them.
Also other veggies that grew well for us have been Small pumpkins, radish, peas, potatoes, beetroot, broccoli (When I planted the broccoli I thought they had had their day, but decided to just leave them and now late Autumn/Winter is here they are producing plenty of florets.) The spring onions and Garlic are doing very well although the cockies also like the garlic as well, go figure…
Our horse radish is coming along quite well but you have to leave that for 2 years before harvesting. Also a good grower is Jerusalem Artichoke, but make sure you contain these.
I am struggling with the beans, all kinds.
This coming spring I will be looking at growing some of the smaller short season veggies.
I am going to be using all the fresh grass that I cut in the spring to mulch all my veggies, during the late summer I covered all my now empty veggie boxes a good layering of straw and this is breaking down quite nicely. I will did this back into the soil before planting this spring.
I am also going to plant some buckwheat this late winter and use it to dig back into the soil and plant quite a few flowers around the veggie garden to attract more bees/hoover flies.
I have found that nothing seems to kill alysum so I am now growing quite a lot of those in the green house to plant out when it gets a bit warmer.
The Beetroot is growing great as is the turnips, the Turnips are large but still have a small bulb.
I have cleared the greenhouse and laid a floor of Tuscan toppings, previously the greenhouse was just on top of the soil. I am going to buy a few mesh racks for the plants and the timber bench I made will go outside as a potting bench.
our beans are coming along so well that we have planted another 6 varieties with an idea of what will grow best for us.
I am having problems with thrips, they have attacked my beans, kohl rabi, and my Artichokes (they stripped the artichoke so bad before I noticed, I only have one left out of 3) I also noticed a nice (rogue asparagus tip growing)
I think it has been a little milder this year in general than last year, there has been a distinct lack of frost and many bulbs and veggies are starting to rear their heads.
you can have a look at our personal weather station for any local/predicted and historical information. The weather station stats are in their infancy but should be valuable in years to come. The address is www.woodendvillage.com.au/weather
The Vegetables that have been the most success for us here in Woodend are.
We planted this in April 2013 and still its producing broccoli heads, the ones we got were not the normal broccoli you get in the supermarkets, but a plant that produces heads constantly through the year. We are now heading for our second year and apart from a small attach of whitefly, they have been terrific, highly recommend living in Woodend.
So far, just planted beetroot a few weeks ago and they are doing well. I also made a relish from our left over green tomatoes, BUT the tomatoes did a lot better in the wild, than they did in the greenhouse, which surprised us a lot.
Had a nice crop of potatoes, nice and large, but not too many, I am going to plant seeded potatoes this year (compared to shop bought) and see what the quality is like.
The tomatoes didnt do very well in the greenhouse last year, the the rouge tomatoe plant produced very well last year
so far very successful. The small tomatoes did very much better than theg reenhouse t0mates.
I have planted the following this year.
Horse radish, Jerusalem artichokes, Globe Artichokes, Gooseberries, Almond nut tree, Beetroot, Turnips and Elephant Garlic.
Start of winter, cleared out all the greenhouse from my Tomatoes, although I must say I am not at all happy, we had a cherry tomato growing in the back garden and this one plant produced more tomatoes that the 8 plants I had inside the greenhouse, so this spring I will raise them in the greenhouse and mass plant them outside. I made a great relish out of the green Tomatoes that were left.
I have planted turnips, cabbage minis, Beetroot, Elephant Garlic, Garlic, Spring onions, Red Cabbage, Broccoli, and Brussel Sprouts.
I planted some French Beans a couple of weeks ago and they are coming along very well.
I read somewhere that you can Grow your Capsicum plant for more that one season and in fact they produce a better yield and crop in the second year, but you do need to protect them from the winter weather, I am going to make a cover to put over the capsicum plants to see them through.
I have made a few veggie boxes out of Apple Crates, you can buy these apple crates from Bacchus Marsh, they cost around $50/$70 each.
You remove the base off the bottom of the crate, (you can keep the pallet to make a compost bin.) you then cut the apple crate in half, if they are gaps between the planks, infill on the inside with scrap wood and use as a raised veggie garden. the size of the crate is 1.2m x 1.2m by around 900mm high. you will get 2 veggie beds out of the one crate.
I would recommend you go for a crate that has 4 layers of timber. (easier to split in half)
You will need a ute/trailor to transport it.
you can also leave the crates at full height.
If you work out what the wood/screws would cost from a hardware store, you will find this idea very affordable indeed.
Our Pictures to come.
Successes for the 2013/2014 season
Potatoes, Capsicum, Peas, Asparagus, Broccoli (watch out for aphids in late summer) Lettuce, Kohl Rabi, (really good yield) Basil, Mint, Sage.
Failures or bad yields
Cabbage, Beans (currently trying again) Tomatoes, Melon, Carrots, Corn and Onions.
Some veggies we have planted are, Garlic, Lemon myrtle, cinnamon myrtle,bay leaf tree and Quince, broccoli, cabbage, peas. beans, snow peas, turnip, lettuce, radish along with our spuds and a curry leaf plant. I like the idea of the tree where the leaves and fruit can be used in cooking because when they are established you can generally have a year round supply of herb type plants that you can add to your food. We also planted 20 French Lavender plants between the Orchard and Veggie patch fence.
If you are new to Woodend and good place to start would be the planting of Potatoes, easy to grow, not to much looking after and after all if they can grow them in Trentham we can certainly grow them here. This year we planted potatoes in May 2013 and we have again planted some more in June, this is our second year of growing Potatoes, although we really didn’t plant enough in our first year and I think we planted too late, the May planting have now a good head of leaves, stalks etc. and we have upped the amount this year, BUT now we have got a couple of second hand water tanks cut them in half (lot cheaper than buying new.) and we prepared the garden with soil, mulch, manure etc. I am not going to tell everyone step by step in what to do because after all if you are here, then you will have at least some idea with regards to gardening. We laid a length of wire chicken mesh into the tank laid out potatoes, then we covered the potatoes, then laid out another row of mesh on top and again laid out some more potatoes, we are hoping that this makes it a lot easier when we come to harvest the potatoes, after the flowers die, just pull up the mesh and you then should be able to harvest all of your potatoes without any digging. I will post pictures in the next few days. We have made a small area of our block (dimensions to come) just for growing veggies, so far it contains our green house and I have put in there a few containers made from old water tanks and some plant areas made from wood.
I need to finish these off by using some old water hose and silicone glue.
I bought an old water tank off ebay for $40.00 and cut it in half. they are around 800mm high and 2m across. (I have since bought 2 more tanks)
Another crop to get going is Corn, Although again last year I think we planted too late, they grew okay but we didn’t get any reward from them and just threw what was left to the chucks. we plan to start them off earlier in our green house.
Project for the coming year
With the size of the land we have, its a shame to restrict the Veggie are to just a few meters, so the plan is to extend the veggie patch well into the kids play ground and use chicken mesh fencing net and to also chicken mesh the rest of the veggie patch, we can probably keep the rabbits out, but I think its going to be a bigger problem keeping out the ducks and the Kangaroos. I am also going to build a rustic gate for the veggie patch.
here is an example of the gate I will build.
here is my finished effort, not to bad I thought and hardly cost anything. The gate is the entry to our Veggie patch.
I like binging/googling or pininterest images for gardening ideas and copying the images aside so that I can use the idea sometime in the future.
Our Greenhouse and Veggie patch
Over the coming months we plan to extend the area of our veggie patch, this will give us a bit more sun during the winter but also room to plant edible trees and bushes. We are lucky in that we have a blank canvas on which to work with, and we chose the area as it is quite close to our Orchard.
We planted a Asparagus patch, heaped a mound and placed the 2 year old crowns (10 of them) on top, used plenty of mulch, compost etc, before we planted them I steeped the crowns in seaweed water for around 20 minutes before planting. I now have 7 successful spears growing, but need to cover the area with pea straw before it gets much hotter.
I made a Wombat from timber rounds lying around our property and made a art work and installed it in our veggie patch.
My next project for the patch is too make the borders and paths.
So far I am successfully growing lettuce (in a bath 3 varieties), sweet peas (doing very well)
also planted some Raspberry cans which are now starting to show flowers and our Broccoli is doing really well and the Blueberries and Rhubarb are coming along nicely.
I have tried looking at planting veggies that are going to last including some trees.
I have just planted our some Nasturtiums at the green house, you can eat the leaves, the flowers (on salads) and the seeds, the seeds can be processed like capers, by just soaking them in salt water for a few days and changing the water, this draws all the fluid out of the seed and you are left with a caper substitute. Also the Nasturtiums help to keep aphids and borers away.
We also planted 20 ears of sweet corn of which we bought locally, our trying of growing from seed failed. The ears are growing well. We planted them mid October.
Our failures so far.
The curry tree that we planted has died, I originally thought our Quince tree/bush had dies but its came back quite strongly. The parsnips were a failure, maybe we didnt plant them deep enough. As mentioned earlier our corn seeds failed this year, we will try again next year but maybe the end of October.