Out of hibernation

With all the fruit trees blooming, it looks like it might be spring and I can come out of hibernation at last :

So….I wandered around the garden to take a few pics.

I left the comfort of the wood fire in June to go to the local nursery to buy a few more fruit trees. This time I bought dwarf varieties—a peach, a pear and a nectarine, to go with the other dwarf nectarine I bought a couple of years ago. The new nectarine is flowering at the moment :

Bear in mind that this plant is only about 40 cm high. These dwarf varieties are very compact little plants with short internodes giving them a truly stunted look. My first dwarf nectarine has borne well in the last 2 years and it’s still only half a metre in height. I saw a fully grown one of the same variety a couple of years ago in a garden and it was only a metre high and wide—easy to get a net over. I’m thinking dwarf fruit trees are the way to go.

There’s nothing silver beet likes better than nitrogen. These 2 plants are growing in an old bath and were watered with the liquid from the bottom of the composting toilet :

The native Bendigo Wax is fully out in flower, but there are NO bees. Years ago this plant would be covered in them. It’s very worrying :

This Red-veined Sorrel has come up by itself. Seems it’s not popular with the rabbits :

Bunnings have improved their edible plant range and have lots of blueberries in flower for sale at the moment. I bought another one to add to the 3 I bought a few weeks ago. Two of those have been planted in wire circles and the third in a tub :

Not sure where I’ll put this latest one. They’re very healthy-looking little plants :

The 4 blueberries I grew from seed a few years ago were planted in 20 litre plastic pails, which I made into wicking tubs. They’re flowering for the first time this year :

This was them as seedlings in March 2016:

So far that makes 9 blueberries in all in the garden. I’ve just sowed seed from last year’s plants. I put the berries in the freezer for a few months to simulate cold chill. With any luck they will germinate like the first lot I tried.

This bath is going to be a dedicated potato bed. At the moment, it’s a dedicated wheat bed. The chooks don’t eat the wheat in their poultry grain mix and everywhere I put chook poo compost, I get wheat germinating. I’m leaving most of it to collect the seed. The (stupid) chooks will only eat wheat if it’s sprouted first, so growing a bit means less I have to buy. The vet says it’s better for them when it’s sprouted, so maybe they’re not so stupid :

Asparagus are starting to appear :

I might actually get some decent garlic this year. The white rods are to stop the rabbits jumping into the ring :

Direct-sown Red Russian Kale in a wicking box. When I have plenty of seed, direct-sowing is the way to go. It saves all that tedious potting-up of tiny seedlings and then planting later :

It’s still far too cold for planting seeds outside so I started tomatoes on the kitchen table. They spend the day in the sun on the floor beside the sliding door :

I’ll have to start thinking about cucumber, pumpkin and zucchini seeds soon, too. We’re overdue for some warm days. We didn’t get a lot of winter rain, but it was just a persistent few mm a day. Enough to make the ground soggy and squishy wherever I walk. Surely it has to get warmer soon.

Postscript: It really must be Spring. A Cabbage White butterfly just flew past the window, heading for the kale.


16 Responses to “Out of hibernation”

  1. kayepea Says:

    It surely was a winter to hibernate away from this year! And today as I write it is an unseasonably warm but glorious Spring day so this was a welcome read Bev – and your garden beds and pots were a welcome sight. All looking good. Trust those cabbage whites to be out! We have swarms of mistletoe butterflies and winged ants or worse still, termites, on the move. I’ll have to investigate which they are, not that I can do anything if they are the latter. Hard to work outside with the ants/termites, they get into every orifice and under all your clothing – not pleasant. 😦


    • foodnstuff Says:

      Haven’t seen a mistletoe butterfly for ages. The winged ants usually do their mating thing in October….must keep a watch for them (well, they’re hard to miss really, with the air full of flying things. You need to keep your mouth closed). The chooks love it….food falling out of the air!


  2. narf7 Says:

    Another brilliant post Bev. I always save your musings in posts so that I can use them as valuable info later on. Note to self “plant tomato seeds!” I actually have some kale (a few plants) that Bunnings fooled me into buying back at the beginning of winter. I read that you could plant them out then and stupidly believed it. They have been languishing in the wicking fridges all winter long and now we have had a few days of actual “sunshine” (few and far between lately) they are starting to take off. I LOVE this post! Another note to self “head to Bunnings and buy some blueberries!” I thought my old curmudgeons that I inherited from a friend who estimates that they are over 20 years old, had croaked in the wicking beds. I figured that they had been going for so long and my transplanting them had killed them but Steve pointed out that most of them have new green shoots on them and some even have flower buds so obviously they aren’t quite as dead as I thought that they were. Keep up the posting. I love it and learn something from every time you do 🙂


    • foodnstuff Says:

      Thanks, Fran. I hate giving Bunnings good money, but they really were nice plants. And if my seeds come up like they did before, it means extra plants for nothing.

      Liked by 1 person

      • narf7 Says:

        And you can take cuttings from blueberries can’t you?


        • foodnstuff Says:

          I have had cuttings strike, but not very easily.

          Liked by 1 person

          • narf7 Says:

            So it sounds like seed is the best bet. I wonder if they would strike with root divisions?


            • foodnstuff Says:

              All my plants are small shrubs emanating from a single stem. There are no opportunities for taking up any pieces with roots. I know there are different types (?species) and don’t know how others would perform in that respect. I first got the heads up on blueberries from seed from rabidlittlehippy, who grew them from seed from frozen supermarket berries.

              Liked by 1 person

              • narf7 Says:

                She also grew pomegranates the same way. I have some ancient blueberries that I thought were about to kick the bucket last year as they had been transplanted out of their home of 20 years (they were old when the person that gave them to me gave them to me so goodness only knows how old they really are!) into a pile of aged horse manure at the front of our house for a couple of years (time gets away from you 😉 ) and then into the wicking beds when we built them last year. They weren’t looking happy at all and I was expecting them to die but Steve pointed out the other day that they are all budding up like mad, have new growth and flower buds so that tells me that wicking fridges might be the answer for them. I have them underplanted with garlic and I might stud those beds with lots of lettuce and shallow rooted greens this year as they are right outside the kitchen door where I can tip my veg prep water etc. to keep them happy. I haven’t tried growing blueberries from frozen but I wonder if they would grow from fresh ones from the supermarket? It might just be a whole lot faster if I sucked it up and bought some more from Bunnings for inside Sanctuary I think 😉

                Liked by 1 person

  3. Jane Says:

    Winter for me has been months of frosty mornings and dry sunny days. Would love some rain. Your garden always seems so productive and lush. I have an old bath which has water in it in the winter if I’m lucky, but dry in the summer. I’d like to see your potato bath when it gets going.


    • foodnstuff Says:

      Hi Jane, would’ve loved some of those sunny winter days you had. I guess we gardeners are never happy! At least we don’t get frosts here.


  4. Chris at Fernglade Says:

    Hi foodnstuff,
    The garden is looking great. Thanks for the tip about blueberries. I’ve been replicating them by sticking cuttings in the ground in damp shady areas, but seedlings would be much tougher. The weather has been different here as winter rain – excluding June – has been reasonably normal, although the falls have been far heavier (more like spring rain) than gentle winter rain.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Meg Says:

    I have a couple of blueberry bushes growing in large pots and they are covered in unripe fruit now. I’ll pick them and freeze them as they ripen. I hope to add another one or two bushes so will check out Bunnings for those. It is a worry about lack of bees on blossoms where you’ve seen them previously. The bees have been very active in the garden here, both my native bees and visiting honeybees, which are always great to see in the garden. Meg


    • foodnstuff Says:

      Hi Meg, good to hear from a new commenter. I’m lucky with the blueberries in that the native Noisy Miners love the flowers and are at them all the time. I presume there’s a supply of nectar in them and in going for that, they’re doing the pollinating.

      Have checked out your blog and bookmarked it. I’m going to try your simple chocolate slices. I have some spelt wheat that needs to be used up. I’m wondering how some rolled oats would go in there as well.


  6. dani | salt sugar and i Says:

    Wow what a great garden! I love the nectarine blossoms 🙂 I tried to go a peach tree on my balcony but it was too hot during the summer months here and didn’t survive!

    Liked by 1 person

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