The Garden Share Collection – August 2013

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Welcome to round two of the garden share collection, a lovely series of vegetable patches from all over the world, championed by Lizzie from Strayed from the table.

You’ll find a bit of a background to my vegetable patch, and round one here

So what’s new in this Wogs backyard?

Well, we’ve been attacked. By the crazy little nocturnal Possum family who love to forage around our back yard, and eat what WE should be eating.

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Damn you beetroot-parsley-basil-chilli-capsicum-loving possums.

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Our street comes to life after hours, with bandicoots eagerly digging holes in our lawns every night, rabbits breading and running amok and possums, who up until now were yet to discover our raised patches.  Thats what you get when you live on a street that backs onto a huge reserve.

bandicoot digging holes in lawn grass

Mr Wog brought home some bird netting that we have now covered our veggie patch with, however that was only good for 5 days. The bastards decided to chew through the plastic and still managed to make way for our parsley! Sly, sly, sly.

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So out came the trusty yarn and I’ve managed to band aid the hole. I’m not sure how long it will last, but we’ll make do until we figure something out.

They are yet to discover our newly created vegetable patch with our winter veggies thank goodness.

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So what’s new in the 2nd patch? Our edible purple kale has certainly taken off, and our peas have discovered the lattice, climbing north and chasing the sun. Broadbeans have also been added into the patch.

purple kale

climbing peas

Mr Wog came home one day from work with 4 punnets of throw out Rainbow Chard. Each punnet had 6-8 seedlings. They were throw outs because in the retail garden nursery world, if a plant has signs of damage, yellow leaves, sun spots etc they are not deemed shelve quality and get thrown out. Much like the demand for supermarket ‘perfect’ fruits and vegetables. This annoys me greatly and I could write up a whole post on this subject, but for now I’ll just say I’m grateful to have a husband who works in a nursery and has a great head on his shoulders. We have put them in the bed next to the regular silverbeat and kale. I have no doubt these little beauties will survive and It infuriates me that they would have been doomed for the green bin otherwise.

Rainbow Chard throw outs

Rainbow Chard throw outs

Our grape vine leaf who up until now has been dormant has come back to life with a beautiful new leaf growth. This grape vine has sentimental value to my husband, the tree belonged to his dear Grandma who had passed it onto her daughter, and now my husband. The grape vine has been uprooted from house to house through the generations and continues to live, producing masses of beautiful leaves, used to make dolmas, a hearty Armenian stuffed vine leave with rice and lamb mince.

dolma grape vine leaf

Our chillis remain black for now, except for one ‘lady in red’. We haven’t had enough sun in Sydney over the last month for them to colour up properly, so we continue to enjoy black chillies.

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Our ‘Pixie’ Lemon Tree shows little sign of disturbance since we transplanted her last month. There are a few yellow leaves, however she is producing new flowers and hopefully fruit soon.

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We are experimenting with potatoes this month. I’ve planted up Kipflers and Pontiacs in sacks. Mr Wog bought the potato seeds from work as he said while potatoes you find at the shops sprout, they have more than likely been sprayed to to be safe we’ve bought special ‘seed’ potatoes.

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I spent a good Saturday morning separating one old flat leaf parley pot and as a result was able to pull out almost 40 separate plants!! It’s amazing how one pot can multiply and produce so many pups! I hope these thrive and don’t immediately go to seed. Time will tell 🙂

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The Compost Bin I received for Mothers Day is almost half full. We continue to throw in all our kitchen scraps and it has broken down nicely. I think the mixture is too moist though and lately I’ve noticed a trillion little flies, buzzing around inside. I’m not sure if they’re fruit or vinegar flies or how to get rid of them. Is this suppose to happen? I’ve been googling some information and it ranges from ‘spraying’ the heap which I don’t want to do, to adding more newspaper to dry them out.

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Meet Hoot. Hoot had long straight shallot hair growing on top, but the black aphids destroyed the plant before we were able to reap the benefits of her hair cut. We decided to give Hoot a perm this month with curly parsley. A girl needs a new style every now and again 😉

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See you in the garden again in September!

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64 thoughts on “The Garden Share Collection – August 2013

  1. Adore hoot, where can I find her? Also I have possums too, they love rosebuds, little wretches. Like your garden, must get busy in mine.

  2. Wow, you’ve been busy, it all looks wonderful! I love the idea of the possums and bandicoots rampaging around your yard, it all sounds so exotic, much more exciting than my war against the cabbage white butterfly! I’d love your recipe for Armenian stuffed vine leaves, we have a very prolific vine and I haven’t been brave enough to use the leaves yet (I’m sadly a very timid cook!) Is the recipe on your blog? Thank you for sharing your garden, I’ve loved having a look around again 🙂

    • oh gosh, i’d shoot the possums and bandicoots if I come across one haha they’re pests! I don’t have a recipe listed yet for the dolmas Alex, but it’s certainly one I’ll post soon, promise 🙂

  3. Lisa, your garden looks fab but you are going to have so much silver beet this summer. Your freezer is going to burst:) I planted one little yellow tub of the stuff and we still have a freezer full, with 4 punnets you are going to die!!!

  4. Like Alex, I think possums and bandicoots sound like very exotic garden pests – but I’ll bet they’re just as annoying as the pigeons and rabbits over here. Your garden is looking well, still find it hard to believe you can grow chillies out of doors in winter!

  5. Pingback: Garden Share Collective: 5th August

  6. Your garden is looking really great. I am glad that I am not the only one with issues of bandicoots. Possums and bandicoots don’t like lemongrass, citronella, lavender. I have planted some around one of my veggie patches and they don’t go near the stuff. What a score your hubby gets chuck outs from the nursery he works, I did a nursery stint a year ago and got enough plants to plant out my 50m driveway. Score! Also with your compost, add dry paper, toilet rolls, cardboard, news paper anything, and that will get rid of your fly issue.

  7. Possums and bandicoots – eek how annoying! I hate it when something other than me collects from my garden which is one of the main reasons we did not persist with chooks…The rest of your garden is looking great. You are very fortunate your hubby can bring home goodies from work, but I totally agree that it is sad that so many items are not considered perfect enough to sell. Have you tried adding straw or shredded paper to the compost? That helped me when mine was too wet. Love the grape vine and that it is a wonderful piece of the family tradition that you can continue to grow, admire and use for your dolmas.

  8. Hey Lisa, everything is looking great! The grape cine is a lovely addition, especially given its history – I hope it takes off and you are enjoying the bounty soon. I’m sorry to hear about the night invaders though. My partners grandmother has possum issues and she has tried all manner of things to keep the blighters at bay so I feel your pain. I hope you find the right solution soon – what about one of those low frequency pest control plug ins? Would that work?

    Best of luck!

  9. hello from a fellow garden share collective member! i love your purple kale – it makes such a grand statement amongst all the greens. i shall have to look for some.
    damn those possums! i’ve had a wallaby eating my dianthus in the front yard but luckily she hasn’t worked out how to jump into the back yard and find my vegies!

  10. It sounds like at night time, your backyard is as busy as Pitt Street. What a shame those possums have eaten just about everything bar the lemon tree. Good luck with persevering and I do hope you can keep the possums at bay xx

  11. Good luck a la Pitt Street and I don’t think I can quite see Darlinghurst Road. . ?) ! Actually I would replant that lovely ‘Pixie’ lemon tree ere weather gets too warm about 1 meter left and forwards [near pussy’s tail]: even a small tree is spreading whilst it grows and you have a lovely one there far too close to the fence. I have a miniature 20-year Meyer one with heaps of room to grow and it produces about 200 + almost pipless, thinskinned fruit per annum. Oh, they DO like to be fed 🙂 !

      • Sorry, dear ‘Pixie’, wish you could ‘uproot’ yourself and come talk to mine awhile in the sun whilst your mistress and I had a glass of dry white and a lovely talk 🙂 !

  12. Your garden looks great, Lisa, and it’s mid-winter! Too bad about the varmints treating your yard like a buffet. I’ve got a squirrel, my Nemesis, that strikes every Summer. I thought he’d forgotten me but he discovered my tomatoes last Friday. That means if I don’t pick them when they start to turn pink, he will. I hope you guys figure out a way to outsmart the devils. It can be really frustrating. Good luck! 🙂

    • oh John, there’s always a critter or creature recking havoc in our yards regardless of which side of the planet you’re on! I hope you can outdo your little squirrel friend and let your toms ripen on the vine 🙂

  13. Goodness I think we got really lucky with our possums as we are near a forest as well but they seem to walk along the power lines right past out house. Touch wood it stays that way and hope to hear next month that they haven’t done as much damage.
    I would love to read the recipe for the dolmas as well so looking forward type post 🙂

  14. It doesn’t matter where you live, there’s always some animal waiting to pounce on your fruit and veg! We have pigeons, squirrels, rabbits and muntjac deer – the bonus is they all taste good to eat (though I’ve never actually tried squirrel). Love the look of your purple kale.

  15. It is disheartening when critters munch our vegetables. We use a “Havahart” trap to catch woodchucks that love our tomatoes. Once caught, we take them for a ride to a wooded area far from our garden.

  16. I remember visiting an old Greek couple a few years ago, and his vegetable garden was completely encased in wire – possums was the one word explanation.

  17. Your post put a huge smile on my face and made my day. I too have major issues with critters in the garden. Lost all my Asian pears and sweet potatoes last year, going to try and get ahead of them this year. Despite the invaders, your garden still looks wonderful. Love your lemon tree.

  18. Gardening is so fun! Even though my husband really does most of ours, I am learning little by little! He grew up gardening and I didn’t 🙂 Hope the critters don’t get all of you produce! I love you purple kale!

  19. Your greens and chillies are so healthy. I can’t believe you have red chillies in Sydney over winter. Your lime tree and vegies are wonderful. I love your Hoot garden pot and good for you for sharing this joyful OXFAM purchase.

  20. I don’t have such an extensive garden.. well, only lettuce at the moment, lol. If we were home in the summer I’d be able to try some of this and I’d love to look out and see a garden like yours! The grape vine is really a special story! xx

  21. So many delicious things you’re growing!! I live on a farm in Queensland so I strongly identify with your problem with food eating varmints. Something is devouring my cauliflower and broccoli – grrr. Hopefully our gardens will make it through their ravages. 🙂

  22. it seems we are fighting the same battle..i think we need to cover the lot in wire.. they got to my strawberries and corriander 😦 an environmental gov site said we need wire at least 50cm high and 15cm deep, also a seperate compost pile for them away from yr veggies so they can feed on something else. you may have soldier flies in yr compost? I think they are good, not sure, is it still too wet?

  23. Pingback: Garden Share Collective – October 2013 | Gourmet Wog

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