How is it November already? Unfortunately Sydney has decided to chuck a little tanty and forgo spring, prematurely offering us summer instead. I wish I could be happy about this but given that our street backs onto a National Park and that we are in the midst of a bush fire crisis, a cooler spring would be most welcome. Surely our wildlife and plants must be confused too.
For a quick recap on this series, or if you’re new here (Welcome!), please take a moment to read through these 6 short posts.
I’ve mentioned our bandicoot and possum family before, the bastards who trawl our backyard at night time and eat our plants. Last month I heard a bit of rustling in one of the Camellia bushes we have and there it was. One very cute little possum, munching down a white Camellia flower bud, guilty as charged.
Now, when i saw this little guy, first instinct was to go ‘Awww how cute’ then the reality hit. This was the critter who had not only been eating my flowers, but also the vegetables that were meant for us. My next reaction was to clap my hands really loudly, like if you were trying to shoo away a seagull, but it didn’t scare the little guy. I screamed and clapped loudly again. Nope, nothing. The possum kept eating away on its Camellia bud, completely ignorant to my tactics. I started waving my hands around like a maniac, nothing. I thought maybe the flash on my camera might shy him away. Yeah right.
This little dude was one brave possum. I, however, must have looked like a fruit loop to my neighbours, screaming, clapping and acting like a retard on my front porch.
Here’s that same tree during the day. You can see how close it is to our front door.
Fortunately though, the bird netting we installed last month has been working at keeping the critters away from our patch. I suppose I can sacrifice a few Camellia flower buds in order for them to stay away from our vegetables!
We planted some ‘King Purple’ climbing bean seeds and within a few days they were already chasing the sun. They remind me of graceful flamingos
Our String Beans we planted last month have started flowering, however we are yet to see them fruit
After a long 6 months growing period, we are finally harvesting leeks! We have around 50 still in the ground!
We didn’t get much luck again with out carrots, they just seem to grow in the most absurd and deformed shapes. Never mind, my daughter loves pulling them out and having a giggle at the funny shapes.
It’s taking longer than we originally thought to give our raised pallet garden beds a permanent spot in our garden. Because of our unlevel land and slope, we’re going to have to make a retaining wall to one side and at the back, the raised garden bed is no longer ‘raised’. In order for them to be at the same level and be straight so when we water, the soil doesn’t puddle or slide out, we had to cut into the grass. Hubby is still working of the beds in the front however the back two have are good and ready to go! The plan is to have tomatoes and eggplant’s in the back, and cucumbers and zucchini’s in the front.
I hope I can have a picture of the finished and final product for you by next month. Our seedlings are crying out to be planted already!
The leaves on our kipfler potato sack hessian bags started to yellow and die. I thought it was the extreme heat we’ve been experiencing in Sydney (we’ve skipped spring and gone straight for summer!) that killed our plants, but my husband assured me that wasn’t the case and it just meant that the potatoes were trying to tell me they want out! It’s harvest time! I got the scissors out to rip open the bag but it wasn’t necessary, as soon as we tried to lift it onto a wheelbarrow, the hessian sack had completely disintegrated and turned to mush.
We managed to lift it somehow and sift through the soil to find these gorgeous little potatoes.
I was disappointed at our harvest. For some reason I had grand dreams of kilo’s and kilo’s of potatoes and from the 200 grams we planted, we harvested about 1.5kgs worth. This won’t deter me, I might wait for a few of them to sprout, so some more research and try again next month. My Pontiac Potatoes leaves have started to yellow but they’re very much alive still so hopefully in a couple of weeks when I rip open their sacks, we’ll have better luck with them.
Thank you for joining me on another Garden Share Collective post, brought to you by Lizzy at Strayed from the Table.
Lisa, I’ve pretty much given up growing anything. A few years ago I was growing roccoto chillies and the possums quite happily munched away on them. There are very few humans that I know that can do that. Its like they had no chilli receptors in their collection of taste buds. Good luck with the vegies, its looking great.
Don’t give up Stuart and don’t let them get away with it!! My chilli plants were all chewed up too, until we used bird netting to keep them out. It’s been a few months now and my garden is back and thriving! The netting only cost about $10 from bunnings and we used bamboo stakes to keep them up.
That possum has some cheek.
Your daughter looks so sweet (and happy) with her carrot harvest. There are some good ones there!
And what a beautiful butterfly in amongst the silverbeet!
Thanks so much Danielle! There were a few goodies amongst the crazy deformed ones!! The butterfly is a fake, on a solar powered wire that spins around, its great at keeping other butterflies and moths away because they’re territorial and if they see another one around, they won’t lay their eggs on the leaves 🙂
Fabulous Lisa, and that is one cute possum!
Yeah, cute but a total pain in the arse…
As much as I would like to agree, I don’t find possums cute, especially after all the damage they did to my garden. Well, maybe the Australian possums acre cuter than their New Jersey cousins.
They’re cute when they’re in someone else’s garden!
Your seedlings look great, fingers crossed the possum leaves them alone when you get to plant them in the garden beds. Hope you are staying safe in the fires and get a cool change in weather before Spring officially ends.
Thanks Louie, I hope so too, though we might definitely have to net them up when they’re planted. I’m not risking it this time!
Your garden is looking very healthy and productive, despite the weather and the (very cute!) possum. And you’re right, those beans really do have a look of flamingos standing in a line in your veggie patch!
Thanks so much, the beans have now grown extra leaves and are unfortunately no longer looking like flamingos!
I also feel a little disappointed when I harvest potatoes. I always hope there will be more. But… it doesn’t stop me from trying again for that magical crop 🙂 Your leeks are amazing! What did you do to get them white so far up the stem? Did you bank up the soil around them for the whole growing time? I think I had better check on mine to see how ready they are.
I ate the potato’s today and the taste well compensated the little amount we harvested! Certainly quality over quantity!!
Yes we banked the soil on the leeks over the months. They were planted in trenches about 20 cms deep. We pulled them all out today. I was planning on keeping them in ground and only using them up when we needed them but they’d all gone to flower and the stems had turned very woody and inedible, so I’d rather harvest them and keep them in the fridge. Leeks for lunch and dinner over the next fortnight!
The trouble with possums is that they have such cute and pretty faces, it’s hard to be angry at them for long. We used to have them nesting in our roof and because they’re nocturnal, all night long they’d thump about driving us mad. And then they urinate! And then you get that smell! For little guys they sure do give a lot of grief. I love how your garden is growing. You’ll have having plentiful harvests very soon for sure xx
ewww possum pee!! That’s the last thing we need…
hello from another garden sharer! i love your kale with the purple spines. so pretty! does the colour stay once cooked? and i bet the flavour of those freshly dug spuds more than compensates for the small harvest size. i am imagining them steamed with loads of melting butter…
Thanks so much!! The kale variety is ‘Winter Wonder’ and they unfortunately don’t stay purple when cooked. I cooked up the potatoes today and they were AMAZING!! Much better than store bought hands down xx
Great post as ever Lisa. Good to know that I’m not the only one that can’t grow carrots! LOL Love those bean seedlings – very happy and healthy!
Thanks so much Julie, those deformed carrots won’t deter me from trying again though. One of these day’s we’ll get some good carrots!
Those little potatoes will be absolutely delicious. Ooh I can almost taste them!
Looking forward to seeing your new beds all planted out. I know how you feel about the possums but I’m glad the netting is doing its job. Very jealous of your kale. Once again mine has been totally eaten down to dirt level 😦
Oh they were Claire!! Cooked them today with extra butter and the difference from shop born were well worth the effort!
Okay, the possum is cute but I’m happier if they are in someone else’s garden (not yours). I’m so envious of all your dirt. everything is paved here or has some fancy plant in a landscaped bed. They obviously didn’t plan on growing anything here. 🙂
Dirt is good Maureen, its on the ground, in my shoes and stuck in my nails! I can’t get enough of the stuff!
Look at that cheeky possum! And props to you for growing your own potatoes Lisa! I’d have the opposite reaction to that harvest-I don’t think I’d be disappointed at all! 😛
Thanks so much Lorraine, I cooked them up today with lots of butter and they were superb. Quality over quantity…
Our first crop of spuds were the same we planted 10 rows of them and we only got about 20kg out of them. The second crop of two rows were bigger spuds not chats and weighed 20kg. We put it down to the soil.
It will be great to see your new raised beds complete, you will have a huge backyard veggie garden. I am a little jealous of your beans – they look so healthy, I can’t seem to grow them well here, once again – soil.
Hi Lizzy, thanks so much, I can’t wait to plant out our raised beds and let you all know about it next month 🙂
I hope you stay safe from the fires! They are terrible. Your carrots should look weird, makes them more home grown 🙂
Thanks Tandy, you’re right, they SHOULD look weird! xx
Nice photos and a great harvest. Thanks for sharing.
I would be happy with that potato harvest – we have had very dire results in our attempts! Sweet potatoes, however, we can get heaps from just scraps (and the leaves are edible – bonus).
Would a water gun work with your visitor? Great that the netting worked.
ooh I might try sweet potatoes next time too!! What do you do with the leaves?
I had West African friends that used to use it, spinach like, in stews – but a friend who has WOOFers in CQ says that those from Asia always go wild over her leaves and use them in salads and stir fries.
Thanks for sharing. I LOVE your leeks. Mine are always so short! Well done.
Thanks so much Donna, we planted them in trenches and slowly raised the level, banking up the soil over the last 6 months to get that length 🙂
Hope you and your family are not affected by the fire.
My deer and your possums think alike, no amount of yelling, hand clapping or stone throwing will make them go away.
Your garden is coming along nicely, I see bumper crops in the future.
Thanks so much Norma, they must be in cahoots!!
Love an oddly shaped carrot. They’re more interesting to eat!
Great post, thanks for sharing!
I think so too Carla! Thanks for visiting x
Your leeks look good. Ours are really spindly this year, which is rather disappointing as they’re usually the crop that lasts us throughout the winter.
Lovely to see the progress of your garden – doubtless you’d like to see the possum progress very quickly out of it.
Thanks Anne, they’ve started to flower and I pulled a few out today, they’d already started going woody so I think we’ll be eating leek recipes for the next couple of weeks to use them all up!
Good to see your garden doing so well, Lisa, though I wish you and the rest of your country could get some rain. The fires are horrific! In my limited experience with possum, clapping hands does little, nor does hitting it with a rake. They are determined creatures. Glad to see that your bird netting is working. Just look at the beautiful kale & silverbeet! Can’t wait to see the raised beds finished and planted. I don’t know about your country’s labor laws but isn’t that Cutie a little young to be harvesting crops? 🙂
I haven’t tried hitting the possums with a rake John, and though it doesn’t work, I’m sure it takes out some of that frustration!! 😉
OH LOL!! We pay her in kisses and cuddles!! xx
Your potatoes look great and you’ve grown such brilliant leeks, mine are a tad on the pathetic side. Could definitely compete with you on the deformed carrots too, I’ve grown different colours (heritage varieties) and my daughter likes the purple & pink ones, surprise, surprise! Lovely garden.
Thanks so much Andrea, we should have a ‘most deformed carrot’ contest and see who’d win, we’re pulling out some corkers lately!! x
I love your ‘raised’ beds, it’s going to be a fantastic space when all planted out. Cheeky little possum – so glad we don’t have them invading our backyard, the year I had mice eating my tomatoes was bad enough!
oh Mice are awful little critters too! Hope they stay away from your toms x
Oh your leeks and silverbeet are awesome – I have trouble growing both of those up here in the tropics. We spend a lot of time keeping the garden fenced in against bandicoots, and luckily dont get possums.
Thanks so much! We’re getting bandicoots too, I keep seeing holes in the lawn, awful!
Your possum is adorable! Sorry I know how pesky they are … when we lived in Sydney they ate everything and they had to cross open ground to get to our yard too. Your greens are brilliant, the potatoes are delightful and brilliant success with your leeks. My bunny would love your carrots Lisa x 😀
Hi Merryn, pesky they certainly are! And totally fearless. I do see them run across the road at night time too playing chicken with cars…
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Awww…how cute is that possum? Reminds me of Possum Magic by Mem Fox. I just LOVE Australia! And what a lovely garden you’ve got going there Lisa.
Oh Lidia! He may be cute but he’s a pesky little creature alright!
G’day wow and congrats Lisa, true!
I have had a lot of experience with possums…and they can be quite challenging too!
ZERO re veggies!! Well done for the budget!
Thanks Joanne! I wish our fruit budget came to $0 too. Hopefully in a years time It will 🙂
Your possum is gorgeous! Well captured 🙂 And Perth is the same as Sydney, summer weather is definitely here and I am definitely unimpressed by it! I hope your veggies continue to survive the heat, they are looking good so far.
Thanks Kari! After I screamed and clapped and tried to shoo the possum away to no avail, I figured I may as well grab the camera!
Lisa, I am sorry that you have hassles with possums but they sure are super cute!
I love your garden updates and you are doing so well despite your disappointment of few potatoes than anticipated. Your garden is a continual work in progress and I am looking forward to seeing your raised beds planted.
Have a beautiful day.
🙂 Mandy xo
I love, love you pallet beds, can’t wait to see them all planted up. And hopefully you keep those critters out of your patch, let them have a few flowers. As for the spuds, I’ve always had more success growing them in the ground rather than in bags or pots, don’t ask me why. Hope the Pontiacs have a better yield.
Hi Barbara, thank you so much for stopping by! I’ve got another batch of potatoes in bags going and if they don’t turn out in a few months I think I’ll try your advise of growing them in the ground 🙂
when I lived in London I discovered the squirrels eating the flowers on my Magnolia tree, I feel the same as you do about your Possums!
And looking at your spring, or should I say early summer garden with all the seedlings ready to be planted makes me feel a tad jealous but at the same time happy ! Happy gardening x
Oh Claire, I’d hate for my possums to discover our Magnolia trees!
I enjoyed your post but your sweet daughter’s big smile with the carrots stole the show. 🙂
Lisa, I hope that possum isn’t bothering you at night..as in walking on your roof! And hope it doesn’t eat your vege garden, that would be devastating … Sof looks so cute!
Look at all the gems! It’s so wonderful to have all this in your back yard. The cutest thing is little Lisa 🙂
Thanks Nanzneen! Little Lisa so loves the garden too, she’s developed green thumbs already! x