Monday, May 4, 2015

Garden share - May 2015

April was a strange month, in a good way though.  We had about a week of rainy days, and cooler temperatures, but not too cold.  The garden flourished!  Suddently we have tomatoes, tromboncinos, chokos and asian greens and chickweed everywhere.  The celery has even got nice thick stems.  It is kind of sad to see this and know that we will get frost soon and the tomatoes, trombos, chokos, beans, rosellas and lettuce will all die, leaving only the hardy asian greens, silver beet, celery and broad beans.  I planted some peas too, but I may have left that too late, as they won't survive a heavy frost either, but I couldn't have planted them any earlier with the heat wave we had in March.  I've started to prepare for winter by rolling up the shade cloth around the sides of the garden to let more sun in, and moving sensitive plants into the carport.  My plastic greenhouse, which has been so useful other winters, has now degraded and gone brittle, so I need to replace it, but I'm not sure about buying more plastic, knowing that it will only last a few years.

In May I expect to be weeding and removing the summer plants after the first frost.  We should continue to harvest tomatoes from the hydroponics (I expect it to be more protected from frost as the water resevoir will hold some heat overnight, but we will soon find out if that theory is correct).  We will have plenty of greens too.

the garden is a bit messy at the moment


various self-seeded asian greens

peas that I planted too late

a brilliant large pak choy

tomatoes, better late than never I suppose

more tromboncinos

winter tarragon in flower

sneaky chickens eating the choko leaves (that rooster looks guilty right?)

black russians in the hydroponics, hurry up and ripen!

the harvest from the hydroponics so far, anyone would think it was summer here!

How was your April?  What are your garden plans for May?


  1. Lovely garden to see producing. I know what you mean about those short windows which seem to grow in late autumn, but then plants die back from the drop in temperature. I suspect we're just doing to have to come up with better ideas to extend the season without resorting to greenhouses.

    What about in Sepp Holzer style, you consider using rocks to stave off the frost. He plants his pumpkins so they can grow over rocks facing the sun. They have a very small window for growing food in Switzerland, but even more so in mountains. So I wonder if you build a low rock retaining wall on the upside of your growing area, it will push the frosts around it (and the growing area) as it travels down hill? If you don't have access to rocks, but large drums instead, you could place them on the uphill section, right next to the fenced area for your garden. The drums and water will be heated during the day, and repel the frosts during the night and early morning.

    The drums could also act as a wind break, or a place to put plants up high in pots so the frost won't burn them.

    1. I like how you think Chris! I have previously put buckets of water around the garden, and long-term I was planning to have a pond in our orchard at the new property and use that for retain heat for bananas and other tropicals. I had not thought of drums. Its really surprising how much heat you can absorb in a drum, the water can get up to 60-70degC in summer, and in winter its still plenty to keep out the frost. Now I just need to do some thinking about where to put these. Also we have plenty of rocks! What a great resource. Thanks so much for your thoughtful comment :)

    2. No worries, I get my inspiration on this particular topic from Sepp. He has some great ideas which can ultimately help climates like ours. Its too hot in summer for things to grow and too cold in winter too - but that small window in between just needs a little help to extend. Glad to know you have plenty of what you need. Makes it easier to get started on projects. :)

  2. Lovely to hear that you got some rain and all of your produce had a boost. Beautiful work with the hydroponics! Have a great month in the garden

  3. The sneaky chickens are delightful. I so love hens.

  4. Oh interesting - I somehow missed that you had started doing hydroponics, so am interested to see how that goes. Those tomatoes look awesome.


Thanks, I appreciate all your comments, suggestions and questions, but I don't always get time to reply right away. If you need me to reply personally to a question, please leave your email address in the comment or in your profile, or email me directly on eight.acres.liz at

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