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Garden posts 2015

I miss my garden when I'm away during the week.  I have to make an effort to spend a suitable amount of time greeting Pete and Taz before I peek over the garden gate to see how its going each Friday afternoon when I get home.  I really don't spend much time in the garden now, but the time I spent early on building up the soil and letting plants self-seed, now means that only 10-20 minutes a day when I'm home (three nights a week) is enough to keep everything going.  We always have something from the garden in our meals and sometimes all the veges are homegrown.  I would grow even more if I had time, although often time is not actually the limiting factor - our main problem is water.

eight acres: garden and herb posts on the blog in 2015
I'm only watering this half of the garden this summer

Here's a few garden posts from 2015
Is it winter yet? Cold weather preps

Guest post: Is there a place for power tools in the garden
Hydroponics basics

Perennial vegetables and permaculture

Are you saving seeds?

Three essential principles of organic gardening

What you need to know about soil

Weird vegetables in my sub-tropical garden

I'm still getting used to our sub-tropical climate.  Last Spring/Summer we didn't get rain until right at the end of summer.  I had ambitiously planted out the whole garden and we really didn't have enough water to keep everything alive (we don't have townwater, only rainwater collected in three large tanks, we only water the garden with greywater from shower and washing machine, unless the rainwater tanks are completely full, I don't want to have to buy townwater to fill the tanks if we run out!  If it doesn't rain, we start to use up the water in the tanks and then we don't want to waste it on anything, including the garden,unfortunately that's when the garden really needs the water too).  I gradually had to make sacrifices and the watered area got smaller and smaller.

This year I decided early on that I would only be watering one end of the garden (two beds and bits around the outside) and the rest would fend for itself.  I put a cover crop of mustard and mung beans into one bed and left the other one as it was full of self-seeding broccoli.  This year is has rained pretty consistently.  I probably could have planted more, but at least the cover crop is doing well!  The plants that I got established in August and September (button squash and bush beans) are producing already, and a few I put in later (eggplant, capsicum, rosella, climbing beans) are now growing well along with tomatoes and random curcubits that have sprouted from the worm farm compost.

eight acres: garden and herb posts on the blog in 2015
my 'sunken' herb garden

When I first started my series on herbs two years ago (how I grow then and how I use them) I counted 30 different herbs in my garden.  While some have come and gone since then, I think I have even more now.  I have added violet, feverfew, pepino since that last count.  I have really enjoyed researching a herb each month and learning more about it before I post its profile on my blog. 

I still have many of my herbs in pots that are dug into the ground - this keeps the cooler and stops them from drying out, but also prevents them from spreading out and I can move them around if I need to (although that seems to be a good spot year round, sometimes I swap them around to make sure they all get enough sun).  I have also planted out comfrey, violet, gotu kola, lemongrass, yarrow, feverfew and pepino in the garden, in one area where I can water them all together.  In another corner I have aloe vera and soapwort (in a pot) and more "back up" comfrey in a pot.  And I have geranium in another corner.  And lavender, wormwood, tansy and rue outside the garden where they don't get much water, with the arrowroot.

eight acres: garden and herb posts on the blog in 2015
more herbs over here

eight acres: garden and herb posts on the blog in 2015
and more here

Here's all the herbs that I profiled last year, and if you click here you'll find all the them since I started.

How I use herbs - lavender

How I use herbs - Lucerne (Alfalfa)

How I use herbs - Chervil

How I use herbs - Arrowroot

How I use herbs - yarrow

How I use herbs - Brahmi

How I use herbs - Neem oil

How I use herbs - Rue, tansy and wormwood

How I use herbs - chickweed

How I use herbs - purslane

How I use herbs - Herb Robert

Do you find my garden posts useful?  Any questions about how I grow vegetables and our sub-tropical climate?


  1. Liz, our arrowroot is absolutely huge. I really must do something with it soon. No gardening today though as it is raining again. We were in a herb club back in the 1980s and still have some herbs from then plus many more have been added in recent years. I am trying to learn more about incorporating them in infused oils, vinegar etc.

    1. You can feed the arrowroot to chickens or use it as mulch. Lucky you to get some rain :) That herb club sounds like a good idea!

  2. Gotta love a garden that looks after itself so well. I thought my garden would be history when I went away for a week and we had no rain and very high temperatures but I missed it more than it missed me.

    1. Yay! Sometimes mine doesn't look so good after it hasn't been watered. I should have mentioned that while I am away Pete does pump the grey water onto the garden, so it does get water without me!

  3. I really enjoy your garden posts, just as much as I love all of your posts. We live in vastly different areas, but both suffer dry summers and water saving issues. I find your posts useful as I love to glean hints from all gardeners and I'm inspired by the plastic pots sunk into the ground to prevent them drying out so quickly. So simple, why didn't I think of that?


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