Much Mulching

Plenty happening over at the allotment today.

The weather is warming up again so I made an early start over at the allotment at 7:30am and I harvested what was left of the kohl rabi, flat leafed parsley and giant endive before clearing the ground. I added manure and blood and bone before using the ‘Big Fork’ to turn it all over.

I hosed over the whole allotment and covered it with sugar cane mulch which should hopefully see me through the worst of the summer, keep the weeds down and keep the moisture in the soil.

I will be planting zucchini in the foreground, where I cleared the ground this morning.  I have already planted melons, dwarf beans and cucumbers but they are only just emerging as tiny plants so you cannot see them in the photographs.

Here is the allotment from the other side. I still have plenty of silver beet, Cavolo Nero and curly leafed kale.  In the foreground a row of Freckled Lettuce and the potatoes growing in the orange bags. Still a few weeks before I can harvest the potatoes.

Below is my first climbing bean of the season. Should have a nice handful for dinner by the end of the week.

I have lots of these Freckled lettuce, better eat them pretty quick as once the weather heats up I’m expecting they’ll bolt. Silly really, we can grow lettuces in Brisbane in the winter, but in the summer when we all want salads – lettuces bolt!

I finished the heavy work by 9:30am which was good because Linda Brennan from Ecobotanica arrived at the farm to give us a workshop on growing “Fruit in Pots”.

Tatiana and Linda at the workshop

While we were walking around the farm and snipping clippings from trees to propagate we came across this cute little fellow. Look closely and you’ll see the tiny tree frog sitting on a kafir lime leaf. If you know the size of one of these leaves, and you see that the frog is sitting on one leaf without it drooping, you can guess how tiny it was. No bigger than the first joint of my thumb.

Happy gardening.

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24 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. MrsYub
    Oct 15, 2012 @ 18:21:36

    Now THAT looks awesome!! I need to do this. I LOVE how it smells straight afterwards! Don’t you?
    Love the frog! Good on ya for noticing him 😉

    Reply

  2. plotcraft
    Oct 15, 2012 @ 18:52:35

    Great photo of the frog. The mulch looks good. It’s a rare day of sunshine here so I’ll be off down the plot later.

    Reply

  3. MrsYub
    Oct 15, 2012 @ 19:17:14

    Agghhh! That’s the second time I have done this today! Not read a blog properly and written a half witted comment about it!! Sorry about that!! I can see you wrote it now too, almost the first thing you said!! Ding Dong!!

    Reply

  4. Heidi @ lightlycrunchy
    Oct 15, 2012 @ 20:44:30

    That looks like a hard days work well done. And it took me a while to see the frog. I saw his little legs first and thought I was looking at a caterpillar. 🙂

    Reply

  5. Tanya @ Lovely Greens
    Oct 16, 2012 @ 17:56:30

    I’m really curious about how you garden through the seasons Jean. I take it that you can grow conventional European crops in the winter and the summer is best left for tropical species? How does it work?

    Reply

    • Allotment adventures with Jean
      Oct 17, 2012 @ 14:31:04

      Hi Tanya. That just about sums it up. Our big planting season in Brisbane is the beginning of autumn – March/April. We can plant just about everything at that time except the tropical fruit and veggies. The beginning of our spring Sept/Oct is when we plant the stuff that can cope with our heat and humidity such as cucumber, eggplant, pineapple, pumpkin, sweet corn, taro, rockmelon, watermelon, yacon, yams and zucchini. And the Asian green seem to do well too.
      The only thing about veggie gardening in our summer is that the pests and diseases are more potent. Having said that, if you plant vegetables that love the heat, they grow like mad and can take over your plot. Last summer I planted a few snake beans which love tropical weather and from just those few seeds I was harvesting like mad until I couldn’t keep up with them.
      Having been raised in England it is completely different gardening here and that is where the ‘adventure’ in my blog comes from.

      Reply

  6. narf77
    Oct 17, 2012 @ 05:52:59

    What a lovely post Jean. I am SO envious that you have workshops with Linda from Ethnobotanica! You are just finishing up with your lettuce and we have a punnet ready to plant out in our glasshouse when it warms up a bit! How very different our climates are in the same country. I love that tiny tree frog. He reminds me of his smaller duller cousin with a pointy nose that we found under a pot the other day when we were planting out trees on the property. I wish we had sugar cane mulch as cheap as I dare say you guys get it in Queensland. Your garden looks wonderful and is a credit to your hard work Jean 🙂

    Reply

    • Allotment adventures with Jean
      Oct 17, 2012 @ 14:37:03

      That you for your kind words Fran. Our gardening is so different up here – so are our pests! Once the weather gets warmer they all seem to come out. Don’t get me started on the fruit fly! But I do love the adventure of gardening up here in Brisbane. I love a challenge.
      That tiny little frog was just beautiful, especially as we do get those great big ugly (and dangerous to dogs) cane toads.
      I didn’t realise that sugar cane was costly down south. I use it with gay abandon. I suppose we get it cheap from the sugar cane fields in Queensland. It does help us get through the summer to use a good layer of mulch.

      Reply

      • narf77
        Oct 17, 2012 @ 14:47:22

        We have a very dry summer down here in Northern Tasmania with very little rain. We have been defoliating all of the long neglected bits of Serendipity Farm and there is a fair bit of bare earth. I have let the nettles do their thing in the area next to the chook pen as we can use them and they can keep the moisture in the soil at the same time but we are in dire need of a LOT of mulch and I think that the only way we are going to get enough is to head off bush and collect a few trailer loads ourselves. We have tree mulch here but as non native Taswegians we are not really in the loop and by the time that we find out about any free stuff left by council it is well and truly gone! I just love looking at photos of your blog because it gives me hope that one day, we will get Serendipity Farm up and running and we might get results like you do 🙂

      • Allotment adventures with Jean
        Oct 18, 2012 @ 06:53:12

        I guess we really are lucky Fran that we can get our mulch so easily, and cheaply. Mind you, I only need one bale with my tiny allotment. Suppose that makes a difference.

      • narf77
        Oct 18, 2012 @ 11:21:17

        My mum swore by it and used to buy it out as quick as it got to her local Bunnings. I am not even sure if we can get it here! We try to stick with the cheapest option and at the moment that might just be mushroom compost as we get the mushies first and then we can use the spent compost as a top dressing like regular compost. I have been composting some of it along with my regular compost in its heap and the red wrigglers that I got for free from a local nursery man who kindly gave me some are breeding exponentially and are going nuts in there. Hopefully I can dig some of them out and start a worm farm with them as the chooks tend to scratch around and try to find them for a juicy snack. Everything is go on Serendipity Farm! We have been chopping wood today for next years wood futures and are knackered. Your allotment is my inspiration Jean 🙂

  7. Kimberly
    Oct 18, 2012 @ 08:13:03

    Your garden looks so nice. I really need to mulch mine.
    I award you http://anathomedaughter.blogspot.com/2012/10/liebster-award-tag-your-it.html
    Have fun!

    Kimberly

    Reply

  8. Pecora Nera
    Oct 23, 2012 @ 23:30:16

    You threw me with the statement “The weather is warming up again”. I had to recheck the date of your post, It was only when I got to “Brisbane” that it clicked that you are in Australia and heading into Summer as we are heading into winter here in Italy.

    Perhaps it is time for a house swap and you can enjoy the fog that has started to roll in from the hills.

    Best of luck with the digging..

    Reply

    • Allotment adventures with Jean
      Oct 25, 2012 @ 10:46:32

      Thank you for your comment and for visiting my blog. Sorry I am tardy with my response as I have been reading your blog and really enjoying it. I am now a follower. I have spent some wonderful holidays in Italy and love reading about your experiences in this beautiful country. The weather is warming up here in Brisbane as I said on my blog and in a month or two when the humidity hits really high and the only comfortable place is beside the air conditioner I am sure I will beg for a house swap, somewhere with a little breeze and a few rolling hills.

      Reply

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