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Usefull Websites

Seed Companies

  • Royston-Petrie Seeds P.O. Box 1152 Ph: (61) 2 6372 7800
  • Cornucopia Seed Cornucopia Seeds and Plants Ph (03) 5457 1230
  • Select Organic M.S 905, Lower Beechmont 4211 Organic Seeds
  • GreenHarvest 52 Crystal Waters, M.S. 16, MALENY 4552 Ph: (07) 5494 4676
  • Greenpatch PO Box 1285, TAREE, NSW 2430 (02) 6551 4240
  • The Italian Gardener Allsun Farm, PO Box 8050, Gundaroo, New South Wales, 2620 (02) 6236 8173 Italian vegetable seeds
  • Kings Seeds PO Box 2785, Bundaberg, QLD 4670, Australia Tel: 07 4159 4882
  • Phoenix Seeds PO Box 207 , Snug, TAS, Australia 03) 6267 9663 Only postal Very unusual seeds
  • Diggers Fantastic company become a member and help them in their work, they have two sites, St Erith (nr Daylesford) and Heronswood (Mornington Peninsula) and when you become a member you get sent out a free magazine / newsletter
  • Eden Seed M.S. 905, Lower Beechmont 4211 (07) 5533 1107 Lots of information botanical and taste
  • The Lost Seed The Lost Seed PO Box 321 SHEFFIELD TAS 7306 ph: 03 6491 1000 Has a selection of very rare vegetables, and a great free download of sow what when chart

Sunday, August 31, 2008

First Day of Spring

Apple Mint

Various Lettuce s



Vietmanese Mint, likes boggy conditions so I grow it in a pot with out holes


Red Cos

Broad Beans Dwarf


Yogurt Pot collars to protect from snails

Raddish and Pea seedlings

Rainbow Chard

Savoy Cabbage

September in the Vegetable Garden

Well supposedly this is the first day of spring, and getting ready for what to sow this spring. Here is a list of what can be sown in Geelong, in September, although bear in mend that we have had rather a cold year, so check the temperature for certain things.

· Artichoke, Basil, Beetroot, Broad Beans, Broccoli, Cabbage, Capsicum, Carrots, Cauliflower, Celery, Chinese Cabbage, Coriander, Kale, Leeks, Lettuce, S.Onions, Peas, Potatoes, Pumpkin, Rocket, Swedes, Tomato, Turnip, Zucchini

Plan to grow a lot of pumpkins this year, down my shared access laneway. So will be interesting to see how that goes. Today I will check my seeds to see if I have everything, would like to grow a few types of Basil, Royston-Petrie has quite a few varieties. Have sown 20 varieties of Tomatoes at work, obviously I won’t be growing them all at home. I am going to attempt grafting tomatoes and eggplant soon. With the eggplant I will try two rootstocks, Pepinos, Solanum muricitum and Kangaroo Apple, Solanum lancilatum, this will be done at work so I will document the progress.
Everything in the garden is looking great, as we have had a lot of rain this month, nothing really interesting things just ticking over nicely.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Rostered Day Off

Cold Frosty Mornings
Every two weeks I have a Rostered Day Off, due to working nine hour days and this normally means I get to do big jobs in the garden, well two hours as opposed to my normal half hour a week. No matter how I try and convince people, growing vegetables is not hard work....
Pulled up three cauliflowers, and in one bed added three new layers.
  1. Newspaper
  2. Mushroom compost
  3. Leaf Litter

I have decided to use the abundance left by my neighbour after she cleaned her gutters insted of pea straw, it breaks down quicker and is more sustainable, as the transport involves me filling up a bucket and moving it to the bed, and importantly the plants seem to thrive on it. I should of taken pictures as I was going but I didnt, so here is the finished article.

Between the mushroom compost layer and the leaves is my drip irrigation, fed from the wheelie bin, that is fed from my washing machine.

The rest of the garden is showing signs of spring, which is hopefull, even though this morning it is very frosty. The nectarine tree is blossoming which is always joyfull. Growing up in the UK, the cherry blossom brought hope that winter was coming to an end and that the days would get longer and sunnier.

The peas our starting to show, I bit the bullet and put down low toxicity snail bait, high in iron rather than the toxic methyhydrate that kills birds, possums and the local cats (although I did catch a large grey cat staring at my girls one day so one more dead cat would be no loss). Also grwoing them in a hanging basket should put them off.

Last week here in Geelong we had a large amount of rain, so everything is BURSTING out of it's seams. About to get the third crop of broccoli off these plants. After a lot of rain I like to give my plants a big drink of seaweed and they love it.

Notice the drip line

Friday, August 8, 2008

Seed Saving -Brassicas

Seed Saving
Brassica oleraceae-Kale, Broccoli, Cauliflower

Family Brassicaceae

Plant Name Kale-Red Russian, Nero de Toscana, Broccoli-Green Sprouting Calabrese, Cauliflower Romanesco

Botanical Brassica oleraceae

Pollination, Crossing and Isolation Cabbage Flowers must be insect or hand pollinated. All Brassica oleraceae will cross pollinate up to 1km away so only one variety should be allowed to go to seed at a time. Save at least three plants to ensure genetic diversity.

Seed production, Harvest and Processing In early spring cut a shallow X in the top of the head. This will allow an emerging seed stalk to push its way up. The stalk will grow 10-15cm tall before branching out. The seed pods must be allowed to develop fully. When ready, remove the seed stalk and dry away from the direct sun, placing a paper bag over the top. As it dries the seed will fall from the pod into the bottom of the bag.

Viability Seed will remain viable for up to 5 years in ideal conditions (cool and dry)

Store Seed
Save seed in packets written on outside following information
1. Name of Plant
2. Date collected
3. Original origin of seed
4. Where
5. Who
6. Contact details-email or phone

Sunday, August 3, 2008

August in the Vegetable Garden

After my visit to Petty'srchard I was very inspired to get back into the garden, even after the snails had eaten my seedlings of Broccoli Romanesco (Brassica olearacea italica).

So I planted rocket, oak leaf lettuce and curley parsley in a hanging basket, that should stop the little critters. I have done this before and as long as you keep the watering up, green stuff should abound.

In this bed I have celery (apicum) plated deply in the pea straw and surrounded by a yogurt collar to increase stalk and less leaf, surrounding the brassicas yogurt pot collars to hold back the snails. In this bed I have planted Kale Nero di Toscana, which Stephanie Alexandre raves about so wil be good to taste it. Have some Red Russian at work I must bring home.

The lemon tree is flowering really well this year, ammazing what a little compost and water can do (Well I was working in Melbourne)

Pettys Orchard

Heritage Fruits Group Grafting Day

Here at Petty's orchard they show all the different ways you can grow apples. Very very interesting.

I had a beutiful day when I went Heritage Fruit Group's grafting day at Petty's Orchard in Templestow. A long drive from Geelong, but hopefully I can persuade them to come to Geelong next year and do the same thing. I am sure a lot of the members at Geelong Organic Gardeners would be pleased by this. The orchard grows over 200 varieties of apples. It also has lots of examples of how the fruit trees can be trained. Today was about grafting. I arrived at the table and chose my varieties, so many types. I picked up an Apricot, Blenheim and grafted it onto a Plum rootstock, which I was told was quite vigourous and as I wanted to grow it in a pot, it would probably have to be root pruned every couple of years. Below is a picture of my grafted tree re-hydrating after the long drive, poor thing.

I chose some Quinces and as I was talking to the guy (Steve) I discovered that Quince cuttings strike very easily from cuttings, so at $2 each I bought 12. Will grow them on at work in teh glasshouse. Apparently they root really well with botom heat, but can root equaly well without. Had a great couple of hours and bought 8 different quince scions. It will be exciting to see how they all turn out and will keep postings on how they do. I have put them in the fridge until Tuesday.