Saturday, 17 September 2016

In My Garden - September 2016

The year's at the spring 
And day's at the morn; 
Morning's at seven; 
The hillside's dew-pearled;
The lark's on the wing;
The snail's on the thorn;
God's in His heaven-
All's right with the world!
~Robert Browning


(Well, oops! I wrote this post at the beginning of September and then promptly forgot to add photos and publish. Better late than never I guess.)

Spring is here and the weather is perfect! All is right with the world especially at seven in the morning in the garden. Our young tropical apple trees are in flower and our choko vine is growing rambunctiously.



This month I am want to plant-
Vegetables: Pumpkin and beans the seeds of both are sown directly into the garden bed. I would also like to plant potato's but I have been a bit late this year obtaining some tubers.

Pumpkins need fertile, well-drained, well-composted soil and full sun to grow and fruit well. Mostly pumpkins are grown on the ground, somewhere where there is the space for them to spread. Sometimes the smaller varieties of  pumpkins are grown up a strong trellis. I will be planting my seeds into mounds of good compost. As pumpkin vines are shallow rooted I will need to make sure they are kept watered in hot, dry or windy weather. Problems to watch out for are the larvae and adults of the 28 spotted ladybird, and mildew. These problems can be dealt with by picking off the Ladybirds and their larvae and spraying the mildew with  a solution of one part milk to 10 parts water and spraying this fortnightly.

The Bird of Paradise have come back into flower.

 The beans I am planting are climbing beans so I will need to plant them next to a fence or trellis, or make myself some tripods from some garden stakes.  The beans I am planting will grow to about 2 metres and I will be planting them about 10 to 15 centimetres apart. They take about 3 months from planting until they are ready for harvesting. Beans like well-drained soil in full sun.  I will plant them into damp, well composted soil and add a bit of blood and bone on top of the soil after planting. After that I won't be adding fertiliser as beans fix their own nitrogen, but I will water them with a seaweed solution once they have flowered.

Herbs: I would like to plant some Rosemary seeds. I will need to sow them in punnets and then transplant them when the time is right. Each plant will grow to about 1.5 metres and spread about 1 metre, and I will be planting mine about 50 cm apart.  According to some gardeners, Rosemary is a good companion plant to broccoli, beans and cabbage. It has a reputation of repelling bean beetle, cabbage moth and cabbage fly.   However it is best not to plant Rosemary with carrots, potatoes, or pumpkins.    I love to use Rosemary when roasting lamb. How do you use Rosemary?

Ornamentals: For colour and for attracting bees I want to sow two of my favourite flowers cosmos and blue cornflower. Cornflowers are a native of the United Kingdom, they look really pretty when sown along with poppies. Which now come to think of it I just may do.  Normally I would wait until autumn to sow my cornflower seeds but the seeds I have are getting toward their best before date so I need to plant them now. I am not sure, but I think they may not flower until next spring, but I will have to just wait and see.  I will be planting the cornflower seeds about 1.5 cm deep in a sunny spot in well-drained soil. When they come up I will I will thin them out (the part I hate!) as each plant needs about 35cms space around them.  Did you know that cornflowers are used in certain tea blends, one is Twinings Lady Grey? Cornflowers are also used as a companion plant to cereal crops such as wheat, oats and barley. This is such an interesting plant I may do a full plant profile for cornflowers at some stage.

Hovea in flower

Cosmos are native to Mexico and also like  a sunny spot. I will be planting the seeds in moist, well-drained soil in another part of the garden. It is a good idea not to over fertilise cosmos as it can encourage them to be top heavy, but I may need to stake them anyway. Some gardeners recommend growing cosmos in hot, dry conditions and in poor to average soil. Perhaps this is close to their native growing conditions? Some gardeners also find that cosmos make good companion plants as they repel pest insects and attract ladybugs and other beneficial insects to prey on them. They grow to about 120cms.


What are you planting this month?

12 comments:

  1. Sherri, it is a pity we don't live closer as I pulled out a lot of Rosemary the other day to make way for the new Lemongrass plant. It grows so easily from cuttings. I haven't planted a lot of seeds as yet as I have been waiting for the soil to warm up but the weather is all over the place and it was only 8C this morning. Oh well!

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    1. Chel our weather is starting to heat up and I can see week-end all day gardening sprees will be coming to an end shortly. You're right it is a pity we don't live closer as I know there are a few things from your garden I would be taking cuttings of :-)

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  2. My chooks have decimated my pumpkin seedling thrice. I have 3 seedling left and am going to try using a wicking box.....let see how that goes

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    1. Using a wicking box for your pumpkins sounds like a good idea at this stage.

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  3. I love cornflowers and cosmos too, Sherri. The cornflowers are in bloom in my garden and a whole bunch of cosmos have sprung up, of their own accord, in the garden. They are so pretty and I love the way they wave in the wind. I love pungent rosemary and have it growing in one of the hotter, drier spots in my garden. I love to cut up cubes of potato, toss them in olive oil with finely chopped rosemary, seasalt and pepper. I bake this and it's delicious. I love the little blue flowers on my rosemary too. I once had a pink flowering form but don't any more.

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    1. Thanks Meg for that recipe. It sounds delicious and I am going to give it a try.

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  4. Spring... it's always such good perspective for me to read about life in the other hemisphere. Fall is just starting here and the leaves are beginning to turn. I fear my little garden was sorely neglected this year - still, I've got more cucumbers and tomatoes than I know what to do with.

    I managed to keep a rosemary plant alive over last winter - I put a wall-o-water plant protector around it and made a little tee-pee out of metal stakes so that it was closed at the top. I just used some on a chicken I roasted the other day - it's finally getting to be cool enough for roasting! If I can keep it alive over another winter I may try planting some kale or cabbage next to it.

    And I've had terrible luck with garden cosmos. Other folks in the neighborhood seem to be able to grow them like weeds, but mine always turn out all plant and no flowers. I can't imagine that they're getting too much nitrogen as I didn't fertilize at all. It's a mystery...

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    1. Our winters are really mild and the best time of the year to be in the garden. I used to want to move to the Australian state of Tasmania so I could escape the heat of our summer and experience cold winters. Now I am older that idea doesn't appeal to me at all. My Cosmos last year were a real no-show, this year I am having better luck.

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  5. What aren't I planing this month? With all this rain about, I'm planting seeds madly. I'm excited to see what pops up. New to me is hot chilli, as I realised recently, they taste better in chilli, than the ground stuff. I just used the seeds from the store bought chilli, but hoping to grow and save my own.

    I love to use rosemary in lamb roast too, but I also like to bring a sprig inside, and leave it on a bench. It's decorative, but also smells nice. Rosemary does really well here.

    Your garden looks nice and colourful in spring, and I hope you get a lot of surprises from it. I actually grew my climbing beans down a retaining wall - because that was the vertical space I had to use. :)

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    1. That is a clever idea - growing your beans down a retaining wall. Good luck with the gardening and the rain.

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  6. Such a lot going on in your garden Sherri! Our spring in Queensland is not quite as spectacular as elsewhere but we all love it regardless. My pumpkins are in grow-bags this year, and I'm hoping they will ramble all over a bare bit of concrete up the back. I love Rosemary and have quite a bit of it around. Recently I used it as part of my Dad's remembrance occasion, and I've also made tea by infusing the leaves...good for the memory they say!

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    1. I need some of that tea Hutchy! I could do with an improved memory. I am noticing new happenings in the garden all the time at the moment. It is a lovely time of year especially as the rain has kept the grass green. But oh dear, the midges are bad at the moment.

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