Sunday, July 13, 2014

Winter jobs in my Garden

Its the middle of winter and the jobs are not slowing down. In between the showers of rain, digging becomes far easier (if though a little more muddy, as my floors can testify). Getting trees and new rose bushes in becomes the order of the season in my garden. I fear for next year, as I seem to have over done this year already! But I'm sure I will surprise myself somehow, someway.

Fruit Trees

If you have been following my earlier posts, you know that I have a fruit tree addiction in full swing this year. I've rezoned my front yard into a fruit garden with a landscaping design element (Pinterest inspired).

My inspiration came from this picture from - which uses crab apple trees with their pink blossoms. So my five ballerina apples now mimic this curve.

We decided to unpot our dwarf Mandarin tree as it was just not thriving.

Having dug out the big rose bush near to the front door, we made space for the tree. It was while we we were unpotting it that we discovered just how dry and horrible the potting mix had become. I had only watered the tree a couple of hours earlier, and yet there was no sign of an moisture having been held.

No wonder!

TOP TIP: Use a good loamy soil in pots in future, steering clear of bagged potting mixes.
I seem to have a consistent bad run with potting mix bags. They rarely hold the moisture or nutrients these days.

When planting out a tree or repotting, make sure that the canopy it lightly trimmed back to help reduce shock. Water in well with Seasol solution.

Flowering Plants

Planted a couple of Helleborus plants in the front yard called Winter Sunshine, too. Love their pale, green tinged flowers. Ideal for semi-shade conditions so close to the house.

Picture via
This plant, I cannot even recognise as the plant I have planted because it goes through a sort of metamorphosis. Its called Cytisus Callimorei Volcano (AKA Burkwood's Broom). I just called it my Volcano plant. Right now it looks like a green ornamental long thick grass. Completely green. By Spring it should take on the bright orange it is so famous for.


Two new roses have been planted in my gardens. One in the front and one out the back next to the espalier plum tree.

As they are still 'sticks' there's not much to show, but I can tell you the names of the varieties I have chosen this year:

  • Geewiz Rosa Generosa Bush Rose (Maselgi) - very heavily fragrant rose (no images available)
  • Floribunda 'Bonica' - apple fragrance


Vegetable Garden

Its been so quiet in my veggie garden, but I've had a flurry of activity this week in there with planting more chard (silver beet) and kale. Its a leafy greens time of year. My chickens will love the sound of that, especially when I peg some up for them on their coops for snacks.

Kale tucked in under their warm blanket of chopped straw.
But its also the time of year when manures need to be added to resting garden beds, in anticipation of Spring planting.

I've varied my fertilisations among the garden beds. Some with well rotted chicken manure, some with compost and well rotted cow manure, and then I have sown two beds with a Green Manure crop.

When school resumes at our local Primary School after the winter holidays, I will be getting the gardening students to plant their very first Green Manure crop to teach them how to add nitrogen to the soil without using animal waste. I am sure they will find it amusing when I send them out with their craft scissors to cut the crop down to size a couple of times before we uproot the lot, let it rot down and later dig it all back in. Fingers crossed it improves the untreated and very shady garden beds stuck under those gum trees.

Currently harvesting: Turnips

Can't wait for Spring! Getting all the hard work done now in the winter months to produce an abundance for the year ahead.

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