Nowra 34° 53' S 150° 36' E

Autumn already……?

February 21st, 2012
by Mike Leggett

Hard to believe summer is over….. the bumper crop anticipated following the regular rain and the success with the parsnips, never materialised….. six zuccini plants grew huge and produced a total of 12 fruit; pumpkin spread all over the place and to date, no fruit have been observed; and I’m still waiting for the eggplants to lay! The dwarf beans were the only things to produce (fighting the mozzies during their harvesting….) I’m told the ground might have been too rich, though I added nothing other than a dusting of dolomite; so maybe I should have been regular with the seaweed fertilizer?

So I’ve decided to concentrate on the root crops for the winter months, and try and reproduce the parsnip success, maybe to prove it wasn’t just a fluke! Will also try celeriac, carrot, and the much loved broccoli.

Attention will turn again as the temperatures drop to gradually replacing the ancient English country garden with the kind of natives who will be happy in this place. Whilst I was out the front two days ago, grubbing out a motley corner, heard a small bird’s alarm calls, so strolled over to see what it was all about…. I was just in time to see an adult Red Belly Black slide off into the stormwater culvet next to our block. Unusual to see them so close to the house, but I suppose the extra rain this year has been good for frog breeding and therefore for the red belly’s pantry. This reminded me of a young adult Golden Crown spotted in the garden at the end of the year, looking like a large worm. The variety in this bush side block continues to delight.

3 Responses to “Autumn already……?”

  1. 1 Jo Law
    February 21st, 2012 at 18:28

    We tidied up the garden before we left for Hong Kong in mid-Jan: tied up the tomatoes, netted the fig tree, planted more salad, provided a structure to cucumber, built a new compost…. When we came back 2 weeks later, it was like a jungle. Grass was near high, the tomatoes loamed under the fruit fly nest, cucumber plants growing every which way.

    We’ve been so busy with uni, Hollis, and the exhibition, we virtually let nature takes its course (apart from Redmond mowing the lawn a few times to keep the chickens from disappearing amongst the grass). Tomatoes are hardly producing but cucmber promises to be quite prolific. Not even an inkling of what winter crops to plant.

    We have a Japanese student staying with us at the moment, our idea is to give him a real Aussie experience with the lawnmower!

  2. 2 Lucas Ihlein
    February 24th, 2012 at 12:33

    i can just imagine you, mike, in your akubra, “grubbing out a motley corner” in the great australian tradition!

    except now instead of a million acres a year of land clearance, it’s all about [insert whatever you would call the opposite of clearance], isn’t it?

  3. 3 Mike Leggett
    February 24th, 2012 at 17:00

    Ahh you know that film Lucasshortleftleg……I didn’t realise it was online now….. I’ve recommended it to a friend who wrote a book about his father (who he never met), who was an agricultural ‘advisor’ during that period of land clearance. And no, that’s not what I’m doing – I am restoring native vegetation to replace a fantasy of Euro longing! (Parsnips are a worthy addition to native flora, as I’m sure you will agree…..)