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pezzae in greenripples

Gardens

Hey folks, who is gardening this year? I have planted a bunch of stuff but am having mixed success... something is eating all my bok choy and coriander plants. The sandy soil in our area is a bit of a worry too, though I'm digging in the compost and hoping that will help. On the upside, my potted lettuces all seem to be thriving... mmm homegrown salad.
I'd love to hear what everyone else is planting, how you're dealing with bugs and soil and all the other inevitable setbacks, and the good things too!

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Sandy soil? I dream of sandy soil! Dig down more than a foot or so in my backyard, and I promise you, you will hit clay. At least with sandy soil, building it up isn't all that difficult ... breaking down clay is an exercise in bloody hard work and frustration.

I'm thinking about planting kiwi fruit. Hah - good luck with that - they like good drainage. Good drainage and clay soil are not what I would consider mutual friends ...

I'll have to break out the insecticide to deal with the cherry slug (aka sawfly, actually a type of wasp) soon. I'm not entirely sure what I should do to stop it killing off bees, though ... will have to pull out the bottle and read the instructions.

Do you need/want lemons? I have heaps.
Hah, that's true, it could be worse. The trouble with sand (apart from not having enough organic matter to feed my plants) is it moves so easily. I have to be very careful watering my shallow-rooted seedlings or the sand washes off and leaves the roots exposed and the plant falling over!
Maybe we could each get a big bag of soil from our gardens and swap?

I assume you've checked around for more natural solutions to your cherry slug problem? How annoying. If worst comes to worst maybe you can hand-pollinate??

I am always up for lemons! And it's coming up to summer, the perfect time to drink homemade lemon cordial... When are we likely to next see eachother?
Yeah, I hear you on the movement - that's a real concern. I'm not sure that a clay+sand mix would be all that fantastic - to be honest, I'd rather dig up the topsoil, spread some gypsum over the clay, and put the topsoil back. If all goes well, three years should see the clay somewhat improved.

I did a bit more research - turns out that cherry slug isn't that bad an issue as long as the plant is mature and otherwise healthy. Just unsightly - it eats away at the leaves, leaving only a brown skeleton. Very distinctive. Maybe I should get some chickens - the wasp wraps itself up in a cocoon for the winter, and chickens are very good at digging up and eating them.

Are you going to rhyannonf's birthday party on Sunday? If so, I can bring a bag over then.
Alas, I will be spending Sunday revising my thesis. My weekends are so exciting *rolls eyes*
I wonder if you put some of the citrus gall wasp traps on the cherry tree would that work?
Chickens, if you are permitted to keep them, are awesome. I can't wait till we have a backyard big enough to get some. Fresh eggs :D
Trap on the cherry tree - it might work. Probably not, though - certainly not once the larvae are on the leaves.

I might have to contact the council and see what they have to say about keeping chooks. I'd certainly have to set up a proper hutch to keep foxes and similar out.
Checked on the web. I'm pretty sure that my property falls under the definition of "small premises", and as such, I'd need a permit to keep any chickens. (If it didn't, I'd be allowed to keep six. But no roosters.)

Sigh.
Bron attacked our weedy neglected vegie patch last weekend, and revived the capsicum plants that were still there from last year. Lots of leaves have been munched, but there are four baby capsicums growing there. So we've had good success with them - and hey the plants made it through from last year and are already producing again.

Tomatoes have done OK in the past, but like everything with us, they needed to be watered more. Bron has planted 14 tomato plants, with basil between for this year, and spuds in the next section. We'll see how they go!

We've put a lot of work into the soil - compost, plus digging through the topsoil from the former flower beds, and these recent plants were assisted with seedling mix.

We're not much of gardeners (I even struggled to type it!), especially me, so we'll just have to wait and see what happens this year.
I didn't know capsicums were perenial (is that even the right word?) - I thought they died each year like tomatoes. I've never grown them, obviously, but I have a packet of seeds :o)
So much to learn - I'm glad my dad was into vegie gardening when I was a kid, or I'd have no idea.
Hmm, if you've got sandy soil you might have some success with carrots (I never have had, thanks to clay).

Due to planned Europe trip over January my aim for my vege garden is to plant something low-maintenance, that will hopefully survive a dry and neglectful summer and not need harvesting until we get back. So I'm thinking of filling the whole patch with pumpkin vines! mmm...yummy pumpkin!

Do you think your plants are being eaten by possums, rats, snails or caterpillars? My mum has to practically put cages over her parsley and lettuce to protect it from the possums.
Something small that left bite marks in the leaves, then stripped the poor seedlings down to their stems - it even took the outer layer of stem off, leaving sticks where there were once bok choy :o( I tried putting plastic guards around them (juice bottles cut in half with the end chopped off!) but whatever it was could evidently get over that. I saved the last coriander plant by putting gladwrap over its bottle-guard and a rubber band to keep it secure - with pinholes in the top so it could breathe. That worked ok for a week or two, so evidently not possums (they could have dug up the guard) - I suspect ants, who I've seen crawling round that patch of dirt (I think they farm the aphids on my roses. Ugh, must get ladybugs.) I've just transplanted it to a pot in the back courtyard, where nothing has been eaten - yet - so we'll see how that goes.

Do you want some potatoes? I was inspired by Bron & Kate to plant some (in the hope of getting D interested as he LOVES potatoes - no such luck) but they come in 1kg bags and I don't have anywhere to plant the rest! Though I guess I could just dig up more lawn... I think they would be OK over the summer as you don't harvest them till the plant grows up and then dies off.
I have two stawberry plants (that multiplied to four!) and a basil plant growing. They gota little eaten by a white moth caterpillar, but they seem to be recovering alright.