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Pesky pests in the garden


Grasshoppers are so cute but not when they are tearing through the leaves of our vegetables. I squash the ones that I am able to catch, but I let the little guy in the photo go though, and released him in a part of the garden that is full of ferns and succulents.  They have already done some damage to several of our kale plants but not as much as caterpillars have. There has been a remarkable number of garden pests I’ve had to deal with in these last few weeks and admittedly, it has been causing me some anxiety.

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What’s growing in my summer garden


In my last post, I shared that our main veggie bed was looking quite unkempt. All of that has now changed, after some intense weeding, soil preparation, planting and mulching by Dan and I. After a year of experimenting in the garden, we now have a good idea of what we use most in the kitchen and what it makes sense to grow more of, rather than dedicating a lot of room to plants that take a long time to mature.

The above would be our priority list, and if we have additional room, we could indulge in some exotic vegetables. What we are planting most of this summer are tomatoes and beans!

If you’d read my last post, you would recall me saying that I got back to Moondance, only to find this vegetable jungle.


And it now looks like this!


Dan bought me a couple of garden gnomes to dress up our garden. This bed was formerly filled with broad beans, parsley and daikon. It is now our lettuce bed, since it gets the least sun in summer. We bought rocket, mixed lettuce and spinach seedlings to hasten the process of having salad on the table.


This is our former lettuce bed, which is still home to perennials like kale and silverbeet (Perpetua Spinach). In it, we have recently planted beetroot, eggplant, coriander and okra. There is also a bulb of fennel, which should be ready to eat in coming weeks. In the small, triangular bed, we have mint and calendula.


In one of our former potato patches, we have planted two zucchini seedlings that we grew from seed. They are both doing well.


And in this other potato, coriander, celeriac and broad bean patch, Dan has planted Australian Butter Beans, Flagrano beans, and Tri-colour beans. The Australian Butter Beans came up really quickly, in around 2-3 days! The other beans took around 7 days.


Admittedly, this bed needs a bit of work. This is going to be our soy bean bed. We also have gaps here and there to fill with seedlings that I’m growing at the moment.


This bed still has loads of room, and the plan is plant more corn, watermelons and cucumbers. To the right of the photo, the unruly tumbling bushes are really just badly staked tomatoes. Our 4 zucchini plants, which have been very generous in the last 7 weeks, are next to it.


Did you notice my mammoth sunflowers? It took close to three months before they both bloomed. Although they are of differing heights, they bloomed just days apart. Both are taller than I am, and one of them is taller than Dan, who’s height is greater than 1.8m. Next to it, we have two corn plants. We really should have grown more.


This was our onion, carrot, herb and etcetera bed. Our onions and carrots didn’t do so well, so we will try again in another spot.  We might grow some soy beans in this bed, since we are gunning for an epic crop for freezing, so that we can stop buying bags of edamame from our favourite Asian store, because we suspect that they are GM beans.


Outside the veggie beds, we also have some small, individual plots where we are planting tomatoes, Purple King Beans, sweet potatoes, taro and also soy beans.


Here are some seedlings that I will be planting soon, there are more in the kitchen, where we germinate all our seeds. It’s the only space we have indoors that is mostly warm.


In a few week’s time, I’ll be back in Singapore, so I need to make sure everything is planted… and I’ll be back around two month’s later, for harvest time!


Summertime at Moondance!

I’ve been quite quiet of late, that’s because I have been busy with work and I had some internet bandwidth restrictions since I arrived in Australia. As we live in a relatively remote area, we use satellite internet and we have a very low peak-hour quota, so I need to blog during off-peak hours, which means after 11pm up to noon the following day. And we usually max out on that quota too.

It’s officially summer in Australia, which means it’s time to sow lots of tomatoes and yummy vegetables, and it also means beach time! There’s lots to do at this time of the year, although it is getting quite hot, and unfortunately it’s been quite dry too, even in the rainforest. The soil is cracking on parts of the property, and the creek is low. We are awaiting the big rains with eager anticipation, our land needs it.

In the two months that I had been away in Singapore, my boyfriend, Dan had been sending me lovely photos of our potato, tomato and zucchini crops. Upon my return, I realised that our other garden beds had become overgrown with weeds, and some of my beloved plants had died – claimed by the elements, he tells me. Hmmm…


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