Monday, 17 February 2014

It must be seed raising time!

Being a novice gardener who doesn't really know what she is doing and relies on other more experienced gardeners to give guidance as to when to plant certain seeds, I have noticed the excitement on gardening blogs about the imminent season change from summer to autumn here in Australia. Everyone seems to be writing about planting seeds so I have been trying to learn as much as I can so that we can grow more of our own veggies and reduce the amount we need to buy.

I had quite a learning curve last year when I planted cabbages for the first time. I had never heard of the cabbage moth before so had a rude awakening when I discovered all these tiny little eggs on the back of my nicely growing cabbage leaves. I asked the very helpful Down to Earth Forum members about the eggs and before long had become educated about how to get rid of the pests.
This year we will be prepared as we bought some insect nets from Netpro in Stanthorpe and once the beetroot in our watersaver garden is ready to eat it will be replaced by cabbage seedlings and we will be able to attach the net over the garden and hopefully keep out the cabbage moth. That's the plan anyway. Another deterrent one of the DTE members used was to cut out butterfly shapes from a white ice cream container and string them over the cabbages which apparently worked well in her garden.
Lately I heard about The Seed Collection in one of the comments on Rhonda's  Down to Earth blog when she was writing about planting seeds here and here.
Most of the seeds are $1 a packet and postage is free with orders $5 and over so I bought some Purple Broccoli and Savoy-Verona Purple Cabbage...

...Silverbeet and Fenugreek... well as Zucchini and Chinese Cabbage. I presume it is a bit late for zucchini but I just planted two seeds as a little experiment. We have plenty of other seeds to plant that we have saved from our own crops so hopefully we will get some rain this week to help them all along...once I have planted them of course. :-)
Another great source of inspiration is Anne Gibson's The Microgardener. Anne's last post is about raising seeds and there is heaps of info there for beginners as well as for more experienced gardeners. Anne's website is a great one to visit if you don't have a large garden as she has some innovative ideas for gardening in a smaller area.
Two of my favourite gardeners are Rob Bob from Ipswich whose latest YouTube video is about growing plants from store bought produce and Jeff Heriot from Buderim on the Sunshine Coast. Overseas readers might like to see him handfeed a kookaburra which visits his garden  in one of his latest videos . Check out his fantastic garden. Rob Bob has done a lot of experimenting with wicking beds in an effort to save water. I love the way both these gardeners experiment with different methods of growing plants. They are unpretentious and their videos are so unlike the slick presentations of some TV garden shows where everything grows perfectly.

We have just had a couple of really hot days and the garden is badly in need of a good drink so hopefully the much predicted showers will finally put in an appearance by mid-week. Most Aussies are now looking forward to some cool weather after unprecedented heatwaves and our overseas friends are looking forward to the warmth of spring and summer. Happy gardening everyone!



  1. I must admit the idea of working outside without enough layers to make me look like a snowman myself is gaining ground. I love winter but this one has been a little longer than I was prepared for! Seeds are getting ready for indoor starting so that I can jump the gun and plant at least one thing too early and have it freeze - something of a tradition! :)

  2. Kathy, it has been a dreadful winter for you over there. We have been seeing coverage on the news. You will certainly appreciate the warmth of spring this year.

  3. Yes Nanna Chel everyone seems to be so excited for the new season around here too. My daughter and i were walking home from kindy yesterday, and we saw quite a bit of people getting their gardens ready! One house even had two pallets in the midst of being lined to become a raised garden bed! It's really a pretty sight.

  4. Mrs Meagre, how were they making that raised bed with pallets? I must go back to The Microgardener site and have a look as I think Anne may have had a photo there. I had been intending to make a vertical garden with one lot of pallets we have but forgot about the other type. Thanks.

  5. Oh i have absolutely no idea Nanna chel. All I know was that one pallet was face up, and the one beside it was flipped over. As we walk home everyday i shall take a peek to see how they go with it. I haven't seen the gardener out, but i have seen a lovely lady pruning the roses on the footpath in front. i was too shy to ask. Perhaps they mean to sow rows of veg in the overturned pallet like this?


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