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Chatting With Liz

Liz over at Eight Acres has a very interesting series going, interviewing people who garden about what tips they might have for those beginning the journey.  I vividly remember some of my early gardens, huge expenditure of effort for so little return!  Compared to now, when I can keep my established garden rolling along with just a few hours a week.

So this week it was my turn. I’d love  to hear what you think.  Pop over and have a look.

{ 7 comments… add one }
  • narf7 February 13, 2013, 9:47 pm

    I am most interested in how to garden in arid climates. Northern Tasmania has the unenviable position of an almost complete lack of rain through our summer months. I am trying to be very careful to choose plants that are water wise and hardy but when it comes to annual veggies, they need their water. Just wondering how you improve the soil to keep moisture in it and whether you mulch a lot? A wonderful post and very interesting. I am going to find out where to get your book. Thank you for sharing 🙂

  • Linda February 14, 2013, 9:29 am

    Hi narf7, we have a very dry and hot spring. Thunderstorms usually start bringing rain from late November on, but October and November can be challenging months in my climate. And then, of course, some years we don’t get the late summer rain and it stays dry through to February. My strategies are: build soil – lots of organic matter to hold moisture, and lots of deep structure so plants go deep. Watering infrequently and deeply in the garden – discourage surface rooting by letting the surface dry out, and convincing plants to go deep. Planting advanced seedlings – keeping everything than needs daily watering in the shadehouse. Using shade, particularly from the west, so tall plants on the east and west sides of beds – beans survive full sun and provide good shade. Planting intensively – better off to water a small area than a large one, and close planting keeps soil shaded. Sequential planting, and planning and selecting plants somewhat consciously, so that I’m not watering plants that will go to waste (eg one and only one cucumber vine at a time!). Choosing plants and varieties that are drought hardy (so rocket in place of lettuce, no celery, mini capsicums). And mulch. Lots of mulch. I try for a good 20cm mulch cover before spring.

  • c February 14, 2013, 6:09 pm

    Hi Linda I really find your blog inspiring. I have a small inner city vegie garden and am always battling with my conscience about watering it. Melbourne has been very dry these last few months, at least where I am. I have a compost bin with a bush rat living in it. Is this bad? I mean apart from scaring the willies out of my husband! Thanks c

  • Linda February 14, 2013, 7:44 pm

    We rural gardeners often forget that town water isn’t just a solve-all. We sometimes have to be very frugal with water, but at least I know what my ration is. Bush rats are one of those dilemmas for people committed to wildlife friendly gardening. They do eat things in the garden – they love my beetroot in particular. But there was a really interesting Catalyst program on ABC a while ago about the ecological importance of bush rats. http://www.abc.net.au/catalyst/stories/2981267.htm

  • linda February 14, 2013, 8:37 pm

    Hi Linda I am just starting out again due to moving and the new garden is laid to lawn and still waiting for the greenhouse and potting shed to go up l can get frustrated as I want to get sowing but I am hopeless at designing

    I would like to put so many elements into this garden which I never had before
    in my other gardens like flowers, wildlife pond and area where I plan to put the chickens so my basset hound dose not chase them at present I have to keep my basset on lead when their are free range so it makes it hard to do any gardening as I have keep the dogs in when I want to garden and can not visualise the different areas as yet as waiting for 3 cars to be moved from one side of the garden which takes quite a bit of it up but it has conifers so quite shady but I get there in there in the end
    take care from Linda

  • Linda February 16, 2013, 8:39 am

    Hi Linda, how exciting. I sometimes think the opportunity to start a new garden, fresh, without any past designs blocking the way, would be such fun. I would get out a sketch pad and some coloured pencils and have a play with drawing up a design. Just doodling for starters till ideas start to surface. Then, when you have some ideas, actually measuring and drawing it up properly like a plan. It’s fun to do, and you will so thank yourself later. I’m looking forward to seeing how it all develops.

  • Sandy February 16, 2013, 9:11 pm

    Hi Linda
    It was a great read on Liz’s blog. Even though I’m not just starting out, it was a great reminder of the ‘good bones of gardening’. But then, I always enjoy your blogs and learn a lot from your gardening insights.
    Many thanks
    Sandy

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