Forward Planning

My friends have just moved to a new home which does not have much in the way of a garden, except for lawn, some undistinguished shrubs and a photinia hedge around the back yard (not my favourite plant). On the plus side this does mean that they are not too distressed at changing what is currently there to a new design that will include raised veggie beds, a pergola and a small orchard.


A design concept from the youngest member of the family.

Before they moved they did at least have sufficient time to transplant some of their prized asparagus plants to the new garden. The asparagus is already taking advantage of their warm northerly aspect and are pushing their spears up out of the ground. Envy, envy, envy. I don’t expect to see our asparagus for the better part of a month yet.

Back at Chez Fork we are also shifting and renewing garden beds. So what’s new? With the Palais des Poules in place we’ve lost several square metres where we used to grow vegs. Next to the chook pen TB has built a mound to grow pumpkins. The aim is to encourage the pumpkins to grow up a trellise (not yet in place) along the western end of the chook pen. Hopefully the chooks will get some shade and the pumpkins will be marginally more constrained than they are most years.


We have just taken a delivery from Eden Seeds including a new pumpkin for us Styrian Hull-less, the latter referring to its ability to grow good pepitas. We also have two varities of tomatoes to try Lecase di Apulia: a plum shaped red fruit to 50mm, Italian drying type, small bush plants. We like having lots of tomatoes for saucing and pulping. The second is Thai Pink Egg: jade-pink egg shaped fruit to 40mm use fresh and in salads, sweet firm flesh, incredibly prolific, resists cracking even in heavy rain areas.


After last summer’s drenching rains when we lost almost all of our Black Krims to splitting, a plant that resists cracking seems a good idea.

Finding room to grow potatoes is a perennial question for us. A crop large enough to provide a year long supply takse up a lot of space.  We’ve considered getting a plot at a community garden solely to grow potatoes. We already have one lot spuds growing in the giant purple pot, from which we got several kilos of spuds earlier this year.


Growing up is definitely the way to go so TB made a cylinder out of large chicken wire, supported by several stakes. He then started layering it with compost, straw and some blood and bone, adding potatoes as he went. I’m told that there are three layers of potatoes in here already. Of course it will all settle down over time so more layers and more spuds will be added in the coming weeks. This must be a good idea as they showed how to make one on Gardening Australia last night!