Spring Round Up; Beans, You say Tomato, Amazing Bush Ecology

Spring is a time of growth in our gardens and in the bush. Right now spring is telling us it’s time to plant, plant, plant and self-seeded seedlings can be seen sprouting all over the place. If you’re careful you can transplant self-seeded tomatoes, lettuce and rocket to places in your garden where you want them, or let nature take her course, but heed the message –  now is the time!

Self-seeding is one of Mother Nature's gifts to us. Like others, they are sometimes hard to recognize in the busy lives we lead. Look out for some in your garden. Here's Mitsuba, Parsley, Feverfew and Red Dock, favourites in my rather shady Food Forest.

Self-seeding is one of Mother Nature’s gifts to us. Like others, they are sometimes hard to recognize in the busy lives we lead. Look out for some in your garden. Here’s Mitsuba, Parsley, Feverfew and Red Dock, favourites in my rather shady Food Forest.

In the bush it’s been a fantastic spring for seeing Australian wildflowers and orchids. Have a look below for some from Box -Ironbark country near Nagambie.

Photo below – Tomato babies at end of September growing in the new greenhouse, although the old foam fruit box with glad wrap over the top would have worked outdoors in a sunny spot as the foam fruit box insulates against the cold. I’m growing lots of heirloom cultivars this year with the extra space and light since the loss of the huge old apricot tree. It’s always lovely to share seedlings with friends too.

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Tomato Seedlings 1

These will be ready to ‘pot on’ in mid October (Look at them in the second photo now!) giving them another couple of weeks in a 50 mm or 75 mm pot to grow stronger before planting out in early November as traditional. I couldn’t resist experimenting with some tumbling varieties I saw for sale and these already have tiny green tomatoes!

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With temperatures finally rising, and sunny days, I’ve seen tiny tomato seedlings that have germinated in the garden, telling me the soil is warming and its time to sow beans.
Bush beans will produce faster but not for as long as climbing beans, which are far slower to produce, so plant some of each for a staggered harvest.
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Have your chickens started laying for spring? My chickens and quails are laying madly. A great way to provide greens for hungry chickens, especially if you’re busy like me, is to put in a ‘green snack bar’. The girls can’t dig up the plants, but can peck though the fence for all the healthy nutrients that will pass on to you through their eggs.

4 reasons to be grateful this morning

4 reasons to be grateful this morning

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This month I got to spend 4 days on an Box-Ironbark Ecology course run by Euroa Arboretum. It was a fantastic opportunity to learn more of the habitats some of the bush food plants I love come from. This is a great course I could thoroughly recommend.

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Flowering beauties from Box Ironbark country – clockwise from top left – Leopard Orchid, Stackhousia sp, Chocolate Lily, Goodenia so. (Note: Tubers of Chocolate Lily are edible)

I can’t wait to share more of what I discovered in my upcoming classes, I’m teaching about bushfoods on the 22 October find out more here.