How does your garden grow?

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Hi All,

Well our garden is growing particularly well thanks to a spate of hot weather that we have been having recently combined with the fridge wicking potential that has kept the veggies happily growing with no wilting despite some seriously hot sunshine outside. I wanted to show you how Narnia is going and so I decided to take a photo of each of the fridge wicking beds (all 14 of them) inside the enclosed space. Here’s a rundown of what we have planted in the beds and how they are growing.

Bed 1

We will start from the wicking bed the furthest away from the doorway in Narnia. This garden bed is a double fridge/freezer combo and has given us a good amount of space to garden in. We replanted a small red seedless grape vine that had been in the ground inside Sanctuary for 2 years but that we figured was dead. It was overwhelmed by youngberries ( “I” am overwhelmed by youngberries and their crazed desire to take over the world) and once we found it. languishing among the tangle, we decided that it would make a great addition to Narnia where it could grow up the sides and over the top of the structure. We planted out coriander and round carrot seedlings as well as a punned of what was being called “Japanese Spinach”. The day that Bok Choy is “Japanese Spinach” will be a cold day in hell Bunnings! Shame on you for flogging something that NO-ONE is buying because it’s not very nice. Once we realised what it actually was we have no problem with the local slug population gorging themselves on it. It’s our decoy crop πŸ˜‰

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Fridge wicking bed 1

The grape vine is MUCH happier in it's new fridge wicking bed.
The grape vine is MUCH happier in it’s new fridge wicking bed.

 

Bed 2

This bed is somewhat smaller than most of the other fridge wickers but we planted out two punnets of “Sweetheart” strawberries as well as some of that (mutter…mutter…) “Japanese Spinach” (cough!). Again, the slugs are going mental over the stuff. I nowΒ know for sure that slugs have NO tastebuds. They are leaving the strawberry plants alone though so “Knock yourselves out slugs!”

Fridge wicking bed 2

 

Bed 3

The third fridge wicker brings us to the last of the “Japanese Spinach” (still twitching after being fooled) and this bed has chillies in it. The two kinds that we planted were “Inferno” (Steve’s choice and “he” is going to have to eat the hot little buggers!) and “Hungarian Hot Wax”, still hot, but bearable hot. We also planted out some chives and the odd strawberry that we could find in the fridge wicking bed.

Fridge wicking bed 3

 

Bed 4

This bed shows how useful the freezer section of our fridge wickers are. We have used the smaller section for anything that tends to get invasive or that is perennial and may not like being disturbed with repeated cropping. You can see a small replanted strawberry plant that I rescued from Sanctuary and the now defunct (overgrown) boat wicking bed. We are going to remove all of the soil and rocks and relocate the boat wicking bed to a better location where it will be a feature in our house garden as a wicking herb garden bed. I transplanted the garlic chives in the front of the bed from Sanctuary as we had to prepare the beds ready for fruit and nut trees. It’s much happier inside Narnia where it gets regularly watered and isn’t overgrown by pumpkins and nasturtiums.

In the larger rear section we have the first of our beetroot plants. We went mental with beetroot seedlings this year. We both love them as they are incredibly useful vegetables as both the root and the leaves are tasty. We harvest leaves from them till the root is ready to harvest and they are incredibly easy to grow. We bought two punnets of them and then saw some throw out veggie seedlings and bought two more so we have a LOT of beetroots growing in our fridge wicking beds.

Fridge wicking bed 4

 

Bed 5

The large leaves in the front of the fridge wicking bed are horseradish. It wasn’t doing very well in the pot that I bought it in and I thought it had died over winter in Sanctuary but it turns out it was just waiting to be relocated into a fridge wicker where it suddenly exploded into life and is growing insanely. You can use both the leaves and the root of horseradish so happy days for us.

I like colourful veggies so we bought a punnet of mixed rainbow silverbeet (chard) and there are some more beetroots and chillies in this bed to keep them company.

Fridge wicking bed 5

 

Bed 6

More silverbeet and chillies and beetroots as well as some of Steve’s spring onions that are harder to see. In the front bed is a lemongrass plant. I want to trial it in the smaller section of the bed as I want to see how it goes in our climate before giving it a larger bed of it’s own.

Fridge wicking bed 6

 

Bed 7

I divided the clump of garlic chives that I rescued from Sanctuary into two sections and planted them in separate freezer sections of different beds to have the best chance of at least one of them surviving. They both did and one remains in Sanctuary growing happily but nowhere near as happily as its relocated brethren.

More silverbeet and chillies and the first of the adventitious potato plants that grew from small tubers that were in the soil that we barrowed down from the rear of Sanctuary. We did our best to remove them whenever we saw them but we obviously missed a few and they are happily growing with the rest of the veggies.

Wicking bed 7

 

Bed 8

I did have a nice basil plant growing in the front section of this fridge wicking bed but the slugs are partial to basil as well and scoffed it down to a stalk. One of those missed spuds has taken up the slack and although they look a bit thin on the ground, Steve’s spring onions are doing their best to fill in the gaps. More silverbeet and beetroot and chillies in the rear of this bed.

Wicking bed 8

 

Bed 9

The front of this bed is full of happy beetroot that are thriving in the fridge wicking beds and the rear of the bed contains the first of our rampant celery plants. You might be able to spot the odd spring onion among the other plants. Steve dotted them all over the place.

Wicking bed 9

Bed 10

We are starting to get to the shadier end of Narnia. The capsicums in this section have been getting a bit of a hammering from the slugs as they have taken up residence in the overflow tubes and my sense of revenge is ignited when I fill the beds with water from the hose and watch them squeeze in alarm out of the overflow holes and floop onto the ground. The slugs we have on Serendipity Farm are HUGE. They are called leopard slugs and are as happy eating other slug species as they are eating my veggies. More celery and beetroot and chives in this bed give us a really eclectic mix overall. The slugs days are numbered when the tadpoles, who are rapidly growing legs now, turn into frogs and take up residence in Narnia.

Wicking bed 10

 

Bed 11

This bed was going to solely be for celery but as you can see I have relocated a couple of strawberry plants in here as well. The slugs had some fun chewing the tops off these celery plants so they haven’t grown as fast as their compatriots in other beds. As you can see, the garden behind Narnia is benefiting greatly from the placement of the wicking beds. When I fill the beds up the overflow pipes tend to leak a bit and the garden is loving the extra bit of water it gets through our long dry summers.

Wicking bed 11

 

Bed 12

As you can see its a lot shadier in this part of the garden thanks to a very large eucalyptus tree in this section. This bed has a San Manzano tomato plant in the rear of the bed, more beetroots and chives and an eggplant. There is another eggplant in one of the previous beds but I can’t for the life of me work out which one! It’s flowering and hopefully we get some fruit as they are striped white and purple. Note the interesting fill pipe on this fridge. We used every bit of recycled poly pipe that we could find on the property and this was from an old down pipe from the shed.

Wicking bed 12

Cardamom plants
The front of the garden bed is a cardamom nursery. They were languishing underneath the tangle that was Sanctuary and I presumed that the two pots of cardamom that I had planted out years ago were dead. I was most surprised to see them struggling on. I divided them into separate plants and they are starting to send out new leaves. This hot weather that we have been having has obviously galvanised them into action.

 

Bed 13

A large Grosse Lisse tomato as well as a chilli plant that Steve decided he wanted to have. I can’t even remember what kind it is but it’s happy. Lots of Steve’s favourite lettuce and another cardamom plant (this time not divided) make up the contents of this bed. Note the red and yellow handle of one of my garden weeding tools. This one attaches to a long pole and can be used to hoe weeds as well.

Wicking bed 13

Cardamom and lettuce plants
More cardamom but this plant wasn’t separated. I wanted at least one of them to survive (not knowing if the other separated one would make it) and some Lolla rosa lettuce that happens to be Steve’s absolute favourite lettuce.

Bed 14

And we have made our way back to the very first bed as you walk into Narnia. This bed has purple congo potatoes that I wanted to keep going. I wanted to see how potatoes grow in wicking beds so this bed was my experiment. It also has a few beetroots, the odd lettuce and a tomato plant that we didn’t expect to live or thrive but that surprised us by giving us 3 tomatoes for our Christmas table.

Wicking bed 14

Mint bed
The freezer section of this wicking bed contains spearmint that I sourced from Earl’s favourite dog walking track in Launceston. It was doing incredibly well and suddenly succumbed to an outbreak of some kind of rust. I cut it back to see if it will recover but if it rusts up again it’s “outta there!”

We have 5 more beds that we have placed in strategic positions near the back door to protect their contents from possum invaders. No possum in their right minds would want to put themselves at risk of Earl-the-wonder-dog aka “He who must be feared with the big teeth and the fast feet” (his Possum name) bursting out of the dog door at any given time.

The first beds that we planted out are growing merrily and kept us in plenty of lettuce although everything but the Lolla rosa lettuce is sprinting to see with this hot weather. Here’s one of the fridge wickers with three different kinds of cherry tomato growing and under that mass tangle of leaves are other (as yet unfilled) wicking beds, lettuces and a poor thyme plant that I am going to have to locate and dig out STAT if I want it to survive. Tomatoes are like triffids and given good conditions will try to take over the world.

Triffid tomato bed

 

I have planted one of the last fridge wicking beds that we managed to fill before we ran out of easy to find soil with Japanese sweet potatoes that had been hanging around in the bottom of my sweet potato basket. Japanese sweet potatoes have dark red skin and white flesh and I am assured by my good friend “Google Chrome”, Β grow much like regular potatoes. I am experimenting to see if they grow by planting them like regular spuds. If they don’t grow, nothing lost and they will fertilise the bed ready for another experiment. I am thinking about trialing some peanuts and some chickpeas to see how they go. I keep checking the lady at the top of our blocks little plant stand as she often has interesting pots of garden excess plants for sale for $2 a pot. I picked up a loganberry complete with thorns that I am going to plant on the fence. Best of luck getting that fruit possums! I walked Earl yesterday while Steve whipper snipped the front ti tree garden area with Bezial keeping watch on him and was most happy to find a gooseberry plant for sale on the stand. I am going to have to check that stand more often!

Plants from the $2 plant stand up the road
A collective of pots that I have bought from the plant stand up the road including a gooseberry, the loganberry (with a single fruit on it), a violet plant called “Freckles” (How could I resist that?) and a plant that I can’t for the LIFE of me remember it’s name but I love it so I bought another one. I buy them every time I see them on the plant stand and one day I will have enough to make a nice hardy feature in the garden somewhere.
Turmeric shoots
“O Frabjous Day!” My turmeric is alive! Steve kept telling me that it took ages to grow last year but I was starting to despair. I guess our growing season was somewhat late to the arena but it’s here with bells on now and so is the turmeric πŸ™‚

 

So that’s how Narnia is going and Sanctuary’s plantings are almost as happy with regular drip irrigation that seems to be doing the trick a whole lot better than my frantic two hour hosings in the early mornings. I just wanted to show how well the fridge wicking beds are going. Now I have to start planting out some seeds to ensure we are able to take advantage of succession sowing. I am going to have to clear out the glasshouse first! Catch you all soon πŸ™‚

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51 Comments Add yours

  1. Jane says:

    Hi Fran
    Your fridge beds are amazing. All that hard work certainly paid off. I hope you post photos throughout the year so we can see the succession planting evolve. At the moment for a number of reasons fridges are not for me. However I bless you every morning when I am filling my bottle olas I now have an almost lush veggie patch with zucchini coming out of my ears, so to speak and cucumbers probably going to do the same. Thank you thank you thank you. I think you mentioned you were going to put fruit trees in Sanctuary, and also you had a lot of rocks. Have you heard of talus garlands? and have you considered using your rock to make some for your trees. I came across references to them at http://columbiabasinpermaculture.com and when I looked into them I envied you your rocks, I don’t have any.
    Happy and fruitful New Year to you and Steve.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. narf7 says:

      Wow! You just taught me something that I had never heard of. I am SO glad the olas are working for you. They were the reason why Sanctuary didn’t disappear into dust last year. The reason we have so many rocks on our property is that we are perched on an extinct volcanic range and there are large sheets of rock and heavy clay under our soil that direct water away from the soil and down to the bottom of the property. There are two distinct types of trees on our property and where they are situated is a telltale story. At the top of the property we have sheoak trees. They are very drought tolerant and will grow in very dry conditions. At the bottom of our property we have ti trees, that are swamp trees. I didn’t think about this when we moved in and had stars in my eyes about how I was going to have an amazing cottage garden. Aside from the wallabies and possums who have VERY different ideas to me about my cottage garden and roses in general, the soil just doesn’t stay damp for very long and if it isn’t kept watered it dries out along with whatever else happens to be growing in it. It also sets rock hard. I just headed off and checked out what the talus garland effect actually was and I have a new enthusiasm for our rocks. We hate having to dig holes in our soil at the best of times. A small hole will be 80% rocks and we always have to find more soil to back fill plants that we are planting. Your enthusiasm for gardening has returned with your ola and mine has returned with our fridge wicking beds. The power of the internet gave us both back our enthusiasm and our hope. I am SO glad I could help you with sharing. It makes blogging so much easier when you know that you might be able to give someone else out there a bit of hope. Thank you for the excellent link and for sharing about the talus garland effect. I am going to start collecting the rocks that we dig up now and stockpile them in large heaps so that we can echo this principle. Happy and fruitful New Year to you as well Jane and enjoy the heck out of your veggies πŸ™‚

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  2. Hi Fran, As I was reading this post, I was imagining your and Steve’s pleased (or smug) smiles as you viewed your vegetable bounty. Let the beetroot feast begin! – grated raw beetroot, steamed and baked beetroot, beetroot relish/chutney, pickled beetroot, beetroot dip, chilled beetroot soup. Have you tried golden beetroot?
    I am surprised Bok choi is regarded with disfavour except by slugs. Perhaps it tastes differently in Tasmania and yes, Bunnings labels need to be treated with caution.
    Good Luck with your harvest!

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    1. narf7 says:

      Maybe it isn’t Bok Choi Margaret but it tastes like mustard and is hot. I don’t mind the odd bitter veg or mustardy leaves but this is NOT spinachy at all ;). I think we have golden beetroot in the mix we bought so I might just be able to try them from our own garden :). No smugness here, just incredible gratefulness for the people who shared their ideas about using fridges to make garden beds and about making wicking garden beds. Without their pioneering ideas we would be floundering in the dark and would have given up completely and let the wallabies and possums have it all. There is an amazing amount of information out there and that’s why I am blogging. To show other people who might not have a lot of cash that they can grow veggies and do a lot of things for themselves. Bunnings now has a plant guarantee. I was just about to take advantage of it when I realised that my kiwi berry had croaked it from too much water but then it decided to regrow. I hear they are actually being banned in some states in America for being invasive. I doubt mine will ever grow big enough to attain that kind of power πŸ˜‰

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  3. Jo says:

    This looks magnificent! All that hard work really has paid off! Succession planting though, is the bit that always eludes me. Working on it! I am going to try to comment without a blog link to see if wordpress will finally let me onto your site after multiple attemps..

    Much love, Jo from All the Blue Day

    Liked by 1 person

    1. narf7 says:

      Hi Jo. You made it! In order to comment on your blog I have to jump through hoops as well. They have made the two blogging platforms incredibly difficult to communicate between but if you are determined, you can do it. I enter my username and my blogs URL and it lets me post on your page now. I couldn’t do it before. I still can’t comment on some Blogger blogs but at least now with the new Google reCAPTCHA I can actually comment on some of them (yours included). Thankyou for your comment. It has been hard work to get here but we are finally able to grow something and the hot weather we have been having has certainly helped in that respect. I love that everything stays upright in our hot sunshine and I don’t come out to a limp garden in the evening. I think the water reservoir in the bottom of the fridges keeps the soil moist so the plants roots are never lacking and that keeps the rest of the plant able to stand against the heat of our ozone free sun. I know that fridge wicking beds are not for everyone but I really do think that you could tart them up incredibly if you had a bit of designer flair. My friend popped in to take a look and immediately got excited. She wants to do what we are doing but she wants to paint her beds like a rainbow. She also lives out in the bush so no-one cares what her garden beds look like and the possibility to grow lush veggies in our terrible soil has certainly given me back my mojo. Now that Sanctuary is drip irrigated everything is growing well in there as well and all of my fruit trees are loving this heat. Fingers crossed all of my avocados grow and I can share the avocado love with my friends and family. In a few years I will let you know and you can have a basket of them :). Glad we could reconnect online despite our blogging platforms making it incredibly hard to do so πŸ™‚

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  4. There does appear to be an awful lot of beetroot and chillies in those there wicking beds! But, my stars, what a bounty of verdant looking edibles! This is all your hard work paying off, and now you have the pleasure of watching it all grow and deciding what to do with the over abundance that cannot be immediately scoffed down with a nice glass of – er – water! (I did purchase for myself a soda stream contraption in the sales, as I mostly imbibe water these days and having a glass of fizzy water in a wine glass is just as enjoyable as anything else! Highly recommended by me) You know it is still raining here, no summer for us this year again. I am so impressed with your wicked wicking beds – and they are obviously working extremely well. You two must be doing a mad happy dance every evening as you survey your vege heaven!!
    FAB-U-LOUS!

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    1. narf7 says:

      Thank you Ms Pauline. I get so much satisfaction from both growing areas now. It has regalvanised me back into gardening where I had almost lost all hope by the end of last year. I love soda streams. I have been drinking cheap soda water from the supermarkets but you are right, it’s cheaper and better for the environment for me to get hold of a soda stream. You can add half and half to juice as well and you can water down kombucha. I have been making lots of kombucha (2 big batches on the go all of the time) to drink in our hot weather. I think its time you packed up yourself, your family, Suddy and Orlando and moved to Tasmania if you want a bit of hot weather as we have plenty to go around at the moment! Thank you again for your lovely comment. I am just grateful as heck to everyone who shared these ideas online and that made it possible for me to get my mojo back and start having a bit of hope that we could actually garden here again. Sanctuary is going great guns now that we have drip irrigated her and the fruit trees and other things growing in there are going mental with reliable water and the heat. One day we will have avocados in abundance right here on Serendipity Farm and that thought makes me incredibly happy. I LOVE avocados :). Steve is still off the booze and is actually enjoying being vegan even though he has a cold at the moment. Summer colds are the worst thing. It has been great fun learning how to make our own vegan butter, vegan mayo (that is DELICIOUS and very easy to customise) and all kinds of things from scratch. I can experiment now where I couldn’t really justify it before. Life is good at the moment in 2017. Lets just hope it continues on that way πŸ™‚

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      1. May I urge you to post recipes now and again – you are contributing to a healthy, happy world and that is the very best karma to be making πŸ™‚ Sorry to hear about the summer cold – I don’t know how you get that. I’ve come across several people with colds here, not caused by summer!! It’s grey and raining again this morning……

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      2. narf7 says:

        I can share links to what we are cooking as I am finding the recipes online. I think Steve picked it up on a shopping expedition a few weeks ago. There isn’t much worse than a summer cold when the weather is hot and saps your energy :(. I promise to look after him πŸ™‚

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  5. This looks like it has been an amazing success…so much hard work for you both but it really has paid off!

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    1. narf7 says:

      Thank you Ms Chica. It has certainly given me back my gardening mojo. I think I lost it under a pile of rats, wallabies, dry soil and possums at the end of last year but the fridge wickers and lots of drip irrigation have unearthed it all over again πŸ™‚

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      1. The best therapy is getting your hands dirty in soil!

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      2. narf7 says:

        Its certainly the cheapest. πŸ™‚

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  6. foodnstuff says:

    I looks all so lovely and lush. What a transformation! And not having to get up at the crack of dawn to water…no wonder you’re over the moon. Interesting thing…your first commenter mentioned Columbia Basin Permaculture. I’ve just found that site too after the writer (Sheila) commented to my blog and I’m slowly reading through it. Love the way we can find new people through this medium.

    That ‘bok choy’ sounds like mustard greens which I’ve grown before…leafy, purplish and hot? Bunnings are a pain when it comes to labelling. I’ve pointed out wrongly-labeled plants in their native section many times before.

    My turmeric is growing back too. Except that I thought I had ginger in that pot! It must be the turmeric as I’ve never got ginger to grow. The other pot (which must be the ginger and which I thought was the turmeric) hasn’t shown anything. Confused ? So am I.

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    1. narf7 says:

      I love the truly awesome connection that you can make online when you set out to share what you know with other people. You meet some truly likeminded people and are able to make real friendships that you would otherwise not be able to do without the internet. I don’t think it’s mustard greens as it grows more like a Chinese cabbage but has a decidedly mustardy flavour. All green and no purple at all. There were a lot of punnets labeled as “Japanese Spinach” and I am guessing it’s a relabeling exercise as many people don’t grow Chinese veggies any more as they simply don’t like the taste. Put a new name on them and people will try them (but not for long Bunnings!). I might have to give ginger a go now that I have both cardamom and turmeric growing happily in wicking beds. It was a stinker of a day here yesterday. Hot and high humidity and as Steve has a cold we did pretty much nothing and I was worried about the garden beds and headed out into the blazing sun at 1pm in case I needed to give them a bit of a top water but they were all standing up straight and tall and were loving the heat thanks to their roots being nice and moist and the insulation of the fridges keeping the soil cool. I have had a lot of trouble trying to grow ginger here. I will keep trying though. I might have to cough up for a decent piece of organic stuff from the health food shop though. That’s the only way I got turmeric to grow, buying some organic root from the health food shop. No confusion. Half the time I have NO idea what is in pots. I was over the moon when I thought that I had managed to grow pawpaw seeds in my glasshouse but it turns out it was just (sodding) cape gooseberries that had scattered in the soil that I used. I did get some pink English gooseberries to grow from seed (again from the health food shop but this time a freebie as he couldn’t sell them πŸ˜‰ ) so that’s something I suppose. It’s a real act of experimentation every time you try to give something a go. It keeps you addicted :). Good luck with that ginger. Keep me posted with how it goes πŸ™‚

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  7. brymnsons says:

    Hey Fran the fridges look fantastic. Easy to weed and tend too as well. Have you tried crushed egg shells to deter the slugs?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. narf7 says:

      Like most things on Serendipity Farm, these slugs are bullet proof. I have resorted to using those animal friendly slug pellets you can get and as the boys can’t reach up and into the garden beds I am hoping I can do a number on the slugs prior to the frogs hatching out. The problem is the slugs are HUGE and the frogs are small. They might have to gang up to tackle one! πŸ˜‰

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      1. brymnsons says:

        They are huge! Never seen anything like them. Do the chooks eat them? Or ducky? Fatten up those frogs lol

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      2. narf7 says:

        Ducky loves the slugs but unfortunately, she can’t get into Sanctuary or Narnia so the slugs are the head of the food chain. The frogs are starting to emerge from the tadpole pond and are about the size of my little fingernail so I am going to need that army of them to tackle each slug! πŸ˜‰

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  8. What an amazing harvest you will have. I’m with you on beetroot – marvelous stuff! I’m exceedingly jealous of your turmeric – I can’t imagine it would grow in the UK. Thankfully our slugs are smaller than your s sound (although that enable them to creep in between the door and frame into the kitchen that completely wigs me out. Yuk)
    Hope the cold gets better quickly πŸ™‚

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    1. narf7 says:

      We have a temperate climate here in Tasmania and the higher areas get snow in winter so we have problems growing some vegetables as our growing season tends to be less than that of mainland Australia so I was chuffed to have managed to grow turmeric. It grows best in a pot here and apparently it will grow well indoors over winter so you should give it a try. It dies down over winter anyway and it didn’t start leafing up till very late this year. I am hoping the wicking bed gives it a bit of insulation over winter so fingers crossed. Our slugs are monsters in more ways than one. They are also carnivorous with other slugs so I suppose at least there are less slugs out there to do the dirty on our veggies. Some of the tadpoles have turned into frogs but the frogs are the size of my little fingernail so I don’t think they will be tackling the Leopard slugs to be honest but maybe they can gang up on them πŸ˜‰

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      1. We are pretty cold at the moment but I will put this on my ‘to do’ list for spring – track down turmeric to grow!

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      2. narf7 says:

        I got my first lot of turmeric from my local health food shop (in the city). It was a bit spindly but it grew well. I made the mistake of planting it out in the main garden area and it got overgrown and underwatered last year and didn’t thrive. I was sent a few tubers by a friend on the mainland and planted them out in a large black pot and they all grew like topsy. They thrive in pots. I can’t grow ginger here but turmeric and cardamom both grow incredibly well. If you like cardamom (the leaves smell magnificent and it has a gorgeous white orchid like flower to boot) you should have a go. I got 2 pots of it from a nursery that has heavy frosts every year and it was outside in the frost so that goes to show it will grow well in most areas. My motto is “have a go” especially when I plant a tuber or a seed. I now have 9 fig trees and didn’t pay for one of them. My first 7 I got from branches of a parent plant that had been overgrown by weeds and the branches were weighed down by the weight of the weeds and touched the ground where the branches had produced roots. I snipped them off with roots intact and planted them out and every single one of them grew. My last 2 came from a couple of cuttings I took from a friends garden. She was moving and this fig had figs the size of your fist and I wanted to see if I could grow them. I got 2 cuttings and they are now planted out in Sanctuary. You have to have a go. I am going to grow peanuts from raw peanuts next year and am attempting to grow sweet potatoes. A friend sent me some Cherimoya (custard apple) seeds. They are tropical trees but I now have 2 seedling trees planted out and doing well in Sanctuary. Don’t believe that you can’t grow something till you test it out yourself πŸ˜‰

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      3. I w have a try and report back.
        I actually bought my fig tree (Brown Turkey – not yet had a ripe fruit) and envy your haul. I love figs but I think I might be out of luck here.
        I admire your willingness to just have a go. After all, it’s great when things work out unexpectedly πŸ˜ƒ

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      4. narf7 says:

        I make sure that anything that I pay for and that costs a fair bit of money is going to grow well in our climate. I am saving up for a persimmon at the moment. The rest of what I experiment with grow from seed or cuttings and were free to assemble so I figure there isn’t anything to lose. I cobbled together 9 fig trees from various places. My very first fig cutting that grew was from a tree from an inner city Launceston doctors surgery that cut it down not long after I struck the cuttings and I would like to think I am keeping the love alive. I think that’s the thing about growing cuttings and seeds, we are spreading the love. I have a couple of seed grown (ebay sourced) carob trees growing. I have NO idea if I have different sexes and won’t know for quite some time. It’s a bit of a gamble this gardening lark but it certainly keeps you on your toes and reconnects you with nature and even if everything doesn’t pan out how we expect it to, that’s part of the joy of gardening πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Spy Garden says:

    SO AMAZING and excellent choices. I love beets and chard is very versatile also; and turmeric?!! Perfection. The white fridges look very modern and chic. It is looking so awesome. If you are taking requests, I’d like more pictures of that glorious door from every angle and light! haha Wish I could come take pictures of your garden!! It really looks grand!! Awesome work, you must be very proud!!! Our garden is full of snow at the moment. Kohlrabi, carrots, thyme and garlic is about all thats green and it has been quite cold.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. narf7 says:

      I hear that it has been colder than usual in the northern hemisphere and that Europe is taking a snowy hit this year and temperatures are low. They are hotter here than usual (and wetter so I suppose that is a consolation). I love that we have finally found a way to grow vegetables here that doesn’t involve hand watering for hours and that bypasses the rats completely. The slugs are another thing but there are always pests to have a go at whatever you do. It makes it more interesting and more of a challenge and ultimately, more satisfying, to garden. If garlic was the only crop I managed to grow I would count myself lucky. Its amazing stuff and so good for you. I love that the fridges were the very cheapest way to affect our change and that anyone could do this. I would imagine that it might be hard to pass them off in an urban situation but they could easily be made more beautiful by someone with a designers eye. Imagine a rainbow garden? I might have to start personifying the fridge wickers πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  10. OH no…. I just wrote reams.. and posted it only for a message to say back.. Sorry this comment could not be posted.. gutted..

    Will post this one to see if it lands before I write loads more

    Liked by 1 person

    1. narf7 says:

      Here’s the trick to it Sue. You type out your larger comments in a notepad document and copy and paste it into the comment box. That way, if it disappears, you still have it. I learned that early on, especially when dealing with commenting on Blogger blogs! They keep moving the yardstick with these free blogs and you may be commenting along merrily for weeks on end and suddenly they change the rules without telling anyone. Facebook does the same thing! I can’t use my WordPress identity to post on Blogger blogs as it refuses to allow me to so I use the “Username and URL” option whereby the person knows who I am and what my blog is. There are still Blogger blogs that I simply can’t comment on because I don’t use their platform. It’s something that they should fix as if it’s hard to comment on someone’s blog, people just won’t do it!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Agreed.. and I should have learnt that lesson.. and have used that method previously on various comments.. But had never had a problem on yours before… I think it was as I was using a different browser may be.. Anyways… Glad it finally landed even it was a bit more sketchy than my original :-)… ❀ xxx

        Liked by 1 person

      2. narf7 says:

        I am sure that is what puts a lot of people off from commenting on blogs. It’s a big nuisance to jump through all of the hoops to comment to have the blog eventually deny you anyway! Thank you for persisting πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

      3. My pleasure.. I may turn up late.. but I will always be persistent LOL xxx

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Well that one was posted.. So in essence.. I went on about your decoy plant for the slugs.. and the amazing canopy your grape vine will eventually make.. along with lots lots more of praises and telling you we are to have snow.. and we getting parsnips and leeks still out of our garden..
    I am getting January blues.. dark, wet cold days.. I am crocheting.. YES.. only squares.. a shawl to wrap around my shoulders while I read in bed.. LOL>> Granny shawl .. πŸ™‚ comes to mind.. but just what I need.. As I use up some old wool that has been hanging around for years..

    I just LOVE LOVE LOVE how strong your plants are looking and this project is really paying off Fran..

    And it will teach me to write in the note pad first so I can at least cut and paste if such comments disappear again..

    Fingers crossed.. and I do not time out or something.. lol
    Lots of Love
    Sue xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. narf7 says:

      HAHA! Great minds think alike (notepad). Thank you for your lovely comment :). I need to have a go at growing parsnips as I adore the bones out of them. Can’t wait to see your shawl :). I have found some really scrumptious simple knitting patterns lately and am stockpiling them for when it gets cooler. I need to get hold of some circular needles as I want to have a go at knitting socks (I found a simple pattern). I love the way that knitting looks but have always been bamboozled by it. It seems SO difficult! I love the dark, wet and cold days. I am a winter baby (August here) so I feel right at home in the middle of winter. We don’t get as cold as you guys do and the garden stays productive all year round (even though many things go to sleep). I have a pineapple sage triffid that keeps growing all year. My friend, who lives inland a bit, can’t grow it as the frost kills it every year (same goes for geraniums) but we live right on the river here and our rocky slope keeps the soil a lot warmer than elsewhere in Tasmania (where it snows) and we don’t get a lot of frosts here at all (rare events) so that triffid just keeps on growing. Since we added drip irrigation to Sanctuary the triffid is hell bent on taking over the world. I am actually going to have to start hacking it out! I planted out Steve’s dahlia (he got it as a free tuber on the little cheap plant stall up the road a few years ago) into one of the espalier rows in Sanctuary and it has flowered! It is growing like crazy and I love that we can grow flowers now inside that safe space. All of my transplanted avocados appear to be growing well so fingers crossed, we will have our own little avocado farm here in a few years time πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Wishing your Dahlia well too Fran.. Hubby has dug our tubers up and we dried the soil off and now they are snugly wrapped in newspaper and cardboard in the shed to keep frost free..
        Our geraniums are cut back a little dug up and in pots in the green house.. The green house is lined with bubble wrap which helps keep it warmer… Sometimes we are lucky like last year it was mild so we were successful in the geraniums and cuttings.. Fingers crossed as we are only just now getting our cold spell..
        The shawl I Knitting is an experiment.. I am doing a bit of all sorts trying out squares large and small.. And want to try out new stitches.. So its pink and white and will be a mix match of things.. Its not going to be seen by the Public lol.. So I am happy.. I might post the finished results, just for a laugh.. But its growing faster than knitting.. πŸ™‚ ..
        Great your Avacados are doing well too.. Love them.. xx

        Liked by 1 person

      2. narf7 says:

        We are lucky here in that we don’t have to worry about leaving things in the ground to overwinter. We don’t get many frosts here and we don’t get snow so the garden just has a bit of a sleep till spring. Your shawl sounds like it is making you happy to make it. That’s why I crochet. I don’t particularly want what I am making most of the time, I just want to learn how to make it or how to do the stitch needed to make it. I give most of what I make away πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Wonderful about giving what you make away.. You have made some super things especially the dolls I loved.. And its good you don’t get frosts.. πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

  12. A true feast in the making, as always! The breadth and depth of your plant varieties boggle mind of this black-thumbed city-slicker. I can’t wait to see all of your beautiful produce grow in the coming days… You’ll be up to your ears in greens and veggies before you know it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. narf7 says:

      The cherimoyas are putting on new growth! I was SO happy to see that the other day when I ventured up to Sanctuary. Must be this hot weather we are having but they are happy to be planted out now πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  13. All so beautifully green Fran. Glad your wicking beds are working out and happy to see some bunting hanging up there at the back too. What’s a garden without bunting I tell you πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. narf7 says:

      Too true! The most important part of the equation is that it works magnificently. πŸ™‚

      Like

  14. Lrong says:

    Wow… this is so amazing… wonderful! Using these fridges in this manner is so clever of you… I am thinking that, perhaps I should be looking around for similar stuff around here…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. narf7 says:

      The best thing about fridges is that no-one else wants them. Here in Australia, everyone scours the tip shop (they have places where they put things that are still useful/usable that have been thrown out into the garbage that get sorted and people can go and buy them) for old cast iron baths as they use them for worm farms etc. so you can never find them. I saw a long row of fridges that were going to be turned into landfill and thought “I could use them to make raised wicking bed gardens!” And that was the beginning. We have 24 of them on our property. They are working incredibly well over our summer and I think that anyone could use this idea anywhere and they only cost us $2 a refrigerator. You may even be able to get them for free if you look around. I know that if we put an advertisment in the newspaper saying “wanted, old and broken fridges” that we would be inundated with offers as you have to pay to take them to the garbage tip and no-one wants to do that! I am very happy with how these garden beds have worked and would recommend them to anyone who doesn’t want to constantly water their garden over summer.

      Like

    1. narf7 says:

      Cheers. We do the best we can with what we have πŸ™‚

      Like

  15. Robbie says:

    These look AMAZING! I love the picture to the left of my comment. It is as if they are white edging in the garden. It looks beautiful:-) Who wouda thunk that old fridges could make gardens so beautiful!!!!! Why aren’t people doing this more often in our cities. This would be a great way to use those objects we have in landfills. Everyone could have one in their backyard for a raised bed. You have started a revolution. The Garden Fridge Revolution….this is what I am talking about you need a documentary on you. You are so original and creative. Truly inspiring!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. narf7 says:

      I wish the rest of our property was as productive and neat! I am only able to manage the bit inside the fence. Along with the wallabies and possums and now feral chooks running amok outside the house fence (Earl makes sure that nothing runs amok “inside”…well it doesn’t run amok for long!) it’s like a mad jungle out there and with our very mild summer, the soil hasn’t dried out like it usually does and all of the plant material around here has gone completely mental and out of control. As the song says “The grass is as high as an elephants eye!” Fridges are completely affordable. Bathtubs are trendy as heck and too expensive to buy now but fridges are cheap as chips and are very easy to turn into water wicking beds. You guys in America have those huge combination fridge freezers. I managed to get one of them in my mix and it works incredibly well as a dual wicking bed. I have a seedless red grape, coriander (cilantro), round carrots and Chinese greens all planted out in the one huge bed. A couple of those would be awesome in any back yard and you can paint your fridges a nice dark green or rainbow colours if you like. You can slather them with silicone and stick stones all over them. You can make wooden slat boxes all around the edge of them to turn them into trendy garden assets if you like (but that kind of defeats the “cheap as chips” deal πŸ˜‰ ) and anyone can afford to build a fridge wicking bed. Easy peasy.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Robbie says:

    I would think your story would be worthy of an article in a popular sustainable magazine. Shoot there is an Urban Farming magazine here in America. I quit getting it since it had some ideas that I found a bit too much for where I live. My neighbors are the ones that still spray their “stupid” wall to wall carpets out front. We all have chained link fences with more of that wall to wall carpet. If I tried to flip my old fridge and plant in it, I bet they would call the city. If a car sits on our street for more than 3 days and no one claims it they call the police to have it towed away…one neighbor got mad at my son stepping on her grass edging a few years ago. She said it was turning brown due to- every time he stepped out of his car that it was making her edging of grass on the street brown-LOL…nuts!
    She was upset when a neighbor crossed between her yard and another to go see his granddaughter on the other side. I just kept my mouth shut.
    I do like my neighbors, but they are so funny about things. They were going to call the police when my pit bull jumped the fence to play with another dog…….oh, how nice it must be to have acreage and not answer to anyone:-)
    I love the look!!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. narf7 says:

      And the very best bit about it is that if I so choose, I can walk around my 4 acres buck naked. Glad (95 years old) next door doesn’t care what we do, our neighbours up the back should be fine as I don’t walk up there very often and who actually cares what Frank thinks? He spends his days whipper snipping our fence to prevent bushfires. I am surprised he hasn’t jumped the fence and done our firebreaks for us! He could do with a good eye opener πŸ˜‰

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Robbie says:

        LOL..buck naked, too funny! We would be arrested for Indecent exposure!

        Liked by 1 person

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