It’s time for the Garden Share Collective again, I’ve missed the last couple because time has gotten the better of me, but wanted to make the effort for this one as we’ve had so much going on.
This month has been a busy one for us, with lots of changes taking place in our little garden, the biggest being the removal of the huge gum tree in the back corner of the garden.
I’ve written before about this tree, it was an absolute monster at nearly 25 metres high. Our garden, while big enough for our needs, is on the small side. It never made sense to me why anyone would plant such a massive a tree in such a small space. Suffice to say, we tolerated it for as long as possible but when it started to crack and show signs of deterioration we decided it was time for it to come out. It was a bittersweet decision as it was a lovely tree and the local wildlife loved it, but it was just so inappropriate for a small inner-city backyard.
So it came out last week, you can see from the pics above and below it made quite a huge dent in our garden. Before the boys came in to cut her down, we had to basically dig up the entire garden around the base of the tree, and move them to a safer spot for a couple of days to improve access to the site. On the whole most things survived but there were a few casualties, like my kale plants and a couple of tender herbs which did not like being transported.
The difference it has made to our garden has been immense. Aside from light, the biggest hassle was the depletion of nutrients and water from the soil. In digging up the garden we noted that the soil, which is regularly tended to, looked and felt a bit like beach sand. To try and replenish it we dug through compost, cow manure and added some lime to try and sweeten the soil. We also added some coir to help with water retention as we move into the warmer months, and dug through a lot of the sugarcane mulch I’d added in the previous months. The result is a really nice looking soil, which I hope will continue to improve as time wears on.
We’d thought long and hard about what we would do once the tree was out and decided to make the most of the light-filled space by planting edibles. We’d like to plant another tree in the same spot, but one that is more appropriate. We’re pretty keen to put in a fruit tree, but remain undecided about what type. Our back garden has become a mix of hardy natives and ornamentals, interspersed with edibles and we figure if we’re going to put in another tree it should at least be productive. I quite like the idea of these apple trees, because they are tall and thin and hopefully won’t take up too much space, while still providing some cover and greenery to block out the neighbours roof. P really wants an orange tree, which would also be lovely but possibly a little slow-growing. An option I’m toying with at the moment is to have a go espaliering a couple of citrus on either side of the fence, though updating both fences is on the cards at the moment so that might have to wait. This garden has given me lots to think about, and I’d love to hear your ideas too.
In the meantime, I’ve planted out a range of summer veg including a few tomatoes, a capsicum and a couple of chilies. I’ve also got a zucchini, a small pumpkin and a delicata squash on the go. I’ve never had success with pumpkin before, so fingers crossed that this one works. I’ve also got some basil and other herbs and next to go in will be some flowers like calendula and marigold to help deter pests.
Out the front my tomatoes are starting to flower and set fruit. I’ve got a range of heirlooms in, including a rare red and black tomato from the Diggers Club which I’m really excited about.
Mulching is on the list of things I want to get done as soon as possible. Other than that it will be upkeep and helping everything settle back in to their improved home.
How is your garden going?