We arrived back from 10 days away over Christmas to a fantastic looking garden, mostly due to my Mum dropping in to water a few times and lots and lots of mulch. Last year the tomatoes suffered quite badly while we were away, so we were relieved and pleasantly greeted by strong green plants and an enormous amount of growth! The tomatoes and zuccini in particular have sky rocketed.
San Marzano tomatoes
Black Russian tomatoes
Black Jack zucchini
I was given Peter Cundalls fantastic new book The Practical Australian Gardener: Seasonal Tasks Using Sensible Organic Methods for Christmas. It gives a month by month guide to what needs to be done in the garden. Armed with this, I made a list of tasks and got to work.
Remove sweet pea from hanging basket and save a few seed pods.
Tie support strings for tomatoes under the pergola (see image below).
Make a runner bean teepee.
Foliar feed indoor plants (spray weak Seasol solution).
Spray Eco-Rose on all fungus prone plants.
Spray Dipel on caterpillar prone plants.
Add more mulch where needed.
Feed veggies and fruit trees with blood and bone.
Feed tomatoes with potash.
Sow more beetroot, carrots, radishes, runner beans.
Plant pelargonium cuttings - they have struck well.
Plant honeysuckle - my in-laws gave me some from their big fragrant plant after I admired it.
Prune bansia rose along the fence.
Sow lettuce, leeks, broccoli, cabbage and brussel sprouts in preparation for winter plantings.
String supports for the tomatoes in planters on the deck. My husband's handy work.
We always return with more in the car than we left with on holidays. I bought these bamboo cloches from the wonderful Foxglove Spires nursery in Tilba Tilba. They keep the birds off the seeds and new shoots, and are much easier to handle than chicken wire.