Fruit and vegetable gardening for Alexandra

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Alexandra's Post

Dear Alexandra,

Gardening cannot only be fun to do, you can end up eating what you grow or admiring the flowers when they bloom. I see you know how to protect your young plants. In places where it can become hot and dry, mulch is a great way to keep the soil moister and cooler. We tend to use sugar cane mulch. It’s like hay and is a waste product from our sugar refineries in northern Australia.

Your choice of plants shows you have a nice variety. I think you’ll find the cucumber and pumpkin vines will try to take over so you might have to train them (move the ends of the vines to where you want them to grow).

Do I have a garden, if so what are the fruits or vegetables in it?

For me here in Australia, winter is beginning so our vegetable garden has little in it. There are broad beans and garden peas but they haven’t yet emerged from the ground. We also have rhubarb and spinach in the garden. Below is a photo of our vegetable garden taken a couple years back in spring...

In the photo are broad beans (at the back), onions, peas, tomatoes, zucchini, carrots, beans, and beetroot.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

I am now harvesting oranges from our orange tree. We normally get up to 10 buckets of oranges from the one tree.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Our apples are long gone for this year but the trees will bloom in spring as will the guava.

Guava (they're sweet tasting) This was a late season fruit.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

We also have a native lillipilli bush. This plant produces small berries. The species we have is edible but doesn’t have a strong or sweet flavour.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

We have also had cucumber, pumpkin, strawberries and corn in our garden but have never grown artichoke

Do I like fruits and vegetables?

Perhaps the favourite parts of any meal for me are the vegetables. I like quite a variety. We have what comes from our garden as well as fresh produce we buy from our local supermarket.

For fruits from our garden, I like fresh orange juice, apples, tomatoes, zucchini, strawberries, cucumber (they’re a fruit), and pumpkin. From stores, I also like bananas. We also buy peaches, plums, apricots, grapes, and pears when they’re in season.

For vegetables, we grow and eat potatoes, carrots, and onions. We also buy vegetables from the supermarket when they’re in season.

Additionally, we grow sweet corn, lettuce, cabbage, spinach, peas, beans, and rhubarb at different times of the year.

Spinach (it's out of season but this one hangs on)

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Rhubarb

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

I think this shows we like our fruits and vegetables. My mother is 81 and is still a keen gardener, although she has me dig her gardens these days. She loves to share with her neighbours.

Some people like to garden for the display by planting flowers and other ornamental plants. Below are some photos of what can happen when you're a keen gardener. It started with one man's hobby and created a large garden with the theme of the English Countryside. The photos were taken in a tourist attraction in Canberra, Australia's capital city. The attraction  is called Cockington Green.

 

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

You can click on any photo to enlarge it.

@RossMannell

Teacher, NSW, Australia

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