Q & A

If you have a question about growing Veggies, feel free to let me know and I'll let you know what I reckon. Each month I'll post the responses on this page.

June 21 From R Newecastle NSW asked....

"I have seen lots of different Citrus pictures on your Facebook site.  I was wondering, how many different varieties do you grow and what are they?  Also, why so many?"

Good question R, I have been asked this many times before and there are a couple of reasons why.   Mostly it’s because I want to spread the harvest season, the other reason is because it makes my back fence look great.   I am lucky enough to be able to eat fresh fruit for 5 months of the year and hopefully as all of the trees develop into full maturity next year, I will be able to extend it to 6 months.

I currently grow ten different types of Citrus along my back fence and they are:

Honey Murcott
Tahitian Lime*Mar-JunMandarin
Lemon Eureka*Apr-JunClementineJun-Jul
Ruby Red
May-JunOrange Lanes
Late Navel
Blood Arnold
*Can fruit all year round

April 21 Bruce from the South Coast NSW asked......

"This one is of interest to me on the south coast, as I am planning out my vegetable garden. I think I have found the right spot, but I am watching the sun/shade/wind before making a final decision. Should I be planning for a small greenhouse?  If so, what is the benefit of having a small greenhouse? For example, can I propagate seedlings earlier in the season so that I can be ready to plant out?  Is there a downside?  Is there a minimum size of greenhouse you would recommend and any suppliers you know of, or resources to use?"

Bruce, if I had my time all over again and was setting up my garden, I would have built a small greenhouse as part of the veggie patch.  There are two main reason I would have one and I consider them to be the main benefits.  They are to grow seedlings and also to extend the season for some types of veggies.

For veggies that are sensitive to the cold like tomatoes, pumpkins, zucchini, eggplant, capsicum, etc you could sow earlier in the greenhouse and grow the seedlings in pots and get a 4 to 6 week head-start on your crops.  It will save you a fortune on buying seedlings from a garden centre as well. 

I would also use the greenhouse to extend the season as the days cool down as well.  It would be great for tomatoes, cucumbers, capsicums etc in Autumn.  

There is a downside, you can easily overheat in Summer and ruin a crop, in a day.  The risk can be overcome by using shade cloth or being prepared to not use it for a couple of months.    Another risk is that being a protected micro-climate pests and diseases can multiply quickly and get out of hand. 

Overall, I think it would be a good thing to have one.   I would not recommend one smaller than 6 square metres but If I had to build one it would be around 10 square metres.  I can not recommend any suppliers, but I would make sure it is a solid construction and has good ventilation to help remove excess heat.