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Wednesday, March 19, 2008

The Growing Challenge

I have decided to join Melinda's growing challenge. I was going to wait until I was somewhere I could start planting, but when she said she was so close to 100, I thought I could join and start planning my planting. I know that's always a good idea :)

The garden challenge is that you commit to growing at least one thing from seed this year that you have never grown before. You also have to write at least once a week about how it is going (or growing). There are now at least 98 people joined and Melinda writes a report on some of the gardens each week.

You have to identify your zone. I went to this website which is part of the Botanic Garden's website, and you can look at other interesting things, like records of native plants and their uses amongst other things. It says that my zone is 3-4 in Australian standards. One of the good things on this site was that it showed a comparison for American zones. In USA I would be in zone 10-11.

The difficulty is that a zone is a large area, and you may find micro climates in that zone, or even on your property created naturally or artificially to grow things with very different requirements. For example to grow something that is frost sensitive in a colder zone, I had a lemon tree growing in my house in Parramatta, Sydney which frequently had frosts through winter, but as it was in a north facing spot and had a mango and a lilli-pilli sheltering it above, it fruited all year round. I think the best way of working out what grows well, is as the author of that site says. Look at plants with similar growth requirements. If lemons can grow where you are, then look at the zone requirements for lemons, and then you should be able to grow other things within that zone.

And my own challenge? I would like to try some eggplant this year which I have grown from seedling but never from seed. I would also like to grow more varieties of lettuces, Pidgeon Peas, and banana passionfruit, which I remember my grandmother growing at the back door of her house when I was much younger.

Until I can start planting. I will plan to post some of the techniques and ideas I have learnt about gardening over the years, some permaculture techniques and propogation techniques. Until then, happy gardening.


1 comment:

Lisa said...

I'm participating too. Isn't it a fun challenge!