What are those vege up to? Bananas, what bananas?

I used to be so diligent with my garden updates … I promise to improve!

I planted beetroot, coriander, heartease, celery and parsley all in raised bed 4 today … only on a small section of dirt mind you, where I had ripped out the chili and the kumara (yes there was a small crop here too).
As I loathe hauling out the flowers, I left the calendulas and alyssum, threw down some bought planting mix/compost and then poked in the seedlings all of which I had grown from seed. They desperately needed to be in the dirt …  Whenever I plant I always use liberal amounts of organic rok solid (a powdered mix of seaweed, fish, and volcanic rock – equals lots of nutrients and minerals) today was no exception. Add water and a good border of coffee grounds (slugs and snails deterrent).

The peas in the same bed, are doing amazingly but then I have been fertilising them on a weekly basis with my own brew doing this again yesterday.

Tansy a herbaceous perennial – one of my favourite plants. I planted it in this bed on a corner a couple of years ago as a companion for potatoes. The two of them enjoy each others company. Apparently  Tansy is good at keeping the borer at bay perfect for citrus trees, plus Tansy is also used as a companion plant, especially with cucurbits like cucumbers and squash, or with roses or various berries. It is thought to repel ants, cucumber beetles, Japanese beetles, squash bugs, and some kinds of flying insects, among others and is meant to be good for keeping mites out of chook houses. It is also good as a compost activator … need I say more!

Yes the the cloche in bed one and its inhabitants are doing very well. Some damage .. slugs but generally pretty darn good. We have beetroot, spinach, chamomile, brassicas, heartease, nasturtiums within the confines. Again have been fertilising regularly.  I hauled out a couple of chili, while the bushes looked great the fruit was a long way from getting formed let alone ripe. The herbs in here look fab,  but the feverfew is dying. The white geranium which I propagated a few years back is looking beaut.

Raised bed 3 … brassicas and lavender!

My leeks and red onions in the next bed are all displaying various growth. Again I have been diligent with my fertilising – which by the way is done via watering can. Can be a long process! Yes I used horse pooh and you can’t half tell, weeds for Africa. The nasturtium in here is full steam ahead.

Wow the seedlings in my special brassica patch (bed 3) have grown super quick. Fertiliser and obviously the extra warmth from the cloche. Plus no more caterpillars! Looks fab … Must take off the cloche next week they are literally busting out.

I haven’t actually mentioned my insectary previously which is one of the divided beds … I adore flowers and believe that every vege garden isn’t complete without them. They do a host of wonderful things – encourage beneficial insects, especially bees, some have medicinal uses, or are super as companion plants … anyway I devoted one bed to flowers a few years back .. at the mo, it looks like shocking, but is no doubt doing its usual work encouraging beneficial insects.

Now a little about the rest of the place!

Bananas … Secret Garden
A friend kindly donated a banana tree a few years back and as things do it flourished. The site it was planted on just so happens to have its own microclimate, often caused by a settled environ, lots of sun etc. This banana was planted next to our superb native forest that we are fortunate to have. It currently has 2 flower heads, which given the time of year is late – be interesting to see what transpires here. Andrew cut down 2 spent plants and being my usual helpful self, cut down dying leaves which I piled onto the garden bed adjacent which will protect the soil over winter and hopefully compost down.

This garden bed just so happens to have been appropriately named ‘the secret garden’. There is a story as one can imagine with this …  The interesting thing about this garden is that in winter it gets very little sun probably only a few hours per day, while in summer it gets plenty. The issue with this garden is that given its proximity from the house (a good 500 metres away) getting water to the bed is super difficult. So much of what is planted here is basically left to its own devices. Yes, it has been our pumpkin summer patch for the last 3 years — no rotating this bed! The pumpkins do as they like creeping everywhere as they do, but they always give us a bumper crop.

In saying that, there is one resident in this bed that got planted once the pumpkin was harvested this year and that is Yakon. This wonderful vege is in the Asteraceae family (the same as Tansy and Sunflowers)  … this needs to be harvested and now as autumn apparently is the perfect time. The plants have grown to be at least 10 foot high  with clusters of tiny yellow flowers.  The yakon is a sweet tuber originating from South America, perfect to add to your smoothy.

Feijoas …

Our feijoa orchard which sports about 20 trees is also located near our forest. Sadly its positioning means that in winter again the trees get little sun.  For those that don’t know they also originate from South America and are a fruit. They have an interesting perfumed smell and a unique taste. I grew up with this gorgeous fruit which makes a superb feijoa crumble. I promise to include some pics of this tree which is  bird pollinated.  The crop this year has been poor quite possibly because of lack sun. However in saying that the tree in the back yard has been terrific … which I think may have been because of my fertilising regime.

Oh we have also been sharing the feijoas in the orchard with the possums again. Surprise! This happens because they aren’t covered … of course. Do you blame them?

Figs … oh oh oh … same story. Except the birds got the bulk of these. No netting, not fruit!

Guavas … lots and lots of these little guys. Think I will net these though as the trees (shrubs are small and easy to throw a net over).

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