Spring is on the way

Dan our dog … loves walks on the beach
Yesterday was absolutely brilliant. The sun was shining all day … so inspiring, perfect day for gardening…
I caught two of my chooks out of their paddock this week … they were marching up the hill from my garden beds. They looked very happy indeed – obviously I wasn’t impressed! Still in saying that, I got 7 eggs today from my girls, spring is certainly on the way, their egg laying is improving.
Today I was hoping to get some pruning done … but the weather just hasn’t been up to it. Needs to be a day like yesterday … low humidity with no rain on the horizon. Today .. .well it just so happens to be raining right now, says it all really!

Kumara and spuds

I have prepared a kumara tray. I used an old polystyrene box which has come in rather handy.  So into the box has gone some fresh horse pooh, a dusting of blood and bone, hay, some fresh grass clippings and river sand on the top. I poked in some kumara (sweet potato from the Convolvulaceae family) gold, orange and red tubers,  gave it all a good dousing of water and for good luck also tipped in some comfrey tea. A sheet of plastic has come in very handy tucking around the vessel to keep the water out and the heat in. And yes, it will heat up too – the pooh is high in nitrogen as are the grass clippings – and so is the blood and bone. It should heat up nicely and get those  kumara sprouting ready for planting in RB1 in the next 6 weeks.
This is a new way of sprouting kumara for me … I read it on the net the other night and thought ‘good idea’. Normally I would just poke them in some damp sand. The trick will be keeping the sand moist and ensuring that the box doesn’t turn into an oven!
Just out of interest, I cooked a beaut dinner last night. Got a super recipe from one of our NZ magazines … lamb pastie with kumara, rosemary and yacon! Divine …
Today is certainly a tuber day – spuds were next on the agenda. I purchased a bag of seed spuds called Rocket which are an early potato,  plus I had previously bought some Pink Fir (Irish potato) from Kawaka Organics and some Maori Kowiniwini. The latter are a gorgeous purple spud with white eyes.
Rocket potato

I then dipped them into a brew of seaweed/fish fertiliser and then popped them on an egg tray in a south facing window. They won’t get too much sun here, but they should get enough to get them invigorated and sprouting. Weekly dips should also get them inspired.

Once ready for planting – they will all go into G2 which is one of the beds closest to the house … at present it is a mass of weeds, mint, overgrown fennel, calendula, forget-me-not and sorrel. As this garden gets little sun in winter I usually sow a green crop to keep the soil protected over winter. This year, nature has done a brilliant job of doing this for me. So in about 6 weeks times the spuds will be sitting happily in some trenches with comfrey leaves right in this bed.
Kowiniwini at the rear and Pink Fir in the foreground

Oh, you might wonder at my naming system e.g. RB1 and G2. As I have so many raised beds and gardens it allows me to keep track of what went where. I’m a firm believer in rotating crops and having a numbering system makes this very easy to do!

Love those raised beds …


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