The garden is growing …

Amongst the macademia blossom … divine!

Sunday … what a brilliant day. Warm, sunny, blue skies and lots of help! Yay …

Felt a wee bit guilty though. We had friends Amy and Julian stay the night and after a few glasses of Toi Toi I think they were subtly coaxed by Andrew to help out with the massive day planned in our garden today. And it was too!

So with the help of Hana and Vaclav a Czech couple staying with us from Helpx … we all trooped over to a friend’s place in Coatesville to grab some Rok Solid fertiliser … oh about 350kg!

So armed with this sensational stuff (basalt rock, seaweed and fish fert … wicked black powder) we started on the orchard. Team work … once the Rok Solid was scattered around the drip line of the tree, we then used a brilliant aged pine mulch around each fruit tree’s base (avoiding the trunk of the tree of course). You need to be generous too … ideally 3 – 4″ mulch. Much of the orchard has comfrey or echium growing around the tree … so the mulch was tucked in around this. The idea behind the mulch is to reduce weed growth, keep the ground moist during spring and summer and as organic material does, it will eventually break down feeding all the various microgranisms. Beaut … smelled pretty darned good too.

We worked our way through the orchard and also did the feijoa grove. Great work … After a late lunch, it was Andrew and I back to it. We mulched our trees along the drive with a home made mulch from pines and other trees that we had chipped a few years back. Some of this was chocka with worms and had broken down nicely. Again more liberal handfuls of the Rok Solid!

I just love doing this sort of stuff … feels so rewarding. Especially when you can see the mulch sitting below the trees …

As for the rest of the garden … the seedings are coming along nicely. The zucchini has poked its head through the dirt too. I mentioned a few weeks back that seeds like anything else have a lifetime … and the crown pumpkin that I had sown did zip. So they got removed from my store and binned. But as I had other seeds available one was quickly poked in the dirt.

Kumara … ha what a joke! Nothing, nada … shame, no sprouts the hot box didn’t get hot. So I will be buying sprouts this week after I have hauled out the bed. Looking forward to getting them in the ground.

My garlic is looking splendid … wow very impressed with the growth. Must remember to give them all another feed this week too and post some pics.

The citrus, feijoa and macadamia in the back yard also got the obligatory fert and mulch. While I was bending down chucking about the mulch I couldn’t help but notice the various ‘wild life’ and fungal probs with the citrus. They appear to have a few issues … the start of white fly, thrips and citrus scab! Great! Can’t believe how much nurturing they need. Pooh. Oh well, I shall get up early one day this week and start the seaweed and neem spray regime. I might even include some lavender water (I use this on my roses for fungal probs) … The most important thing with the organic spraying … is to keep it up. Not much I can do for the citrus scab, but I can zap those white flies and the thrips. Should be about to make their lives rather unpleasant. Good!

Something that really bothered us today while working in the orchard was the obvious lack of bees. There were only about 2 that I saw in the whole time we were working there and given the blossom on the trees I found this really disturbing. I have seen a few bumbles and honey bees up near the house, but I have never seen so few about before. No bees, no pollination, no fruit! Very worrying indeed. I’m hoping to find someone with some hives that will be happy to leave them here -fingers crossed! More on that later ….

More macademia blossom … saw a couple of bees
Echium … one of the bee’s favourites

Spud update … some of them are up! Very good. Seems that all the various varieties planted have sent up sprouts. Plus the flowers marigold and alyssum that I broadcast about are also craving some sunshine.

Spud ….

I read somewhere that marigolds will ward off root knot nematodes from the garden, interesting! I wrote an article a few years ago on a talk delivered by a nematologist (how lucky was I?). I asked him about the marigolds and nematodes … hmmm guess what he said? Well I planted them anyway!

Well that’s me for today … has been a beaut week and I just love the green buds, flowers and smells that linger in the air – must be because it is Spring. Love it …
Happy gardening!

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