Get those beds ready ..

Our spring driveway …

Spring … it is such a brilliant time of year, except for the wind! The weather has been so unsettled lately, if I thought the weather was bad last weekend …

Not much point worrying about the lack of bees either … thanks to this relentless wind, I doubt if there will be any flowers left to pollinate!

Saturday I was out in the garden again with Lorci, another Helpx that is staying with us from Hungary. Honestly, it is so good having another pair of hands.

The spud bed was the first on the agenda. So after removing the weeds namely, ‘wandering buttercup’ we tucked in straw around the plants.  Great way to keep down the weeds and protect the soil into the bargain … with summer coming on the straw will help the soil to retain moisture. The potato plants growth is significant given the lack of sun – this garden only gets about 5 hours of sun per day! I’m still wondering why I broadcast marigold in between the rows, don’t much like their chances now.

See what you can grow in wine barrels!

At last, Sunday … I finally poked the kumara into the ground. I had purchased 25 sprouts from a local nursery last week and they had been waiting patiently indoors in a jug of water.

Into the nicely prepared bed went the sprouts – approximately 10cm deep and about 30 – 40 cm distance between the plants. I have to watch myself as I always overplant … always. Berate myself for doing it, but each year it happens again. My problem is I can’t stand the sight of the bare earth.

I tried a new technique this time around too, rather than just putting the sprout into the ground I planted it in the shape of a J, twisting the root end up towards the surface. Apparently this will restrict some of the greenery growth, which believe me is prolific! Kumara is notorious for ‘taking’ over, growing loads of green and being light on in the edible root department (tubers). Thanks to Google I also read that once planted, fertiliser should be kept to a bare minimum, as again this will promote leaf growth. It is also important to ‘lift’ the greenery from time to time to curb it sending down more roots and yes, out with the scissors to give it a haircut!

So after planting I scattered about wood ash and Lorci gave them a good hose. I also tried something else new today and that was planting a few spare sprouts in  a wine barrel (empty of course) which I use as a garden pot. Yes, I have done it again and poked in 4 kumaras here … way over-planted but I had to do it. These guys were planted into some incredibly rich compost chocka with horse pooh and worms!

For those that don’t know or haven’t eaten kumara, it is delicious baked, mashed with spuds if you like or on it’s own. Great Kiwi tucker!

Sunday … another great day in the garden! I hauled out RB3 (raised bed 3) today. This meant chopping out one of the lavender bushes, which I hated doing but it had got rather large. The remaining bushes were given a bit of haircut. Everything else in the bed was removed, out came the nasturtium, old brassicas, weeds, with only a rather sad geranium remaining.

Into the denuded bed went about 6 bags of coffee grounds (great stuff), feijoa mulch and a good planting mix. So this bed plus the next one down the hill will get planted next weekend. I’m excited!

But before I get too excited though … I need to go and check out the kumara seedlings. I remembered this morning that given that there are already plants and mulch in this bed, that there inevitably will be those slimy little suckers, slugs living in here too! Oh dear … I can feel a beer trap coming on.

Nearly teenage …

Anyone wondering how my seedlings are getting on? Not too bad thanks … and some herbs also got popped into the tray for good measure .. oh alright, I forgot!

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