What spring?

Bumble bees hard at it … amongst my wild flowers

Well the weather is quite honestly ‘crappy’. Not much else to say about it really. So much for having a long weekend!

I had a windbreak put up around the raised kumara bed on Friday. They were getting absolutely hammered by the relentless wind. In fact, I think I have lost at least 5 plants already. And not to the slugs either as expected.

So Saturday, team Bonner and our Helpx couple got cracking in the garden. We are so lucky with the people that we get via helpx … our Hungarian friends are super workers and terrific people into the bargain. Did I say cooks – yep superb in the kitchen too!

Lorci and I hauled out RB3. It had parsley (going to seed) coriander, beetroot, calendula (kept lots of the flower heads for tea) and weeds. Interestingly enough, half of this bed was covered with plants, the soil here was compacted and very dry. While the other half, which was covered by straw was moist and friable. Amazing … lots of worm life in both mind you.

So, as much as I don’t like disturbing the soil and its inhabitants, I opted to broadfork the bed. This tool is brilliant it lifts the soil helping to aerate and aids in breaking up compacted soil. Lorci was up next, standing on the fork and using her weight to lever the prongs through the soil. Terrific stuff.

Meantime, Charlie (her hubby) had filled up the tray of our ATV with cold compost. So this wonderful stuff was thrown onto the bed and then the straw tossed back on top.

To finish, I’ll throw on about 5- 6 bags of coffee grounds, planting mix, mulch and woodash. Oh and Rok Solid of course … This garden will be home to our summer tomatoes, spinach, zucchini and loads of gorgeous flowers!

I bought myself two new pairs of secateurs this week! Woohoo … so furnished with these Lorci started chopping up the greenery. The benefit of doing this is that the smaller the pieces the quicker they will break down in the compost.

The sheep got shorn this week. Murray our shearer – great bloke, gave them their annual haircut and trimmed their feet. As no one wants the wool, it also goes into the compost too.

Poppy … minus that wool and ready to go out dancing!

Have to brag a wee bit about our orchard and olives. I’m so excited … trees that have never fruited before, plums and pear (Doyenne du Commice) are sporting fruit. Sure they are tiny but who cares … first time for everything. And our olive trees at long last are absolutely laden with blossoms! This could be the year for them. Yay! We have decided that we won’t net them … mainly as many of them need a haircut and to net them would be extremely difficult. So in essence this means sharing them with birds …
One more orchard happening for my apple trees … a codling moth trap complete with pheromone was hung in one of the trees in the orchard. This trap isn’t actually designed to kill the moths as such but acts more as an indicator that the males are about. But in saying that, it does trap them … what do I think? Good!

Nearly time to plant my seedlings. As I do because I just can’t grow all my seedlings … I also buy a few too. It just so happens that my friend Rob owns Organic Herbs and Seedlings in Riverhead
( http://www.organicseedlings.co.nz) so I raced over to his place yesterday and bought some interesting plants … Horseradish, red sorrel (woohoo), red basil, tarragon, some gorgeous salvias, sage, globe artichoke, dwarf beans, chickpeas (nitrogen fixer) … and a host of other stuff that I just don’t have the time to grow. More on those next post … happy gardening!

Look at those spuds go … I mean grow!

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