|Our first dahlia of the season … woohoo|
It is Saturday evening and I’m sitting in front of the laptop woefully staring out the window. Why? Well it has something to do with the weather, which oddly enough is meant to be spring – but it just isn’t. It has been cool, damp, overcast and bleak – and to think summer is only 2 weeks away? Hmm
I had all these grandiose plans for the day … start hot compost, spray fruit trees with seaweed brew, spray chook paddock with same, dig out a few tired lavender, weed (always stuff to hoist out) and attempt to put up a temporary chook barrier around my spuds. But thanks to the weather I have managed to do zip!
Speaking of those chooks – it just so happens that there are now 3 of them escaping daily … they have a 1/2 acre paddock to roam in, 24/7 freedom within this space, a maid (me) that daily removes their pooh from their abode … aptly named ‘Chook Towers’ and they get ‘top’ tucker morning and night! So what gives? Just goes to show – the grass is always greener on the other side! So sadly when I saw the damage from their scratching amongst my spud plants, uncovering tiny baby potatoes in their wake, I realised that it is time to get tough … or more appropriately, put the damned fence up again!
So back to the garden … today may have been unpleasant but the week has been good.
|Flowers … to make everyone feel better|
I did manage to sow some more seeds last week, more lovely heirloom varieties of beans – Purple king, Scarlet Runner and Painted Lady. And quite a few various varieties of lettuce and beetroot and lastly some wonderful pak choy, which will be up and out of that seed mix in a couple of days! Fantastic stuff … so easy to grow, perfect with all Asian food.
My zucchini are blasting away which they do every year and even though they are still youngsters, I can see flowers developing (looks like female). Fab! Yes all the seedlings are doing really well showing significant growth. More exciting though is my garlic … which is looking brilliant. Being rather impatient, I dug around the base of one of them the other day and could feel a nice sized bulb. Yay!
|How good is this? Zucchini …|
The spring onions while planted in bunches are skyward bound and at last the kumara is starting to ‘leaf up’. I shall be mulching beds soonish to protect the soil from the summer sun (am I kidding?)
|Spring onions ….|
|Self seeded cucurbit … question is, what is it?|
All is good in the main vege raised beds, in fact one of the beds has an amazing array of self seeded stuff that is growing like mad. Parsley, poppy, tomato, cucurbit (I have no idea whether it is cucumber or pumpkin) calendula and a host of other stuff yet to be determined greenery … all growing very happily in my newly planted bed … why? Because I used soil from my cold compost! Classic … just in case you don’t know the difference – a hot compost is usually one that is made by layering nitrogen (green) and carbon layers of organic material, adding a compost activator such as comfrey, blood and bone or any other high in nitrogen material and hosing the pile with lots of water. The trick is ensuring that the ‘post’ is in the right place, sunny, not too much wind and good drainage – wrap it up in black plastic and leave the microorganisms to do the rest.
|Meet our cold compost!|
That is a hot compost … well it should be in about 3 days time, potentially reaching 65 degrees which will kill seeds and disease (although I wouldn’t make a habit of throwing in diseased material). Whereas our cold compost isn’t made in a day. It doesn’t get TLC and it certainly isn’t it the ‘right’ spot – as it only gets sun for limited hours. Plus it gets added to over a period of time, none of this ‘one day stuff’. It doesn’t get hosed down either and it certainly doesn’t get tucked in. Therefore, seeds, fungal spores etc., don’t get killed in this heap … it just doesn’t get hot enough. So there …
Yes it has been an interesting week! The arrival of our new beehive, thanks to a friend Rikki. At last, Frog Pond Farm has bees again … those wonderful fuzzy critters that are a joy to have about. The hive has been placed in the perfect spot … nestled between two trees, a loquat and a persimmon and protected from the wind. The vege and flower gardens are just up the hill … with food abounding closer at hand. Am I excited? You bet ….
|How good is this!!!|