Seedlings and summer

Beautiful salvia .. a splash of purple amongst that green!

Beautiful salvia .. a splash of purple amongst that green!

Fishing! One of my favourite past times, next to gardening of course! Something mind you that I do rarely. Why? Well quite simply, if you have land and animals and loads of gardens, it gets really tough trying to get away. So after saying all of that, I did manage to get away last weekend. A 2.5 hour trip down the coast to Pauanui to fish. And guess what? I caught nothing, nada! Shame.

Summer! We are having a ‘cracker’ of a summer. It is beautiful every day, literally. Sparkling blue skies, the odd cloud puff, light breeze and no rain. Yes no rain! So unlike Auckland weather – it usually rains all the time. I don’t think we have had rain now for well over 3 weeks which is a worry. Huge cracks in the ground, stressed trees and plants. Some good news though, apparently there is rain forecast next week. Yay!

Sussex_250213-1020232

Gorgeous girls .. new to Frog Pond Farm

So all of that aside I have 2 new chooks and I’m very excited. I might not have caught any fish, but on the drive home last weekend, we grabbed 2 Lavender Sussex from a poultry breeder, and very pretty they are too. They are 18 weeks old (teenagers) and all being well will be laying in about 4 weeks time. They were installed in a hutch for 24 hours within the confines of the chook paddock – this helps to get the others ‘used’ to them and hopefully avoid any bullying.  Instant love for Russell though, he was smitten!

As for my beautiful garden, it is loving all the sun, fertiliser and water that it gets regularly. Truth is we water every day pumping up from our duck pond. Without this believe me, there would be no garden!

The orchard is looking sad, lack of water. And to make things worse, those damned wild turkeys have been stealing the last of the fruit on the trees. Hmm ..Speaking of my trees, those that are devoid of fruit will now be pruned and I have decided to do a tree each day. Good idea and I just happen to love pruning too!

Seedlings to be pricked out ...

Seedlings to be pricked out …

The seeds that I sowed last week were skyward bound within a few days. So on Monday I diligently pricked out at least 6 of each variety. The process is fairly straight forward ….

Remove the seedlings from the planting tray. I use a bread knife or similar to insert under the seedlings gently hoisting them from the soil by their leaves (avoid touching the stem or roots).Previously fill a punnet with a good planting mix ideally organic, ensuring that the soil is moist. Poke a hole into each section of the punnet with a pencil or similar and drop the seedling into the hole  (usually 6 seedlings per punnet). Don’t be frightened to drop it all the way in up to its leaves, believe me it will grow. Once in the punnet carefully pile the soil around the seedling and give it a good water (fine mist/spray is ideal). I will spray mine with fish/seaweed fertiliser every few weeks until they are planted out. Don’t forget to label each punnet too, it makes life so much easier, you might wish to date them also. Seedlings need sunlight to grow and they enjoy warmth too. So ensure that they get plenty … but remember to keep up the water.

So there we go nice and easy. About the only thing that I will have to worry about now are the pesky white butterflies. My seedlings are sun baking outdoors and will need netting to ensure they are safe until they go into the beds!

Lovely heirloom cucumbers. What powdery mildew?

Lovely heirloom cucumbers. What powdery mildew?

Happy gardening …

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