Autumn is here at last

How moody is this pic! The vege garden is looking a tad shabby!

How moody is this pic! The vege garden is looking a tad shabby!

Wow what a busy time, full steam ahead in Marlborough harvest is happening. Toi Toi wine time!

I adore autumn … one of my favourite seasons. The chill in the morning and in the late evening is a reminder that winter is on the way. In saying that, the weather during the day is still amazingly hot and dry in Auckland but there may be the chance of rain over the next few days. Leaves have started to change colour and fall to the ground, covering the grass beneath in layers of brown crunchy carbon, super stuff to gather up and put in bins or bags and leave behind the garage for a year or two to breakdown, a very slow process. However, if you can be patient it creates what is known as leaf mould  a wonderful amendment to your garden, helping to condition the soil and provide a new abode for those worms and garden life.

This is the time to start hoisting out those beds of spent vege and start replenishing the soil for the next crop. And it just so happens to be Easter this weekend, so I have plenty of  time to get cracking!

A nasty green shield bettle nymph, alive and well in my garden!

A nasty green shield bettle nymph, alive and well in my garden!

I shall follow my plan that I did a few weeks back – which will mean hoisting out RB6 which has been the summer home to the beans and cucumbers. The apple cuc is minus its greenery now, in other words it has died leaving a score of white wonders on the soil – much loved by my chooks. Into this bed will go peas which will enjoy clambering up the trellis and also my brassica seedlings which are busting out of those punnets! Those rotten white butterflies are also loving this superb autumn weather, so my seedlings will need to be protected from these by erecting cloches … but more on that next post.

The garden that produced some very tasty spuds this year is going to have a rest over winter. Well to be honest, there isn’t much point in planting vege here anymore, as the stand of pines in the paddock next door has grown madly, shading this space in winter from the sun. So I have opted to sow some lupins this weekend which will act as a good cover crop protecting the soil below from the winter weather. Oh, and we can’t forget that lupins just so happen to be a nitrogen fixer.

The bed that I have decided will be home to a jumble of winter plants also will get some work this weekend with the lavender bushes here given a serious haircut while the NZ spinach will be removed and hoisted over the fence again for those very lucky chooks.

Loving those chillies ... growing famously

Loving those chillies … growing famously

Yes, the long weekend is going to be a busy one, with compost being used to top up flower beds and replenish flower pots which are dotted around our deck. Time to remove those petunia plants which have looked splendid over summer but are looking a tad tired now, haul out potted parsley which I has been left for parasitic wasps to feed on. A quick trip to the nursery to grab some winter pansies and the likes to jazz up those pots again. Ah gotta love that garden!

My fav, lemon bergamot, bees loves it.

My fav, lemon bergamot, bees loves it.

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