My fav season has arrived – I just wish some rain would!
And it just so happens to be Garden Share Collective month … a beaut initiative where a group of global bloggers share their veg patches. The trials and tribulations of growing your own. Pop on over to Lizzie’s blog from Strayed from the Table and meet the crew!
As my plans for the winter veg garden are done and dusted, I grabbed an old kitty litter tray yesterday (I know fraught with danger) and sieved compost into the vessel in readiness for some seeds. Oh what fun, into the dirt in rows went …
- Kale – Squire and Cavolo Nero
- Broccoli – De Cicco, Winter Rudolph, Precoce Romanesco
- Cauliflower – Violet Sicilian
- Cabbage – Verona Purple Savoy
- Bright Lights
- Celery – Elne
some more sieved compost over the top and each row labelled. I find this seed medium works a treat, as I refuse to use the bought stuff as it often contains fertiliser and fungicides.
More on those seeds once they have germinated!
Do you leave in self seeded stuff? I do this all the time and before I know it the uninvited guest has shouldered some of the residents out of the way. In a bed of carrots, zinnias, jack be little pumpkin and spinach, I have a self seeded tomato, cape gooseberry, plus calendulas and tansy plants – all self seeded and all in the wrong place. Until recently I also had allowed a kumara to get bossy in a spud bed. Not for long though, I hauled it out in haste on the weekend. Were there any tubers attached? Not likely! LOL
I don’t know about you, but one of my favourite things to do is make a ‘hot’ compost! I know – nutty right?
For my compost lasagna, I had cut down a huge pile of canna leaves. I had a load of dried stalks and leaves on hand, plus coffee grounds, weeds, blood & bone, egg cartons, food scraps and a ton of seaweed which I had grabbed from our local beach.
Starting with a nice pile of twigs and branches to elevate the compost, I then added carbon and nitrogen in layers – hosing as I went. A couple of blood and bone scoopfuls (activator) in the middle, more layers, more water, words of encouragement and then a sheet of black plastic to tuck it all in.
With a bit of luck and fingers tightly crossed, the heap should reach 60 degrees in 4 – 6 days. I suspect that my carbon / nitrogen ratio isn’t quite right (too much nitrogen) – but let’s wait and see.
We are still harvesting fruit from the orchard – pears, peaches and apples. As can be expected, the wildlife are also helping do this.
Nothing like home grown bananas
Golden Queen peach
Feijoas – starting to fill out
Yes we have a small macadamia tree
I have my eye on the quinces and figs and will net these soon as I have no intention of sharing. The crabapples have ripened and are looking quite lovely dangling from the tree. Hubby’s father Bill is a whiz at preserving. In fact, he is in the kitchen right now busy preserving our pears with star anise, cardamon and sugar syrup. Yum!
Egg production is slowing down … but that’s to be expected, it’s that time of the year. In saying that, my 5 young hens will be laying in about a month’s time – something to look forward to!
We are still eating zucchini, it is absolutely delicious grated and thrown into a salad. I’m busy freezing jalapeño chillies and keeping an eye on the habanero which have finally started to grow. I have an amazing supply of cucumbers which get feed to the chooks, juiced and tossed into salads. Plus we are enjoying beetroot, carrots, spring onions, spuds, NZ spinach, sorrel and an array of herbs.
Things to Do
- Haul out the beans and get those peas planted
- Water the seed tray morning and night – don’t forget!
- Net more fruit trees
- Squash more green shield beetles
- Weed, feed and talk to the garden
- Enjoy gazing at the zinnias in the veg garden
- Stop taking photos of bumble bees
- Add more mulch
- Prepare a garden for lupins .. time for a break
- Remove runners from the strawberries
- Keep taking water to the pumpkin
- Toss the cold compost
- Slow down and look! I have been stung twice this week
- Buy some worms – my bath tub is ready and waiting!
- Plant my beetroot seedlings they are bored with the punnet
Sorry about the manuscript!