Home

It’s Winter, But The Garden is Alive

Leave a comment

The shortest day of the year is almost upon us and although most of the winter is still to come, I’m feeling fantastic! There is so much happening around here and I’m enjoying seeing the progress in our yard and thinking about the opportunities to come.

I got my garlic planted. I didn’t get to plant it as early as I was intending to, but I still got it in before the shortest day and well before I usually do. I am really hoping to survive the rust this season. Starting from scratch with store-bought seed garlic is not fun when you’ve worked to grow bigger cloves of your own! I didn’t buy as much seed garlic this time, just in case. I planted 20 or 21 cloves of Printanor garlic in the vege garden and 2 cloves in The Herb Garden, as a small measure to avoid the rust. It’s better to get something than nothing. Then I planted my giant cloves of elephant garlic: 4 in the vege garden and 1 in The Herb Garden. This is the first time I’ve grown elephant garlic so I’m excited to see how it grows. And tastes. We all know I’m a fan of giant veges

I watered the garlic in with some compost tea. I forgot to tell y’all about my compost tea. When the comfrey was growing like bonkers last season I chucked a lot of it into a barrel and filled it with water. Some time later I added some chicken poop in there for some extra goodness. The barrel has a lid that is weighed down by a brick. And boy, does it need a lid! It doesn’t smell quite as bad now, after brewing for many months. I didn’t use it as much as I should have last season as I kept forgetting about it. That’s what happens sometimes when you put things in a far away corner. I dilute it to about 1 part nutritious, stinky tea to 10 parts water in a watering can and water stuff with it. I am going to make a point of using it a lot more and would like to experiment with some different kinds of compost tea if I have the time.

Who remembers my mushroom-growing adventure? Well, after doing all the required bits and pieces to get my oyster mushroom kit going, which wasn’t quite as ‘easy as growing grass’, I was left with the waiting period. While I got busy with my assignment I forgot to check on the mushrooms and then BOOM! The mushrooms appeared! This is what I found when I finally remembered to check them:

 

I grew mushrooms! Now we just have to wait until they get big enough to eat. Nom nom nom.

On Saturday, The Husband worked on his lumberjack skills. The doomed, unproductive, yellow-fleshed plum tree met it’s fate. I convinced The Husband to cut off more of the top branches before felling the rest of the tree, while The Little Fulla and I carted them off the the pruning mountain. Then, The Husband set to work on the tree with his chainsaw. There is always something to be nervous about when it comes to felling a tree and this time it was the fact that the part of the tree coming down wasn’t a straight trunk, it was leaning towards the paddock fence with the neighbour’s place and had a previously cut bit lower down on the trunk. But, The Husband is honing his tree-felling skills, and is rightly quite pleased about it. He secured the tree to the corner post on the deck with a rope and ratchet, cut a good wedge, made a straight cut from behind, then hauled on the rope, pulling the tree over in the right direction, avoiding the fence, the potting shed, the blackcurrants in the planter, any beings and even all my young plants in the garden bed. He then cut most of the tree up into firewood. We sure are supplying ourselves well with our tree felling at the moment! Don’t worry, we’re not going to fell ALL the trees.

I decided I’m going to keep our second Billington plum tree that is in the planter. I was going to sell it because I thought one tree was prolific enough, but we really like the Indian plum chutney I made and I’m a total fan of the frozen sliced fruit in the less fruity seasons of the year, and the plums just taste so good, even if they all come in a short space of time. So, the potted Billington is going to join its old Billington plum tree buddy in replacement of the felled tree. “But didn’t you buy an almond tree to plant there?” I hear you say… Yes. But, that is going to be planted in the new chicken pen, The Cedar Pen.

Plum Tree Garden

The Plum Tree Garden. The potted Billington plum tree is going to be planted somewhere around where it is sitting here. The mature Billington is on the left.

When I set up The Cedar Pen for the chickens I cleared out a lot of shrubbery because it was weedy, overgrown or needed to be trimmed out of repelling-the-chickens-over-the-fence height. I have been thinking about what I could plant in there, as it is not going to remain so bare. First, the ‘All In One’ almond got allocated a spot in there. Then, I thought, hey, there’s actually space for another fruit tree in here without cutting out too much sun. So, I consulted my Fruit Plan to see where there were harvest time gaps that I could help to fill. I spent some time graphing my fruit plan to get a better visual of which months had low harvesting possibilities, but my two graphs somehow disappeared while The husband was working on computer backup things.

I have decided on a ‘Royal Rosa’ apricot tree. Harvest time is November to December (late spring and early summer) and it is supposed to be good in warmer areas. We already have one very young apricot tree, the dwarf ‘Aprigold’ in The Herb Garden, but we could do with more apricots, especially in November when citrus is the only big fruit available in our garden.

Yesterday, The Husband and I worked on curtains for the woodshed. That makes a quirky mental image! No, we weren’t making it look pretty, we were making it more functional. The woodshed had gotten covered in a hotch-potch of more and more chicken wire and plastic netting in attempts to keep the chickens out of there and it was getting rather awkward to get firewood out. I cut a curtain, or screen, for each bay of the woodshed, nailed them on at the top with fence staples then put three nails down the wooden posts on each side for hooking the screens onto. The Husband fitted plastic grommets over the holes to hook over the nails. We just need a few things to finish this project: a couple more grommets, something to weight the screen down at the bottom and some sort of string system that The Husband wants to do so the screens can easily be hoisted up for accessing the woodshed. It sure looks a lot more tidy now.

Speaking of tidiness, I did some tidying up around the back door, which had been gathering more and more stuff. The back door often acts as the front door so the area does need some work to make it better. The wooden box that was sitting just outside the door was holding paper and cardboard for the fire, but didn’t have much left in it and I had sized it up for another purpose. I emptied it out and moved it into the garage to store The Little Fulla’s outdoor toys in, which is a great improvement on the cardboard boxes that they were sitting in. Removing the box means there is more space for walking around the outdoor table and chairs and that the shoes can be lined up nicely instead of being a major trip hazard. I also chucked out one of The Husband’s pairs of old work boots, since they were falling apart and there are two pairs outside. Unfortunately, he found them in the bin and retrieved them. What does a man want two pairs of old work boots for? This is not the last word on that matter. I would like to build a small, narrow shelf to store shoes and things on up against the wall. One day…

What’s next? Hopefully, tree planting, more wood chopping and woodpile tidying, more weed control, spreading hay in the chicken pen and dealing with the compost heaps.

Good Crop, Bad Crop

3 Comments

Don’t worry, this isn’t another post about a chicken with sour crop, it is about the vege crops. The garden didn’t get much attention over the nutty season but I’ve managed to tidy things up a bit since then. One moment it looks good, then the next wave of weeds tries to take over in this hot weather. The veges have gone super nuts too, which is a good thing. Generally. The pumpkins and potatoes think they’re living in the wilds and I have to keep taming them into some semblance of order, at least so I can get down the paths. It’s a good thing I made the main paths wide. And guess what? I actually mounded my potatoes this time. I had to sternly remind myself that last year I didn’t get around to mounding the potatoes and I had told Future Twiglet to MOUND THE POTATOES, no matter what. Future Twiglet listened. Except Future Twiglet is now Past Twiglet. The Little Fulla helped me harvest the potatoes from the two potato barrels, some of which we ate at Christmas, and he was most upset when I took his potatoes away for storing. I had to prise some of the little potatoes out of his hands, after which he sat down in a fit of tears by the compost pile and wouldn’t move. Potatoes are very exciting.

dscf9480

The vege garden is full of green stuff. The potatoes are the largest green mass on the left.

Now Present Twiglet has a new message for Future Twiglet: if the garlic gets rust, deal with it ASAP! This season is the first time my garlic has had an issue with rust. I was unaware of how big an issue it could be. And my garlic crop got walloped. Last season it got some rust but it was at the end of the season when it needed to be harvested, so it didn’t matter. We had a very wet patch this winter and spring, which is why many people ended up with rust on their garlic. The rust arrived on the spring onions and they shared it around. I trimmed back the worst-affected leaves but it was too little too late. My garlic crop was munted. The rust stunts its growth and I was left with weeny bulbs barely worthy of even being called bulbs. Next time I see rust on my garlic I will immediately cut back the affected plants and spray all the garlic and onions with a copper fungicide. At least I am not alone in in my garlic woes. The tomatoes have been slow to get growing since I was slow to get them in, but are starting to get somewhere now. Except for the ones that have early blight and/or a virus or some other unknown thing. Argh! This is not going to be a particularly good tomato season either.

dscf8960

All that excessive seed garlic has gone to waste on rust-infected plants with puny ‘bulbs’. I think this is the most dismal vege crop failure I’ve ever had. T’was a sad day when I pulled this forsaken crop out of the garden.

Sadly, the cucumbers are a lost cause this season. A certain rooster named Mr Bingley got into the vege garden one day (I think he was punishing me for having sick Jane in Chicken Hospital) and dug big holes by the little cucumber plants, damaging the stems of both of them. One is still in there clinging to life but it’s not doing anything so I need to pull it out. When I went to buy some replacements from Bunnings they didn’t have any so the cucumber spot on the netting remains empty. I suppose it’s not too late to plant a cucumber now if I can source a seedling.

Things are chugging along in the salad greens department. My sorrel is doing very well in a bigger pot by the door and, being perennial, it is an ever-present, helpful, lemony addition to salads. I am very pleased with my wild rocket (Diplotaxis tenuifolia). It is a little more spicy than it’s annual cousin, but it just keeps going and going and the leaves don’t get horribly bitter when it flowers. This means that a) I don’t have to worry about deadheading it and b) it provides some food for the pollinator insects at the same time as providing a continuous addition to salads for us. Perennial salad greens for the win! I won’t bother growing annual rocket again as it just bolts to seed and goes bitter in the heat. The lettuces are growing well despite the heat and dry, with some shade from the pumpkins. Planting them on the south side of some of the pumpkins was a good idea. I just have to keep remembering to stop the pumpkins from smothering them. The kale is doing staunchly well, as usual.

The carrots seem to be doing well and I am even managing to succession plant them, although the latest lot of seed went in just before Christmas and I haven’t exactly been able to keep them moist. I tried to delegate watering to the rain, but it didn’t listen to my instructions. The beans have been slow to get going, partially thanks to some pesky intruders. A flock of California quail has been hanging out in the area and while they haven’t been in the vege garden as much lately, they wreaked a lot of damage in the early planting stages by digging holes everywhere, particularly along the edges of the raised beds. This caused the loss of a few seedlings and disturbed others. They look so innocent bobbing along but they are fast and fly quite high, so I have not been able to get close to them. The havoc they wreaked on my garden, plus their consumption of my snail pellets, plus their susceptibility to diseases and pests shared by chickens, including Mareks, put them on my death list. Operation Nail the Quail has been a bit delayed over the busy season, but I am going to make a wire trap. The Husband’s grand alternative is shooting them with his homemade bow, which he doesn’t yet have proper arrows for. The day he spends hours hiding in the bushes in order to get close enough to shoot them I’ll fall off my chair. Another possibility is chicken pellets laced with alcohol to make them drunk enough to catch by some means or another. I think we’ll just stick with the trap.

The Atlantic Giant pumpkin plants are starting to take over the compost area. I am supposed to be letting just one pumpkin grow per plant and cutting off laterals and things but the plants have taken advantage of my distraction. The first pumpkin on the main plant was discovered by The Little Fulla and got squished and damaged, so I had to leave the plant to grow another fruit. Now it has more than one and I’ll have to get in there and sort it out. The weeds are trying to take over in this area too, so dealing with them is on my to-do list.

The Herb Garden is slowly chugging along and currently looking very pleasant, despite a mass resurgence of weeds. I have just weeded it so it probably won’t look this good for long. All the soil movement from removing stumps and leveling things out has disturbed the seed bed. The weed seeds of many long-gone weeds are awake and raring to go. My eagerness to get the herbs planted before dealing with all these incoming weed children means I am going to be battling them for a while, but that is the price I’m paying for setting my herbs free from their pots and having them grow lush in the garden.

dscf9473

The Herb Garden looks pretty tidy after a long weeding effort. I need to trim the herbs into nice ball shapes again, something that has to be done frequently.

There is a lot more work going on in the rest of the garden, but we’ll save that for another day. I am enjoying busting out my my new garden tools, courtesy of having a wishlist for Christmas: a big, shiny shovel, to replace the one which The Husband broke, and ‘fixed’, which was actually his work one anyway, and a telescopic pruning saw. The pruning saw is a thing of wonder. It extends extremely far and also has a removable head and short handle for use as a regular pruning saw. Now I can tackle all those pruning jobs without having to borrow The Father’s telescopic pruning saw for unexplained amounts of time. Next time I use my saw though, I will check for birds nests. There was a highly disturbing incident in which I discovered, as I hauled away branches from the yellow-fleshed plum tree, that I had not only felled the high-up branches, but also a nest full of helpless-looking baby birds. I put them back in the nest and placed it in the tree, not even knowing what type of birds they were or if they had been damaged, but feeling terrible all the same. Later on, the fur child turned up on the doorstep with a dead baby bird. Then, as I looked out the window while giving The Little Fulla his afternoon tea, she played with her ‘Christmas present’ under the plum tree: the nest of doomed baby birds. As if I didn’t already feel bad enough! Needless to say, the fur child wasn’t very hungry that night…

dscf9551

The ‘Tobasco’ chilli plants on the deck are doing well.

In Which The Garlic Almost Goes Down The Rabbit Hole

3 Comments

Winter is garlic planting time. The shortest day is like a non-specific marker that reminds me to plant the garlic some time in the near future. I usually end up doing it in late June or early July. This year I am doing a combination of what to do and what not to do with garlic. Obviously, I planned it that way for educational purposes…

When I went to get my saved garlic bulbs from last season out of the potting shed I had a problem. They were rotten. WHAT?! It turns out you shouldn’t chuck your carefully chosen, largest garlic bulbs from your harvest onto a shelf in the potting shed and forget about them until planting time. Mind you, I don’t think it was so much of a storage issue as a way-too-much-rain-just-before-harvest issue. I should have known and checked them since some of the rest of our garlic hung for cooking went squishy and mouldy. Silly Twiglet.

It was almost mid-July and I suddenly had to face the problem of finding seed garlic to plant. I was late for a very important date and I had to scramble to find some. I quickly bought some heirloom Kakanui garlic from Trade Me. 30 cloves. I haven’t tried this one before so I thought I better get some of the usual Printanor garlic too. The stuff I could find in store was a little small but it would have to do. Then, when I went to throw away my munted saved garlic, I discovered, on closer inspection, that some of the cloves were actually ok, so I set aside the good, big ones and biffed the rest. Except for the small ones that were ok; they went into the kitchen for culinary purposes. I suppose these second-chance cloves will be more at risk of rotting in the ground but it’s ok, I have back-ups! Suddenly, things were looking far better in the garlic department with three lots to go in.

DSCF7574 cp

Kakanui garlic cloves. They are nice, big cloves. I bought 30, got 36 and planted 34. One was squishy and one was too small.

DSCF7581 cp

This looks like a nice, fat garlic clove, right? No! It is squishy. Don’t plant squishy garlic.

DSCF7583 cp

My Printanor garlic cloves at top, saved from last season, the Printanor garlic I bought at bottom and a Kakanui garlic clove in the middle. I am SO pleased I got some big saved garlic cloves to carry on my legacy from last year.

Before planting the garlic I needed to replenish the soil back to the top of the raised bed. Yes, I was supposed to do this some while before planting the garlic. Yes, I think I did the same thing last year. Another what not to do. For educational purposes. But, never mind, because this is where I got excited about a pile of brown stuff. And no, it wasn’t poop this time. Although it was slightly weedy on top, the oldest compost pile contained beautiful, dark, ready compost. I made good compost! Woop woop! Well, to be fair, the pile was started before we bought the place last year, but we added a lot to it, also, The Husband turned it once, so I should say we made good compost. One of the main factors leading to this amazing brown pile was a good combination of ‘browns’ and ‘greens’ that were added to it; ‘browns’ (small branches, dead leaves, poopy wood shavings and hay from the chickens, soil or compost, wood ash, etc.) being of a greater percentage. It is a lot easier to get plenty of ‘browns’ on a property of this size thanks to the never-ending supply of prunings and chicken litter.

DSCF7557 cp

We made brown stuff! Isn’t it beautiful?

So, there I was, all excited about my pile of brown stuff, when along came The Little Fulla, who was even more excited about it. While The Husband helped shovel compost into the wheelbarrow, The Little Fulla grabbed clumps of brown stuff, squelched it in his wee hands and ate it. Er, did someone order a large dose of immunities? Then he crawled over to the vege bed (The Little Fulla, not The Husband) and discovered that we were putting more of the exciting brown stuff in there. So much excitement! A big clean-up of our browned child followed.

Later, when I was free to poke around in the garden by myself, I planted out the garlic cloves. There were rain showers off and on, so I had to run between the vege garden and the potting shed a few times like a mad hatter. I used plastic netting to space the cloves evenly without having to look like a dork with a tape measure. Plenty of time for that later. I planted one clove in the centre of every second ‘square’, which made them 10cm x 11cm apart, ideal for the deep bed method, but I staggered the rows to give them slightly more space.

DSCF7579 cp

Using a plastic mesh grid to position the garlic cloves in a glorious bed of compost.

Using these grids was extremely satisfying to my orderly nature and as a bonus, leaving them there until the garlic starts to pop up deters cats from digging in there. I didn’t put them all right next to each other in case of random disasters or misadventures. Lets hope that it’s not so wet around harvest time this year. And do you know how many garlic cloves I have planted? I have 34 Kakanui, 14 of my Printanor and 13 of the store-bought Printanor. That’s 61 cloves of garlic. Exxxcellent.

DSCF7589 cp

We may all be mad here, but the vege bed is getting more and more sane-looking.

 

The Vege Garden

2 Comments

Oops, I didn’t mean to leave my vege garden update for so long. Anyone would think it had fallen into disarray or been trampled by pigs (both reasonably likely). But no, it is looking pretty good and full at the moment and a beautiful bout of rain has set in today, which is perfect timing for its watering needs. I even stuck pretty well to my Vege Plan, with a few unfortunate exceptions.

The main raised vege bed

This photo was taken a week before the above one

BIG lettuces! A Cos above and Buttercrunch below. I’m a big fan of this deep bed method. And I do have a thumb; I don’t know what happened to it…

The main exception was due to a little forgetfulness and busyness. The few things that I sowed from seed directly into the vege garden (other than the carrots) failed to fire because I couldn’t keep the soil moist for their germination. These were the bok choy and spinach. It’s just as well I sowed everything else in trays and transplanted them. One section of carrots failed to germinate but I’m assuming it’s because the seeds for that cultivar (Manchester Table) were a little old. Plus the fur child had a little disturbance party in there. The Bastille carrots next door are fine though.

Capsicums, chillies, kale, parsley, etc. There are a few bare patches where bok choy is supposed to be.

The other main exception is a few of the tomato plants got a virus or some such malady. I pulled out two of the Big Beefs (auto-correct changed their name to Big Needs; very appropriate) that were under the bamboo tee-pees and the yellow-fruiting Golden Nugget that was beside them. Not soon enough though. The other Big Beef and the other Golden Nugget at that end of the bed have now got this blasted malady too. The other tomatoes are further away and appear to be fine. I’m actually not too disappointed as I probably planted too many tomatoes for this particular point in time. They are a high maintenance crop. And I still have my favourites down the other end: Black Krim, Amish Paste and the cherries. I would like to try some of the yellows though.

Amish Paste tomatoes with various salvias in front. One salvia died. Oops.

Four Black Krim tomatoes on the right and two Gardener’s Delight cherry tomatoes on the left.

Black Krim tomatoes coming along

Smaller deviations from the Vege Plan include not sowing enough meadowfoam whilst sowing a small forest of sweet alyssum for the flower department (oops) and adding a couple of basil plants in since the Herb Garden is still just a grand vision in my head.

Meadowfoam (Limnanthes douglasii)

Sweet alyssum (Lobularia maritima) and Salvia splendens ‘Salsa Deep Purple’

While harvesting is a little delayed, the crops are slowly getting there. Over Christmas I had to get The Husband to harvest the garlic before they rotted since I had too many things to do. They are a decent size considering I didn’t get time to get my liquid feeding act together. Maybe next season! I got The Husband to lay them out to dry in the order in which I planted them so we could see the effects of clove planting size. The garlic bulbs were generally bigger at the bigger clove end, though not the very end bulb, but there were a few big bulbs right in the middle too. Interesting. I need to pick out the biggest ones to save for planting next season.

One of the mixed capsicums, which happens to be a purple

The chillies are coming

The harvested garlic drying in the sun

Garlic bulbs

The garlic with some red onions ‘harvested’ from the compost heap. An accidental crop yay!

The pumpkin plants are currently trying to take over the world, as they do, so I need to sort them out before they smother the cucumbers and I need to tie my capsicums to their stakes. I also need to sow some more seeds of various things, preferably now, while it’s raining. Oh dear, I suppose I should add that to my mountainous to-do list!

The pumpkin jungle

The first cucumber. Normally I cull the low fruit while it’s tiny to avoid ‘ground fruit’. A good side-effect of the tomato deaths is that the cucumbers can now take over the bamboo tee-pees.

A New Way of Planting Veges

5 Comments

As spring marches on I am slowly getting veges planted in the little pockets of time that I have. The Little Fulla doesn’t often sleep for very long at a time during the day, so when he does I throw on some gardening clothes and almost run outside and hack into things like there’s no tomorrow. That is, after showering, eating, doing washing, doing the dishwasher, etc, etc… If I can get a few things planted or pruned or a patch of hideous weeds pulled out then it’s a good day. Time is precious.

Potato leaves

The potatoes have launched. And the weeds.

'Black Krim' tomato plant

A ‘Black Krim’ tomato plant

While I have been planting capsicums, chillies and tomatoes, The Husband has had other ideas. Last Friday evening he announced that he was going outside to start clearing up in the garage. I was very pleased. I just about fell off the chair. It has been a big mess in there since we moved. He was at it again on Saturday, so I went out with The Little Fulla to have a look. That’s when I learnt that “clearing up the garage” is husband code for “clearing my workbench so I can build a sky rocket”. Oh dear. The mind boggles. Needless to say, I wrote The Husband a to-do list of some of the things I would like him to do. They are infinitely less exciting and dangerous than building a sky rocket, but are rather more essential.

Raised vege bed

The raised vege bed

As for the vege planting, I have stuck to my vege plan so far. I liked my old way of planting vege crops in nice straight rows. It gave me a sense of orderliness and visual satisfaction. But I have learned that it isn’t the best way to plant your crops. Mixing crops with beneficial flowering plants, spreading crops around the vege garden and planting some in groups instead of rows is supposed to help with pests and diseases as well as improve production. Admittedly, I’ve known this for a while, even if I didn’t know much about it, but I had a kind of disdain for such haphazard garden beds. Oh, the struggle with my orderly nature. The funny thing is, this season I have put more time and detail into creating my mixed vege bed plan than ever before, so that is satisfying my orderliness for now.

Capsicums and chillies

Capsicums and chillies

Makeshift tomato bed

The makeshift tomato bed allowing four tomato plants to grow up against the existing wire netting.

Makeshift tomato bed 2

I mixed some compost with old hen house woodshavings and poop for the ‘Amish Paste’ tomatoes. Token feather child in the background.

The vege garden now contains 11 tomatoes, 7 capsicums, 2 chillies, 2 pumpkins and some carrot seeds, in addition to the potatoes, spring onions and garlic. Looking at my seed trays, the next in will be cucumbers and beans, followed by lettuces and more tomatoes. The pumpkins had a narrow escape from death. They were sitting innocently on the lounge window sil when the fur child launched herself through the improperly fastened fly screen over the neglectfully open window in the middle of the night to get inside. The falling screen broke the pumpkin pot and a bit of another seed tray and the biggest pumpkin plant was knocked. I figured I should just plant it since it had already been disturbed and am hoping it doesn’t succumb to fatal injuries.

Tomatoes and garlic

Tomatoes and garlic. There’s room for two more tomatoes in here; just waiting for them to get big enough.

Bamboo teepees

The double bamboo teepee we brought over from our old place. The rest were dismantled so I need to make a few more single ones for the rest of the tomatoes that will be in the main bed.

Poor pumpkins

The poor pumpkins. Naughty fur child.

 

Meanwhile, I am waging war against the weeds…

Small Garden Happenings

Leave a comment

I’ve been getting more small things done in the garden when I can manage it, when I’m not too tired and when Little Twiglet isn’t fidgeting around like a maniac (a common occurrence). I had to prune the grape vine, which was new to me. After googling what to do, it became clear that I had to prune it back hard as it had very little structure and lots of thin spindly branches going everywhere. It’s still on a bit of an angle so I’m trying to straighten it with a stake. Apparently it will grow back strongly over spring and summer and I can then selectively prune it to develop a couple of strong branches to train up and along the fence. Now the only problem is that camellia stump next to it, one of the millions, that needs to be dug out. And more scary ivy.

Pruned grape vine

The pruned grape vine

I have planted some much-needed lettuces. I got desperate and just bought some seedlings and planted them behind some of the garlic; where I’m planning to plant tomatoes but I figure I can get the lettuces grown and eaten before then… This narrow raised bed is the only ‘ready’ part of the vege garden at the moment, which is dutifully protected from the roving beaks of the chickens.

Lettuces and garlic

Lettuces and garlic

Lettuces

Grow, little lettuces

Something else I did, which was a little more strenuous, was sort out my potting shed. It is called the potting shed, although it is still waiting to receive my potting bench, which is still sitting in the carport waiting for some strong men to move it… One day… A lot of my gardening stuff was still in boxes so I unpacked things and sorted most of them out on the shelves. The Husband is going to build me another shelf in the compartment on the left, which was storing firewood and odd bits and pieces when we bought the house. There were already some nails on the walls, which some of the tools are hanging on, and I shall tidy things up more once I get my potting bench positioned in there. I just love all the wood the shed is made of.

The potting shed

The potting shed

Welcome inside

 

 

One day there will be a potting bench in here...

One day there will be a potting bench in here…

It's a lot tidier than it was before

It’s a lot tidier than it was before

The compartment on the left is awaiting a shelf

The compartment on the left is awaiting a shelf

The tool corner

The tool corner

Window

The potting shed is too dark at the moment, so I would like to get a proper window put in here to replace the fixed wooden slats and netting.

And now for some cheerful colour to brighten up a rainy day like today. My blue Anemone coronaria‘s are flowering so I’ve put the pot on the outdoor table to enjoy. Happy gardening!

Anemone coronaria

Anemone coronaria (Poppy Anemone)

Anemone coronaria

Anemone coronaria (Poppy Anemone)

The Timber has Landed

1 Comment

This week a load of timber arrived from our local timber mill. On planning the raised vege beds I decided that a) we needed more timber than what the old beds were made of to make the two new beds and b) it would be easier for The Husband to construct at least one of them with some better-sized timber. So, I sucked it up and bought some timber.

Timber load

Hello, timber

The arrival of the timber spurred The Husband into action and he has built three sides of the first vege bed so far. It is no mean feat. Each piece of timber was 150 x 50mm and 4.8m long and he has cut some of the pieces to form a bed approximately 1.6m wide by 8m long. Yup, that’s a whopping long vege bed! And the sides are two timber widths high too, giving a nice workable height of 30cm. This bed sure won’t be going anywhere in a hurry. It is H4 treated pine so it should last for a long time in contact with the soil.

Assembling the vege bed

The Husband assembling one 8m long side of the vege bed

Vege bed 3 sides

The vege bed with three sides made

Now it’s a matter of moving some of the soil mounds from the previous square beds and the black plastic that is under some of them in order to assemble the last side of the vege bed. My contribution was measuring out the area, putting the stakes in where I wanted the vege bed lined up and making a diagram on a spreadsheet to work out how much timber we needed and what sizes it needed to be cut to. And I helped hold up the 8m long side while The Husband nailed it in. Not bad for just over 5 weeks of pregnancy to go…

On another note, the garlic has come up – every single clove I planted! I am very pleased about this. If nothing else gets planted in the vege garden at least I will have one homegrown crop to make me happy. And a husband who is currently accumulating a lot of brownie points…

Garlic shoots

Hello, garlic

Older Entries