I always find it interesting to return home after some time away to see what’s happening in the garden. You may have noticed a lull in my usually regular posts over the last week, this is due to another trip ‘home’ – well to the town I grew up in anyway. I haven’t lived there for 14 years but I still find myself calling it home, I wonder when that will stop? Perhaps when I have lived somewhere else for longer. As with my last trip home it was just myself and the girls, Mr Good left to his own devices, a somewhat scary prospect. I left what I thought was very simple and clear instructions for the garden “Water every second day unless it rains on the watering day”. Unfortunately he was a little slack and some of the pots and garden beds looked quite thirsty by the time we returned. Not really what I wanted to find after a torturous four and a half hour drive with a very unhappy baby and a frustrated toddler – though it was an improvement on the journey there which ended up taking six hours (a trip I can do on my own in a little over three hours).
Thankfully there were no fatalities (garden ones I mean) in the time I was away and I thought now that most of the seedlings are in the ground it was a good time for a general update. So in the gardens I currently have:
10 tomatoes (three cherry, one valentine, 3 Amish Paste and 3 Principe Borghese) – I also ended up giving away two seedlings and still have a few more waiting for bigger pots to go into)
1 (lonely) capsicum
3 cucumbers (though the snails may still get these as they have the 6 others I’ve planted out)
4 (magnificent) potato plants
12 corn – now looking nice and robust
4 beans – still struggle to get these going and have replanted some for the third time
2 Pak Choy – another I’m struggling with, will try to plant more soon
5 zucchinis with lots of flowers (and tiny white flying bugs, any ideas what these are or if I should do something about them?
6-8 carrots (not my best effort here)
7 (very sick) pea/snowpea – think I will pull these out and start again
1 mountain of silverbeet
parsley (going to seed)
2 apple trees (far from fruiting at this early stage)
1 plum tree (as above)
1 small bay tree
1 tiny blueberry bush
(not a bad list considering I live in a ‘villa unit’ with small yard)
It has been a bit hit and miss getting some of the vegetables established. I seem to have a bit of a black thumb when it comes to beans, pak choy, cucumbers, carrots, basil, and coriander. As well I’ve planted loads of marigold and sunflower seeds and very few have survived. I’ve now taken to covering the seedlings with plastic bottles with the bottoms cut off until they are more established as well as resorting to those dreaded little green pellets – though with a toddler and dog I’m very careful about where I put these. Apparently I took the snails by surprise the first night, as I came out to an absolute massacre the next morning.
Of course the most exciting part of coming back and inspecting the garden has been seeing the tiny little tomatoes on the plants, the zucchinis covered with flowers and baby zucs, the potatoes beginning to flower, masses of new growth on the fruit trees and the fattening up of the corn stalks.
I still have a few things trying to get going in the hothouse. Mostly basil which I desperately want in the garden and have always been grow without issue until now so it is particularly frustrating. There are also a couple of capsicums coming on, hopefully to keep the other one company. And for some reason a beetroot plant has come up in there out of nowhere.
It is most satisfying now to wander around the garden in all its transformed glory. I still have a few more plans for the garden, but it is now pretty much as I envisioned when we began the work. The most pressing problem that needs to be addressed is the watering situation. At the moment I water everything by hand with a 9 litre watering can. It takes about 10-12 refills to get the whole garden done and quite a long time (lugging the heavy full watering can all over the yard). I’m thinking of experimenting with some kind of drip tube attached to the tanks, but as there is no pump on the tanks it will be interesting to see if the water gets through. I really need to set something up, as we will be away for two weeks in February and asking someone to look after the garden and all that watering is a bit much I think.
Now to trawl through the other fantastic gardening blogs out there to catch up on what I’ve missed and see what spectacular things are happening in others gardens. I’ve been suffering withdrawal from my lack of blogging and blog reading lately.