The last few weeks of February and the start of March have been so pleasant it’s been a joy to get back into the garden. Sadly time constraints have meant I haven’t done all I wanted but I’ve made a good start. And as always this little review is being shared with the Garden Share Collective crew, a source of wonderful inspiration and advice, and hosted by Lizzie from Strayed from the Table. I urge you to check out the other sharers, you’ll be sure to pick up a few tips along the way.
The major development in the garden this month is all down to the very clever Mr Good, who finished off half the recycled brick paths around the raised beds he also built for me. When we moved into this house last July there was a fairly useless paved area near the clothesline. Both were in the way of future veggie patch plans and also had to be dug up in order to run electricity to the back shed. We opted to keep the bricks and Mr Good cleaned them all, scraped the cement off them and has reused them as our paths. It’s so nice to walk around the beds – dodgying the sprawling and monstrous tomato plants – on proper paths as opposed to muddy or dusty dirt pits. There’s still more to do, but we will need to source more bricks for those so it might be a while off.
As for the plants, everything is going well now that the extreme heat has left us. The tomatoes and strawberries are ripening well and I’m picking them every couple of days. I also have heaps of runners coming off the strawberries. I’m thinking of getting these to grow in pots and the snipping the running off when the new plant gets going. I need to dig this garden bed up and then deal with the rampant kykuyu grass before I can plant it out again. I assume this is a job I should leave til winter when the strawberry plants won’t mind being moved. The early tomato plants are also starting to look pretty ragged and probably won’t stay in the ground too much longer.
Believe it or not, these are all sprawling out-of-control tomatoes. I did a terrible job of staking them this year!
The zucchini has had a couple of spurts putting out half a dozen big fruit at once, but has now slowed to just one or two a week. The cucumber on the other hand went berzerk and at one point I picked ten or eleven cucumbers in one week. I’m still picking five or six a week. After such a slow start I sure am pleased it finally got there.
The corn is only days away from being picked. I thought it would have been ready a little earlier, but the sneak peaks I took still looked a bit insipid instead of a creamy yellow. I hope I haven’t left it too late now. I’m going to try picking one or two tomorrow night and cook them on the BBQ with some beef kebabs.
The potato bed is look very much the worse for wear? Should I dig these up now or wait until they die back even further? And the greens, except the ever reliable silverbeet (chard), have all either given up after the long hot or gone to flower. The herbs on the other hand have been going well, I’ve been picking lots of basil, piles of mint, bay leaves and a little parsley – a plant that never really got going this year, time to replant I think.
I’ve been enjoying the flowers we have on show this month too. Gorgeous cosmos, marigolds and especially the glorious, vibrant zinnias I have growing out the front.
The girls and I have finally started seed planting for our winter garden, also a little later than I would have liked. So far we have planted sprouting broccoli, cauliflower, chinese cabbage, red cabbage, kale, spring onions and rocket. Still to plant is some parsley from seed a collected at Mum’s last weekend, purple sprouting broccoli, normal broccoli, mini cauliflowers, mini cabbage, more silverbeet, turnips, fennel, beetroot. I have been much more careful with the labelling this time around so all going well I’ll actually know what is what when it comes to planting out.
On the to do list for the coming month is more planting of seeds and caring for seedlings if they come up. To be honest I’ve never been that great at getting seeds to grow in seed trays, or if they do they get ‘stuck’ and then die as tiny wee things that never really grew. I’m much better at planting direct, but that would require room to plant them. Some of the garden beds will probably get cleaned out this month too and then replenished with sheep poo and more pea straw. Mr Good has plans for a watering system – how fabulous – which he will do as I clear the beds out and before they get planted again.
I need to thank everyone for the advice from last month about my struggle lemon tree. I took your advice and gave it a good feed with citrus fertilizer, mulched the top of the pot and keep the water up to it. Mr Good has also been playing his part too if you catch my drift. I’ve been adding worm wee or seasol to the watering can every week or two as well. It has definitely picked up, the leaves are lovely and green and it has started to flower again…. but it hasn’t really put on any new growth of leaves which I had expected it would do before flowering.
Well that’s my month in the garden. What’s yours been like?