19 April, 2007

Coming in to winter we have a new cherry tree, courtesy of C's parents and the raised beds have been producing like demons. I have managed to reduce the existing compost down to a manageable size and started a lot more 'composting in place' to reduce the labour of moving it all around. I planted a late pumpkin to help break down some tree prunings we'd used to build up an area prone to flood. Basically I laid the prunings, covered them with soil and planted the pumpkins in it all. The woods has started to break down and create good compost and raise the level of the ground so, hopefully flooding is less of a problem. The pumpkin has gone nuts.

The tomatoes this year have been very late and the constant temperature changes have played havoc with their shape. They should make good soup though. We got a lot of black boy peaches off the trees so some have been made into wine and the rest have either been eaten or preserved. The apricot has simply continued to die but managed 3 edible apricots. Sadly I think it'll have to be removed next year and replaced.

We have the orchard planned out now and will start putting in trees in spring. Our passionfuit vine has started to grow well and has been covered to protect it from frosts. Hopefully it starts to produce some fruit next summer. Everything else is starting to get ready for winter though we do have a nice little late crop of greens coming up. No one will believe me but we have helped the soil gain (and retain) moisture by keeping the lawns longer. The long term plan is to reduce the amount of open lawn considerably in favour of well designed planting beds. It's all looking a lot healthier.