Garden Diary

  • Winter has been very mild this year and spring seems to be gently arriving so I have been digging the garden over, composting and for the first time clearing out one of the worm bins for compost. This year is going to be all about growing the food we actually eat: potatoes, peas, silver beet, carrots. Last year was experimental so this year I'm going for staple food. I'm also keen to get the hang of storing food, especially the potatoes so we have them in winter. Planted out peas today and am trying a different way of supporting them. The beans have started up and the cabbages and cauliflower have taken off. After watering them with worm rum they pretty much doubled in size over 2-3 weeks...it was quite impressive.

  • A freak hail storm last night absolutely destroyed the winter garden that had just started to come into its own. Most of the fruit has been ruined (especially the feijoa), the cabbage and cauliflowers have been shredded and most of the trees have no leaves left on them. I guess as a positive note the old branches got knocked off the black currant so it has saved me some pruning later on but it's a bit gutting.

  • Things continue to grow without much input from me at this stage. The corn is starting to ripen up - not huge amounts but a good introduction. The new lettuces have gone mad and the last of the early season potatoes have been harvested. I built a frame for the cucumber to climb up and was pretty chuffed to have built it out of the branches of one of the more weedy trees in our garden. I wove some branches (cut to size) together to make a small square(ish) frame giving the cucumber something to hang on to.

  • Eggplants and final lot of lettuces planted out. The majority of the Japanese turnips have been harvested. The tomatoes are starting to ripen up and the corn is starting to get larger.

  • Harvested the one cabbage (somehow got mixed in with the broccoli) and sowed seed for carrots, spring onions and spinach. A third of the lettuce seedlings went in as well filling out the garden again. Still have a bit of an empty spot after the potato harvest but I'm sure we'll find something to put in there. Despite (my) popular belief the carrots are actually growing well this year. Have thinned out a few and noticed they are growing long and straight for the first time in my gardening history. The corn is also starting to look like it should so hopefully we'll get something off it. Need to plant out the eggplant seedlings but I get the feeling they'll be a lost cause this year. The wet summer hasn't been great for chillis either but they are starting to come right so we may get something before winter. The soil is really good this year so I guess all that composting and digging last year is paying off.

  • Had a pretty major harvest in the garden to clear up the onions, a row of potatoes and old lettuces in anticipation of planting out another load of lettuce seedlings. Also planted out another load of beetroot as that has worked really well this year.

  • Pulled up the old lettuces and gave the vege garden a good weeding to clear the gaps. More lettuce seedlings are just about ready and the final lot of beetroot can go in any day now so the space is welcome. The corn is getting bigger by the day and it looks like cobs are starting to form inside all that leaf. The tomatoes are doing well. The norwester made a surprise visit yesterday and bowled a few plants. Some of the sunflowers lost there heads and most of the day was spent righting pots and moving them out of the wind.

  • The garden took a bit of a beating while we were away but despite that we got a huge load of blackcurrants picked and the Japanese Turnip are looking very impressive. The potatoes continue to get larger and larger, the onions are looking good and we have some of the first garlic almost ready. Not sure if the cucumbers will result in anything but they are valiant none-the-less with some small flowers. The tomotoes should be ready as soon as we get some sun to ripen them up a bit. Just noticed the worm bin is loaded with worms. There seems to be have a population explosion over the holidays and the first working bin is now full so I have added the second working bin on top.

  • We have harvested the peas and got a decent bag for freezing. Very cool. We've also been eating lettuce, beetroot, pak choy, rocket, spring onions and the first new potatoes out of the garden. The hard work is starting to pay off.

  • Mainly a strong growing period lately with most of the plants filling out nicely, a bit of weeding and keeping the slugs and snails in check. Aphids are posing a bit of a problem as they seem to reproduce faster than they get wiped out and have even caused some problems for the carnivorous plants in a whacky form of irony. The blueberry, cranberry and black currants have all got fruit set so hopefully they start to ripen up soon. The feijoa is putting out new growth but no flowers yet. The corn is growing well as is the broccoli but the broccoli seems to have taken a bit of a beating in the latest winds. The potatoes have started flowering which is always a good sign and the peas have filled out so we should be picking soon.

  • The garden is still growing strong and we have started initial harvesting of lettuces and spinach. The potatoes have all come up and are starting to bush out nicely. Carrots have started to appear and the first corn has germinated. More Pak Choy seedlings planted out to fill in some gaps, the Japanese turnips have germinated and growing strong. The first cucumber seedlings were planted out in the weekend.

  • Most of the vegetables have started rocketing away with the warm, wet weather we've had. I put in the corn over the weekend to see what would happen. I don't know very much about corn but it's got plenty of room and the soil is pretty good. The onions have started to put on some size, the rocket is coming up fast and there are plenty of lettuces. The potatoes, seeded from spuds left over from last year, have also started to bush out. Rosemary and red currant cuttings went in over the weekend. Some of the Pak Choy seedlings were planted out. Might be a bit early but we'll see.

  • Just planted out three rows of Japanese turnip. Smaller than your average turnip so they should go well in our garden. Set up a cane and string fiasco for the peas to climb up after seeing they are growing like weeds.

  • Another load of lettuce seedlings planted out. The Pak Choy has germinated and is almost ready to be planted out. Also, noticed that the egg plant seeds have germinated.

  • More Money Maker tomato seedlings planted out and the cherry tomatoes, chillis, capsicum and swan plant seedlings have been put out into the tunnel house. The guava has given up after sitting unprotected through some cold snaps and a nasty nor-wester. My bad. Some of the fruit trees are ready to be potted up.

  • Bit of a late start for the diary with the growing season well in progress but better late than never I guess. Not a large garden but definitely my first real go at trying a wide range of plants and getting successive plantings working. The first lot of seedlings have been planted out: lettuces, beetroot, tomatoes (Money Maker) Germinating in the tunnel house: cucumber, pak choy, egg plant The broccoli has started to grow properly now after sitting over winter (planted too early). Spinach is not what I thought it was so will need to be planted in a better position next time. The black currant cuttings are growing quickly, despite being battered by the nor-wester.

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