Let us know what you have been doing in the garden lately plus the tips and tricks to making it work.
Latest Activity: on Tuesday
I picked some plums today, they had split in the rain over the past few weeks so I had to cut them up , made a couple of quick pots of jam with them because they were only on the verge of ripeness. Two of our plum trees have this problem, santa rosa and red doris, bought the trees from the local garden centre, but they probably came from either Nelson or Ashburton and obviously don't suit our climate here, but you have to wait several years to find that out! Also a bit peeved that the Coe's golden drop which we bought to help pollinate the greengage is certainly Not coes golden drop, as the first two little plums were dark purple!!!! no wonder it flowered at completely the wrong time.
We are truly a month behind here - the big pohutukawa on our lawn is just flowering. In our house garden, the third-attempt snow peas are producing, many biennials have bolted to seed, and there are very few white butterflies about, so my experiment with intrerplanting celery with cabbage is untested. neither celery nor cabbage nor bush beans are doing much, although beans at least germinated this year. I dug the first potato tyre the other day - decent crop considering it never got mounded, and on time at 90 days. I haven't lifted the garlic yet. the interplanted carrots are coming along well, and benefitted from milk-bottle cloches for the first couple of weeks after transplant.
In the tunnel house, we managed to get a third of the beds built and planted out before we went on holiday mid-december. With the tomatoes, i put stale milk powder at the bottom of the hole for half of them, and the difference is remarkable. Those with powder are 25% taller and have grown multiple main stems. The first green fruit are just starting to appear The few courgettes we managed to strike are going well and we'll be eating in a day or two. Capsicum looks happy, and the watermelon plant (i'm ever hopeful and it was $1) is starting to grow. Cucumbers are-a-growing too. Today I extended the water line into the tunnel house, making the tap more convenient. we are watering from underneath, it is needing abou 10 minutes every couple of days.
Over on our land, an automatic timer kept all our saplings happy in their shelter, and my new windbreak (tagasaste, golden akeake and burgundy manuka) is doing okay. in the test garden we have two types of potatoes, great lakes lettuces and sweetcorn all doing well. Corn won't sprout until december here so it's about 20cm high. Direct sown leeks haven't made an appearance, so i'll start some in trays.
in the old orchard we released some trees with the weedeater in spring and have been rewardedcwith two apple trees setting a couple of dozen fruit each. i've now mulched one of them.
Hopefully this jolly wind has at last died away. I dont like being out in the garden when it is windy and it knocks the taller plants around too much, some of my dahlias have had a couple of main stems knocked over.
Nice harvest going on there Lynn. I have had a dismal year with cucumbers and runner beans - havent had a meal off the beans yet - dont know what is going on there. Have planted dwarf beans and they are well on the way. Have had a marvellous harvest of great lakes lettuces. Isn't it annoying how some particular vege doesnt do as well as usual each year? is it something in the air?? But I am pleased with my tomatoes - going to have a bumber crop. I think the tomato compost I made during the winter has really paid off.
Today planted out seedlings of leeks and beetroot. Also sowed more carrots and parsnips. Good time for root crops
Picked, washed, chopped and froze batches of leeks, spring onions, celery and beans. Space in the garden now for another round of each, while the middle crops are still doing well. Tomatoes this year are not as prolific for me, so my pasta sauce haul will be lower this year, unless I purchase some extras at an organic grower's. Borlotti beans and dwarf beans are not doing as well as usual, but the climbing King of the Blues are doing great!
Amazing how the weeds grow over two weeks when you are not there to keep them at bay. Arrived home to find several cucumbers, a couple of tomatoes, lettuces, spring onions, peppers and carrots. Also dug up the garlic - quality a bit disappointing this year but enough for our needs.
I inadvertently broke the stem of a tomato so I bound it back on with the material twine I use to tie them to the stakes - 24 hours later it still looks okay so a bit of doctoring has proved useful.
Back home after a week away. Ripe tomatoes, lots of zucchinis, beautiful King of the Blues beans and plenty of food to keep me happy. Only disappointed that my fennel has all bolted. Harvested 11 celery yesterday for freezing and drying. Lots of lemon thyme for drying. Life is good!
Heading back home after more than two weeks away from the garden - hoping to find some ripe tomatoes.
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by Jacob Verbeek
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