Sarah Walsh's Blog (23)

The garden grows

Well, now that we are at the end of December, my garden is finally starting to take off :) I started planting Labour weekend, but everything I planted failed to grow and some things were taken out by the thousands of little slugs I have living in my woodchips. After talking to friends, I think the plants failed to grow because the ground was covered with mulch and took longer to warm up. Plus the garden is exposed to the sou-wester winds, soil is a bit compacted etc etc. Next year I will…


Added by Sarah Walsh on December 31, 2014 at 10:45am — 1 Comment

The garden

So, after getting the food forest started, it was time to start on the vege garden. First I layed that old carpet and underfelt all over the ground in the backyard to kill off the grass. I had hoped it would kill off the grass completely by September when I planned to start double digging, but by the end of August the grass was brown and in some places it had decomposed, but…


Added by Sarah Walsh on September 27, 2014 at 2:20pm — 2 Comments

The food forest grows

Another mandarin - Burgess Scarlet, is added to the citrus family.

Then I start digging more…


Added by Sarah Walsh on September 20, 2014 at 3:04pm — 1 Comment

The start of a food forest...

Well, we have finally moved, and I have a Lot more room to play with. Half an acre, in fact.

While we were still house hunting I started watching videos about permaculture orchards and gardens on Youtube and stumbled across a new idea (well, new to me) called 'Food Forests'. The idea is, instead of planting fruit trees with grass or maybe a herbal ley underneath, you plant all the layers you find in a forest: tall trees, short trees, shrubs, vines, ground cover, root crops. You also…


Added by Sarah Walsh on September 20, 2014 at 2:49pm — No Comments

Wheat + summer garden

My wheat is all starting to fall over. Is this a sign that it needs harvesting? Or do I tie it up??

I have my potatoes in tyres and beans climbing flax flower stems.

I've planted squash next to some corn with the idea that they can grow down between them.…


Added by Sarah Walsh on November 24, 2010 at 9:22pm — 2 Comments

Summer review and plans for this summer

This is a little late, but after feeling inspired to plan my summer garden the other day, I realized I needed to think back on what worked and what didn't last summer.

So, I planted my peas early this year...seed sewn in August. This worked well. I didn't give them a high enough climbing frame though. The wire I provided was about 40cm high. They really needed a metre+.

I sewed seed for tomatoes and capsicums earlier as well, begining of September, but still didn't get tomatoes till… Continue

Added by Sarah Walsh on August 7, 2010 at 11:43am — No Comments


I finally got to plant out my celery today. I don't know if its too late, but I planted the seed in February as recommended, so not much I could do about that. The seedlings grew Reeeaalllly slowly...not sure if this is normal or if I did something wrong. According to Kay Baxter, growing celery is easy. If its not growing well, it means its either too wet, too dry, or not getting enough nutrients.

The seedlings are 10-15cm tall, so we'll see if they grow in time to count as a winter… Continue

Added by Sarah Walsh on June 6, 2010 at 8:43pm — 1 Comment

Other caterpillars...

So, my parsley has been decimated by caterpillars. And my carrot tops... I haven't really grown parsley before, but this year I had a great little patch going. Now I have stalks.
I took great delight in feeding the caterpillars to our turtles.

Added by Sarah Walsh on April 29, 2010 at 8:06pm — 3 Comments

White butterflies/moths and broccoli's

So, its that time of year again. I'm planting broccoli seedlings and the white butterflies are ecstatic with joy. For the past few weeks the butterflies have been laying eggs all over my swedes, but I've not seen any caterpillars. I've had the broccoli seedlings around the back on my seed raising table and they've had a few eggs, but also no sign of caterpillars - Where are all the caterpillars??? So, I've planted my broccoli out in the garden today and, just an hour later, they're already… Continue

Added by Sarah Walsh on March 20, 2010 at 11:50am — 4 Comments


So, my tomatoes were doing really well up until we had all those thunder and lightning storms a while back. All the wind and heavy rain knocked them over (the inadequate staking may have had something to do with it as well...) and by the time I got round to staking them back up (4 days later with taller stakes), blight had set in. Lots of green tomatoes fell off as I was staking them back up, so I made some green tomato chutney. Most of the leaves died on the tomato plants, but a lot of the… Continue

Added by Sarah Walsh on February 28, 2010 at 12:31pm — No Comments

Growing ginger

So, I finally potted up the piece of ginger that sprouted in my fruit bowl. I found info for growing ginger in NZ here:

After reading this I decided to grow my ginger in a pot. Its on the patio under some of that plastic roofing stuff (having a mummy brain moment...), so it has filtered light and is protected from frost and wind. Its also by the back door where I… Continue

Added by Sarah Walsh on January 16, 2010 at 11:53am — 4 Comments

Garden all tucked in for summer

I've mulched the garden now in preparation for the dry summer. I've mulched the garden beds with straw and the paths with leaves. There are still more paths that need dealing with too and the whole right hand side of the garden (the new part) is turning back into weeds. I think this might be an example of biting off more than I can chew, but it'll look so good if I ever get it under some semblance of (overgrown) control! I'm trying to be… Continue

Added by Sarah Walsh on December 7, 2009 at 1:27pm — 2 Comments

Naked garden

Well, after all my weeding, digging, raking, fertilizing and planting, my garden is still generally looking a bit naked. I really do prefer the over grown look. I can't wait for all the seedlings I've planted to mature into a lovely, lush wilderness again. Still, its been worth it. Normally fatalities to slugs and snails would have been high, and so far most of what I've planted has survived. The chickens did a good job of eating the slimy creatures and all the weeding I've done has made sure… Continue

Added by Sarah Walsh on November 17, 2009 at 6:40pm — No Comments

Winter Garden Review

I was determined this year to grow a winter garden. I planned to plant Kale, spinach, broccoli, carrots, leeks, beetroot, swede, kohl rabi, silverbeet, pak choi, peas and onions.

The spinach, silverbeet and pak choi that I planted in February did well. I planted 6 each of the spinach and silverbeet and a 'bundle' of about 10-12 pak choi. This was enough to feed the rabbit, or to have with a couple of meals a week. I will plant more next year.

The peas didn't grow..I thought they did… Continue

Added by Sarah Walsh on September 15, 2009 at 2:54pm — 1 Comment

Seeds have arrived!

My seeds arrived yesterday, from Ecoseeds and Koanga gardens. Very exciting!

I'm planning on sewing most of them from the 18th of September as suggested by the moon calendar. I've never grown things by the moon so it will be interesting to see if there's a noticeable difference. I planted some tomato and capsicum seeds a couple of days ago (at the 'wrong' time for the moon), so I'll have a live experiment happening.

The chickens are doing well decimating the garden. Its interesting to… Continue

Added by Sarah Walsh on September 5, 2009 at 6:40pm — 1 Comment

Chickens in the garden

I have started letting my chickens into the garden as part of my 'clean up for spring' plans. The chickens are having a great time scratching around in the leaves, eating all the unsuspecting creepy crawlies. I have to babysit them when I let them out as this is in the unfenced part of our section and isn't secure. It's been quite therapeutic sitting in the sun watching them scratching and pecking at the weeds.

I also planted pea seeds a… Continue

Added by Sarah Walsh on August 28, 2009 at 4:30pm — No Comments

Kohl rabi and Kale

I finally got round to planting the kohl rabi and the kale into the garden today. Interestingly, the kale in the bigger milk bottle containers grew faster and larger than the ones in the yogurt pottles.

and the kohl rabi...

I didn't have a lot of time or space to plant in, so I only planted the 3 large kale plants and as many of the kohl rabi as I could be bothered with, starting with the largest.… Continue

Added by Sarah Walsh on August 20, 2009 at 8:08pm — No Comments

21st June

I've just transplanted some more baby seedlings into yogurt pottles. First I stole the yogurt pottles from the swede seedlings in the garden - they've transplanted well and haven't been devoured yet by the slugs and snails, so maybe we'll have some swede by spring.

Todays seedlings are either kohl rabi or kale (didn't label the trays)...I think they're more likely to be kohl rabi as there were more seedlings in this tray than the other, and I think i planted more kohl rabi seed than kale.… Continue

Added by Sarah Walsh on June 21, 2009 at 2:21pm — No Comments

Swede seedling update

I planted the swede seedlings out today. So long as they survive, they will have done better than the small ones I transplanted as they have all disappeared. Even the few plants that grew from seed sewed directly in the garden (the ones that survived my neglect) also seem to have disappeared. I'm thinking slugs and snails are probably the culprit. Should really start going on nightly raids again...

I have left the yogurt pottles around… Continue

Added by Sarah Walsh on June 7, 2009 at 11:38am — No Comments

25th May

I made leek and potato soup the other day with leeks from the garden. The biggest leek is in the photo above. This is the biggest leek I've ever grown, and its definitely been in the ground a long time. So long that I can't even remember when I planted it.

The other broccoli plants aren't looking as nice as the first one we ate. The green caterpillars lasted a lot longer this year (I have a note in my diary last year saying the caterpillars… Continue

Added by Sarah Walsh on May 25, 2009 at 6:00pm — No Comments

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