HI Jane, youre having fun lol did you get any of the blue scabiosa coming up? a rat got into my seedlings and chewed those off, only one plant left! here's hoping that between us we can save some more seed for next year, I love blue flowers. my seedlings are coming on very slowly, had lots of cool weather
hello Jane Maarie, my black boy peach stones have germinated. How are yours coming along? Had mine in a clear yoghurt tub & could see the shoots down the side of the pot! It's going to be a while before any leaves emerge but great to know that they've taken.
hello Jane, the grass clippings should be fine as a mulch, I put a really thick layer of pea straw over my garlic straight after it was planted and the shoots came through without any trouble. You can never plant too much garlic, I put in over 100 cloves last year and still don't think that it was enough, it doesn't go very far once you've shared a few bulbs and I love to roast them whole. The weather's been so mild, still planting garlic down here. Last year, had it all planted in early May. Not so organised this year :)
Hi Jane, glad to hear you are hard out gardening as usual!! I dont actually mulch the garlic - I just leave them be and occasionally give them a bit of a weeding. I havent been in garden much lately as I am doing a temporary Principals job at Ruawai Primary and travelling everyday. And busy again this weekend. Nevermind soon be spring!
Hi Jane...your harvest and preserving photos look fantastic! Hey, surf the net for ways to make your own worm farm...it can be done very cheaply. I will be making one next year when I move towns. Where did you get the seed for your black corn? And what are your black potatoes called? They look great! I have tons of spare seed from a Amish Pie pumpkin (the one in my photo) if you would like any, just let me know.
Hi Jane...thanks for the kind words. Yes, I think we all can do with a bit of motivation from time to time and if that's what I have helped with, I'm glad. My main garden, which is raised, doesn't require a lot of weeding, so I only have to spend half an hour every 3 or 4 weeks just tidying up...it's great! Hey, I love your photos! Black spuds, kumara - I've never grown either, and would love to! Please Lord, when I move towns next year, may I have some land? :) I LOVE herb gardening, growing, propagating, drying and using. I'm happy to share any time, just yell when you're ready. I use herbs both for culinary and medicinal purposes. I have a little grounding in rongoa, but would love to learn more as I'm also a great believer in each country supplies it's own unique medicines and nutritions. Today, it is sunny and warm...I'm painting! I know you will relate to that! lol
sure, that would be nice to have an heirloom recipe :) One of my sons made rewena bread once for school, leaving potato and flour to go sour and using that as a leven, it tasted nice. Fennel bulbs are nice sliced finely in a salad with orange, its crunchy and has a nice flavour
Hi Jane...I understand your conundrum...gardening versus creative time...which, which which??? Both are my passions also. I do paint, but my biggest passion is using chalk pastels to create individual 'soul pictures' for people - and I have just completed one this morning, even though the weather is so beautiful I could have been also happily harvesting herbs. Oh well...save that for tomorrow :) I would love to see some of your art sometime.
glad to learn that they've arrived ok. I've found that the less I cosset them, the better the result.A combination of garden soil and potting mix works well - a soil based mix seems to be effective. Just leave them outside - they've survived hard frosts and snow, Earl's expression benign neglect is the best way to go. Don't over water & keep free of weeds but try not to disturb the soil too much. Will take some photos of all the fruit trees that I have in pots that I've grown from pips and seeds & post them on my profile. They make lovely gifts to friends who are both patient and have lots of land :) Even if the fruit are no good, they'll hopefully have pretty blossoms and feed the wildlife.
HI Jane, I think you will be fine direct sowing now, or spring, or both. just watch the weeds when they are little. for convenience I sowed them in spring in containers and transplanted, just so they would be bigger than the weeds when they went in lol. I now have a couple of clumps of these permantently in the garden, as they multiply you can just twist out the odd one, best to take most of the flowers off in spring to encourage them to divide.
that will be great thanks, good luck with your companion planting experiment, I think when they talk about potatoes and tomatoes not doing well beside each other it is because they are from the same family and therefore susceptible to the same diseases. you can sow things like the alkanet and chicory now, they are self seeding in my garden at present, the alkanet should flower for you in spring if you plant it now, even if the leaves die back over winter they will come away again once things warm up.
I am sure something will come up sometime Jane, let me know if you save any seeds for the green apple cucumbers and your black corn :). Tell me about lambs quarters, I have fat hen growing in my garden as a weed, it looks similar in the leaf but is smaller , maybe thats just the northland weather lol
You are welcome Jane, as you are finding out nature is very generous with seeds, and as I am a compulsive collector I have loads, I can send you another selection in the spring. I think I sent you mainly things to grow around your orchard area this time.
That's really great you're doing all those things like making your compost and liquid fertilizer by using all sorts of things like comfrey, fish carcasus, chicken, goat & cow manure at different times.... "but I often wonder......am I doing enough?"
I used to be in a similar frame of mind - doing lots, still always wondering, about outside inputs etc.
The good thing is once we get the minerals into the soil in the right balances, then the biology will be happy as larry and you can then carry on composting and doing all the things you're already doing in a permaculture way, but just that the right minerals will have been entered into the loop - we've got to get the balanced minerals into the system to make the whole thing dance. Then the soil becomes much more self sustaining... making humus, as well as producing health providing nutritious plants and animals.
btw To get them into balance is like using a little bit of science to help out here - a good use of science if you ask me. A rare company, Environmental Fertilisers in the Waikato, can check your soil if you send them a little sampling, and then recommend what to put on to bring the balance. They make good products where the minerals are micronized and composted etc beforehand, and prepared to be bio-available for the plants... not expensive either.
Most people, have no idea about this, agricultural universities included! There is such a difference between 'minerals' and 'bio-available minerals'... like day and night. One is a problem for the soil microorganisms. The other is like an elixir.
Anyway we talk about it in our little book... The All and Everything of Healthy Living. Humus only gets made when the minerals and all are in balance and humus is a main indicator of a lovely healthy soil.
Yes I'm a painter.... nature inspired large semi-abstract canvases usually. Would like to see what you paint. Arohanui Sandipa
I have some port albert seeds, unfortunately I already posted you some seeds, but if you remind me next year I can send some to you, sounds like the ones you saved will be too immature, they should be firm inside