Wednesday, July 08, 2009

End of one gardening Year - Start of the Next




For the Maori of New Zealand the Shortest day (same day as the longest day in the northern hemisphere) heralds the start of the new year ... For the gardener this is especially true . From that day on as the days start to legnthen, Camelas start to flower and buds of trees start to fatten and the sap starts rising. It's a short dormancy in New Zeland for plants.



It's been a strange winter in that despite the unusually cold weather it's been patchy and in between we've had some reasonably warm days ... Plants are confused with some Rhodos and camelias flowering earlier than usual .. We have at least one native Kowhai tree in flower in the area ..These normally flower in September. We have Daffodils on the roundabout that begins our township already starting to flower... Put this into perspective - It would be like daffodils in January in England ........







Being out of action with my back problems, I didn't get to plant any vegetables in the autumn for winter cropping .. .We do have a few cabbages and pak choi and celery and chard to pick at. It's all great for stir fries or even just adding to stews and casseroles ....







We've planted a heap of garlic this year after last years wonderful heritage crop. So different to the shop bought garlic ..Very pungent.. wonderful taste ... We also planted a small crop of Elephant garlic this time ...Just to try it ... The garlic did try and make a break for freedom pushing itself up and back out of the ground ...Soil a little light ?? Planted too shallow ?? One heck of a good root system produced already - We tucked them back into the soil a little deeper this time with a good pat of the soil on top...







Strawberries were not only a great success last season fruit wise they shot a load of runners out that snaked their way across the raised beds. We've made use of a few of them  to extend the population ...Now having 8 squares (2 rows) at the end of each of the 3 main beds ... Already trying to flower I must get some decent compost for them with potash to get them fruiting .....







I was caught out at the weekend ...We saw some Broad Bean Seelings in punnets at the local garden centre ... Bought a few punnets as we planted nothing in the autumn ... Only to find out in reading that they do not grow well this way ..Not liking transplanting .... What can I say - I'd always planted seeds previously. I just never thought it would be an issue with seedlings ... Never trust a garden Centre ........ However they are in and we shall see ....But will be planting seeds as well very soon for my Christmas lunch harvest...







Another semi failure  story ...I'm trying to build a polytunnel over one of the raised beds (maybe two) .. We bought the tubing at what turned out to be about 3 times the cost we could have gotten it for AND what we bought was too flimsy for want of a better word ... But we will see what we can do with it and some wood or cane supports .... 







In one border wit hthe polytunnel I want to plant some potatoes ... The jury is out on this, As to whether the winter is mild enough to allow the spuds to grow .. One NZ gardening magazine  editor tried to gow them a couple of months back only to have the frost turn them black ... Maybe in a poly tunnel we can do it ....







I Quite like the idea of this 

Kitchen garden Design

Planting a raised border for a specific requirement...Not sure how practical that is ...Especially with the square foot gardening as you do tend to plant what you can and what wasn't there previously for rotation cropping...... 







More Bad news at the Dinzie household...Pepsi Dog (picture in last post) has ruptured both knees of her back legs ..Old age sucks eh .. She's on painkillers now but they want to operate ...$5,000 for the ops alone, never mind the pre/post op charges  ... She's almost 12 years old and life expectancy of up to 14 ......  



Well that is number 4 of the bad things that can happen to the dinzie household in 2009 .. And it's only July .....  






2 comments:

Kay said...

Poor Pepsi ... I can think of three bad things - what's the fourth? (Hang on, it'll be your back - yep 4 things - you've had more than your share ... but it'll be good from now on in.)

Jazlyn said...

Thanks for sharing kitchen garden design from Gardeners Supply!! It pretty impressive idea!!