Monday, July 13, 2009

My Gardening Year # 1 - Too Much To Do..

Job Hunt: - Currently at 4 rejections to job applications …. 3 applications outstanding

July is never a good month in New Zealand .. It’s the middle of winter. This year winter is cold and wet. Not a good time for doing anything in the garden ….

However, There is a heap of work to get through ..I’ve a number of additional raised borders to build .. This means clearing the grass, leveling off the ground building the borders them selves and then filling them with soil …. It’s a highly manually intensive piece of work as the only way up to the vegetable garden is via a series of steps through a tree copse… So all soil has to be lifted up there in buckets …Good exercise though …As long as the old ticker holds out ….

However to do that I have to have somewhere to have the soild dropped … I’ve no intention of trying to do the Mel Bartholomew soil mix ..I need a heap more than that. So will order some ‘green’ soil in from a company called ‘living earth’ … We’ve had a mix of soils from them . Some good some not so good for the vegetable plots …This time we’ll pay them a visit first rather than just phone an order in …..

We also need to get some properly formed and barked paths around the veggie plot .. .I’m sick of sliding about up there ……

But – The yard then has to be cleared and tidy before I do that .. and it’s certainly isn’t at present … We have moved last years raised beds we had on the yard for Tomatoes and intend to build two more borders there as well …. We’ve spaced them alternatively with ½ wine barrels containing fejoa trees, a pomegranite bush and soon to be a lemon bush … I’ve even space in the corner of the fencing for an apple of plum or cherry tree….. But running out of time to do that now as well ….

And on it goes ….. Holiday in less than two weeks and on return it will be full on planting seeds

Meanwhile it keeps on raining ……

The existing veggie plots are still producing .. .Pak choi seems to thrive in winter and we use it a lot in stir fries and stews …. We’ve still a couple of cabbages left and I’ll make use of them over the next wek. That border has to be worked over and some of our well rotted compost added into it …then I’ll plant it up with potatoes. We don’t have a huge vegetable garden but I think it will be worth it to plant the whole border up ..>Some squares with our favourite early jersey benne and some squares with a later crop such as Ilam hardy… This year we have a new pest in New Zealand . Potato/tomato Psyllids. First reported in 2006 in Auckland they are speading quickly throughout the country … This is a major issue for both hobbyist and farmers ..I hope it never reaches Wellington ..But it will …

I’ve been buying heirloom seeds again … We had a very successful year last year with few flops … Tomatoes while turning out to be a lot of work in maintenance and worry about lack of flowers setting early on were delicious and with the variety of plants grown we had a different taste at each eating :O) And with 60+ kilos of fruit we managed to make more chutney and sauce than we would ever get through ourselves ….. . This year I am going to try some more varieties plus a few of the faves from last year … In front of my keyboard, waiting to be typed onto my seed list spreadsheet are Japanese Black trifele that actually comes from Estonia not Japan (go figure) but said to be delicious non the less, “Purple Russian” a cool tolerant variety from the Ukraine. Said to be the best purple/black variety on the work market …. And “Siberian tomatoes”. Also Cool tolerant ..With the long range weather forecast predicting a cold spring I’m hoping these plants will produce well despite the ‘el nino’ weather pattern ….We’ll see….

I’ve also another Pumpkin bed to build ..Hoping to beat my previous record set last year :O) I’ve also bought some other – more eatable – pumpkin seeds and need to find a place for them to grow as well …Well away from my Giant pumpkin efforts…I have some ideas on that ….

McD I need to talk to you about pumpkins and flower beds :O}

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