Over Labour Weekend in October hubby and I planted our vegetable garden for the summer.
My first task was to weed the garlic growing in the smallest vegetable garden bed, and then also sow onions, carrots, beetroot, radish, sugarbeet and carrot seeds as well.
Hubby then dug over the two remaining large garden beds, and I added sheep pallet fertilizer for the soon to be growing plants.
For the next bed, which was already growing peas and potato plants by now, I added lettuce, rocket, black turtle beans, summer sprouting broccoli, and cabbage, that I had been growing in the glasshouse.
With the last large garden bed I planted maize, corn, and pumpkin plants in the top half. In the bottom half of the garden bed I sowed wheat and linen flax seeds, while hubby acted as a scarecrow to keep the birds off them, and then we double bird netted the seeds to protect them from the birds.
With most of the glasshouse now empty of plants, we emptied out the space, and hubby dug over the garden bed. After that there was just the task of fertilising the soil, and then planting cucumbers, basil, chillies, capsicum and many tomato plants. There was also the big task of setting up all the climbing frames for the growing plants.
It's been a few weeks now, and everything is growing nicely in the garden, despite low snow falling the week after we planted everything. I can't wait to feast on all our vegetables over the coming summer.
Have a wonderful day
I finally started planting out my potato tubers for the spring growing season. I meant to do it a couple of weeks ago, but more urgent gardening tasks got in the way. Every year I grow four different varieties of potatoes in the garden, and each variety we use for different reasons.
The first potato variety I grow is Rocket, it's a 1st early potato which only takes 60 - 70 days to maturity. I like planting these in early to mid-September as it means they will be the first potatoes to be ready to eat in mid-November for boiling and roasting. The second variety of potato I grow is Jersey Bennes which is a 1st early potato that reaches maturity in 80 - 90 days. When planted at this time of the year the potatoes will be ready to eat in time for Christmas, and we eat them boiled and also in potato salads.
The other two varieties of potato I grow are Ilam Hardy and Haylo, but they won't be planted until October. Ilam Hardy is a 2nd early/main potato that takes 70 - 80 days to maturity, and is great for mashing, baking, roasting, chips, and wedges. We mainly use this potato for turning into gnocchi, and also in potato and leek soup. The last variety of potato I grow is Haylo, which is an improved variety from the Agria variety potato. It is in my opinion the best roasting potato, and we in fact did an experiment one year to test this. I grew Ilam Hardy, Agria, and Haylo one year, and compared roasting them using hubby's double cooking method for making roast potatoes. Haylo was by far the best tasting roasted potato variety. Haylo is a 2nd early/main potato, and matures in 80 - 90 days.
With these four varieties of potato growing in the garden, we are self sufficient in eating potatoes pretty much throughout the year in various forms, thanks to storing gnochhi and potato and leek soup away in our chest freezer.
I began chitting both the Rocket and Jersey Bennes potato varieties back at the beginning of August, and it wasn't long at all before they started growing, and by the time it was actually time to plant them, they'd unfortunately gotten too big. A disappointment for sure, but they were still fine to plant into the ground, I did so very carefully, taking care not to break any growing shoots.
After digging two trenches in an area of the vegetable garden, I sowed five of each of the Rocket and Jersey Benne tubers into the ground. I always plant them in order from right to left, with the Rocket on the far right, then the Jersey Bennes to the left of them. Experience has taught me that the Rocket variety will indeed rocket up and produce a copious amount of leaves which will smother any other growing potato plant varieties, and block them from sunlight given half a chance. If I do it this way, any new rows of potatoes will get morning sun preferentially to the rocket potatoes.
It didn't take very long to plant those potato varieties, and then gently cover them over with soil. For the next few weeks as they grow up they'll be safe from any late frosts, and once they're above ground, I'll cover them with frost cloth every night until the last frost has passed.
In a couple of weeks it'll be time to plant the Ilam Hardy and Haylo potato varieties, but before that can be done, I need to transplant some dye plants I have in that part of the vege garden. But before that can be done, I have to prepare another area of the garden for the dye plants to move into...
It's pretty much a big juggling job in the garden right now, with the most urgent tasks being done first, even though they may not be the tasks I want to do. And I'm now behind in seed sowing as well, but I will get there I'm sure. The next rainy day in the garden will be a huge seed sowing session, and my aim will be to sow everything else that needs to be sown.
Have a wonderful day
It's been another busy week in the garden, with warm and mild weather to welcome the start of spring.
I had to repot my chilli, capsicum and tomato seedlings in the last week, as they'd gotten too big for their plastic small glasshouses in the dining room. They're now happily situated in their now bigger pots with potting mix in the glasshouse, and are sitting in a frame which is wrapped up with multiple layers of frost cloth each night. If there's even a hint of bad frosts or snow, they'll be back inside the house in our spare bedroom until the bad weather passes.
Seed sowing is still underway, and will continue through spring.
Vege seeds sown this week:
- Pumpkin Crown Prince F1
- Pumpkin Musquee De Provence
- Pumpkin Baby Bear
- Pumpkin Marina Di Chioggia
- Maize Manaia
Herbs sown this week:
- Chamomile Roman
- Chamomile German
Flowers sown this week:
- Eupatorium Hemp Agrimony
- Gypsophila Snowflakes
- Gypsophila Deep Carmine
- Yarrow Summer Pastels
- Valerian officinalis
There's so much more seed to sow, and things to do in the garden, but work is also busy right now in the lead up to the Christmas season, with me preparing eco textile products for inclusion in the online craft artisan website Felt gift guide. I hope I can balance the two between now and Christmas.
Have a wonderful day
We're up to week 4 of spring seed sowing, and I feel like I'm running behind. The past week has been busy painting and prepping areas of the garden for the coming growing season, but the pressure is also on to continue seed sowing as well.
Vegetable plants sowed this week:
- Beetroot Cylindra
- Cucumber Crunchy F1
- Cucumber Lebanese Medici F1
- Carrot Amsterdam Sprint
- Radish Easter Egg
- Sugar Beet
I also invested in some chicken wire cloches to prevent the sparrows from taking all my precious seed, they watched me hungrily the other day as I direct sowed the first of the root crops.
Herb plants sowed this week:
- Lemon Balm
- Orange Balm
- Olive Herb
- Basil Gustosa
- Basil Sweet Genovese
I'm particularly excited about growing the Olive Herb plants, as we definitely don't have the space to grow our own olive trees. A summary from the Kings Seeds website about the plant:
"Woody low growing border plant with green leaves that have an intense olive aroma. Said to add the flavouring of olives to marinades, pasta, a variety of meat and tomato dishes or wherever olives might be used. Combines well with thyme, rosemary, basil and tarragon flavours. The attractive yellow pompom flowers are also edible. Low maintenance plants are fairly hardy, preferring humus rich, well drained soil but will tolerate other conditions and soil types too."
Flower plants sowed this week:
- Dahlia Beeline II Keith Hammett
- Dahlia Keith Hammett NZ Gardener 2023 Seed Swap
- Dahlia Sunflower Keith Hammett
- Lavender Hidcote
I sent in a self addressed envelope to NZ Gardener in order to get some Keith Hammett dahlia seeds for this year's dahlia grow along, it's always great to see what sort of dahlias pop up, they're dahlia seeds collected from his breeding program. Each seed will be unique, and not ever seen before.
I hope your seed sowing is going well, this week is spring!
Have a wonderful day
It's been another busy week in the garden seed sowing for Spring. And also, seeds that I've already sown have started germinating, including my tomato, chilli, and lettuce seeds.
In the Vegetable Garden this week:
- Prepped the first vegetable garden bed for sowing peas and potatoes
- Checked on chitting potatoes (Rocket, Jersey Benne, Ilam Hardy, and Haylo)
- Sowed Greenfeast peas
In the Herb Garden this week:
- Sowed Oregano
- Sowed Common Sage
- Sowed Cumin
In the Flower Gardens this week:
- Sowed King Size Apricot Aster
- Sowed Crambe Cordifolia
- Sowed Dianthus Cruentus
- Sowed Echinacea simulata
- Sowed Gomphrena Raspberry Cream
- Sowed Knautia Macedonia Scabium
I didn't sow as many seeds as I hoped this week, as I was working on my winter citrus project to get the garden areas ready for when my citrus plants go into the ground in October.
Hopefully this week I'll get more seed sowing done.
Have a wonderful day,