The rain last weekend has turned the grass so green you could eat it. The colour change is a welcoming sight, worried that the sky was never going to squeeze another drop of liquid out of it again. Our total rainfall for January was 715mm, most of the rain fell in 2 days over Australia Day weekend. So far this month we have not had a drop of rain. Though according to cyberspace our area usually records the highest rainfall of the year in February. I am almost tempted to get a second tank, if we do have another down pour. I will have plenty of water to keep my plants happy then. Lastly, the air has finally cooled off, which means winter is on the way. The days are not so intolerable, yet I do think we will have another warm spell before it is officially autumn. That is my weather rant for today, ok, on to gardening.
Sunday is the official day to mow your lawn in the suburbs, well it also happens in the country. The day of rest turns into household jobs that need to be tended to. We only mow what we need to as we have eleven acres, I did the driveway around my trees. I then raked all the grass up and used it as mulch around the base of the trees. So letting the grass grow a little longer is better for us. The rest of the grass I raked was for the vegetables I transplanted and the lavender down at the chicken mansion. Mulch is very important when it does not rain it keeps the soil moist. I will doing some more raking this afternoon of another patch we mowed to start a stockpile for the vegetable garden on Thursday.
One of our neighbors has offered some of his gravel that he no longer needs. 60 cubic meters of gravel and dirt that we can use to build up our driveway. We can finally have a fancy driveway with no puddles or sink into the ground as we drive in. This is yet to be completed, Roy will get the tractor out again on Thursday and Friday this week to finish off the job before we head to Melbourne for the Weekend.
Due to the high rainfall my garden was looking a little worse for wear. I have pulled out most of my tomatoes as they started to rot on the vine. Tomatoes do not like wet feet (roots) and their leaves go brown and start to die, mindyou they also don’t like wind. When I visited my garden on the Sunday (last weekend) majority of the stakes were blown over on an angle. Once the tomatoes were pulled out, I turned the soil after removing the tomatoes to let it breath and to dry out. The quality of soil this time around is better than it was when we first started digging the soil. The mushroom compost we applied to our clay like soil has broken down and made the ground easier to move. I hope to get some more in before we do our next transplant which will be on Thursday.
Climbing beans produce a lot more beans I have found since our last planting. Plus they climb up which means that when it comes time to pick them, you don’t need to bend over to reach them. Clever! Planting the seeds directly into the ground gives them a better chance than transplanting. They seem to grow very rapidly and transplanting just upsets their root systems.
Blue lake beans
Tuesday this week I transplanted our black zucchini seedlings on to the hillside which Roy cleared for me. Roy has also started building me another garden bed for all our extra plants to go in. The zucchini’s we planted last time needed more space, so this time I made sure that they are at least half a meter apart. Giving them more room to grow and produce a longer season of vegetables too. Zucchini’s are an astounding $6.99kg, they are one of my staple shopping items for the week. So it might just be best that I grow my own.
I have gone completely overboard with growing vegetables this time around. Our first planting was roughly this size, well I have double this. I have six varieties of tomatoes finally coming up, which will make for a nice tomato masterclass in late May. Pumpkins, three varieties of cucumbers one which is gherkins I also have zucchini, squash, beetroot, kale, silverbeet, lettuce, corn and I am sure that there is more I just can’t remember.
How is your garden this week? What have you been doing?