Spring is here on our doorstep and for me it’s been one hell of a month. With the garden expansion planted out its now a waiting game to see what comes up. I have worked through the rain to get as much done as possible while Roy was home – his priority was to spend some quality time with Isla. We both win. In the basket above is one of my Farm Gate customers veggies for the week. Our harvesting has slowed at the moment while the garden is in transition but still producing enough to feed five families.
I am pleased to say we got R A I N! Over 100mm for the month which is unheard of for August. Working with the rain I planted out plenty of seeds for the coming months to be transplanted along with direct sowing those that should provide some summer freshness.
After all my efforts in August, I can take it a little easier these coming months and wait for the harvesting to begin. Fingers crossed for watermelons.
One of the major jobs in the garden this month was to mulch the beds before the rain was to come. It was drizzling on the day it made it a slightly sticky job with the combination of our clay like soil and sugarcane mulch on our shoes. We organised five bales of sugarcane mulch to be delivered at a ridiculously affordable price. turns out the whole garden can be mulched thickly with three bales. Good to know. One of the extra bales is on standby for when the garden expansion bit works – more on that later.
I also got a little carried away at the local plant market here on the coast, I didn’t buy many seedlings, no I just bought 190 curly kale plants – crazy. I sell a fair bit of kale so I am sure it’s not a waste of time. Plus I have spread them through out the garden so if I do get another aphid attack that they don’t take over the place. Since the rains were on their way, I gave all the new seedlings a good sprinkle with an organic fertilizer – its like dynamic lifter. All the seedlings have doubled in size with the rain. So we are off to a good start.
My purple king beans have taken off with the arrival of warmer weather and some rain. Below is one of my rhubarb crowns gone to flower. I thought I would collect the seed and resow if I need too for next year.
Isla, my garden helper and basket carrier. She loves being outdoors with me. Below the new veggie patch, one bean/pea trellis on the right and working down four rows for spuds, one row is still yet to be planted. Waiting on the spuds to sprout eyes. The bottom half where its bare dirt (or should i say thousands of cobblers peg seedlings) is where I scattered corn, melons, pumpkins, zucchini and cucumber seed and raked it in. I also threw in some old flower seeds I was given. Maybe I will have some snap dragons and carnations up too.
ABOVE: The snowpeas and beans are up. BELOW: The first of the spuds are up
Millions of cobblers peg (farmers friends) sprouting through the ground. Once the seeds have germinated in this patch, I will use one of the bales of sugarcane mulch to cover the bare ground to keep the weeds down. Also by then I hope that my spuds have grown enough that I can also cover them with more mulch. Should take a whole bale to do the lot. Just waiting on seeing the seedlings I am after to come up. Maybe I little more rain will help.
Some of my many cabbages. With the high rainfall we had in a few days many of my cabbages split from the rain. My chooks are not interested in eating them either so it’s all me to find a use for them. Sauerkraut is on the agenda people.
The heavily mulched bottom section, with the addition of Shane the scarecrow. We built two scarecrows to keep the crows out of the garden to stop them from eating my tomatoes. Turns out two weeks has past and they found their way back yesterday! I found some tomatoes half eaten on the ground in my garden. Not cool. So I may have to move Shaz & Shane around to keep those pesky crows away. Also I might buy some cheap netting for my tomatoes this year too. keep the fruit fly population off them.
The big fella’s below are from our Potato Leaf tomato, they seem to be very huge. I picked them rather early as i discovered caterpillars on the fruit. This way I can ripen the good ones for sale and any that have gone bad I just cut the caterpillar eaten section out and cook them up in numerous ways. We have also had some rodents eating the ripe undiscovered fruit. I am at war again with bugs and critters in the veggie patch.
The onions are finally looking like they might provide something for us.
Lastly my broadbeans. Honestly I don’t know what went wrong. We have had them in the ground since March they have flowered like mad for months and look we got another two bean pods. Thinking it might be the same plant that produced the first two pods I am wondering if I should keep them for seed and try again. When do you plant out your broadbeans? I need help.
Planting: This month we planted everything ready for summer – watermelons, rockmelon, pumpkins, zucchini, cucumbers, rosellas – for jam of course, spuds, snowpeas, beans, more beans, peas, kale, eggplant, sweet peppers, asian greens, okra, silverbeet, onions, a few more cabbages just for fun. Tomatoes a few different varieties went into seed trays.
Harvesting: This month we have had a great tomato harvest with the last of our black russians, we are now picking the potato leaf, cherry cocktails, grosse lisse and soon a roma like variety called Palmwoods. We live ten min away from Palmwoods so hoping they are a great success here. We have had a glut of cabbages, the snowpeas have slowed as too are the half dead looking zucchini’s. The broccoli are just about all done, only picking the side shoots now and have left the rest to flower to promote happy bees. Silverbeet, kale, asian greens and rhubarb have been steady. Our sweet peppers are still going strong too. Our fridge never seems empty.
- Mulch the new garden area once the seeds have germinated and grown at least two inches.
- Mulch the spuds at the end of september
- Plant out the next three trays of seedlings
- Make a decision on what to do with the broadbeans – pull them out or give them a couple of months of spring.
- Netting for tomatoes
- Spraying for caterpillars and cabbage moth
- Relax and watch the plants grow