MORE! MORE! MORE!
This gardening thing is addictive. It’s grounding. It’s mindful. It’s nourishing and it gives back what you put into it.
When we put the four raised beds down at Labour weekend I thought that would be enough for life. But it’s working so well and is so prolific I’ve run out of space, and want more.
The past few holiday weeks have been spent at home, with a lot of pottering in the garden and the kitchen, our meals inspired each day by what’s fresh and ready to pick.
That’s if the fruit or vege are well enough hidden from the kids who share my delight each day in checking what’s ready. It’s not uncommon for them to have had their five plus a day before breakfast.
They eat the beans, kale, basil, snow peas, cucumber, capsicum straight from the garden. I’m trying to teach them HOW to pick, as often a plant is left in ruin after their raid. The great thing about not using any sprays is I know even if they do scrape through without a wash first, there’s no real harm.
Our worm farm after 10 or so weeks is beginning to really come into it’s own. After a fairly slow start as the worm population built up, now there are seemingly thousands of worms eagerly eating up to 2kgs of kitchen scraps a day. It’s a lovely cycle. Growing, eating, putting scraps back into the worms for eating, which turn into tea and castings, to feed the garden.
The worm tea is prolific too especially with all the rain we’ve been having. I’m getting about half a litre a day which gets diluted down ten to one, and I’m hoping that that will almost cover us for feeding.
This month I’ve embarked on growing my own seedlings too. The key with everything with this garden has been having it all in sight, close by, at the front door so it’s an easy 5 minutes a day to water/weed and harvest.
The kids have their jobs, like spraying the seedlings, and are delighted to check on their progress each day. We have a sugar baby watermelon about ready to plant and a heap of radish and spring onion on the go.
We are most definitely having some failures. The amount of rain we’ve had I feel is not helping with lettuce/greens growth, and the powdery mildew on the zucchini is taking over. But I’m snipping the leaves and trying to prolong the plants life while the other seedlings get up to speed.
The strawberries are still not keeping up with the daily demands of little fingers, but the companion cucumber I have in with them has smothered them and we’re getting a good handful of these each day. The tomatoes are starting to ripen (note to self – I don’t eat them, why am I growing them and allowing them to take up so much space!?) and we’ve had a good crop of capsicums.
The eggplant is flowering but no fruit as yet and the beans are (disappointingly) nearly done. I have enjoyed using the technique of growing the beans up the corn, but have noticed the corn without the beans strangling them are way ahead of the pack.
With the beds full I’ve turned my attention to other parts of the house, and planted a gardenia hedge along the side of the driveway. I’ve tried to grow these before and had no success so I’m wary of their fussiness but hopeful with a bit of attention and dedication I will win!
I’m under planting it with mondo grass for a bit of texture and heavy mulching.
There’s nasturtium in a pot, marigolds in the beds and calendular nearby to the veges all in a bid to attract beneficial insects, and distract the pesky ones from the vege.
The kids have been delighted to find teeny tiny white eggs and miniscule caterpillars on their swan plants, only to discover them gone the next day. I fear the wasps are getting to them so after some research have discovered next time they're best planted in a pot so can be moved around the place to confuse the pesky wasps.
One of the reasons I wanted to get this garden up and running was to foster a bit of a gardening community, the position of it by my letterbox means I’m out there and meeting lots of people walking past, we've swapped a few tips and tricks with neighbours and plants too!
I'm delighted to be growing for a great community organisation called the Good Earth Collective who collect excess homegrown spray free fresh fruit and veges to box up for others in need. Yelena from GEC is a super star and collects from me every other week and it feels fabulous to be passing on my excess!
Jobs for the next month include planting some winter crops, figuring out rotational planting with still full beds, and getting a 2 way system compost up and running... and convincing the husband we need to build four more garden beds! Happy Gardening everyone!
These gardening blogs were made possible thanks to Palmers Planet