Friday, September 30, 2011

Winter Garden

Just befor we get to excited about Spring its worth just having a look back at the winter that has just been. For those of you how are familiar with Wellington, New Zealand you wont associate any of the photos below with that city. But this Winter we had a real treat in the form of a generous dump of snow.

Silver Beet and Chard were about the only things that were in the garden when it snowed and as you can see they coped with it quite well. 

 This shot was taken on the first night when the biggest dump happened. I love snow and having moved up from the South Island I thought we would see less of it but this snow storm was as good as any Ive had in Dunedin.

The weather pattern that lead to this was described as the "the perfect storm". There was basically a straight line of isobars leading up from Antarctica right into Wellington, it was as good as being a sub Antarctic island. 
But anyway it will probably be another 30 years befor that happens again so in the meantime its time to enjoy getting back in the garden and the renewed opportunity to grow some delicious food!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Bright Lights

We got a real surprise the first time we took a bunch of bright light seedlings ( Chard ) out of the yoghurt pot for the first time. They look impressive above ground but the root system is just as exciting as you can see in the picture. Its a pretty root bound seedling but it was worth seeing the result. Chard is our staple crop, providing us with a year round supply of leafy greens. Its easy to grow too.

Time to get planting

Its time to get seeds into pots and and start deciding what we are going to grow this year. Dividing up the garden into plots is where all the hard work is, but its well worth it. Recycled pallets have been great for making raised beds , the timber is not treated and its free. So far we have Tomato's ( Mini Bell ) Kale, Broad Beans, Oregano, Basil, Beans ( Fire Tongue & Slenderette ) and Bright Lights. An over supply of herbs is the goal this year so lets see how we get on.

You can see where we have used the pallet wood to make partitions and there are a couple of bits that make nice wee herb gardens on the boarder of the bigger plots. Its not going to last for ever but for a free material its not too bad.
With patches of fresh soil exposed we have been looking for something to cover it until the veges are planted. Freshly turned soil is attractive to cats and makes it easier for the birds to catch the worms. It also dries out quicker. Since then we have found a couple of old hessian matts at the dump shop, they will still let the soil breath and keep the moisture in. Tied up bunches of cabage try fronds work as well.

So weve made a start this year, just have to wait for the seeds to do their thing and turn into seedlings.