12 August 2013

One Winter Sunday in the Veggie Garden


If there's one thing that Disaster taught me that I am especially grateful for, it's how to grow our own food.

Yesterday was a glorious winter day here. It started off a little overcast and dull but before too long the cloud cleared and the sun was shining in a clear blue sky. There was a rather brisk breeze and I couldn't have been happier.

A breeze meant the washing dried in no time and because last week was so mixed up and crazy busy I ended up doing five, yes five, loads of washing! I have never, ever done fivve loads of washing in one day before, I'm still gobmacked. The clothesline was full with shirts and trousers and sheets and towels all blowing in the breeze, and every single item was bone dry when it was taken off the line and folded into the washing basket.

The sunshine made my fingers itch to get into the garden too and although the yard was still far too soggy to mow the garden beds were beautifully soft for digging and turning over.

Wayne dug a barrowful of compost for me from last year's compost pile. It was rich and moist and full of big, fat worms and creamy white witchity grubs. I am always amazed at how we can put veggie peelings and fluff and paper and grass clippings and prunings, stuff most people throw into the rubbish bin,  into a pile, turn them over a few times and end up with this beautiful, moist, black soil for the garden.

I used it to top up the veggie boxes by digging them over then adding a layer of the compost and digging it in. I'll let them sit for a couple of weeks before I plant into them. By then the ground will be warm enough (in theory anyway) to start the seeds and the days should be sunnier.

A few months ago we had a new side fence put up and it's now a much more useful space. The old fence was covered by a rather pretty creeper with some flowering bushes of some kind along the bottom (no idea what they were, they were there when we moved in and I suspect they were actually what was holding the fence up - that reads back grammatically wrong doesn't it?). They all had to go when the new fence went up and I cheered! 

There is now a lovely six metre length of garden bed I can use to grow more food.  I put the trellis up this afternoon, ready to grow beans and snap peas up it. Then I added a layer of compost to the garden bed and dug it all in.  This side of the yard gets the sun almost all day, falling into shade from about 4pm, the beans and peas will do just fine.

While we were digging and weeding we talked about how the garden would work this year. Where the tomatoes will go, which box to put the lettuce, cabbages, cauliflowers, broccoli, capsicums, silverbeet, zucchini, cucumbers, beetroot, onions, silverbeet, pumpkins and melons will go.  Whether we should move the strawberry patch. If we'll have enough bags for the potatoes (and no, I need to scrounge some more).

And we talked about the watering. Hand watering takes a long time, even if it is very relaxing. And it can waste a lot of water. Wayne thinks  he's come up with a plan for a drip system that will be much more water efficient, and because we'll put it on a timer I won't need to worry about watering when we go away.

He'll draw up an exact plan this week and work out what we'll need in the way of materials. Hopefully we can recycle some hose from the watering system we pulled down a couple of years ago, then next weekend, come rain, hail or shine (it is Melbourne after all) we'll get it installed.

While I'm waiting to get more bags, the seed potatoes are out for chitting. They should be ready to plant next weekend too, they've been out about 3 weeks and have some nice sized sprouts on them. I've doubled the number to plant this year in the hopes of harvesting enough potatoes to see us through about six months of next year.

That's the plan anyway, let's hope it's nature's plan too.

Have you started your spring and summer garden yet?

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment...I just love hearing from you!

Just a couple of things:

Please don't use your comments to advertise your business or goods for sale, any such comments will be removed.

And please include your name, anonymous posts will not be published and will be recorded as spam.