I had a productive long day in the garden today. It was another seven hour day for me. Although Metservice had predicted showers and drizzles in Auckland, it turned out to be a sunny day without any rain. I managed to power through the following tasks:
· Sowing more beans on the heat pad – because I had such bad luck with the beans I sowed both outdoors and inside on the heat pad a fortnight ago, I sowed yet another round of beans. For climbing beans, I sowed “Blue Lake Runner” (Kings Seeds), “Stringless Scarlet” (Yates), “Scarlet Runner” (Yates) and a variety of beans given to me by the Heritage Food Crops Research Trust. I also sowed some dwarf varieties – “Top Crop” (Yates), “”Roquefort Dwarf” (Kings Seeds) and “Dwarf French Hiscock” (Egmont Seeds). This time, I decided to sow them directly into the incubator trays, which I filled with seed raising mix, rather than using plastic punnets to place on the trays as the germination rate with the ones I had sown this way was so poor. I managed to raise my bean seedlings successfully last year using this method, after a suggestion from a man who lives down the road who does it this way. Like me, he was also struggling to get beans to grow and is a huge fan of raising them indoors first, because they always end up being munched by slugs and snails. It does mean that the trays will need a good cleaning at the end of it, but healthy bean seedlings are a small price to pay given how much I struggle to grow them.
· Planting three punnets of spring onions – I sowed the variety “Tokyo Long White” (Kings Seeds) on 18th September and they have been ready to be planted out for some time. Since the ground was still damp in the morning, I thought it would be the perfect time. They went into the large patch shaded by our neighbour’s willow tree
· Sowing some more leeks – The ”Winter Giant” leeks (Kings Seeds) that I sowed on the 11th and 18th of September are coming along nicely. I sowed some more of these, as well as “Musselburgh” (McGregors) and Lungo Della Riviera (Kings Seeds). My plan is to plant the ones sown in September by December and save the second lot for planting in late summer/early autumn
· Removing a dead nasturtium – I pulled out an old nasturtium in the garden by the willow tree, because it was past its prime. I have plenty of new seedlings coming along. These varieties are “Empress of India” and “Peach Melba” (Kings Seeds)
· Weeding – I pulled out some weeds in between the spring onion and leek seedlings in the garden by the willow tree. I also weeded the strawberry patch and the area by the camellia trees infront of our house
· Spraying – I sprayed all 28 standard roses (plus the ones grown from cuttings) with Yates Super Shield, the tamarillo with Yates Mavrick and our celery seedlings with Yates Liquid Copper
· Planting chillies and capsicums – I planted the following capsicums in 35 litre containers: Palladio (Egmont), Double Up (Egmont), Belle Combo (purchased as a seedling from Kings Plant Barn) and Mama Mia Gialla x2 (Kings Seeds). I also planted some chillies (Carolina Reaper and Indian Jawal). These seeds were given to me in seed swaps.
· Clearing some dying calendula – I pulled out some calendula which was on the way out in our tomato patch, to make room for some more plants which I hope to put in tomorrow
Yes, our garden waste has accumulated once again, so I’ll need to spend some time sorting it out in the coming days.
New developments are as follows:
· Our passionfruit vines have fruit (I noticed this awhile ago but forgot to mention it)
· We picked our first raspberry today
· Our boysenberry “Thornless Jewel” (Incredible Edibles) is fruiting. They are very sour!
· Some of our zucchini have flowers (but not “Zephyr” which went straight on to fruit without flowering first, which is very strange)
The photo is of our dinner. We had frittata (potato, asparagus and red pepper, Anabel Langbein’s recipe), guacamole (also Anabel Langbein’s recipe), coleslaw and potato salad. In preparing these dishes, mum used lots of fresh veggies from our garden. It was so yummy!