I thought I’d use this post to provide a snapshot of progress around the garden in mid-spring.
· Every day, I have been hardening off smaller plants, exposing them to the outdoors for a few hours during the day before moving them back into the greenhouse overnight. Most of my larger plants are at a point where they stay outside all the time (remember the photo of the row of plants under the eaves of our house?). This weekend, when I start planting, I’ll begin with these ones
· Because the weather was so windy and cold over the weekend, I decided to wait until later this week to start planting my marigold and dahlia seedlings.
· With the help of the wwoofers, I have been busy repotting punnets of seedlings into trays (such as lettuce, spinach and silverbeet) and plants in the greenhouse from six-cell punnets to individual pots
· I’m still busy sowing more seeds indoors. At the moment, I have rockmelon and watermelon seeds on my heat pad, with plans to sow honeydew and banana melon once there’s more space on the heat pad. Once I’ve finished sowing the melons, I’ll move onto sowing African Gem Squash and finally Okra. This year, I’m growing “Clemson Spineless” from Yates.
· The radishes that I sowed in two 35 litre buckets in mid-September have matured and we have been enjoying them in salads and raita. Yesterday, the wwoofers helped me sow some more radishes, which should be ready in mid-November
· The parsnips that I sowed on 17th September have germinated (see photo). However, a cat has been digging in a couple of places!
· In June and July, I planted more cabbages and broccoli to replace the ones that I harvested over winter. The cabbages are growing really well and should be ready soon. I harvested the first of this lot of broccoli yesterday
· The beetroot seedlings I planted on the 20th of September are coming along nicely
· The leek and spring onion seedlings planted by the Danish couple who were wwoofing with us in early September are growing very nicely
· We have been harvesting broad beans every day
· The seed garlic that I planted in April and May is growing nicely but with root crops it’s hard to tell what’s underneath!
· In the winter, I added 13 more standard roses to the garden. They are mostly David Austin varieties that I had to order from D & S Nurseries because you can’t find them in garden centres, at least not in Auckland. Some of these new roses have started flowering and are simply stunning
· I’ve been spraying the roses and fruit trees around every ten days, alternating between Yates Liquid Copper and Copper Oxychloride
· I fed the roses with Yates Thrive Granular Rose Food and the fruit trees with Yates Thrive Granular Citrus Food. I normally sprinkle some granular food around them every 2-3 months during the warmer months
· Since plants are growing actively, I have increased the frequency of liquid feeding from fortnightly to weekly. The product I am using at the moment is Yates Thrive Natural Fish and Seaweed