Firstly, I’d just like to say that I’m really enjoying being a part of the Yates Veggie Growing Challenge and can understand why so many of you participate year after year. There is a real sense of community and I often forget it’s a competition! I love reading posts from other bloggers. It has motivated me to do more outdoors and write about our garden more often.
Things move fast around here! It wasn’t that long ago that I was blogging about my successes and set-backs (as I prefer to call them) but today I realised that I need to update my list to reflect recent developments in the garden.
· Kumara. The kumara has finally started to form shoots in the greenhouse (from set back to success!). You can’t rush mother nature along, so I’ll just have to let them do their thing and plant them when they’re ready to go out. Given how horrible the weather has been this past week, I don’t think they would exactly thrive outdoors even if they were big enough to be planted in the garden
· Parsnips. The parsnips I sowed in mid-September look healthy. They have lots of lush, green foliage but as with all root crops, time will tell whether it’s only just leaf or if they actually form a root!
· Roses. You might recall me saying in an earlier post that in late summer last year, I took some cuttings from my standard roses, which I dipped in Yates Clonex hormone gel to improve the strike rate. I was overjoyed to see that one of my “Loving Memory” roses has buds. It would make a lovely Christmas present for someone. The roses I ordered from D & S Nurseries, Tasman Bay Roses and South Pacific Roses and planted during the winter are just about all flowering and look beautiful.
· Bulbs. Scilla, our first lily of the season, is currently flowering. This is a patio oriental lily that I purchased from Garden Post and planted in August. Around the same time, I also planted 20 OT lilies, which are in bud. We also picked our first gladioli of the season, an enormous white flower. Speaking of Garden Post, just last week I placed a large order. For around $100, I purchased 18 dahlias, 60 giant gladioli, 60 miniature gladioli and 60 mixed lilies (LA Hybrid, OT and Oriental). I planted these in the bed which previously housed the cabbage and beetroot (soon to become the area for the melons). The Liseta potatoes are on the other side. When those come out in early December, I’ll have some more space for the melons (or something else, if my plants don’t look promising). You always need to have a plan B!
· Annuals. We have a lovely display of poppies at the moment (see previous post for a photo of “Fire Circle”). The cosmos are also flowering and the cornflowers have buds (both were planted in mid-september and were purchased as seedlings from Kings Plant Barn)
· Plant labels. The writing on my plant labels has faded, despite using a sharpie pen, which I thought was meant to be permanent. Fortunately I can still read the writing on most labels faintly but there are a few chillies and capsicums that will be a bit of a lucky dip this season
· Tamarillos. While the two trees outside which I grew from seed last spring have gone from strength to strength (they’re nearly taller than their stakes), the two rounds of the same seed I sowed on my heat pad failed to germinate, as well as the seeds given to me by my gardening friend Rob Hammington. This means that I won’t have a back-up incase my plants die
· Radish. The radish a German wwoofer helped me sow in 35 litre buckets in mid-October is very leafy, but failed to bulb up just like the row of radish which I sowed in the ground in mid-September. I’m not sure what went wrong as the potting mixture was old and had been used to grow capsicum and then carrots. Like I said in an earlier post, I often struggle with the simplest of veggies!
Tonight is the Garden Club event at my local Mitre 10 store. I just hope Yates sends a sales rep again this year. I desperately need help with growing garlic, as mine has rust. It might be too late to take action now, but there’s always next year!
NB the photo is of a tray of silverbeet seedlings I grew from seed, which I’m going to plant into the garden this afternoon.