Sowing or sewing

Helen made a good point about pruning, if the weather is nasty don't do it. Disease can very easily enter through fresh cuts. I try to do the pruning with the moon but not if the weather doesn't suit.

The new seeds arrived in the mail today, I can't wait to get planting! I'm holding off till the first quarter of the moon to give them a really good start. I bet folks have already got tomato and pepper seeds going but I have learned in my garden that the late frosts will set back all the early seedlings so much so that the late ones catch up.

A bit of distraction is needed so I've got a project on the go to keep me busy. Fingers crossed this dress suits me cos I love the fabric, I've been hoarding it for a couple of years!!!

And one more thing, does anyone eat Jerusalem artichokes? I roasted them the other night, all the kids said "Yuck" and I wouldn't go for them again unless I had no other root veges to choose from. I wondered if anyone out there had a better way of cooking them?


I've been playing with the layout and adding to my link list because everyone has probably had enough of garden photo's and goings on for this week. I just realised I haven't actually talked to another adult since Wednesday. I've been fostering friendships here though which is nice when it's too cold to go out.



Lance use to prune apple trees for a job, I found his tools today. I Love pruning!

It was a bit silly of me to not take Mum up on her offer to prune my roses though cos I still have alot of other pruning to finish.

Completed the biggest fruit tree this morning and my least favorite bramble, the boysenberry - they're so prickly. If you're turning a small section of land into a garden I'd leave these off the plant list unless you really love them. I've got four which I thought were going to produce enough berries to make jam, eat fresh , bottle and make wine out of but these four bushes take up as much space as the raspberries, require twice the effort in pruning and yield about half as much. I'd go for a thorn less blackberries and raspberries instead. Our single blackberry probably produces as much as those darned boysenberries all put together. To prune the boysenberries and blackberries cut out all last seasons fruiting canes and tie up the growth that came up during summer make kind of a fan. Easy. Peach trees I've got sussed too. Before......
When you select your tree or seedling from the garden centre have in mind the shape you want. All mine are vase shaped cos I reckon that's the easiest. You prune it to have four or five evenly spaced main branches. I like them to start low so they can be picked without a ladder. During summer I prune off alot of the new really fast leafy shoots and in winter I fix anything I don't like shape wise. Thin it out so there will be good airflow and sun reaching fruit to ripen. I shorten the end growth to try and keep the tree vase- ing out wards instead of upwards where I won't be able to reach the fruit. I don't let my fruit trees produce fruit for their first two years, picking off all the flowers so that they put all their energy into producing a good root system is worth it.
I found some buried treasures today too. Last year I didn't have room to put yams in, I've missed them, so I was pleased to find some wildings under some weeds. The Jerusalem artichokes are mammoth! I've grown them in the past for their ability to make a tall screen but these beauties will have to be tasted. I'm a bit nervous cos they don't look delicious.


Garden notes july- seaweed

I'm obsessed with seaweed.

I've been helping out a relative by managing a holiday home for him at Kina beach, after cleaning ready for guests I thought I'd pop out to the peninsula to give the dog and kids a run around. My heart beat with excitement ,( I know! I'm a pretty low maintenance chick.) when I saw masses of seaweed and leaf mulch deposited on the beach. Thank goodness my cruddy old station wagon was due for a clean out, I was able to fill a sack, some supermarket bags and 4 of my reusable bags with seaweed. When I got home, of course I didn't have enough. So I went again the next day with lots of sacks and some bribed helpers.

So that's the asparagus patch by the neighbours fence, it's thoroughly covered. The peach tree is living on borrowed time, if it doesn't produce with significantly less brown rot this year it's out of there. The little triangle patch next to the glass cloches and baby mandarin is also covered. Haven't decided what's going in there yet but I just love my garden at this time of year the control freak in me likes everything mulched and weed free.

See I've mulched more beds here with pea straw and seaweed over by the naughty chook ( prison) run. They go on weeding duty in this run if they get in the garden. No one's in there at the moment as they're all behaving and laying eggs.

Other jobs being done this month: Half the pruning is done, the rest is waiting for the last quarter of the moon next week to finish it off.

I'm not doing carrots at the full moon, my garden's too cold and wet but I've got pea seed in behind the asparagus right up against the fence where it's a little warmer.

The brassicas in the glasshouse are looking very happy on a diet of worm juice.

Cuttings of grape vines are done but there's still plenty of time to do cuttings of berries, grapes, herbs etc.

Tree tomato looks dead in the frost. Passion fruit is holding on.

Seeds are sorted ready to plant in the next first quarter. I'll do hardier herbs and veges in the glass house and tomatoes and peppers on the window sill inside. Feeling more low maintenance excitement here!

Not feeling like going back to work!



Last week I set up my stall for an event our Playcentre had organised. We had quite a few people through the doors but I didn't make many sales. I'm pretty convinced it's because food and fuel are now so expensive people don't have as much disposable income. I'm optimistic about continuing crafting to provide a little extra for the family though as I know there is a movement out there which appreciates handcrafted items which have far less impact on the environment. My Mum is a great spinner and a good but reluctant knitter so we've combined our talents in making these vests. Since they didn't sell last week (alot of work still needs to be done to re- educate people on the benefits of pure wool garments) I've listed them on my Felt shop.
Finished this cutey, cutey kimono cardy too. Not too sure yet weather to sell it or gift it to someone so I can see it being worn.


Midwinter birthday

Yesterday we celebrated the red head's 3rd birthday. It was very low key, we all have awful head colds, sore throats and two of them have earache. The olive oil infused with garlic, strained and then poured into the ear seems to be helping them with the pain along with paracetamol when the temperature gets high. Daddy's at work in Reefton so Granny came to help out, back just in time from my brother's family in Adelaide.

I can't believe it's three years since he was born. I'm kind of grieving that breast feeding and nappy days are over. I miss my baby. He was born 10 days over- due and though I went to bed every night thinking, get it over with tonight, I woke up every morning saying thank goodness. It wasn't till my friend who was due three weeks later than me rang and said "hurry up I'm at the hospital with a baby" that I got a move on. I had him at 5 past 6 that night. Much easier labour than all the others and not worth all the worry I'd been putting into it. I'm sure it helped to have a brilliant midwife. The big kids came in moments after he was born but seemed more interested in looking at the placenta than their baby brother.
He started Montessori this week, settling in alot easier than I had expected. I thought the structure would cause all sorts of problems for him but he's OK and I'm looking forward to a bit of breathing space.