19.4.09

Back in the garden again

The Autumn colours in the vege garden are beautiful. My warm evening weeding inspired me to get the camera out, though my hand wasn't quite steady enough for the low light, the colours came out well.

I've had this goal to be self sufficient in fruit and veges. It is easy to achieve it during summer but for the winter garden my timing is still off. These beautiful coloured cauliflowers I planted in late January while we were all still on holiday. I staggered the plantings by two weeks and composted them well. Until recently the parasitic wasps kept the white cabbage caterpillars in check but then the population exploded so I used an application of derris dust to get them under control. The problem is that they are all coming ready at once despite the staggered planting. It's also a little earlier than I had hoped, with a few summer veges still to be found in the garden and glasshouse. The challenge for me is to be self sufficient in July and August as stores run low and frost stops the growth of everything. The gap in gardening last month isn't going to help the situation.
Another bit of bad timing is the peas which are just starting to flower, it's going to frost here within the next month so I doubt very much that I"ll get to harvest many of them. The plan had been to have them just sit through winter and then flower in very early spring like they did last year.
I'm not completely behind, this is just the first few pumpkins. "Austrian oil seed" and "jack be little" for stuffing and seed for baking. Their vines had died off in the frost before Easter.
I'm working on clearing up areas where corn and pumpkins have been in preparation for cover crops, composting and garlic beds, which I prepare with lime then a rest for a few weeks add blood and bone, then pot ash throughout winter until I plant. I try to leave it three years before I plant garlic in the same spot but as I grow such a large area of garlic I can't always manage it.

Leeks, celery, radishes, silver beet, parsnip and lettuces are all growing well at the moment, I even have two fairly promising looking beds of carrots in. There's only 3/4 of a row of potatoes left while the yams aren't looking very prolific this year. The kumara were doing well but the frost killed their vines. I dug one plant up and only got four fairly average looking kumara from it but they do look better than the spindly looking ones I got a few years ago. I think I composted this lot better and I'm determined to keep trying with these.

Nasturtiums and pumpkins still going strong in a warmer patch of the garden, I like the way they smother everything in their path.

3 comments:

Melissa said...

wow, gill- your garden is looking so wonderful. love those bright, rampant nasturtiums!

Sandra - too heavy to stand on a soapbox, but undeterred said...

Fantastic pictures Gill. I love the two cauliflowers. I know what you maen about the winter planning. Early Spring is tricky as well. I have begun to appreciate the pagan significance of a northern hemisphere Easter/Passover celebration - the excitement of new food after the hungry months!

Tracy said...

Wow, the cauliflower is bright, looks great.