Sunday, April 7, 2013

the great garden experiment #7

carrot seeds and lettuce being sown
The summer garden has finished with tomato plants towering over the windows dying off and plants being pulled out. The neighbours (and their cats) moved out and once again the garden has become a haven for the native birds and my Miss 3 to explore.
The zucchinis, cucumbers and mixed sweet capsicums made a come back with lush green growth, flowers and the first good harvest. The tomatoes were pulled but three plants remained and yesterday l spotted flowers. We might just have another harvest of yellow pear tomatoes and lemon drops if l can spare the room in the garden before the first frost hits Melbourne.

Miss 3 creating creative spaces in the garden
We decided to stay home this weekend, to wash, clean and nest. With the promise of two days of good weather + sunshine Miss 3 and I dug over the garden. We got on our wellies and gardening clogs + mulched the few existing vegetable plants. We staked the dwarf beans and then pulled back the hay covering the earth. Some areas were dry from lack of water and the many tomato varieties sapping the soil over the prolonged summer period of growth. Fertiliser and mushroom compost were added to the soil. Then we spent much of the afternoon enjoying the sunshine and warmer weather turning the soil over and watering it in overnight ready for today's planting.

learning to sow seeds

A bowl of black and plump olives were harvested and readied for curing. The grafted eggplant is flowering with strong buds and flowers promising a bountiful harvest in the near future. But I'm excited about planting out a new crop and getting things going again.

Today our gardening lesson consisted of Miss 3 learning to aerate the soil + dig a trench, sow carrot and lettuce seeds in rows and then back-filling with soil before watering. Tomorrow we'll collect the sunflower seeds from the flower heads that have been dried ready for next summer. 

new gardening tools
We're planting peas on a wire frame, coriander and Tuscan kale + rainbow chard near the front window in rows and broccoli, cauliflower, leeks and celery out front between the capsicums and carrot bed. Teepee's of snow peas and broad beans will run near the carport and the neighbouring path. Sweet peas will be trained on staked Teepee's for colour around the garden.  The giant rhubarb, parsley, thyme and rosemary are making a statement in the drive and the little banana passion fruit l planted near the meter box is climbing high and overwhelming us with leaf growth. l need to come up with a frame for it to support + hold the vine and the fruit.

raspberries ripening and olives being harvested
The challenge with my gardening space is finding the room for all the crops to be positioned with enough direct sun, space and access to water in order to thrive. I positioned a pot near the small watering tank we use to water seedlings and placed some gardening tools ready for Miss Three to use. This Autumn/Winter I want to start getting Miss three more involved in planting and claiming the garden as her own. She's asked for brussel sprouts and parsnips in the garden and l see roasts, stews and soups aren't far away. This year, fingers crossed l want to achieve planting out and producing a high yielding garden.

It's my favourite time of the year, the perfect blend of cool, warm, sunny and damp. Dabbled sunlight, shadows falling across the garden in the afternoons. Olive trees silver against green, leaves in ochre, mustard, purple and reds, the colour of the hay mulch covering the ground providing a warm blanket for the earth. The promise of rain and puddles for jumping in. Weather cool enough for cups of tea, sewing, lazy crafternoons, slow food and enjoying a slower pace.

What's happening in your garden?
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x Mummafox
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