Belladonna Bess

An edible garden in Wellington, NZ

Slow progress July 11, 2009

Filed under: Garden — belladonnabess @ 9:45 am

Preparing: the garden where I plan to espalier fruit tree. Slowly.

Earthmoving: I’m trying to get the soil level even with the base of the fence so the fence doesn’t rot away. So I’m digging out soil in some spots and building it up in others.

Terracing: I’ve edged the fruit tree garden in old bricks and the same black plastic edging I’ve used everywhere else.

Worrying: I’ve got a little patch with a huge cotoneaster stump that just won’t die, and a red matipo stump that is also proving a bit persistent. Between them, one very nice area of fence is almost unusable. I can’t get them out, and if I did, I think the bank would come down.

Wondering: if I just jam in an Albany Surprise grape, it will probably do ok and I can train it on the fence behind. It’s a rather lazy solution – just leave the mess in place, but it might work.

Admiring: Albany Surprise is such a good grape. I’ve seen it producing fairly well from Northland to Christchurch and nearly everywhere in between. Admittedly, Wellington is pushing it with the cool, damp conditions, but one thing I can say about the spot I’m think of – it’s quite dry, very sunny and the soil isn’t too rich.

Worrying again: I’ve still got to dig a hole amongst the tree roots for it though.

Eating: silverbeet, celery, various herbs, yellow capsicum. Yes, that’s right. I grew capsicum in pots from seed and they were pretty slow. By late autumn, I had some small fruits, but still green, and I don’t like the green ones much. So I left them to see what would happen. A couple of weeks ago, I noticed that one of the rather tiny green capsicums was colouring up – those few sunny days were warm enough to keep on ripening it. Last night I noticed it was fairly yellow. I was making Thai fish curry and I thought, why not? The verdict: edible, but rather stronger than the more conventionally-grown bought ones.

Shopping: “Inca Gold” oca (Oxalis tuberosa, also known as yam but I hate that term as there are half a dozen completely different plants knows as yams around the world). Apple “Initial” on M27. Supposed to be “gala-like” but also disease resistant. It’s on the smallest rootstock so will need good water, good drainage, good fertility and staking. Luckily, I think I have the perfect spot. Raspberries – Qualicon and Autumn Bliss. The former is supposed to fruit mid-December, the latter late February until about May.

Because you can’t have too many raspberries can you?

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