Belladonna Bess

An edible garden in Wellington, NZ

Spring gales August 28, 2009

Filed under: Garden — belladonnabess @ 11:38 pm

I knew that they had to be coming soon. They turned up on Monday accompanied by 40 mm of rain. Mostly the garden has been drying out since then.

Germinating: currant tomato (Thursday), dill (Friday), red Russian tomato (Saturday).

Digging: my vegetable garden – the bit where root vegetables are going.  “No dig” doesn’t work too well for root vegetables, especially when the garden was formerly lawn and is reasonably compacted.

Discovering: the largest earthworm I have ever seen. I stared in shock for a moment and checked I hadn’t inadvertently chopped off one of my fingers  – I’m not kidding, it was that big – and then put the earth back over it. I didn’t dig that bit any more. I didn’t want to hurt it.

Weeding: bits of couch grass root.

Swapping: oca tubers, miner’s lettuce and miscellaneous seeds for potatoes and other miscellaneous seeds.

Planting: (right to left when standing on the deck, in rows!) “Inca Gold” oca, Desiree potato, Agria potato, parsnip (and radish) seed, pink fir potato, Touchon carrot seed, Chiogga (striped) beetroot seed, purple dragon carrot seed, (and then not in rows because it was all too neat for me) random carrots including Lubyana and a coloured mix, plus a few sugar beet out of curiosity.

Sowing: as well as the other seed, I scattered a few Flanders poppies over where the rows of potatoes are.

Netting: the entire area that I dug and planted today, with robust plastic mesh. I used to blame the cats for digging, but I realise now that it was the blackbirds. Of course, I was fair enough to blame the cats, as the blackbirds are only able to dig when the cats neglect their bird-scaring duties. Today a blackbird was trying to dig up my seeds and Faust was chasing a piece of pea straw nowhere near the blackbird. You just can’t get decent help thesedays.

Also planting: various Maori potato varieties in the corner garden that I don’t know what to do with.

Noticing: I have the sun until at least 5.15 now.

Constructing: a windbreak for my asparagus. I may need it. Severe gales predicted tomorrow night.

Smelling: my one freesia. Lovely.

Budding: first signs on Initial apple, also Candice grape, potted unknown grape, whitecurrant and autumn bliss raspberry (one cane only). Flower buds on Polka apple and Marcy raspberry, along with one caterpillar in a bud (promptly squashed). Presumably raspberry bud moth.

Eating: celery, silverbeet, salad greens

Anticipating: something other than celery, silverbeet or wild salad greens. Pak choi are coming along, maybe another month at most, also I have some red spring onions that might be edible soon.

Here are two alternative ways of keeping blackbirds off the garden. The grey furry one might be cuter, but the green mesh is actually effective.

Cute but ineffective blackbird control

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