Belladonna Bess

An edible garden in Wellington, NZ

Berry harvest April 17, 2010

Filed under: Garden — belladonnabess @ 10:11 pm

Eating: my very first cape gooseberry, raspberries (Ivory, Waiau, Qualicum and the last of the Ebony), strawberries (mainly white alpine, but I found a big juicy red strawberry in the bed below the asparagus).

Also eating: zucchini (from the fridge, I ripped out my last plant yesterday), mini cabbage, tomatoes, silverbeet, lettuce, and stored potato, shallot and garlic.

Germinating: feral peas from my pea straw

Preparing: the second half of the old zucchini bed (did the first half last week). This just with sheep pellets, cardboard and pea straw as I didn’t have coffee grounds).

Observing: the blackbirds are back, and in a flock of about 6. Digging up seedlings and digging up holes in my path that are about as big as a cat would do. The difference being that cats are bone idle and can barely fit in any digging since they are so busy sleeping and lying around, while blackbirds just dig away at my garden hour after hour.

Transplanting: leeks (seedlings I had grown from seed).



Filed under: Uncategorized — belladonnabess @ 9:49 pm

Last week’s post, for some reason I forgot to actually put this up and it stayed draft.

Watering: there’s been the odd bit of rain, but when I try to dig into the soil it is bone dry and too hard to do anything with. I made a fair few trips with the watering can.

Planting: leeks (my neighbour gave me some seedlings she had leftover), coriander, a viola with a different colour flower.

Preparing: I ripped out the old Zephyr zucchinis, which were finished, and spread coffee grounds and sheep manure pellets before covering with newspaper, pea straw and plastic mesh. I’ll plant some more brassicas there later.

Eating: cucumber, cabbage, silverbeet, zucchini, tomatoes, garlic, shallots (both stored), strawberries, raspberries.

Buying: a kit for growing oyster mushrooms. With any luck, I should have some to eat in about 3 weeks.

Comparing: last year, when my zucchinis finished I went on to eating broccoli, but my brassicas have been slower this year and are another couple of months away at least. Possibly I haven’t been watering the garden enough, and they all have grey cabbage aphids. This is the worst I’ve seen them, in previous years I remember them in spring but not autumn.

Worrying: my silverhill mandarin has been looking miserable almost since I planted it, and I noticed the rootstock sprouting today. I pulled off the shoots, but it really isn’t doing too well.


Disorganisation April 4, 2010

Filed under: Garden — belladonnabess @ 11:02 pm

I have been gardening a little, but not writing much down. Can’t quite remember what I have been doing.

Eating vegetables: cabbage (resprouts from ones I cut earlier), silverbeet, zucchini (probably down to the last of them soon), cucumber (not many, but I may get one or two more), tomatoes, salad greens (new lettuce germinating, NZ spinach, dandelions).

Eating fruit: apples (the total crop from my Polka tree was two. First year so I can’t complain, and the taste was delicious). I may plant another tree, they take so little space). Raspberries (Ivory, Qualicum, Ebony and Waiau is just starting. Ebony has an abundant crop but a pretty insipid flavour, while the others are all very nice). Strawberries (mostly white alpine).

Planting: last week I planted a few more brassica seedlings from the market (pak choi, purple broccoli I think) plus a salad mix, red onions and some marigolds for the flowers as it is looking a bit drab right now).

Spraying: dipel last week since the cabbage whites were out of hand. This week I tried spraying water with a couple of drops of dishwashing liquid on some of the cabbages with very bad grey aphids.  May or may not work but worth a go.

Weeding: the asparagus bed, and among the leeks and carrots that have been germinating over the last couple of weeks.

Saving: bean seeds (Dalmatian and Paul Bunyan varieties)

Breadmaking: my most successful effort ever today. A brown loaf following a pretty basic recipe except for adding the remains of some yoghurt that needed using up. The difference this time wasn’t so much what went in as how I did it – I carefully followed the kneading and shaping instructions in a new cookbook I bought and that really seemed to do the trick. I made a loaf in a loaf tin (about standard size) and a few rolls so that I had something to tear apart and eat hot with melted butter. It just tastes so good fresh straight from the oven.