Belladonna Bess

An edible garden in Wellington, NZ

Instant winter April 9, 2011

Filed under: Garden — belladonnabess @ 11:06 pm

After spending part of last weekend in shorts and t-shirt, I spent most of the week in winter clothes after 2 freezing southerly storms sailed through. Combined with the end of daylight saving, it felt like winter had arrived. Fortunately, yesterday was lovely and I got some gardening done.

Germinating: all my seeds are now up. Not the best germination, but I did forget to water them for a couple of days in the first week. Celeriac was last by about a week, but celery is typically slow, so not surprising. Weeds are also germinating, plus things like Limnanthes and Nemophila. I’ve now got a half dozen feral coloured chard as well, in everything from red stems with dark purple leaves to green leaves and white stems with just a hint of pink, as well as yellow stems and orangey-pink stems (hard to describe that one, but it is almost fluorescent). Probably nearly enough for the winter, although I have planted more seed.

Eating: carrots, potatoes (stored), silverbeet, feral pak choi, celery, zucchini (some very small ones, I really need to pull out the plants now and plant broad beans), beans (I thought the plants were nearly finished, but they have started up again), garlic (now stored) onions, tomatoes (just a few), spaghetti squash, strawberries, apples (nearly all gone). Also salad leaves – chickweed, lettuce and the first of the miner’s lettuce.

Cursing: my onions were supposed to die off in the summer when it was dry. But it was never very dry and most of them are still in full leaf. A couple dried off properly and I’ve tried pulling some up and leaving them in the sun in the hope that that works. But I’m coming to the conclusion that onions are difficult to grow.

Harvesting: 6 pumpkins this year, 3 good size and 3 that are fairly small. I only managed to grow 3 spaghetti squash though (a fourth got some sort of rot). I’ll need to remember – fewer pumpkins and more spaghetti squash next year

Tidying: I’ve been pulling the weeds out of, and putting compost on, overgrown vege beds in preparation for more autumn planting. The garden is still a mess, but at least it is a bit better than it was a month ago.

Observing: I’ve grown some distinctly priapic carrots this year. One of the white Koanga ones has a diameter of about 8 cm. Even some of the ordinary orange ones were enormous. I’ve decide to leave the largest of the giant white carrots to go to seed, because I could do with some more seed. Saving carrot seed is a bit of a pain though, as they have to be left for a winter and then bolt in the spring. I’ve never saved carrot seed before, but I’ve found some of the Koanga seeds aren’t always available, so if I like a variety, it is often worth saving.