Belladonna Bess

An edible garden in Wellington, NZ

Mulch! April 27, 2013

Filed under: Garden — belladonnabess @ 3:48 pm

11 bales of barley straw arrived yesterday. It may take me a while to use them all, but I’m planning on burying most of my garden knee deep in mulch for a bit.

Planting: more spring bulbs – crocus (Jean d’Arc, Snow Bunting, in the side garden, and Fiesta mix in a pot), Freesia (double mix, Golden Wave, Red Diamond in pots so I can have the scent inside when they are flowering), tulip (Kees Nellis, my favourite tulip because it’s so bright and cheerful, also in a pot).

Weeding: the first of my main vege beds.

Also planting: seedlings of pak choi, tat soi and celery in the bed mentioned above. Cordyline ‘Midnight Star”, along the side of the house in one of the messy areas. I’m hoping it will raise the tone a bit, the rest of that area is mostly weeds, with a couple of renga renga lilies.

Transplanting: various lettuce, NZ spinach and brassica seedlings into the same bed.

Search-and-destroying: convolvulus. I did battle with the gooseberry in order to get at the convolvulus roots. I got a good quantity dug up.

Inoculating: I planted sweet peas in the side garden (white and dark maroon, like most of the rest of that garden). They are looking rather pathetic and spindly. I realised that this may be because they are planted in compost, which will never have grown sweet peas, or any legume, before. This means no rhizobia, and no root nodules. So I grabbed a little soil from a garden where sweet peas had thrived, and sprinkled it around them. I hope that will do the trick.

Mulching: newly planted seedlings, bed with carrots and parnsips in it, under the hazelnut trees and random other bits of garden. One bale down, ten to go.

Eating: chard, kale, carrots, pears, the last of the apples and raspberries.


Drought’s broken April 20, 2013

Filed under: Garden — belladonnabess @ 1:26 pm

Ok, the drought’s broken, we get the message. Now how about it stops raining for a bit and I can get the garden in order.

Planting: last weekend I got into one of my beds, weeded it out and planted broccoli, pak choi, spring onions, rocket and spinach. There were already a few feral broccoli seedlings in there so I left them as well. The rocket seedlings were overgrown leftovers being sold cheap, all I need them to do is bolt and reseed my garden. For some reason the rocket’s disappeared from my feral collection.

Germinating: I’ve got a nice range of new lettuce varieties from the lettuces I allowed to bolt over the summer. It also looks like I have a bit of miner’s lettuce. Give it another week of warm, wet conditions and there should be all sorts sprouting up. Although possibly mostly fungi.

Sprouting: signs of life from all the lovely bulbs I planted a few weeks back. I know it’s only April, but I can’t wait for spring!

Eating: pears. Yum, yum, yum. Doyenne du comice is truly one of the most delicious fruits ever. My espalier is looking pretty good, with about 8 fruit this year. Also carrots, a few remaining zucchini, a few apples, raspberries and strawberries, a bit of chard and plenty of herbs.

Also eating: sprouts. I found the great sprout making kits I used at the Mars Desert Research Station on sale for half price (still not cheap). So I bought some and now I’m enjoying sprouts. Great to harvest some of my fresh vegetables on a day like this or a cold, dark evening without leaving the kitchen.

Gloating: I bought a half-dead Phalaenopsis¬†orchid for $10 last spring. I haven’t always been successful with these, but I figured it was worth a try since they are normally $40 plus. Not only has it revived, it has resprouted off the old flower spike, and has a completely new flower spike as well.