Belladonna Bess

An edible garden in Wellington, NZ

Autumn vegetables January 17, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — belladonnabess @ 10:21 pm

Sowing: carrots (4 varieties), beetroot. I did this yesterday but forgot to write up. Today it has rained, so it looks like good timing.

Planting: choko. I had one potted, but put it in the ground. Not sure how it will do but worth a go since I really like them.


Dry April 17, 2010

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.


Construction January 29, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — belladonnabess @ 10:39 pm

Constructing: a fence along the remaining unfenced part of my boundary. A couple of my friends are actually doing most of the work, I’m just buying timber, following orders and providing food. Not finished yet, but already looking quite different. I must take pictures.

Eating: a few more beans finally. Plus zucchini, silverbeet, carrots, beetroot, potatoes, garlic, lettuce, strawberries, one Ivory raspberry (yum) etc. I’ve managed to keep 2 visitors fed out of the garden this week, and still had stuff to share. I love it when the garden is like this.

Baking: real summer weather today.


Seeds January 24, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — belladonnabess @ 9:15 pm

Germinating: the seeds I sowed on the 17th are germinating already. The first of them (cabbage and pak choi) had started germinating by the 21st. The benefits of a greenhouse and summer. Not that the last week has been entirely summer, Saturday was more like winter. Again.

Also germinating: the romanesco, silverbeet, basil, radishes and some of the random flowers. Maybe some of the carrots or beetroot, but I can’t remember now.


Cleanup December 20, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — belladonnabess @ 10:40 pm

Harvesting: the last of the broad beans, Jersey Benne potatoes (a woeful crop, and half of them appear to be Desiree, which must have resprouted from last summer), silver fir potatoes (just a few, and I haven’t eaten any myself yet), silverbeet, sugar snap peas, rhubarb (giant), cabbage, savoy cabbage. Pulled up the only 2 shallot plants still alive, one was trying to flower. I’m hoping they will dry off and at least keep a month or so.

Eating: as above, plus a few blueberries, currants and raspberries. My whitecurrant is most definitely red. That is the second time that has happened to me – how odd. My O’Neal blueberry is completely dead. The others look fine, but then so did the O’Neal 2 weeks ago. Not sure what is going on.

Planting: another Zephyr zucchini and 2 more yellow cucumbers. A couple more tomatoes, just to get them out of the greenhouse.

Lessons for next year: don’t plant sugar snap peas and shelling peas side by side in the garden. Plant more broad beans. Give them some sort of support, or they will sprawl all over the path.


Last weekend December 3, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — belladonnabess @ 9:07 pm

Last weeked, in desperation, I gardened in the rain and cold. Unfortunately I was too busy to write it up.

Planting: Zephyr zucchini, yellow cucumber. The older zucchini plants looked like that might have had a virus, but they seemed to be recovering, so I planted them out in the hope they’re ok. The smaller zucchini plants and cucumbers looked ok.

Also planting: more tomatoes, a couple of basil plants, a couple more of the chili plants, lobelias and a random selection of flower seedlings.

Constructing: a very robust windbreak around the zucchinis.

Eating: baby carrots, broad beans, lettuce, pak choi, sugar beet thinnings, sugarsnap peas and RASPBERRIES

I’m so excited. Did I mention raspberries?


Yes I have been gardening… November 29, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — belladonnabess @ 9:23 pm

but haven’t had time to write it down.


An unexpected fine day August 14, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — belladonnabess @ 10:51 pm

The weather forecast was wrong again. But no complaints, they predicted a miserable wet day and instead it was warm and reasonably sunny. And it rained at night so things did get watered.

Eating: silverbeet, rocket, lettuce, miner’s lettuce, chickweed, NZ spinach. I’ve been a bit more organised in the morning lately, plus my self-sown salad bed is producing a bit, so in the morning before work I’ve been picking a little container of salad to have with lunch.

Buying: the first asparagus from the market. In a couple of years I hope I won’t need to.

Digging: more removing the top weedy layer, this time from the garden around the catnip plant. I have now done all the converting of “lawn” I plan to do this year. There is still an area of about 10-15 square metres that is lawn (if it deserves such a description). I’m using it as a working area, which I still need. Hopefully by next year I won’t really need that space, or at least such a large space, and can use it to plant more stuff. Since I have such large decks I can use, I don’t want to waste any more planting space on lawn.

Mulching: the dug area with newspaper and pea straw, plus manure pellets, blood and bone, coffee grounds and compost from my compost bin under the mulch.

Planting: my other dwarf nectarine (which said Garden Delight on the label, so the other one I planted must have been Nectar Babe, as I know I got two different ones). Lepidium oleraceum and Rorippa divaricata – two threatened native cresses. I planted the lepidium by the letterbox, as this is the closest I’ve got to a coastal cliff. I mixed rather a lot of blood and bone in the soil around it. In the wild, this plant basically grows in bird poo, so it probably wants a lot of nitrogen in the soil. I planted the rorippa in my salad bed.

Wondering: what to do with the area I finished mulching today. I planted the nectarine in it, and there is the catnip plant which I can’t move as it is on Hades’ grave. Other than that, I’m not sure. There’s enough space for something else, but I’m not sure what. I don’t know if there is space for another dwarf stonefruit, but there is another one I’d quite like. It’s a white-fleshed peach with double blossom in bright pink.

Weeding: the area around my letterbox, plus a few other random spots.

Proving: just how effective a thick newspaper mulch can be. Unfortunately I discovered that is can supress daffodils and asparagus. I found blanched plants that hadn’t made it through the mulch when I decided to check. In some places they got through while in some they didn’t. I suspect that it was probably the thickness. I’ve removed most of it, but that means the weeds will get through too.

Wearing: sunglasses for most of the time I was working in the garden. I hurt my eye last week – I think I flicked something into it when I was in the garden, so I need to be a bit more careful.

Potting: miner’s lettuce. I’ve done five pots to give away. It’s always nice to have something from the garden to share. I don’t have enough produce at the moment, but I have plenty of seedlings of miner’s lettuce.

No photos today, I gardened until 5.55pm when it was nearly too dark to see my plants, let alone take pictures.