26 May 2014
garden share collective: june
In fact, it feels more in tune with the seasonal changes to do so. The days are getting shorter and darker, the garden beds are seeing less sun as it is lower in the sky, and the soil will be getting colder too, along with the air.
So it has been satisfying to pull out the last of the beans and skeletal tomato bushes, lift up the makeshift duckboards I used as paths, wiggle out stakes, and lean the trellises against the back fence.
So yes, even though the garden is approaching its dormant period, I have been doing a little work. I also plan on engaging my friend B's partner J to dig over the soil and help me bury in a couple of bags of finely pulverised fowl and sheep manure and mushroom compost I brought back from dad (the car still smells). As a big chunk of my growing area is reclaimed from the lawn, I enjoy this process of feeding it up; I also recognise that it will be necessary for the next few years at least.
I've also killed off another quarter of my back lawn, ready to dig up and turn into additional planting space (tomatoes!). There are times when a man's muscles are very much needed, and this is one of them! Hopefully I will organise to get J over in the next couple of weeks.
One sunny lunchtime I went home from work, pulled on my blundies, and planted out ten little silverbeet seedlings that mum and I had gathered from dad's garden on my last visit. In the space of an hour, I'd dug over the ground where the tomatoes had been (this bed gets the winter sun most of the day), planted the seedlings, installed protective guards around them (old plastic pots with the bottoms cut off), seasolled them and gave a little sprinkle of snail bait. And took a photo for you!
The next day was also sunny, so, on a roll, I again went home at lunchtime (I'm less than ten minutes away from work by car) and cleared the front of that bed of the yellowing parsley. What long, tenacious roots! Realising my kale seeds were seriously out of date, I sowed the lot in a row in front of the silverbeet; I figured I'd either get the lot or none. Well, after a decent wait, it appeared the answer would be none, so I bought a fresh packet and tried again. Who else reckons the first lot will now come up, and I'll be forested in curly kale?
I guess at this late stage I won't be harvesting any kale until spring, but it is good to have it back in the garden; I have missed growing and cooking it. And it thrives on frost, so it is a sturdy plant to grow in these climes.
The garlic is continuing to grow its fine ribbony green shoots in these growbags (below). Its quiet progress is reassuring as we enter winter.
But I am peeved to tell you that something - probably something slimy with a shell on its back - got to my green golfball-sized capsicum before I did - before the bloody thing was anywhere near ready - and ate half of it. So the capsicum experiment has ended on a sour note, and will probably never darken my garden beds again.
Don't forget to see others in the Garden Share Collective. Click on the logo in the column at right to see more green thumbs.