Sunday, June 26, 2011

mid winter update

 we are passed the winter solstice .... so from here on out the days only get longer.  i wish i could say that we have had a bounty of winter veg ..... but i'd be lying.  lots of herbs at best.  but i give myself lots of grace because this winter has been about observing, learning and planning .... which at the end of the day are just as important!  it means that next year's winter bounty should be a beaut!

but in the meantime .... here is a bit of an update regarding where stuff has come to in our back yard.

let's start in the front yard.

artichokes.  have really settled in well ... they have all started sending
up heaps of new shoots and the one in the far background has sent
out a baby!

my river cottage experiment.  take a stick with heaps of branches
on it .... stick it in the ground and grow peas (or snow peas)
up it.  working a treat!

this is my pineapple sage.  an amazingly intense fragrance when bruised
it's getting too big.  i think i am going to cut branches and do
some propagation .... and between that and my lavender
i should have my Christmas presents covered!

Crimson Broad Beans.  i can't tell you how excited i am over these.  truly.
i listened to what a friend said on their blog and nipped out the middles and look
what's happened!  i've got heaps growing!  i have a lot here and heaps in
the back as well.

my pea trellis.  what can i say?  they are going strong.  about two weeks
ahead of the stuff in the back .... and you can tell.  i expect to get a really
good harvest from these.  oh yum!

garlic.  note to self.  GROW MORE NEXT YEAR!!!!

so that's the cool stuff in the front yard.  of course the parsley is doing really well too .... seems the more i pick the more it grows!  so really happy there!

as for the back yard ....

the worms.  they are doing really well. no compost yet, but they were
never really gonna be anyway.  more for the worm tea.  which they
are providing in droves.  this much gets mixed with water and put on the
veg and they are happy campers!

my malabar climbing spinach.  i let some go to fruit and am drying the
seeds out to use this coming spring.  it's an interesting crop and certainly worth trying!
it's a vine ... so you can grow it up and over things very well!

my first comfrey.  very happy with this... and will be
growing heaps more!

my celeriac.  about ready to get planted out .... within the week i think!
ok .... i'm a bit desperate for good news here .... but i do believe this
is new growth i see coming on my lemon tree that got moved to the
no dig bed.  i'm very happy!

my newest bed!  we are redoing these so that i just have the first three
beds that you see.  putting a "keyhole" in the middle so that i
can easily reach all the crops.  first bed has broad beans and potato's
in it.  the bed with all the straw has just been put in and i've
done the green manure route.  more to come on that!

it has not been a productive winter in the sense that i haven't grown much.  none of my broccoli and cauliflower survived.  but we have done heaps when i think of it ... put in two VERY large no dig beds, an herb spiral, redid the front yard.  hubby has gone to an aquaponics course and already bought his first $20 bathtub on e-bay.  i went to a mushroom course and came home committed to eating and using them for biodiversity.  and watch this space for two new things.  green manure .... as mentioned above and hugelkultur ... making more space by planting VERY vertical (do a google search!).   and on top of all that .... we are buckets ahead for getting ready for spring than we were before.  so bring it on!

and one last, sorta artsy fartsy shot from the front yard .... just because!


  1. Great post Maggs, like you I have had lots of success's and also lots of failures this season. For me it is one very long season and then a short rest for 3-4 months over our wet. My failures have mainly been with anything I have grown in the styrofoam boxes which is so disappointing as they are what is raved about. Love hearing about your gardening adventures.

  2. Hey Theressa. Sorry to hear your styro boxes haven't worked out. what a bummer. i must admit, that i have had mixed success as well. they have to be kept well watered, I think. i do a lot of seedlings in them .... once they have sprouted in their little trays then i move them on to a styro box to grow their roots a bit more before planting them out. you should try something called a wicking box ...have a look at the milkwood site .... it is supposed to give your beds a guaranteed source of water ..... i figure it's all about learning. have you tried green manure yet? i've just tried this. taking your resting beds and planting them out with a nitrogen rich legume which will enhance the soil when it's time to plant (and the whole plant get's plowed back into the soil).