It’s spring here, and for some reason that usually inspires me to post a litte photo tour of my garden.
Here’s my home – a sweet little mudbrick cottage with solar electricity, solar hot water and solar heater, built by me when I was 22 years old:
At the back there you can see my chook house, with tiny little red “windows” to match the main house.
The most used patch of garden this winter has been this patch of beet greens, self-seeded, from a chioggia beetroot that I left to go to seed last spring. Chioggia beets have gorgeously soft leaves, and all winter we’ve been juicing them and eating them as spinach. I’m hoping soon the roots will turn into fat beets and we’ll harvest them all for eating and making kvass (traditional Russian drink made of fermented beetroot):
Since once the weather really warms up, this will all go to seed, I’m thinking ahead to our next patch of greens. I’ve sown seed from the same chioggia plant here in this box, and they are just starting to come up. Hoping this will be my summer juicing patch:
My greenhouse shelves are bursting with plants for summer – eggplant, capsicum, basil, celery, cucumber, zucchini and pumpkin seedlings:
I’ve already planted out my tomatoes, into a bed that has a plastic cover on it that works like a greenhouse. Once the tomatoes get too tall or the weather warms up too much, I’ll remove the cover. I’ve worked out a great system for getting the most from my tomato bed. I put in the plants early spring (that way I get an earlier crop than if I wait until November to put them in), and surround them with plants that will all be finished by December, such as spinach, baby carrots, peas, and lettuce. Then just as those plants are done and the tomatoes are starting to shade everything out, I pull up the remnants of the surrounding plants, give the tomatoes an extra burst of compost, and leave the bed to them. Here’s a tiny tomato plant surrounded by some spinach seedlngs:
I have two square metres of garden bed coming along, the rightmost one to eat in October (though we’re eating the lettuce already), the leftmost one to eat in November:
You can see my vegies in the above bed arranged in rows – lettuce at the front for easy daily harvest, the carrot, then chinese cabbage, behind that red cabbage, and then a row each of broccoli and cauliflower.
Thinking ahead to what we’ll eat in December, while we still wait for the summer vegies to kick off, I’ve planted out most of this square meter:
It’s all the same vegies as the Oct Nov beds – just arranged differently. In the empty corner I’m still to plant the broccoli and cauliflower, which are hardening off as I type:
Going back to the larger garden, outside my fenced off vegie patch, we’ve reclaimed a bit of ground back from the chooks, so I am very excited to have these new garden beds to play with. The seedlings in the above photo, as well as being used for my December bed, will also fill out these new garden beds.
And last of all, the most exciting thing for me this spring is that my new peach tree in my food forest is covered with blossom! Does that mean we’ll get peaches this year? I hope so! Whoohoo!
Coming up in the garden now is planting out my summer vegies – I’ll put the zucchini and cucumber in a covered bed soon, hoping for an earlier crop this year. I’ll wait until October to plant out the capsicum and eggplant – in their own bed since they keep producing into late autumn, when all the other summer vegies are long dead. And then I have a little break from planting, since the summer vegies will really feed us for a few months – just some regular sowings of beans and corn are needed. In December, I’ll start planting seeds for vegies to eat in autumn and winter, when the summer vegies slow.