lacedwaist (lacedwaist) wrote in gardendownunder,

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Spring soon! (She says hopefully, looking at the snow...)

We've been away on holiday, but with all the rain here in Christchurch the garden took care of itself quite nicely. We came home to harvest-able lemons, rainbow chard, perpetual spinach, rocket, parsnip, celery and monster leeks, as well as broccoli, cabbage, Chinese cabbage, beetroot, celeriac and bulb fennel all well on the way. My garlic, spring onions and shallots are also up.

With the lovely sunny days on the weekend the raised beds were dry enough for a bit of attention, so we dug in the green manure crops on the tomato bed. I also weeded and tidied, and sowed some early carrots. Next job is to start potting up some seeds inside to get growing for October planting out: tomatoes, pumpkins and curcurbits and beans. This year I'm growing two sorts of runner beans and borlotti beans, which are a very good "meaty" bean for soups and stews. I also have seven varieties of pumpkins (only four of which I've grown before) and a rather ambitious eleven varieties of tomatoes (I went a bit mad with the stoopidly expensive "Niche" seeds, but it'll pay off in the long run since I'll save seed from them).

Until I get organized with that I've started my Urenika and Jersey Benne potatoes chitting. Last year I grew Rua as my late crop, which is always reliable and tastes good, but I might try something else this year for variety. I'm also chitting the runner beans - something I've not bothered with before but my partner saw it on a website so we decided to trial it. To chit runner beans you put them in a translucent plastic container on a moistened kitchen towel. Check daily and plant in pots (or out in the garden, depending when you do it) when the sprouts are about and inch long. It will be interesting to see if it makes any difference overall.

We've also bought some fruit trees - one dwarf peach tree, and two columnar apple trees of early and late varieties. Columnar apple trees are cool. I saw a well-grown one in England - it had a good crop on it and was pencil shaped, about ten feet tall, with branches and fruit starting about two feet off the ground. The tree was not more than about 70-80cm in diameter at any point. Looked great, and an excellent pick for a small garden like ours. I need to plant them, and the blackcurrants that have been sitting in pots.

And now it's snowing again. Poo. Oh well, keep thinking those positive springy thoughts! What're your garden plans this year?

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