There are now two dates available for the fresh food garden course – Sunday 7th December 2008 or Saturday 17th January 2009. The Ohariu Valley Garden tour had a glorious sunny day and proved a popular outing. It was lovely to meet so many people enjoying the gardens.
I’ve been sowing more seeds this week – brocolli, cabbage, pak choi, lettuce and spinach in pots. In the garden I’ve sown carrots, beetroot, turnips, spring onions, dwarf beans and radish. Despite the mixture of sunshine and showers, a daily gentle watering is vital to ensure they germinate well and don’t shrivel up on a warm day.
My parents are staying with us and the tunnel house in particular has benefitted from my Dad’s diligent and experienced watering skills. Bush tomato ‘tumbler’ is doing well in a pot, still with a few stakes for support. I’ve put up strings to train up my vining tomatoes and I’m pinching out the side shoots every few days. I feed them with ‘seaweed tea’ (the liquid from seaweed soaked in a barrel of rainwater) at the same time.
I had much more success growing corn in pots and transplanting it than I did with the seed I sowed directly at the same time. I’ve planted out my cucumbers and melons this week, again with strings for support. The peas needed propping up too.
We’ve picked some delicious turnips (Tokyo White Cross) and some beautiful not so delicious ones (a pink, heritage variety). When I’m asked about heritage seed I suggest trying both new and old varieties side by side to see which are best for taste, resistance to pests and size of crop.
I’m still referring to my books for some good ideas. I always return to Joy Larkcom even though it’s English so the seasons are upside down. Dennis Greville’s Gardening in New Zealand Month by Month is good if you want some help with what to do when in New Zealand. Gardeners in the lower half of the North Island will find the ‘Organic Garden Calendar for Kapiti to Manawatu’ from the NZ soil and health association particularly relevant – you can buy it at Commonsense Organics.
Our guests have enjoyed toasted mouse muesli. Cheaper and greatly superior to boughten muesli.