Sunday, July 6, 2014

July - A quiet time of reflection

There's not a huge amount of work to do in the garden in June/July.  It's now mid-winter.  The solstice has been and gone, and Matariki celebrated.  (See my post ) .  

The garden is waiting for spring.  Some beds are fallow, some have a few random brassicas.  

A few things are still fulfilling.  I have dug over the potato beds, in preparation for spring.  The frosts, and snow will break up the clods and make a lovely friable soil for spring planting.  I have also repaired the glasshouse which lost some panes in the winds, and I have devised a method of heating the lone orange tree using terracotta plant pots.  Thanks to the internet, for this wonderful, cheap, heating solution.

I did try to plant some winter lettuces, but it really was too cold for them to be able to survive, and they very quickly curled up their toes.  Even with the minor heating, they just didn't like it.

One thing that really surprised me was finding this... naturalised "Spring Onions".  In the herb bed above there were lots of spring onions, some of which flowered, and obviously the seeds must have fallen on the ground, and now there are little onions sprouting up everywhere!

I have cruised around the orchard and undertaken a bit pruning.  There was a very good instructional article in the NZ Gardener on how to prune fruit trees, and so I followed that - removing crossed branches, making central leaders or nice open branch patterns.  I was also mindful of where fruit will set, following the problems this year with too much fruit on spindly branches, which made them bend, and some of which I had to support with sticks, tape etc.  

At the same time I pruned the grapes, not very well or to the liking of friends who work on vineyards, but it will do.

Jobs still to be done: Remove the old glass from the glasshouse, which is languishing in a corner.  Prune the boysenberries.  Clean up the strawberries, removing their protective cloches, weeding out, removing runners and replanting any empty spots.

Harvesting now: Cauliflowers, Spring Onions, Kale, Herbs, Carrots (still!)

Oops, some weeding needed!

This is my post for July for The Garden Share Collective . Some members are from the other side of the world, and I am envious of the bounty they have going at the moment.  Still our time will come I guess.

For now it's wet mud, frosts, damp, worms, and chilly air.  Roll on Spring!