Saturday, May 2, 2015

A "Drought Breaker"

This is my May 2015 post for the Garden Share Collective, you can visit all the other posters and share their adventures in gardening by clicking on the link below.  Bloggers from UK, Australia, NZ and beyond are giving support to each other via this great initiative.

Corn cobs doing their best to ripen in the
 cool of Autumn
In my own garden the rain has finally come.  It poured for a whole day, soaking the ground at last and bringing a reprieve from the grinding drought we have been suffering.  

All of a sudden the drenching brought weeds along with a late Autumn growth burst for many things in the garden. 

Wonderful crab apples look so fabulous in the low sun.  All the trees in the Orchard now have rings of stones and a build up of mulch to keep the moisture in during our blazing summers.  The ring of stones also acts a bit like a swimming pool for watering, stopping the water from seeping further than the tree.

Corn trying to ripen in the cooling weather.  I'm not sure if we are going to make it, as it is getting quite chilly at night.  We have opened one cob, but it just wasnt ready, so I am hoping to get a couple more weeks of good weather to ripen them.

Rows of cauliflowers and cabbages get rid of white butterfly and make some large leaves.
Lettuces close to bolting

Even lettuces make a bit of growth, although these ones look to me like they might bolt shortly.

Now that the soil is damp I hope to be able to do some last minute planting, although it really is very late.  Usually we get onions and peas in about a month earlier than this.  But our soil is still very warm and up till now we just havent had enough water for planting.  
The Autumn Garden

Several of our garden beds had pig "poo" from Pigrun cleaning, and I have tilled the soil, breaking up the larger clods.  The poo certainly adds a certain "flavour" to the soil... As an experiment I planted corn in two different areas in the garden, one in pigpoo and ther other not, and the one in poo is twice the height, so it certainly has something yummy in it!

Tasks I have been undertaking:  
- removing the netting from the Strawberry bed
- weeding and hoeing and preparing beds for Autumn plantings 
- Putting in a new compost bin

Harvesting now:
- Artichokes
- Spring Onions
- Lettuces
- the last of the French Beans
- Maybe some corn
- Silver Beet
- the last of the Tomatoes
- Kale

To do during the next month:
- Plant onions, both Red and Pukekohe Long Keeper
- Plant Peas
- Prune the grapes ( you can see they are everywhere!)
- Plant all the little "leek-lets" that sprout on my leek heads

The Garden Share Collective is a group of bloggers who share their vegetable patches, container gardens and the herbs they grow on their window sills. Creating a monthly community to navigate through any garden troubles and to rival in the success of a good harvest we will nurture any beginner gardener to flourish. Each month we set ourselves a few tasks to complete by the next month, this gives us a little push to getting closer to picking and harvesting. The long-term goal of the Garden Share Collective is to get more and more people gardening and growing clean food organically and sustainably. If you would like to join this project please click here for all the details.