The Garden in June

I scored a trailerload of mulch this month, when a workmate of hubby’s dropped a couple trees on his property. It’s the good stuff, sticks and leafs as well as wood chip.

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It’s meant that when I get the urge, I can just start carving out new bits of garden, because I’ve got something to cover the paths with so I’m not fighting with the grass climbing into the beds. I hate that.

This new patch of garden was previously grass and dock and crap, with some existing muddy footpaths. It’s right outside the back door. The paths aren’t on contour, but I carved them out into swales regardless and filled them with mulch to absorb the rain that often puddles there, and used the displaced soil to raise the beds. As you can see, I just do little bits at a time, when I have that urge. Less of a chore that way.

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I’d like to plant a tidy little lemon tree here, so I’ve got my eyes open for a suitable tree at the moment. Most of the ones I’ve seen locally are lopsided and scraggly-looking, so it might take some time. This corner bit in front I sowed a cover crop of lupin, and the left hand berm beside the compost bin got mustard. This berm got mulched with the stuff from the rabbit cage. Yep, that’s rabbit poop you can see. Good stuff.

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It’s been weirdly warm and very wet so far this winter. It really hasn’t felt like proper winter at all, and I think the garden is of the same opinion. I’ve got asparagus (first year, planted as seedlings in autumn) resprouting…

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…nasturtiums going mental (frosts should have killed them dead by now, I’m sure)…

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…and monarch caterpillars still on the swan plant. Along with those funny orange aphids that I’ve only ever seen on swan plants.

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There’s been no frosts since the two mild ones in May. It’s really very odd. On the one hand I’m kind of pleased because I’m still harvesting lemongrass for the kitchen (it was all stone dead this time last year), but on the other hand, I’m concerned, because there are bugs in the garden still hanging on that I rely on the frost to kill, and I also like the ‘clean slate’ winter gives me before restarting in the spring.

There’s been so much rain. Bloody climate change. Heavy rain events have been flooding the garage (the driveway slopes downward) where it never did in years past, and I think in the future we’re going to have to carve out a channel in the concrete and put a drain in.

My winter crops seem to be enjoying the warmth, though. The red onions and garlic are coming along nicely. I’m going to be watching the garlic carefully, because I lost the entire crop last year to rust (apparently it was the entire country having trouble with garlic last summer, not just me, which is reassuring).

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And the broccoli and rocket is doing well. Except for one plant in each row of broccoli. One just hasn’t grown at all (perhaps it’s in a funny little sunless spot), and one is a bit of a funny colour. Not sure what’s up with that one, I’ve checked for bugs, and it’s bugless. I’ll see how it goes.

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I’ve still got a ton of stuff to do before spring. The cold frame isn’t built yet, and the two new boxed garden beds aren’t built yet (I’m going to have to dig, because of the bloody kikuyu grass, and it’s been too wet to dig).

I did sow my long keeper onions, but they don’t seem to be doing anything, so it’s possible the seed is too old. I’ll probably just buy seedlings for those, as well.

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