August/End of Winter

The daffodils came out this month. We haven’t had any more frosts, but we did have a few really cold days, and we’ve been lucky to go more than a day without rain all month, so it seemed quite odd, but still, it’s hopeful. If the daffs think spring is on it’s way, then I’m willing to believe them :)

1

The broccoli is coming along nicely, the purple sprouting is sending out flower stalks, and I’m looking forward to our first feed of them. I’ve never grown purple sprouting before, and it looks to me like it’s ‘going to seed’ but I’m going to assume that that’s just the way it grows.

I sowed a row of calendula in this bed several weeks ago. It sprouts quickly, but grows slowly, especially in the winter. I’m sure it’ll look fabulous in a few months. I’m growing this lot mainly to replenish my seed stocks, as I like to just toss calendula seed around all over the place rather than take up space in my boxed annual beds.

On the other side of the broccoli, the rocket I planted in the autumn is going to seed. I don’t really want the rocket spreading it’s seed throughout this bed, so I’ll be digging a few out of here and replanting them in a perennial bed, somewhere where they can self-sow to their hearts content.

The right hand side of this bed is where I’ll be planting my spuds next month. My seed spuds are in the laundry chitting right now.

4a

My garlic is already showing signs of rust. I lost the entire crop last year to rust, and apparently it was a problem up and down the country. This year they’re planted at the complete opposite end of the back yard to last, but the welsh onions (all over the place in perennial beds) seem to get it a bit, too, so I’ve got to wonder if it’s worth growing garlic here. If I have a rubbish crop like last year, I’ll be giving it a miss next year.

The red onions I planted in autumn are going great guns, and I’ve just planted out my brown onions. Unfortunately the birds came along and messed up all my lovely rows (hence the brick and wire grate over the bed), and plucked some clear out of the ground, so it’s a good thing I planted a heap of them.

And I sowed a row of beetroot in this bed, too, just today. It was the last of my seed, and I should probably get onto making a seed shopping list. I should have thought of that last year and let some go over to get seed for this year. You have to think ahead when saving seed from biennials.

3b

New garden bed! Holy crap, this was a mission and a half, and I only got half done. I was supposed to have done two this winter, but the wet weather and the nasty nasty perennial weeds in this area put paid to that idea. Oh well, at least I’ve got somewhere to grow my bottling tomatoes, and I’ve already got some ideas of where to plant the kumara that was supposed to go in the other bed I had planned. Instead of continuing the digging, I intend to cover the space with clear plastic and solarise the crap out of the weeds over summer, so that it’ll be a lot easier to dig (or just build the garden on top of the ground) in the autumn.

I’ve planted comfrey on the far end of this new bed, to help stop the kukuyu and buttercup from invading the garden.

makeshiftcoldframe

I’ve sowed my first seeds today! I’ve got popcorn in the newspaper pots, my early tomatoes (Sub Arctic Plenty), and the last of the cowslip seeds that didn’t want to germinate last year. Crossing my fingers for this year.

I’ve put them into my makeshift coldframe (simply a plastic underbed storage tub) because I never did get around to building a proper new cold frame over the winter.

Winter is officially over! I’m so pleased, but somewhat nervous. From now on, it’s all go, sowing seeds, nurturing baby plants, as well as all the general spring cleaning I’ve got to get onto around the house, as we’re looking at doing some long overdue renovations as the weather warms up.

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