Friday, 2 April 2010

Cleaning up and planting for the winter.

The garden has been looking pretty messy in parts.  The time to do a big clean-up is usually in the spring here,  but I was away from Sept-Nov, and things did get a bit weedy and out of hand!  I had a great time in Santa Cruz though,  so it was worth it!
During the hottest part of the summer is  not the time to start clearing weeds and rakind dusty pathways,  and so much of it has waited until now.  We haven't had any rain to speak of, but the days are shorter and cooler...  most days around 30C rather than 38-40C.
The soil is still warm, so it is the time to plant as long as there is enough water to keep seeds damp and to maintain growth.
And so it is....  much of this patch is planted.... carrots, onions, silver beet, beetroot, potatoes, leeks, celery, broccoli, fennel, coriander.... perhaps others....   the empty patches at the back are not ready yet.  On the LHS at the back will be broad beans (to be planted later in April) and at the back RHS (where Chris has recently added plenty of gypsum,  I'll plant some more silver beet (broad beans were there last year and nothing since.)
The quickest seeds are these....  beetroot....  (Devon's favourite because you can eat the tops and the bottoms!)

The other interesting spot is this green spot amongst the dry dusty ground here....
The sticks in the front are the remains of the mustard that has gone to seed... brown mustard seeds that came from the spice shelf and produced some greens for stirfrying and later,  more brown mustard seeds.  I hope that these are like rocket (arugula) that jsut comes back every year.  The green patch is where I am picking silver beet leaves and there are potato plants coming up too... the patch is only green because of the washing up water that is dumped there every day.  I wash up with soap (not detergent) so it's safe enough,  though may be a bit alkaline... apparently the silver beet (Swiss chard) doesn't mind.

I have also trimmed back the lavender and the lemon verbena...
... these have had a hard time this year... no rain and very hot.  It was too hot for the verbena to flower at all...  and the lavender looks sick... waiting for the rain no doubt!

The funny thing is that, as I read about my northern hemisphere friends planting for the summer,  I am planting for the winter, and this is often the most productive part of the year.

Next summer though,  I'll be trying a few now tricks to manage the heat and lack of rain.  I may even have another tank or two :)

1 comment:

Fiona (posts by her mum and dad) said...

I put my tomato seedlings in and some yellow zucchini, some green beans, and onion starts. I need to redo the front bed which had been taken over by a monster artichoke. Happy winter gardening.