Monday, June 27, 2011

Homegrown - Winter clear out

It's been a while since my garden has seen any serious effort from me. This little cutie has been commandeering most of my time:

It's been nagging at me that I haven't done much to get ready for spring. So when Saturday dawned bright and clear, I knew it was time to get stuck in. Paul watched the girls and I went hard, clearing out all the dead plants from summer and weeding like crazy. I almost filled our empty compost bin with the plants I cleared.

I was pleased to note how much the soil has improved since we moved in. All the compost, worm castings, worm juice and seaweed I've added have made a huge difference. What was hard clay is now dark soil, full of earthworms.

I want to turbo boost the soil even more for spring, so my plan now is to dig manure and blood & bone into the soil. If I do this soon, it will have plenty of time to rot down before I start my spring planting in October.

Before and after photos

BEFORE shot of the carrot garden.
AFTER shot of the carrot garden. I weeded and pulled out all the stakes that used to tether beans, cucumbers and tomatoes.
BEFORE shot of the broccoli / beetroot garden.
AFTER shot of the broccoli / beetroot garden. 
I've never left broccoli to go to seed before, so was intrigued to see these little seed pods appear:

I collected some broccoli seed pods into a container, and now need to find out how to get them ready for planting again in spring. Anyone have any ideas?

BEFORE shot of zucchini garden / avocado tree.
AFTER shot of the zucchini garden / avocado tree.
Upcoming project gallery
As well as chucking manure into all my existing gardens, I want to create a new garden in this pile of earth / branches / weeds. I'm thinking it can be next spring's zucchini patch. When we moved here, this corner of the garden had a collection of dead branches on it. I chucked all the weeds and clay I removed from my other gardens on top so it's a pretty unsightly bit of land.
Spot for planned zucchini garden.

I plan to edge it with some wood and improve the soil by adding, manure, compost and vermicast. Wish me luck (and motivation!).

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