Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Spring garden planted

Flowers and strawberries.

One thing I love about organic gardening is that it gets easier every year. This is because the soil gets richer and healthier over time, so you don't have to do as much work getting it ready for planting. It's also because plants self seed and pop up around the place, so you don't have to physically plant as much.

Last autumn I left all my bean canes in the ground to see if they would come away again. They have in most places so I've just filled in the gaps with a few bean seeds and seedlings.
Celery and last year's bean plants reviving.

This year I didn't grow any plants in seed raising trays because I don't have anywhere to keep them that curious little fingers won't pluck at them or tip the soil out. Instead I did the easy thing and bought a bunch of plants at the garden centre last week: celery, cucumber (since deceased), tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, chives, cabbages a blueberry plant and lobelia flowers.

Can I remember the variety of any of them? Nope. Although I did poke their signs in the ground next to them, so theoretically I could walk down to the garden and write it all down like a good garden journaller. (I'm not a good garden journaller.)

The girls and I got back with our garden centre haul of plants quite late - about 5pm, so I shoved a leg of lamb in the oven to roast for dinner and headed down to the garden to get planting.

First I spread compost on all the gardens and dug it in a little with the help of L and S. Then I consulted my garden journal to remind me where I was planning to plant everything. I had sat down with my companion planting guide the week before to sort out where to put everything for best results.

A brief break to get the lamb out of the oven and I was back at it until 7pm. Fortunately Paul came home at some point and put together a salad to accompany dinner, otherwise we would have been straight out carnivores that night.

The next day I spread pea and lucerne straw all around my new plants as a mulch to help retain moisture in the soil, feed nitrogen into the soil and prevent weeds taking over. (I'm also secretly hoping lots of little pea plants will shoot up for bonus edible vegetables.)

Tomato, lobelia, blueberry and raspberry plants.

Since we shifted soil out of last year's raised bed garden to demolish it, I've had little broccoli plants popping up all over the place, so I moved them to the beetroot garden and planted the garden centre cabbages there too to form a brassica garden for this year. I love the colour beetroot adds to the garden, even if mine don't grow particularly big.
Broccoli, cabbages, beetroot and lettuce.

After all the plants were in the ground, we still had a few bare patches of soil so L and I got out my seed packets from last year and sprinkled things like basil, parsley, lettuce and spinach around the place in the vague hope some of them will take and fill the gaps with edibles rather than weeds.
L watering the basil seeds she planted.

A couple of vital plants are still missing from my garden this year... carrots and zucchini. These are the vegetables we use the most so I'm feeling a little stressed that we don't have them yet.

However, I want to put my carrots in a new spot to avoid blight and I need a big spot on its own for my zucchini plants so I'm hoping to use the new terraced vegetable gardens we will be getting when we replace our front retaining wall for both plants.


  1. looking good! I am loving the self-seeding too, and also terrible with the garden records :)

  2. Your garden looks great Emma. Well done. Must feel even sweeter knowing it's all yours!!! I'm almost done (must do a post like this great idea). I just need to put in some more beans, some corn and melons. I also want a few more herbs (am getting pineapple mint and sage!). I still want a hops plant and a double grafter pear tree (the later will have to wait for the new stock next year). No doubt I'll think of other things I want to add!! To many great plants out there!!! M xx

  3. Awesome stuff, Emma! I had forgotten beans can come back -- must remember to leave mine in this year.

    I need to get some pea straw -- where did you get yours from?

    1. Bunnings. But any garden centre will sell pea and lucerne straw. It's quite pricy though. You can get straight pea straw from zoodoo website for less but it's not as fine do it is harder to spread around small plants.

  4. Your gardening style is so much like mine. Each year I try to get a journal going like one is supposed to, and each year I plan out the planting zones. And yet, every year without fail I just tuck seeds and plants wherever looks good and let them be.

    Always a nice surprise when something self-sows or wanders over from a neighbour's yard. I end up with such interesting squash hybrids that way ^_^

    Can't wait until spring comes to Canada.

  5. This year will be the last year our raised garden beds get - rebuild next year.
    Love your gardens !! !! I def need to get some pea straw in around my strawberries #d@mnslugs


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