Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Wander around my January garden

Come and wander around my January garden with me.

Everything is growing so well at the moment. We've had lots of sunshine this summer, but not much rain, so I've been watering the garden by hand. I really like doing that as it gives me an excuse to get outside and see how my plants are growing.
My five raised bed vegetable gardens.

The raised bed down the bottom of my garden gets several hours of shade during the hottest part of the day, so I've planted it with leafy greens like kale, spinach, lettuce, beetroot and coriander, which would bolt if they got too much sun. Actually, the coriander has bolted anyway, so it was obviously still too hot for it. I previously had carrots in here, but they didn't get enough sun and went to seed before growing decent roots, so I pulled them out.

In the next garden up, I'm growing kale, spring onions, two zucchini plants, several snow peas and some beans.

My zucchinis have just started to fruit and I'm so excited about it. None of my previous zucchini plants survived the slugs and snails in my garden, so I recently put out slug bait to knock back the slug population and it really worked. I had been avoiding using slug bait because I wanted a completely natural garden, but it got to the point where I was losing so much produce, I couldn't even seen the point of having a garden any more.

The next garden up previously had massive kale plants that went to seed. I've collected lots of seeds from the plants and pulled out a few, but also left in a few to provide shade to the new seedlings I have coming up underneath - spinach, lettuce and more kale. I really like kale because it lasts for ever and a day in the garden and I can keep picking leaves off it to make kale chips as it grows.
The last two gardens are butted up against a trellis fence, which I use to grow tomatoes up. The garden pictured above has large tomatoes, sage, a couple of strawberries and some coriander plants I left to go to seed. The seeds are ready to be collected, so that's next on my garden to-do list. Looking at this garden, I realise I want to plant some basil in here too. Somehow I missed doing that this summer.

The other garden butting up against the trellis fence features garlic, which is nearly ready to harvest, spring onions, cherry tomatoes, a couple of strawberry plants and a sprinkling of carrot seeds in the gaps.

My other vegetable garden is my wraparound deck garden. I'm using one half of this garden to make compost, just by mixing mulch, grass clippings and compost from my rotating compost bin in here. I also plan to add seaweed once I've gone to the beach to collect some. If I can find a good manure source, I'll throw that in too. I'm letting it all rot down until autumn, when I'll plant it out with my autumn crops.

The other half of my wraparound deck garden features four dwarf citrus trees, lots of strawberries, asparagus plants and lavender plants. Today I emptied half of my rotating compost bin, and spread some of the rich compost around the base of all four citrus trees. The mixture was almost a vermicast mixture, because I found lots of worms in the bin when I emptied it, so it will be highly nourishing for my trees.

Ducks and ducklings are a common sight in our garden at the moment. I've been putting out water in containers for them, as it's been so dry. The little ducklings like to hop into the water, which dirties it up, so then I pour the mucky water around my trees for fertiliser. Win/Win. The ducks also like to eat the seed heads around the lawn, which I'm happy for them to do as it stops weeds spreading. It's been so dry, the grass hasn't grown much, but somehow the weeds have.

The blueberries on my two trees are swelling up so I'm looking forward to eating them when they're ready. Blueberry plants like lots of water and fortunately my trees are located right by my backdoor where my laundry is, so I empty my laundry water onto them whenever I can. They love it and it's helping them survive this hot, dry summer we've been having.

Last night for dinner we had black bean wraps which featured tomatoes from my garden. It could have featured lettuce too, but we already had an iceberg lettuce in the fridge from our holiday, so I used some of that instead. The black beans were ones I had previously cooked and frozen in individual 1 and 2-cup portions. I refried the black beans with finely diced onion in homemade chicken stock to spread on our wraps. I added salt, pepper, ground cumin, coriander, paprika and oregano to the mixture and it turned out so flavoursome and delicious.

Today for lunch I whipped up a spinach pie to make use of some of the spinach I froze over spring, as well as to use some of the fresh spinach coming up in my garden now. The pie recipe was one that my friend, Angela, gave me and it was really simple. I just whizzed up the spinach with a block of feta cheese and cooked it in store-bought puff pastry. Next time I make it, I'll probably throw in some herbs from the garden for added flavour.

That reminds me, I didn't photograph my herb garden for you, but it's pretty similar to the last time I shot it; It's still growing rosemary, thyme, oregano, borage and parsley. I'm not sure what happened to the calendula, but that's disappeared.

Are you growing anything at home? What are your bumper crops this month?

1 comment:

  1. Your garden look really productive ... lots of good, healthy food growing there. Meg:)


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