Firstly, I must say that because I have been spending so much time making the new garden beds in the front yard, the main veggie patch has been a little neglected.
Today I remedied that issue. After spending the morning bike riding with Ben, and catching up on a bit of reading, and sprinkling a sack of pulverised cow manure around the base all the fruit trees, it was high time to spend a solid afternoon cleaning up the veggie garden.
The veggies were all growing well, except for one red cabbage that was covered in aphids (good chook food). This season there have been no black aphids on the garlic or onions, because I practiced a little bit of companion planting. In the cabbage patch I let nasturtiums grow, and left the weeds to grow. This has deterred most of the cabbage moths so far. We have been harvesting the green cabbages during the last month, and are even having some for dinner tonight.
I have been replacing the cabbages with rainbow chard and lettuce seedlings, and keeping it all well fed with worm wee tea.
In between the rows of onions, I planted carrots and radishes so as to confuse any potential pests on any of those plants. It has worked well, with the radishes being long eaten, however the carrots are still growing strong and the onions starting to fatten. There is also sage and spearmint in pots at the end of this bed which may have helped as well.
The next bed has garlic and red onions. Once again I planted carrots, but they have not grown very well. As gardeners luck would have it, the bed is dotted with little oregano seedlings. I believe that the smell from these plants may have helped keep away any pests. There are also two very healthy silverbeet plants, that grew in the right place all by themselves. The oregano and silverbeet both grew from the layer of compost that I spread before planting.
Broad beans are one of my favourite vegetables, and I planted an entire bed full this year. It is growing strong and tall, and no sign of broad bean rust. The days have still been quite cool, so this fungal infection has not reared its ugly head so far. There is also a celery plant at the end of the bed which I am waiting to go to seed, so that I can use some in cooking and collect the rest for this season.
The berry bed is dormant, however the first signs of leaves are starting to appear on the thornless loganberry. I pruned this rather large bush about two months ago in the same manner as I did last year. Instead of lopping it off close to the ground, I cut off the really old wood, and leave the recent canes and cut to about a metre. I then tie it with old panty hoes to the trellis that I made. If last years crop was anything to go by, it should be excellent again this year. No sign of the rhubarb which is planted to the left of this bed.
Lastly, I am amazed by the flowers that just pop up anywhere they please. I leave them there of course, encourage them with a little bit of blood and bone fertilizer at the start of winter, and just let them be.
Cyclamens and Nasturtiums growing everywhere! It is wonderful spending the afternoon in the garden. With my hands firmly in the soil, I felt truly grounded and feel revived.
Looking forward to next weekend as we are filling the front yard garden beds. I already have desiree and royal blue potatoes chitting out of direct sunlight, so need to get them into the grown in the next couple of weeks. The new beds could not have come at a better time.
Did you spend any time in your food garden this weekend? What did you accomplish?