A week of two halves.

This week couldn’t have been more contrasting if it tried.  The first 3 days was constant rain, high winds with frequent gusts up to or at 150 km/h, hail coming in sideways and fast, and some thunder and lightning thrown in for good measure.  Needless to say, no gardening was done then at all.   And while 150 km/h seems like a lot, it didn’t cause too much sleeplessness in the night as we know our place can survive up to 212km/h thanks to the storm that rolled in while our house was still up on jacks with the removal truck still underneath!  As a result of that storm everything has been built strong.

Hail on the window

The hail on the window shows just how cold and nasty it was.

Then the last three days – including this one, is blue sky magnificence without a puff of wind.  Ok it is a little chilly.  While we don’t get frosts here, at the end of our long driveway it is has been like a white enchanted land, if we get out early enough to see it!  I don’t mind it being a little chilly on days like this as you soon warm up working in the garden.  Each day like this is also a blessing because winter is normally more miserable weather, and while it may not rain every day, it can be gloomy grey sky days and your mind tells you not to bother going outside.  It is hard work trying to convince it otherwise and sometimes it wins.

A beautiful winter day in the garden

A beautiful winter day in the garden

So, with the first half of the week out, and the last half of the last week out due to ‘0’ celebrations for Hubby the Un-Gardener, June came to an abrupt end as far as my gardening schedule goes.  I have my master chart, where I have listed out all I want / need to achieve each month and on the whole, I think I managed last month quite well.  Although adjustments have been made for the next two months.  Mostly around preparing the beds for spring.

Late season chillies

While there were still chillies in the garden, I decided to harvest the lot, and pull the plants out. Some were still flowering, but I needed to draw a line somewhere so I don’t repeat the disease ridden overwintering debacle from last season.

I have 35 beds and currently 10 are new season ready or already in action with new season crops, like the onion and garlic.   So, this is encouraging.  But I only had it on the list to sort out one bed a week.   So that will take 25 weeks.  I don’t have 25 weeks.  So, I adjusted it to preparing 2 a week, with a mind to do more than that.

Pepper bed ready for zucchinis

The pepper bed is now spring ready for the zucchinis.

For the beds with cover crops, it takes about an hour and a half to pull out the cover crop, add amendments, chop up the cover crop material and spread it over the garden and then top it off with compost.  For beds without cover crops, normally because there is a crop languishing there, it takes about half the time with the same process without dealing with the cover crop.   The bed preparing is high on the weekly to do list as it is essential I am free to focus on what needs to be done in early spring so I can head away for 20 days in late spring.

Making a rock

With the help of Hubby the Un-Gardener and the teen lads we got the rock up the hill. It wasn’t easy but after much ‘discussion’ and determination we made it!

The other thing I have been focusing on is The Palace.  This needs to be finished by the end of the month as there is an article based deadline.  I have all the elements I need to put it together, well at this point I think I do.  I’ve been working on it on and off for 5 months now and so really need to give it some urgency in the final push.  The rock has been moved up to the top and positioned in its permanent home, so now I need to build up the top half to finish it off so I’m back to the paper mache cement stage again.  The chicken wire we used this time seems to have bigger holes, which makes it so much easier to apply the cement sodden fabric.  I wish I knew this earlier.  It would have saved so much time.

Then there is leveling the ground.  I have asked Hubby the Un-Gardener to help as his man strength makes things happen a lot faster than my best effort.  After that is laying bricks – how hard can that be?

Asparagus bed in winter

All signs of green have gone from the asparagus so it was time to chop it down and prepare it for spring.

I have also managed to tick off putting guttering on both the sheds, clearing the asparagus and planting out the onions, sorting out the spring bulbs, some of which are now flowering and spreading their spring cheer into the chill of winter.  I’ve also managed to keep up with the fortnightly preventative spraying for garlic rust.  I’m determined to beat it this year.  So far so good.

Spring ready asparagus bed

It does feel good to have the asparagus bed spring ready. They normally start popping up again for us in August – I can’t wait.

There are a few things I didn’t get to, some pesky accounting type paperwork, but I think a little and often approach might work with that because it is tedious and boring.  I have all the materials ready for a backdoor garden, but just couldn’t get to it, and I should have started planning for the new season seeds nice and early because last year there were delays with some of them, which held everything up.  This can be done in the cover of darkness in the warmth of the house, so while the sun is shining, I need to get out there and get things done.

Yam harvest

The Yam bed was an easy prepare as it is only a 1x1m bed and ticks a box. The harvest itself was meagre and probably less than the weight of one of the 6 seed yams I put in there last September! I may or may not try again.

This month, along with the left over tasks, has a whole new set of expectations.  I am hoping I haven’t been too ambitious, but they all need to be done, with a couple of wants, thrown in for good measure.

Come again soon – I am really hoping the weather will be on my side for a good solid period so I can get a lot done.

Sarah the Gardener: o)

5 Comments on “A week of two halves.

  1. Wow, Sarah. You really get things done! I’m incredibly impressed with that list. I’m glad you got help moving your rock/boulder in place, and well done on the asparagus bed as well. I can only begin to imagine how wonderful it would be to grow your own. Yummy! I’m glad you go some sunshine.

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    • Fresh asparagus is the best. Ours has now been in long enough that we can eat it all while in season. The way we seem to eat it the most is with fresh eggs for breakfast most mornings. Oh gosh I can almost taste it now…. not long to wait! : o)

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      • Oh yum! I had a risotta recently with asparagus and I thought of you. I envy you all that space. I don’t know anyone that gardens like you (and then writes beautifully about it). You’re a star, Sarah.

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  2. Sarah, looks like you are well on your way to another year of gardening. The tomatoes and cucumbers are just starting to produce here in Nebraska. Soon, I’ll have some bell peppers and hopefully sweet corn. So far I have rooted nine strawberries in pots to move to a permanent bed in my big garden. I have two raised beds just for rooting strawberries.

    Have a great planning and preparing day in the garden.

    Nebraska Dave
    Urban Farmer

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