Sunday, July 5, 2015

a winter rethink

The silence of the last three months is witness to my need to do a rethink of how I'm going to garden at this new place.

The backyward in which I toiled all summer is on the south-east side of the block, shaded to the northeast by the neighbour's house and the back fence of our property. In midwinter it gets nearly no sun during the day, although it gets a lot of reflected light from the white weatherboard cladding on the east-facing wall. Which is probably why the winter vege are doing pretty well there.

However, where we're living now also takes me longer to get home here than it did at the old house, and even once I'm home it's cold and chilly and I'm not inclined to digging out in the dark coldness of the yard.

So we're going to need to move things around a bit.

The winter garden will need to be somewhere accessible and visible, while this south-eastern corner is put to other productive uses.

Right now, I'm thinking the south-east corner can be the small orchard and summer vegie garden, and the winter root garden. I'll replace the grass with orchard cover crops and other nutrient grasses in winter that can be used as mulches.

Leafy vegies and legumes would be grown on the stepped garden blocks between the house and the carport. Currently, those are occupied by those little red rock fillers, a fishbone fern, an azalea, a gardenia, and weeds. We could move the azalea and the gardenia into pots, or around to the front garden bed with the rose, and I don't care about the fishbone fern. But the rock fillers can be dug out, and so long as I keep planting the space with vegies when we pull them out, we should have a reasonably steady vegetable supply - and rather more visible than the current bed of swiss chard, broccoli, kailan, peas, and beans which are growing out the back and not being harvested.

The front bed can continue to be the winter orchard - citrus and some stonefruit, although I think the bed is deficient in magnesium - the citrus leaves have all turned yellow and at least one half of the multi-citrus seems to have died since it was first put in. Still haven't taken the pH of the ground which is pretty necessary to determine if the soil is okay. :/

So, in the backyard: two avos, a multi-stone, a donut peach, cherries, an apricot, and a plum. They'll mostly be dwarf so it shouldn't be too crowded. (I think the cherry is full-size, but that's okay - at least one full-sized tree helps turn the place into more of a grove.

Anyway, my mum is offering me garden work time for my birthday - I think I'll get her and her gardener to dig up grass to lay down the sawdust paths, and, if there's time left over, dig out the red-rock boxes by the carport. It'll require making more compost heaps to fills the red-rock boxes and burn the grass away.

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