Sunday, September 13, 2015

Spring and the changing face of the garden

So of course I had to go away at the most important gardening time of the year - the late winter/early spring. I left a garden that was bleak and cold and slightly frostbitten, and returned to a garden where everything is GROWING.

I left in winter and come back to SPRING! #gardenofsel #garden

It's perhaps a little daunting. The grass in particular is going to be a nightmare in the backyard. As the trees are going to be until they grow decently high that the branches aren't going to poke in my face all the time.

There are also holes and fruit trees all over the place, because my mother brought her gardener and the fruit trees she's been promising me for several years and...

Garden - Sep 2015 Garden - Sep 2015

So that's a whole bunch of new work - not just the planting of the trees, but the clearing of the area around them and planting orchard cover and green mulches.

The list of currently planted trees:
a lemon (full of flowers, seems to be doing okay),
two multi-citrus (one isn't doing so well, the other is full of flowers and seems okay)
a multi-stone (full of flowers, seems okay)
two avocados (one has brown-tipped leaves while the other seems to be doing okay, lots of buds on both, but no visible fruit set yet), and
a banana (not doing well at all - I think the slugs are getting to it)

Garden - Sep 2015

To be planted:
a multi-apple (the early grafts are flowering, but the later ones are only just budding).
a multi-stone (apricot, plum, nectarine, peach - all are fruiting, although I think I'll have to reduce the number of plum fruits - they've gone kind of crazy),
a peach (donut peach, from mum)
a persimmon (fuyu fruit, from mum)
a multi-stone (has flowers, has set)
an avocado (seed-grown, no signs of fruiting yet, but budding),
a mandarin (has never produced, although has set fruit before)
a lime (has never been very strong - has bad case of twisted leaves; needed better spraying back in late autumn, early winter)
a whole bunch of raspberry canes (they need planting before they flower!)
and possibly a cherry? (Mum said she had a cherry for me, but I haven't seen one yet.)

I'm wondering if I should try planting the trees that have already set fruit, because won't that stunt their production this year?

That's not even counting the issue of annual bedspace in the garden. I haven't worked that out yet.

Garden - Sep 2015

At this point, I think, one of the really important things is to get stuff growing. In September, the Lunar Calendar has leafies from the 14th-20th, fruiting annuals from the 22nd-27th, and roots and fruiting perennials from the 29th and into October. So the remainder of the month will be days of sowing, sowing, sowing.

Granted, the leafy annuals are mostly going to be sown inbetween everything else - mostly salad greens, and maybe some peas if I can work out where they should go.

Meanwhile, working out where everything else is going to go this year is a bit of an effort.

Before the Full Moon (14th-21st Sep), suitable Chinese cabbage, grain crops, lettuce, mizuna, rocket, and tatsoi can be sown directly into beds, as well as a green manure crop of chickpea, clover, barley or millet. Celery, leek, lettuce, silver beet and spring onions can be sown or planted out. Cabbage, parsley and sweet basil can be sown in a cold frame, and NZ spinach, coriander and dill sown direct after frost.
During First Quarter phase (22nd-28st Sep), bush and climbing beans, and sweet corn can be sown directly into beds, in frost-free areas. Capsicum, cucumber, eggplant, pumpkin, rockmelon, tomato, summer squash, watermelon and zucchini can be sown in a cold frame.
During Full Moon phase (29th Sept-4th Oct), Jerusalem artichoke, carrot, potato and radish can be sown directly into beds, and asparagus seed, beetroot, sweet potato and chives can be sown in a cold frame. In frost-free areas, banana passionfruit, passionfruit and tropical guava can be planted. After frost, avocado, blueberry, citrus, cherry guava, macadamia, olive, marjoram, oregano, sage, rosemary, French tarragon, thyme and evergreen trees, shrubs and vines can also be planted.

Corn/cucumbers/squash: I'm thinking in front of/beside the very-trimmed-down crepe myrtle. Chop down the oats, sow the corn straight into the ground. Sow the cucumber and squash seeds into seedling boxes and wait for germination before planting out.
Tomatoes/Eggplants/Capsicum: amidst the borage (trim down the borage something serious), grow up as much as possible up and over the fence.
Leafy Greens: among the sweet potatoes - toss salad greens down and see if anything takes.

The centre section is probably going to need to go to green manure for the next couple of months. I need to work out what's happening there.

Garden - Sep 2015

Anyway, work to be done, plans to be made...

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