How green is my valley –

How odd is my garden!   You have to laugh!  Techie Two and I made half a permaculture, no-dig garden out the front of the house.  We have two paddocks between us and the front fence so it’s not like people are going to say – OMG I can’t believe you have a garden in Front of the house!  No, and the wombat tends to spend less time in the front so it’s really a good choice.  So we made this half a garden, because we didn’t have enough hay bales, compost, newspapers, or time to make a whole one.  It was awesome!  Totally.  We built up both corners with 3 biscuits of hay for a wind/frost break and put one tomato and one basil plant.  We kept two on the verandah jic it wasn’t quite as effective as expected.  And they grew!

The next week, yes, just one week later, we made the other half.  It looked awesome too!  We put a stepping stone in the middle and a stake for moi to hold onto while she’s watering – great!  And then we waited.  There were shoots of everything already coming up from seeds in the first bit!  So we watched and waited!  And waited!  And we’re still waiting!  The good thing is that we did have not only some very cold weather but quite a decent frost (in December, in Australia.)  The tomato’s didn’t get touched.  Woohoo, WTG.  And there’s still nothing in the second part that resembles anything green.  The potato’s around the edges in their hay nests are sprouting (they were sprouting in the plastic bag so I knew they were a hardy sort!)  But all else is just a sea of chaff.  We put in some lettuce seedlings and hope that they can cope with the heat.  May have to build some sort of shade shelter to the western side for the ferocious western sun.   I know we had a very cold week, followed by a hot and cold week.  But really you would think that at least one green thing would poke its head up!  Honestly, I’m not impressed!

No dig garden
The whole garden - new to the left, old to the right

Thankfully the apple trees seem to be apple-ing up.  The plum trees look very green with leaves but nothing edible appearing there yet.  And the mulberry tree?  Well that had 3 mulberries on it before the frost, and they are kind of black and dry now.  Still it has leaves which is an improvement from last year.  Poor thing didn’t cope very well with the move from the nursery to my windy back yard.  Can’t say I blame it!  I think I’ll put in a few more apple trees, they do seem to cope better.

Next year it’s going to be nuts!  Too late this year.  The summer sun is ferocious and the winds in autumn pretty foul as well, too much for most plants to cope with.  If the frost and the winds don’t kill them the sun probably will.

Even if nothing comes up in the 2nd part of the garden we will probably have enough stuff that needs to be thinned out in the 1st part – so not all bad.  So what’s coming up in the first part?  Who the heck knows!  We just planted in everything from cosmos to cabbage’s.  Carrots to broccoli.  Salad corn to heaven-knows-what!  If it comes up and it survives, it will be a winner!  And we’ll let some self seed for next year.  We need survival plants here – it’s a hard climate;  and only the toughest will do.  The minimum temp for this week is fromm 5C to 9C.  Top of 20-24.  Winds from a different direction each day. Probably not the best weather to raise plants in, but this is summer for us this year.  We might be living on tomato’s and basil with some cosmos thrown in if this keeps up!  😉  The parsley turned its toes up this week.  Will have to find another spot for it – obviously the heat and the wind didn’t do it any good.  So to the east side of the garden it goes.

I need to get down to the local school and get a recipe book.  They made one to raise money for their kitchen garden – and I’m going to need some recipe’s for what to do with all those tomato’s.  Green tomato recipe’s unless we have a late summer!

The Green Leafy End
The Side View - tomatoes left side of the photo

Things are looking very green and leafy up the top end of the garden – zucchini’s a monster plant, the other viney things are doing well.  A couple of cucumbers survived (they don’t like transplanting), and the cabbage and beetroot?  Well, they are there, in the understorey of the Zucchini forest!   I transplanted a few plants to the other end of the garden since nothing came up – ants may have stolen all the seed, I think.  And the day after Christmas day I put in all the seed packets that hadn’t gone in the other end.  More beetroot and cabbage.  Carrots.  Spinach?  Salad Corn.

Nothing growing
The Bare Facts - lettuce to the right.

I need some more lettuce seedlings, ours are now going great, but we love salad so much we need a whole lot more.  The tomato plants are going great guns, and the basil is holding it’s own in the forest.  Pretty happy with it all for a quickly put together permaculture vegetable garden.  In this climate you can never tell what’s going to happen – we had a big frost on December 1, but the double hay bale wings protected the tomatoes – so glad I heard that one!  We need to build up the newer part of the garden with some more compost.  The boys moved it (the compost) outside the house yard for me – snakes winter over in it so I prefer it further away.  Also I’m pretty sure the wombat comes in more for the compost that any other reason, so I’m making his life easier.  The rain here has been awesome!  We are usually very dry in summer, but it’s wet and I’m loving it.  We are hoping to get more biodiversity happening on the farm as a whole, not just the vegetable garden.  It’s exciting, it’s hard work, and a biiiiiig learning curve.  Need to get through this summer and get a plan in place for everything and it will be great!  Keep ya posted.

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