Spring gardening fever takes hold

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Life has been so busy of late with a new marketing contract for a local realtor, school holidays and myriad jobs readying our current house for its imminent rental that this blog has taken a back seat. However, there have been many blog-worthy gardening and chook activities on Edgefield so I thought it was about time I caught up on my posts.

About a month ago, Jeff and I wrestled our large DIY corrugated iron raised garden bed into its final resting place in the location of the new vegie patch. This point was noted with great relief by Jeff (and me) as we talked about how much abortive work we have done on this property. That is to say, mainly gardening-related planting and infrastructure that has since been pulled up, bulldozed and relocated, such as a water main line and 12-station reticulation system, a small orchard worth of fruit trees and too many garden beds to count.

Jeff and I might be dreamers but we’re also pretty damn good at getting things done too. This new house was one of many ideas that became a project that became a reality. Not all our ideas do (thankfully) but we’re pretty thrilled we’ve managed to pull this one off because it is the best by far and it feels permanent. I have joked that Jeff will have to use a crowbar to ever get me to move again. After so many houses, and our third time building, it feels like we’re in this one for the long haul and that feels spectacularly good.

raised bedAnd so moving that enormous raised bed and filling it with dirt knowing we wouldn’t have to ever move it again (hopefully) was a significant act. It’s sticking out like a sore thumb in the middle of a construction site but sowing seed in it made me feel a step closer to moving in and starting our new life. Hooray! I built a couple of trellises today and planted:

  • ‘Lemon’ cucumber
  • ‘Crystal Apple’ cucumber
  • ‘Double Yield’ cucumber
  • ‘Mexican Sweet’ corn
  • ‘Balinese’ corn
  • ‘Flageolet Flagrano’ semi-climber bean
  • ‘Frost’ bush beans
  • ‘Lazy Housewife’ climbing beans
  • Bull’s Blood beetroot
  • Burpee’s Golden beetroot
  • Chioggia beetroot

Henry and Hugo helped me plant the seeds and then began building tunnels in the pile of yellow brickies sand nearby. Henry did ask though, I’m pleased to say, for his own garden bed so he could plant his own vegies. That’s definitely something I want to encourage so I guess I’ll have to build another bed ASAP.

I am waiting impatiently for my Diggers Club order to arrive in the mail to top up my already overflowing seed bank. Buying seed is addictive. My Seed Annual catalogue from The Diggers Club, as a friend once said, is “permaculture porn”. Indeed!

Quantity

CODE

DESCRIPTION

1

S 0101

BEAN BABY SUN

1

S 087

CUCUMBER RICHMOND GREEN APPLE

1

S 013

BEAN CLIMBING 3 COLOUR MIX

1

S 064

CAPSICUM SEVEN COLOUR MIX

1

S 072

CARROT BABY

1

S 114

SWEET CORN HONEY and CREAM F1

1

S 163

PEA SHOOTS

1

S 197

ROCKMELON ANANAS

1

S 2510

WATERMELON MOUNTAIN SWEET YELLOW

1

S 280

WATERMELON SUGAR BABY

1

S 2372

TOMATO PINK BUMBLEBEE

1

S 246

TOMATO TEN COLOUR HEIRLOOM MIX

1

S 2221

TOMATO CURRANT MIX

I have been doing quite a bit of gardening work on the current house lately. In the small herb and kitchen garden that remains, I’ve been harvesting the last of my super-productive broccolini and pulling out the winter brassicas, and replacing them with summer crops of tomatoes, basil and capsicum. I also have stacked the garden full of a variety of lettuces and loose leaf greens for summer salads, yum! I’m not sure why I’m going to so much trouble when we’re going to be moving out in two months but I guess I’m hoping that if the garden looks lovely and inviting, our future tenant will want to maintain it.

I’ve also plugged lots of holes and gaps in the rest of the garden and have been giving myself an education on Australian natives. I’m not very knowledgeable about natives as I’ve been a bit obsessed about edible plants for the last few years, but there’s an amazing range of lovely foliage and flowers to be had. And of course they make sense in our climate. It’s so easy in this gorgeous shoulder season of Spring growth to forget the blistering, unrelenting heat of summer in Perth that bakes everything to a crisp regardless of how much water you pour on it.

raised brick bedsTomorrow the builders are going to waterproof my new recycled red brick planter boxes that line the (as yet unbuilt) Jarrah verandah so I can plant them out with herbs. Our builder, Neil, is a patient bloke. Poor guy is probably thinking I’m mad, and I know I should wait until they’ve finished building everything around them, but I’m just so keen to get my plants established now to catch all this vigorous Spring growing weather. And I’m bloody impatient! So little by little we are preparing for the big move. Bring it on, I am so excited!

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