Early Spring 2016

Now that Spring is here, we are changing some of our garden spaces around.

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This back patio gets very hot in summer. We are preparing to create an outdoor kitchen / potting bench area here, to make better use of the space. At the moment we are using the area as a nursery to raise seedlings for the rest of the garden.

These trolleys are doing a great job keeping the seed trays organised, and we can move them around to follow the sun if we find that they are not getting enough where the are. We moved the metal potting bench out of the greenhouse (which is far too hot even in early spring!) and up here, with good access to water and the potting mixes.

Much more useful!

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Cucurbits (front), Tomatoes (middle) and Alliums (back)

Out the back, the three garden beds have rotated, and we’ve planted zucchini seeds, transplanted tomatoes, and are growing garlic and leeks in the Alliums bed.

The sad looking tomato plants on the left have come from the greenhouse, where they were raised over winter. The much more lush and shrubby tomato plant shown on the right came up in the legumes bed during winter, and I didn’t have the heart to remove it. What a huge difference between the two!

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Looking back at the Alliums bed, you can see the garlic doing very nicely at the front (we used way more nitrogen fertiliser to get these established this year), with leeks growing on in the back. They are finally starting to get bigger, having spent the entire winter as spindly little seedlings. 🙂

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This garden bed is the “Potatoes and Brassicas” bed. There are mostly potatoes growing here now, plus a lovely big Kale and some Beets at the front that we grew during winter. We’ve had to put up some ad hoc fencing to keep the brush turkeys out. Grrr.

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Up the side of the orchard we have stacked our winter firewood. I much prefer this location!

You can also see here that we have a new net over our orchard, as the old net we put up a couple of years ago decayed last autumn after two seasons in the summer sun. We figured it is easier and cheaper to net every couple of years than to work out how to put a proper wire roof on to this difficult orchard space!

We also replanted new strawberries into the old asparagus bed, after pulling up the asparagus corms. The locations we had picked for both of these perennials was inappropriate — too shallow for the asparagus, and the strawberries in the orchard were overgrown by the arrowroot we had in the same pot.

Now the strawberries are back in prime position and already fruiting merrily. We are trying out some new varieties this year: Tioga, Alinta, Red Gauntlet and we’ve saved two runners from our Cambridge Rival plants. So far the Tioga taste rather bland, but ripen early and are productive. The Alinta berries have been delicious, but we’ve only had a few so far!

Our weeping (maple?) tree is looking gorgeous this year, with lots of beautiful new leaf growth. And of course, the lavender bushes are always flowering. This shrub I grew from my neighbour’s cutting three years ago is finally hitting the Wow! stage.

Springtime is always rather busy — this year we are making a bigger effort to get involved with the garden and learn some new skills. There is always something to discover!

 

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