Monday, November 9, 2009

Our second Spring

We are well underway into our second spring in the garden. The difference between this year's harvest and last years is so encouraging I can only wonder what next spring will be. (click here to see last year's attempts!) A year of soaking up the knowledge from my mum and A, and pouring all that (and the 4 tonnes of mushroom compost) into this years vege patch have totally paid off. I read it a million times, but proof is in the pudding - "garden bed preparation is essential!" The potatoes are going mad and the new front vege garden, is now producing yummy produce, which we are hoping will last into the new year. - if we keep picking from it. The first crop has been salad greens, lettuce, rocket, spinach, with the celery slowly growing in the background. Our next crop growing are Tomatoes and Beans. I have also just planted some Cucumber for a summer harvest. The back vege garden is producing some peas, but the carrots and beetroot just aren't working. So I am having to rethink that area.
I also have an ongoing struggle with snails and slugs - particularly with the new shoots and the amount of rain we are getting. I have tried Beer, I have tried going out there in the rain, at nighttime with my touch and manually collecting them. I am currently trying an organic (safe for wildlife etc) bait. It's awful to see the bean shoots doing well one day , for the next to have all of them chewed to bits! I will continue to trial new things - still to come, garlic spray, molasses spray, but I wont resort to salt. It's just too, too, well, yuk.

The other suprise has been the revelation of the the Valerian plant - and it's come back this year! Valerian is used as medicinal herb, taken for insomnia and stress. (not related to Valium!). It's one of two plants I am trialling for a medicinal section of our garden - the other is Echinacea. The Valerian had totally died back over winter- ie you couldn't see it! - But in the space of about 8 weeks - it's grown to a triffid sized 4 feet - and still growing. Eventually we will use the roots of this plant to make the medicine. (if i get around to it - if only there was a herb for procrastination - but then no one would ever grow it!)

See slide show for a few pics.