It’s finally here, some cooler days, a little drizzle of rain. Deciduous trees are changing colour with a gorgeous gold and copper on the tips of the leaves. And my garden looks like a bomb site. We brought two feral kittens home two weeks ago and I’ve hardly spent five minutes outside.. but they’re so cute! I made some more grass/mint planters for them.
The heat has taken its toll and I have harvested what I can. This weekend I harvested the last of the tomatos, ripped out the sick zucchini, and pulled up everything else thats going to seed – dill, rocket, parsnips. Beets that didnt take have been pulled by the throat.
It’s nice to see digging around in there the the soil has become much healthier with organic material breaking downover the last few months to create a soft dark soil with an incredible perfume.
I have popped some new seeds in too – beans to grow up my tomato stakes, some carrots, radish, beets, leek and choy. With the week ahead staying relatively cool and a few rainy days this should help my seeds take hold. I planted mostly in just one bed so that I can get some extra organic matter in the next two over the coming weeks.
I harvested all of my chillies and found out this brilliant little fact – ladybugs love my jalapenos! I have searched all over google and can not find anyone else who has experienced this, but look! Lucky for me she is a slow eater, I left this one behind for her to chew on for a while yet.
I snipped off all of the dead flowers around in the hopes I will have another flush of flowers in the coming few weeks. The bees are out and about just loving it in the cool so I tried to leave as much as I could for them to chew on. My basil is still going strong so I try to cut some off regularly to reflower for them. I could easily harvest each week a bunch for pesto, a basil ‘hedge’ was possibly my best garden idea ever. So I’ll leave this in until its really starts to suffer from the cold.
If you are doing the same thing in your garden, here are my tips for turning over your beds :
- When pulling out plants try to do so slowly so you don’t interrupt the roots of plants you are leaving behind, and shake out the roots to reduce soil loss.
- Try not to disturb your soil too much. Lightly dig in the top layer some organic matter and some slow release fertiliser if you please.
- Don’t be scared to seed directly into the bed. Use a pen to maker holes to the depth recommended on the packet and loosely cover them rather than patting them down with a heavy hand.
- As difficult as it is, mix it up – avoid planting in lines to reduce pest attacks, make your bed a ‘bush land’.
- Don’t plant too much all at once. While it is tempting, its better to plant small amounts of produce a couple of weeks apart so you may have regular usuable crops.
- Use a light spray rather than a heavy stream of water so you don’t wash your seeds away. I find it easiest to make sure the soil is really damp before I plant them, then a quick sprinkle of water over the top. My weeping hose will be a great system for these seeds, you could set up a temporary system that you could move around if you like.
- Enjoy yourself. Look, smell, feel. You’ll never have this day again.