Tuesday, January 4, 2011

New Years Gardening

Christmas Garden Books
I'm enjoying another week of lazy 'Stay-cation' (staying at home for vacation) and a few hours of pleasant sunshine amidst a strange wet Aussie Summer. While the rest of the country is experiencing extremes of rain (in the North) and heat (in the south), it seems my town is enjoying the middle ground. We've had overcast mornings, with threatening rain, and very pleasant days reaching about 33 deg C. Perfect for a little backyard maintenance and planning.

For Christmas, my partner and I got some great books to help with this years planning.
  • The Transition Timeline for a local, resilient future. Transition timelines provides an invaluable set of innovative approaches, new narratives and creative thinking tools that will prove vital in enabling us to shape a new kind of society....
  • Keeping Chickens: An Australian Guide
  • Companion Gardening in Australia: working with Mother Nature
  • The Permaculture Home Garden -how to grow great tasting fruit and vegetables the organic way, free of pesticides and chemicals
While home, I am spending a few hours out in the garden each day. For the first few days I was tidying up, pulling out plants that have almost finished seeding such as the lettuce, celery and bok choy. (I like to let them seed and see which ones come up and where). Then I reconditioned the soil with a blood n bone mixture and home grown compost.

While spending time out in the gardens space, I talk to it, and listen. I'm interested in learning how to make the garden a healthy living community, So it's important to listen. I listen and watch for insect life - the ones I want to encourage and the ones I want to discourage, and I look for sun, wind and shade developments. This all helps me with planning what should go where.

Following some of the principles outlined in the permaculture book, and basic organic gardening principles, I've spent time in the last few days drafting this garden plan.

So tomorrows plans include planting snow pea's, beetroot, beans and radishes from seed, and planting out seedlings I have been preparing like broccoli, lettuce, bok choy and spinach. I also have this seasons Yacon to plant out into the garden as it's started to shoot even in it's spring time hibernation box under the house.

But the greatest joy I've had this week has been the result of some garden planning and increased vigilance over the past 4 months. My Peach tree... last year didn't produce anything at all, the previous year the two fruits that developed were attacked by fruit fly. So I declared the tree on the threatened species list - produce or go.

After much research into possible problems for the tree here in Newcastle, I embarked on frequent feeding with Seasol and potassium supplements, maintained a regular watering program, and when the fruit started to show, I took extreme precautions against fruit fly (baits and full tree netting). So as you can see I was able to produce, from the first fruit showing, real, edible and VERY DELICIOUS Peaches (about 30 of them!!).

First Fruit showing............................................the most delicious fruit!!

Other pickings from the garden this week have included
  • cherry tomatoes (self seeded)
  • roma tomatoes (self seeded)
  • celery
  • rhubarb
  • spinach
  • radishes
  • strawberries
As for Chooks - the plan will be to get the chooks in Spring, after we've come home from our France Holiday.


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Karen said...

You are such a super gardener! I really admire people who can create a healthy,vibrant garden. My family are brilliant at it but I definitely missed out on getting those genes! I love that you have peaches! I miss getting boxes of fresh cherries and peaches from my grandparents orchard as a Birthday present.

Jeanie said...

Thank you for your good get well wishes -- I'm improving, back at work, still tired. But getting there. I've much to catch up on in blogland over the last month.

But this post -- what a lift it gives me on this snowy evening -- to think of gardens and seed packets -- and I love your diagram! Not my best skill, but I must say, if I follow enough this winter, maybe when our spring comes, I'll be ready.

I hope this post means you aren't in the area so devastated by floods. My heart breaks, and I hope your friends and family are safe.

Tamara said...

Hi Karen, memories of grandparents and summer fruits must be an Aussie thing - my grandparents had grapes and apricots.
Jeanie, Thanks so much for your concerns for those affected by floods. We are not affected here (just north of Sydney) and most of my family are quite safe. However, we all know and have experienced floods - my own car was flooded in a car park in 2007 and many of my friends had major house repairs to do then. We appreciate the support from our friends in other parts of the world.