So, this Autumn (or Fall to my US friends) has been unseasonally warm and dry. Not that I am complaining because we were shortchanged on summer and last years winter seemed about 3 times longer, damper and greyer than normal.
However, this has wreaked havoc with my Autumn garden plans. I waited until it appeared that the weather was cooling down to the right germination temperatures, only to have my seeds blasted with weather over 31C again. Only 2 Broccoli seedlings were quick enough to get off the mark and up…
The variety is Purple Sprouting from the Digger’s club – the smaller one has an obvious purple sheen already. They were up within 5 days of planting!
However, due to the warmth and sunshine, the only other thing flourishing was a couple of silverbeet and a whole raft of mould. A vinegar/water spray has taken care of the mould, and the Broccoli didn’t mind it, but the silverbeet withered in a day, so I will have to re seed them I think.
We are waiting on Climbing Peas, Snow Peas, Tatsoi, Cauliflower, Cabbage, and Parsley. Although I don’t hold out much hope for the Parsley, it wasn’t until too late that I realised that Autumn is not the ideal time to plant it.
Future plantings will include Broad Beans direct sown into the raised vegetable garden, as well as Creamgold Onion. Herbs to grow include Cumin, Coriander and Tansy in an attempt to put off the swarms of Ants in the garden.
We also have Calendula shooting in the retaining wall, we planted that a few weeks ago and have 2 seedlings up so far. I’m working on the permaculture theory that flowers are beneficial, as well as beautiful because of the insects etc that they attract. Although I’m not sure how I’ll go convincing the kids to eat Calendula in a salad, I was looking forward to trying Rhonda’s Calendula Salve.
The littlest farmer DS2 and I planted out our garlic today also. I read somewhere that it is better to plant it when there is still some warmth around, which today is a perfect example. Brilliant sunshine, clear blue skies and a lovely fresh breeze to air out the house.
We have planted 2 varieties, also from Diggers. Being in SA, we are limited in what we are allowed to purchase, and they sell out fast. we are hoping to save out of what we grow for next year.
We have planted them into 5 large pots/tubs, and even then there were sooooo many cloves that they are going to be a little overcrowded. Hopefully we get a decent harvest out of them anyway. We have planted 2 different varieties, because one is a softneck and one is a hardneck. Which basically means that one is better for eating now, and one stores better, although I have trouble remembering which is which!
One the Chicken news, we still are waiting for eggs, although they obviously are maturing and growing at speed, which is wonderful to see. We had a small disaster last week with some super strong winds (gusting at 70+kph, knocking over trees locally) and the chicken coop which wasn’t properly anchored (our bad) blew over. The girls all were fine, I was worried very much about them, but they are tougher than they look. Some friends came to the rescue and it is all safe and sound now. I have been spoiling the girls silly with fresh spinach, carrot, strawberry tops, watermelon, sunflower seeds and because my children are apple eating machines, they get a couple of cores at a minimum each day. This is on top of their pellets/mash and mixed grain, plus whatever bugs and so on they find in their run. We have twice heard the “egg song” (youtube it if you don’t know it, it’s lots of fun!) but not been close enough to identify the singer. But it’s a ray of hope at the moment!
So, that’s the update on our first season for growing vegies and attempting to be more self-sufficient. Hopefully there will be more new and exciting news really soon 🙂