Wednesday, 31 August 2016

First day of spring!

It's the first day of spring. It's still cloudy and raining on and off, and set to continue, but we have had a few sunny days. I managed to get a few pictures while the sun was out this morning.

Giving these seedlings a bit of sun as they don't get a huge amount in the balcony greenhouse, only a few hours due to the changing angles. There's a volunteer tomato in there that with the chard that I'll probably keep. I have beets, red sorrel, red mustard, leeks, spring onions and rainbow chard.

This will be the first cabbage to be ready as the head is quite firm. I am waiting for it to become more spherical though, maybe they don't always do this if small?

Once the roots of these pak choi transplants establish I'm sure they'll pick up growth rapidly, still slow going for now.

Basil germinated over winter, don't have a lot of vigour. I have more on the way though.

Made it through winter and getting some sun. I don't know if I'll re-pot it or just top it up with rich compost. I'll take off all the ripe fruit though and give it a prune of the damaged leaves.

Downstairs, new coriander shooting. You can never have too much coriander.

Garlic looking good and putting on some growth.

New peas doing much better, I topped this area off with my own compost and have transplanted Chinese broccoli here. I had to break up the root ball of some of them so they might not make it but the overcast/rainy days ahead should help.

Volunteer coriander growing in the cracks. It's probably not going to produce much but don't have the heart to remove it.

Mint coming back. I have to be careful because I have already had to pull out a few mint shoots elsewhere from bits of broken rhizome in the recycled potting mix. I have no idea how long they take to die with no sunlight but it's clearly not long enough. From now on I think I'll not mix the potting mix from the mints with the rest.

Overflowing with greens in this bed. Some of the rocket starting to bolt though so it won't be like that for long.

There's the curly kale. There are two white beets back there too, somewhere.


Beets, dill, tatsoi and broccoli di ciccio.

Harvested main heads and lots of side shoots forming.

Things grow so well under this cover and no pest damage. I wish I had one for the larger bed. The mulch is breaking down nicely and should provide lots of nitrogen for the corn later.

Herbs all doing great and loving the warmer weather. Marjoram will take some time to come back though.

Rosemary and sage. I had to buy a new sage as the old one got attacked by bugs over winter and it looks like the seeds I had are no longer viable. I'll probably plant the rosemary on the left out in the side bed. Then again I am not sure if I'll keep the side beds or change it to a container area.

Celery re-shoots and broad beans.

First flowers! I am not tying them to the fence unless they need it as I think it helps them grow stronger.

Onions have rotted but I might just leave them and let them flower for the bees and see if they subdivide.

Sorrel enjoying getting a little bit of sun in the middle of the day now. I wonder if it will flower this year.

Miner's lettuce growing great.

Not sure if I'll keep the strawberries as they are likely already quite root bound. But we'll see how they go as the weather warms up. Shallots are subdividing nicely and hopefully ready in a few weeks.

Main bed now getting almost full sun at least a few hours a day and kohlrabi.

Turnips starting to swell up. I wish I'd got more to germinate. It's probably too late to plant more now and still have the bed clear for warm season stuff.

Leeks getting thicker.

These head lettuce planted early winter should be ready in a few weeks. It's a nice variety, a bit like a mini-iceberg.

Volunteer borage. I pulled dozens of these out in autumn after I dug over the bed. I'll probably get some more when I rake it over before planting out, and I'll just let them grow as the bees love them.

Chard that made it through winter. I have mulched this bead with grass and leaves. I found running the leaves twice through the mulcher (a leaf blower in reverse) gives me a pretty nice mulch that spreads easily.

Compost is more or less finished ready for sifting out and using. It's was mostly leaves and coffee grounds, with some buckets of food scraps and garden waste. The left hand side split a bit at the axle but hopefully this thick cable tie will hold it together. Need to be a bit more gentle when turning it.

I have tied the raspberry canes to the outside of the cage. The idea is that the new canes will grow inside the cage. The buds were already green at this time last year so it's a bit behind, a sign that the season isn't going to be quite as long without El Nino helping out. I have relocated the pot over here where it will get a little less sun (although being tall helps) but the idea is that being closer to the fence will give it a bit of protection from the hot, drying winds.

Minutina really perked up after the recent rain and a bit of fish fertiliser. 

Blueberry putting on some nice new growth, lots of new leaves coming out where the old ones fell off, and some blueberries starting to form too. Won't be long until I have to net them from the birds.

That's not any kind of disease there on the tips, I just waited way too long to cut it back last season so that new growth got frost damaged over winter.

Fashioned a simple trellis for these potted peas to climb.

The larger fennel can be harvested any time now.

I have a lime! I thought it was going to fall off but it's slowly getting bigger. I have no idea if it was there last summer or not. There are new flowers forming but they are mostly on the weak newer branches. Hopefully they'll get thicker in time to support any limes.

Pots loving the sun.

I've put the strawberries here to give them a bit more sun to spur on some more growth. I don't want them up on the balcony just yet with all the rain forecast. Still figuring out what I'll use to mulch them, thinking about black fleece with holes cut out. I suspect the pea straw I used last time was responsible for the ongoing powdery mildew battle.

They're only tiny right now but I am hopeful that they will fruit this summer/autumn. Probably depends if they are Temptation or something else as they are transplanted volunteers.

Grass looks great. Just need to wipe out the oxalis. I am thinking of putting a plank in the middle and some more pots just for the growing season as this is a prime area for sunlight but then again it's nice having the space for messy tasks.

In the greenhouse mixed lettuce sprouting on the left, on the right transplanted cos, in the middle spinach which has not yet sprouted.

Giving my babies some direct sun. I germinate them in the window so they don't really need hardening off and it's not super warm outside anyway. As long as it is nice and humid in there they don't mind how warm it gets.

Herbs germinating indoors on the window sill. Some of the seeds are probably not viable but it's worth a shot.

Really looking forward to this season and seeing what I can do better than last year.

1 comment: