With the Little Red Hens and the Moos settled into life on the farm, this week I figured it was about time I got some fruit and veggies growing.
Our pots of blueberries and wild alpine strawberries have been fruiting very nicely on the back deck, but that’s been about the sum of our fruit and veg production on the farm up until now.
There are a few reasons I’ve been a bit slow off the mark with the gardens: partly I wasn’t keen on planting anything out until the last frost had passed, partly I was still figuring out where to put everything, and partly I knew that gardening here would be a challenge with the local wildlife and was trying to decide how to keep the feathered and furry residents at bay.
But I finally decided that if I waited for everything to be perfect I’d never plant anything.
Soooo…here’s a list of what I’ve been up to:
- Herb garden planted near front door
- Three passionfruit planted along length of front fence
- Low-chill peach, ‘chocolate pudding fruit’ (A.K.A. Black Sapote), and low-chill apple, ‘Coastal Cropper’ all planted in front yard
- Existing lemon tree fully pruned and renovated
- Potted bay tree planted out near back gate
- One raised garden bed (3.6metres x 1.2 metres) assembled and filled with wheelbarrow loads of top soil dug from around old decaying fig tree. Top soil enriched with an organically certified mix of 5-in-1 soil booster (blood and bone, manures, seaweed, rock minerals, and potash). All topped off with a thick layer of straw mulch.
And, after all that gardening, this is what I’ve learnt:
- wallabies do not allow a grace period before gnawing every leaf off newly planted passionfruit vines. Tree guards go in with the new plants or forget it.
- it’s possible for free-ranging chickens to look wistful – plant a new herb garden, fence it off with chicken wire and observe 🙂
- if your citrus tree is dripping sap, it’s not a good sign – sterilise your secateurs and make friends with Google
- hoses supplied with water from a tank have next to no water pressure – so if the nearest garden hose can’t actually touch the fruit tree you’re planting, you’d better like hauling water.
- planting anything with a toddler beside you will result in said toddler covered in dirt and making a break for the paddocks
- digging holes is always harder than you expect
- I’m completely uncoordinated with a wheelbarrow
And now for some pics…