creative 1975

It’s Spring Again (Thank goodness for that!)

In Gardening on September 9, 2013 at 8:05 pm

Thank heavens spring has arrived! I impatiently await the arrival of this season each year. I feel the excitement when the first bloom in the garden appears and I feel reassured that the dull, cold and wet winter will soon become a memory. I don’t really have any right to complain too much about the winter we’ve had this year as here in NZ it’s been a pretty mild one; the mildest in one hundred years it’s been reported. Nevertheless I am not a winter lover—who is?

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When I lived in England the winter months were longer and more punishing (from what I can remember), although we had a commodity known as ‘central heating’ that is not an option you can possess in NZ… if I dare be a little sarcastic? the necessity of  ‘Insulation’ or  ‘Batts’ (aka Pink Batts) as New Zealanders call it, appears to be quite a new concept. It was around 2001 when it became statutory to install double glazing and insulation in a new house. I presume before then it was optional and possibly the reason for that was expense as it’s presently expensive to buy, therefore I can’t imagine what the cost would have been thirty years ago. We have a heat pump in one part of the house that keeps it from freezing and a log burner in the main living area, and occasionally, the heat manages to travel to the hallway. Anyhow, that’s a whole different topic! Spring is here and that means the veggie growing begins; a great cost effective way of feeding the family, especially as the price of food in this country continues to rise. I recently watched a TV program about this and the cost of food in New Zealand has risen by a whopping thirty-three percent in the last seven years!

I spent most of my day yesterday sowing seeds and preparing for the most prolific growing seasons ahead. I did not manage to achieve everything as I still have rhubarb to plant and a nice blueberry plant. It’s not all been totally barren in the garden through the winter. I planted some lovely heritage garlic in one of the beds that is now looking pretty good and will be harvested in late December. The leeks are still growing! No surprise there. They’d grow better in the ground rather than in a raised bed, nevertheless they’re growing and will be edible no matter what the size! A large ground area for sowing, alternated between raised beds is on the agenda, but with house renovations also continuing, there’s only so many hours in a day!

The seeds sown for this month are:

Lettuce

Broccoli

Cabbage

Beetroot

Spinach

Sweet corn

Carrots

Peas

Herbs:

Thyme

Garlic Chives

Coriander

Parsley

Basil

Plants to be potted or put into the ground: Tomatoes and rhubarb

Already in the ground: potatoes, garlic and leeks

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Garlic sprouting up through the mulch

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