creative 1975

‘It’s all trial and error’

In Gardening, Non-Fiction on October 21, 2015 at 11:42 am

It’s all trial and error with gardening. I’ve grown things that have been prolific in my garden at one time and then flopped the next time. All depends on seasons, which are not necessarily consistent.

I’ve begun slowly and tried not to be too keen; allowing the weather to warm up rather than rushing with eagerness because it’s 20151021_140438 now spring! I kicked started with some pak choi, coriander, lettuce and potatoes as well as potting some already established annual and perennial flowers in tubs. I’ve also got some flower seedlings on the go: calendula (from the daisy family), viscaria mixed (cottage garden plant) and sunflowers.

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I was late planting garlic this year as I wasn’t at home when I needed to get them in the ground and although it’s not too late, it’s not ideal so I’ve only planted half the amount this year. The cloves will be third generation seed deriving from the original elephant garlic I purchased from a farm in the North Island so I’m not sure how they will turn out. Hopefully well!

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Now the weather is settling and the frosts have passed I’ve begun potting tomato and pepper plants. I picked up some beautiful 20151021_140129gerberas (my favourite) for a very low price the other day and potted them too. One year I tried to keep things in my greenhouse but the mice kept getting in and helping themselves and unless what I’m growing thrives in a very warm environment like tomatoes and peppers then my greenhouse becomes overwhelming for seedlings. My seedlings do best in my mini-greenhouse that now has a great new cover on it thanks to my mum who made one out of mesh when she visited last year. It stands in a spot that gets sun for half of the day and that seems to suit—as I said ‘trial and error’ because what works one season doesn’t always work the next! And I’m no “Monty Don” so I just give it go. Nonetheless I do try to be frugal as possible with compost, seedling mix and seeds as you do have to buy them, unless you’re an exceptional gardener and have your own compost pile—mine however is very small and it does take years to break down (and mine did) but I am not that good at remembering to add to it, however, with poultry and a guinea pig that enjoys fruit and veggie scraps there’s not much that goes to waste in my kitchen. Even though I miss the mark when it comes to composting I do use my chicken’s manure as a fertiliser!

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So spring is off to a productive start with seeds germinating successfully and chicks and ducklings due to hatch this week and next. I love this time of year.

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