Being the first day of the school holidays for us today I was finally able to get stuck into a few jobs. We've been so flat out the past week that a couple of things have got away on me a bit. One job I desperately needed to tick off was constructing larger teepees for my cucumbers, spaghetti squash and gherkins. We've hit 29C a couple of days over the past week in Northland so it's pretty warm. Those warm temperatures paired with deep watering every second day seems to be making the garden grow like crazy!
The initial teepees I made were only a temporary measure while my seedlings were getting started. I'd used 900mm bamboo stakes. Today's ones were made using 1800mm bamboo stakes so hopefully these last a bit longer. I removed any excess leaves to allow for better air flow between the leaves and other plants. It's already very humid in Northland and as I mentioned in my earlier post I'd noticed signs of early powdery mildew. I've removed these few leaves and will spray with Yates Natures Way Fungus Spray over the weekend.
The tomatoes also really needed my attention. For someone who thought she may have to rip all her plants out I've been pleasantly surprised. I've continued to remove laterals, but a couple of the plants have ended up growing in almost a Y shape. I'm curious as to what everyone does here? I've staked in different directions for now. Again, I removed trusses to allow for air flow. There was a lot of staking and tying going on today. Most of the plants have fruit on them now. They've got a stake in beside each one and I've also added in a bamboo stake beside it and tied to it. I do need to buy some more appropriate stakes, but for now I'm kinda trying to make do with what I've got around the place. So far, so good. It would only be if we got a really windy day or night that I'd be stuffed. We'll play roulette for now.
The mulch around the four raised veggie gardens is pretty much done now. I'm so pleased with it. It was worth the wait. I almost ripped out my Queensland Blue pumpkin a week ago too as I debated if I really had the room for this. I've been training it down the side and it's just growing too well to pull out. It's got about 5+ metres down the side of the gardens to do its thing and I've decided I'll just give it a chop where needed. Trial and error for my first year in our little home.
Tomorrow I have my Christmas work do from lunch time onwards so there probably won't be too much happening in the garden. I've chucked together a 'to do' list for the weekend though. Here are a few of the things I want to tick off -
* Give all gardens a deep water.
* Feed those gardens that are due again (Yates Thrive Natural Fish and Seaweed Plant Food is my go to).
* Put something together as a support for the dwarf peas. Lots of pods forming here. I must take a photo of the runner beans too. I had to laugh because they've climbed the full length of the bird netting and are now climbing up in the plum tree!!
* Pick what needs to be picked in the garden - more bright lights silverbeet, cucumbers, celery, courgettes (oh, so many courgettes), basil, lettuce, spaghetti squash, strawberries, and our very first blueberries we've ever grown. There might only be four blue gems ready, but those really are like finding treasure in the garden.
* Do something with all those excess courgettes on Sunday! I've got so many already and I'm constantly giving them away as well. Always the way right, but at the price they are over the winter months they're worth doing something with to pop in the freezer for the cooler months.
* Find a basil pesto recipe to use up all the excess basil. I've planted around 20 plants around the edges of the tomato garden. They're meant to be a good companion plant for tomatoes and help to bring out the flavour more. I have lots to use up though so pesto or a pasta sauce they shall be.
* Finally get around to planting the rocket and extra salad mixes.
*Spray courgettes, cucumbers etc for powdery mildew.
Tonight the eldery man next door came out while I was in my garden. I moved in six months ago, but this is the first time he's introduced himself to me properly. He said he couldn't help but come outside and tell me how much he's been admiring my garden. He talked about he couldn't believe it because it was only ever concrete out here for so long.
I am the most awkward person possible when someone gives me a compliment, but it was so nice to connect with him properly. I did appreciate his kind words. I thanked him for mowing my strip of lawn along the roadside and offered him some fresh veggis from the garden. I told him he's welcome to pop over and help himself any time. I couldn't help but think that if it wasn't for gardening I wouldn't have probably ever spoken to him. Having a low concrete wall we quite often say a word or two over the fence. I feel like a lot of us have lost that bond we once had with our neighbours and really getting to know them.
Anyway, that's me for tonight. My goal when I moved in was to be able to sit back on Christmas Eve and feel content with my outdoor area so I'm on a wee bit of a mission. Still a couple of weeks to go there. Have a great weekend everyone! :)