The end of one stage and the beginning of another

Midlife Gardener is talking about growing Beans, Beetroot, Broccoli, Carrot, Cauliflower, Cucumber, Eggplant, Herbs, Lettuce, Peas, Pumpkin, Radish, Spring Onion, Squash, Sweetcorn, Tomato, Zucchini, Something else from Northland

Garden in progress

It seems funny writing a summary of the garden to end the challenge when things are just cranking up.  I’ve got baby veges all over the place, and seem to discover more each day.  Some things are cranking along, and some are plodding slowly.  I’ve got no zucchini yet, but the plants did have a slow start thanks to slugs.  The popcorn has put on a burst of growth lately, and the sweetcorn is getting bigger daily.  The pumpkins are starting to act as a mulch in the pumpkin patch, which gives me time to think about what I’m going to do in that area once the veges are done.  I was going to grass over between the fruit trees, but now I’m leaning towards clover and wildflowers.  I currently have a timber edging and mulch around the trees but think I might put the edging around the whole mini orchard area instead of each tree and mulch/plant inside.  Better for the trees and less mowing.

My melons are finally looking like they are growing.  I have little pickle cucumbers and luffas.  I have loads of flowers on the tomatoes and a few little green fruit.  The strawberries are flourishing still.  The onions aren’t far away from harvesting, and I’m reading up on plaiting them.  I have some that have formed beautiful bulbs, and some that seem to be fat half way up the stalks.  We are eating peas and beans, and have more bean seedlings growing.  We’ll have fresh potatoes for Christmas, if we don’t eat them before.  We’ve got plenty of lettuce, mesclun and rocket.

Failures?  So far only the Yates Crimson Sweet watermelon.  Planted two, both germinated, both got eaten by slugs.  I’m a bit bummed about that!  I still have some sugar baby watermelon seedlings in the garden so hopefully we’ll be able to eat our own home grown watermelons.  Nothing else has really failed yet, but there is a lot that is very slow to grow, so who knows if those will be top or flop.  And then theres the risk of pests and diseases…

This is the first year I’ve entered this challenge and I’ve really enjoyed it.  Sure its hard work sometimes finding the time to write about the garden, or in those days of non-stop rain, finding something to write about.  I’ve loved reading about other peoples gardens, about what they are growing, how they are growing it, what works in different areas of the country.  I’ve learned heaps from all you gardeners, thank you for sharing your knowledge, and have a list of ideas to try, both this season and next.  I’ve got mixed feelings about the challenge ending here.  On one hand, I’m going to miss reading what is happening in everyone’s gardens, I really want to see how things grow over the summer, but on the other hand, it’ll be nice using my blogging time back in the garden, or catching up with other things!  I’m getting addicted to Yatesbook, as James’ wife calls it (thanks, I love that term!)

Good luck everyone with your gardens over the summer, I hope you get plenty of fresh produce, and maybe I’ll see you back here next year!  I’ll read the rest of the “final” blogs when we come back from the beach in Sunday.

Merry Christmas from my happy place x