Summary of weekend gardening activity

Anita Kundu is talking about growing Beans, Celery, Cucumber, Pumpkin, Spinach, Squash, Zucchini, Something else from Auckland

Just starting off...

With more rain on the horizon, the soil will be nice and damp.  Now is the perfect time to get sowing and planting!  There are some sunny days forecast afterwards, meaning that your plants will just take off.   If you haven’t started your summer garden yet it’s still not too late to plant most veggies.  I wouldn’t bother starting from seed at this point personally.  Head on down to your nearest garden centre and get some plants to pop into your patch or you can order them online from Awapuni, who send them to your door wrapped in newspaper.

Over the past three days, I managed to achieve quite a bit around the garden:

  •          Clearing some dead poppies along the pathway leading to the front door (I didn’t bother saving seeds from these ones as I’m not so fussed with them)
  •          Preparing the same area with compost and slow release fertiliser, which I dug into the soil
  •          Sowing zinnias in this space (Gold Medal, Yates)
  •          Planting some Cape Gooseberry raised from seed given to me by Egmont.  I have never grown or eaten this before so I am looking forward to having it in the garden this year
  •          Planting some Tithonia Goldfinger, something else which I haven’t grown before.  I decided to sow another packet of seeds as it’s supposed to be a butterfly magnet.  I put these plants in the same bed as the zinnias, which also attract monarchs to the garden
  •          Sowing 2 more 35L buckets of radish – one each of Golden Helios and Halloween Mix (Kings Seeds)
  •          Clearing some borage and calendula
  •          Preparing the same area with compost and Nitrophoska fertiliser, which I dug into the soil.  Laying down black plastic.  This year, I’m planting the pumpkins, squash and melons in polythene to raise the temperature of the soil and hopefully increase our yield
  •          Planting gem squash seedlings (raised from seed from Kings Seeds and McGregor’s) in the area, cutting holes in the black plastic for the plants.  I added a little Yates Gro Plus Tomato fertiliser to each hole before planting each seedling
  •          Harvesting a mixed row of Swift and Rocket potatoes
  •          Planting some Agria potatoes in the same area.  I prepared the soil with compost, Nitrophoska fertiliser and potato food.  I dug a trench, which I lined with comfrey leaves (they are supposed to protect against the potato worm.  See photo) before covering the seed potatoes with dirt
  •          Spraying my 28 standard roses (plus a few cuttings which took successfully and are in pots in the patio) and tamarillos with Yates Mavrik and the celery seedlings with Yates Liquid Copper.  Mavrik is great for protecting plants from bugs and Liquid Copper helps control rust
  •          Planting more zucchini – Zephyr (Kings Seeds), Fiorentino (Franchi) and Nero di Milano (Franchi)
  •          Planting three more Musquee de Provence Pumpkins raised from seed (Kings Seeds).  These were to replace plants that died from my first round
  •          Planting a tray of snake beans raised from seed against the trellis at the back of our house (Kings Seeds)

Action list for the coming days

  •          Plant cucumbers (I still have lots in the nursery which are ready to go into the garden)
  •          Plant more snake beans – I still have another tray to go!
  •          Pot up NZ spinach seedlings into punnets for planting into the garden later on, when they’ve had the chance to grow a bit more.  The plants are still quite small
  •          Harvest Liseta potatoes (we have two rows growing by our lemon tree)
  •          Prepare the same area for planting melons.  Work compost and Nitrophoska fertiliser into the soil.  Lay down black plastic
  •          Plant melons (Watermelon, Honeydew, Inverno and Banana) in the area, cutting holes in the plastic for each plant and adding a scoop of slow release fertiliser to each hole prior to planting
  •          Liquid feeding.  The fruiting plants get done on Wednesday and the rest of the garden normally gets done over the following two days.  I’m a bit naughty as I skipped doing the remaining plants last week, meaning they’ll only get fed once in the past fortnight.

What has everyone else done recently around the garden?  What is still outstanding on your task list?