It's a wrap!

Anita Kundu is talking about growing Cucumber, Spinach, Tomato, Zucchini, Something else from Auckland

Garden ready!

I can’t believe we have finally reached the end of the Yates Veggie Growing Challenge!  It doesn’t seem that long ago when it was the beginning of Spring and I signed up, wondering what I had gotten myself into. It’s a miracle that I didn’t have a relapse and managed to see the competition through to the end.  I strongly encourage other gardeners to take part in future, assuming of course that the challenge will continue to run every spring (you can’t take anything for granted!).  Benefits of participating include:

  •          Motivation to be more active outdoors
  •          Support from other gardeners. You end up making lots of friends – reconnecting with old ones  like Collette and meeting new people, too
  •          Learning more about gardening by reading other blogs (including Sarah’s) and comments on your posts
  •          Having a written record of your progress throughout spring.  This might be useful to refer back to in the future, as Collette does.  It’s interesting to see where you were at the same time in previous years.  Who knows, you may even decide to continue with your blog, as I have!
  •          The sense of achievement that comes from having accomplished something, no matter how  productive your garden turns out in the end.  The weather has a lot to answer for.  Do your best, but don’t be too hard on yourself.  Remember that we’re all at the mercy of mother nature!
  •          The opportunity to win lots of amazing prizes along the way!  The package for Mini Challenge 2 was amazingly generous.  I know I should have entered more mini challenges but I was just too busy and I chose to make regular blogging my priority in the competition.

But by far the best thing I got out of the challenge was the discipline that it instilled in me, mainly through regular blogging.  This has actually helped me with other areas of my life, especially ones which I had been struggling with for some time.  I love routine, so I applied what I learnt about the importance of consistency to my fitness programme, managing to shed more weight (which I needed to do for a long time) and competing in the YMCA 10k series every week.  I have two more runs left before Christmas (there should have only been one but they decided to add an extra one at our last race!).  The second half kicks off in mid-January and runs (excuse the pun) until daylight saving ends in April.  I hope to see it through to the end, just like our summer garden which will probably finish about the same time.  Working on these two different projects in parallel has required some juggling so I could fit them both in but I’ve found they have actually complemented each other nicely.

With regard to the garden, there’s still a lot on my “to do” list which is frustrating, but as the managing partner of the law firm I worked for in Paris used to say, we are where we are.  Over the past two days, I harvested our garlic (a terrible crop, but I was expecting that because of the rust) and Liseta potatoes.  I need to power through the following tasks over the next few days: 

  •          Planting kumara – I still haven’t gotten around to doing this!  The reason for stalling is because I’m in a bit of a dilemma.  Now that the first row of strawberries seem to be cropping well I’m not sure if I want to pull them out, but I don’t know where else to plant my slips!
  •          Planting more melons – Watermelon, Honeydew, Inverno and Banana melon. These should have gone in a long time ago but I was waiting for space to become available when the Liseta potatoes were ready to come out
  •          Planting NZ Spinach
  •          Planting yet even more tomatoes, zucchini and cucumbers.  It seems it never ends!
  •          Potting up my okra and marigold seedlings

Good luck to participants in the challenge.   You all deserve a huge pat on the back for taking part.  It wasn’t easy, but we got there in the end.  Have a good Christmas and happy new year.  Enjoy some rest over the summer and of course the fruits of your labour!  Don’t forget to actually enjoy your garden (that is, in addition to enjoying working in it, like I do). 

If you’re keen to continue to follow my progress, here’s the link to my gardening blog:  You can also follow the pictorial progression of our garden as it evolves through the seasons on Instagram.  My account is   I have a Facebook page too. The link is (or you can try searching for “Anita’s Garden”).

My final photo is of yesterday’s harvest.