Huge Progress - Large Garden Extension, Chickens on the Move and Potato Towers

Simone - Picnics and Paddocks is talking about growing Beans, Beetroot, Celery, Lettuce, Pumpkin from Northland

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Garden in progress

The past two days here have been huge!! We’ve picked up two standard sized trailor loads of garden mix from Greenfingers and two large trailor loads full. The large gardens down both sides of our house (close to 40 m of garden in total) are now full. My little boy’s very first garden box, beside his sandpit is complete. My last two raised gardens are also full. 

I lined all gardens with a thick layer of newspaper, then added garden mix (quality top soil, compost and fertilisers) as well as scattering sheep pellets through them. I also plan to add pea straw on top once the plants are a little bit more established. I haven’t planted out any of these gardens yet because the chickens have been free ranging in our large backyard for some time. 

Which brings me to the next job we tackled today… moving the chicken house, fencing off a large area for them in the front paddock and moving the chickens. It was 5 pm by the time we got to catching the chickens and ducks so a few are still in the backyard. It was also pouring with rain and we were all shattered. Because of the weight of the chicken house we had a couple of mates come round to give us a hand with lifting it over the fence. Incredibly thankful for good friends today. They were legends!

Back to the gardens though. We have potatoes growing in a bucket and bag, but I still had some varieties of seed potatoes sitting on my bench in egg cartons so today we made some potato towers. We put a couple of large wooden stakes into the ground, wrapped chicken wire around the outside, lined the base with newspaper and then added hay to the base and sides (see top right hand photo). We then added garden mix, the seed potatoes and topped it up so the potatoes were just covered. 

Tomorrow I will get to planting out the gardens after catching the last of those cheeky chickens. I have a planting plan, including crop rotation all in my head and ready to go. The plants are sitting there ready to have their roots soaked in seaweed and then popped into their new garden beds. As far as companion planting goes I’m sticking with flowers and herbs. Companion planting with other vegetables only stuffs up my crop rotation plan. The two exceptions to my rule will be one garden where I’ll plant the three sisters (sweet corn, pumpkin and beans), as well as my three year old’s garden. He’s picked carrots, radishes and sugar snap peas to grow. 

More on what we’ll be planting tomorrow. I’m absolutely shattered, but my heart is happy. Everything is finally falling into place and there’s so much that I’m excited to blog about and share with you all. Here’s to a good growing season and a well deserved cold beer!