Hard Yakka!!

Simone - Picnics and Paddocks is talking about growing Beans, Beetroot, Carrot, Cucumber, Herbs, Lettuce, Peas, Pumpkin, Radish, Silverbeet, Sweetcorn, Tomato, Zucchini from Northland

Garden in progress

I feel like I need a weekend after this weekend. There’s been a lot of hard yakka today as well. Today it was all me though (and my excited little three year old at the very end of the day… more on that later). 

For those of you that missed my post yesterday, we filled up all of our new raised gardens – one that runs the full length of our house (roughly 25 m), one that runs down one side of the house (roughly 15 m) and two other large garden beds (each one roughly 2m x 1m). It took two standard sized trailer loads and two large trailer loads of garden mix, but we got there! Potato towers were also made.

Yesterday we also moved our chicken house out of the backyard and into the front paddock, as well as over a dozen chooks. Cheers to our good mates who helped pitch in to lift the chicken house. They all had a well deserved cold beer after that job. 

Today was planting day for me. The only thing I planted yesterday were the last of my seed potatoes – Agria, Ilam Hardy and Red Rascal. It might not be Labour Weekend, but it definitely felt like a Labour Weekend planting kinda day. 

Here’s a little list of what I achieved by myself today:

  • Soaked seedlings in Yates Seaweed Tonic prior to planting out to prevent them from going into shock in their new raised garden homes. 
  • I planted two varieties of courgettes – Zephyr and Solar Flare courgettes from Yates. I won the Solar Flare seeds last year so am excited to see how they grow. 
  • I planted Country Sweet Watermelon, Tuscan Delight (rock melon) and Golden Midget Watermelon. 
  • Wildflower seeds and Yates Butterfly Field seed mix were scattered throughout one garden. I used my Yates Organic Seed Raising Mix on the top of the garden, then gently raked the seeds in and watered with a watering can. 
  • Borage, Hollyhock and Dahlia (bulbs) were planted. 
  • Honey and Pearl sweetcorn was planted in one raised garden bed, along with Emu beans (Koanga) and Lazy Housewife Runner Beans (Kings Seeds). I will also add a mini butternut to this garden. More on this at the end. 
  • I planted my yacon and rhubarb too. 
  • In my ‘root vegetables’ garden I sowed a row of Yates Baby Carrots and Yates Red Rubin Radishes. I used seed tape for both. I wish I had found this a long time ago. It makes things so much easier!! I also put in a row of baby beetroot
  • In my ‘leafy greens’ garden I planted Bright Lights Silverbeet, a Salad Mix, Cos Lettuce and Freckle Lettuce (the cutest lettuces I have ever seen… I’m inlove with them haha). 
  • I’m also back in the tomato game thanks to my local farmers market. I actually can’t even rattle off all their names right now because I’m that tired, but I’ve gone for as many beefsteak and heirloom varieties as I can. Of course if I spotted a tomato plant that would give me a different coloured fruit I also grabbed that too. You have to have a tomato in every colour right? 
  • The bank has been heavily mulched with hay to make my kikuyu enemy lie low for a bit. This was done a couple of weeks ago. It’s working so far and when it does pop through I have plenty more hay to add on top! It really was a useless area in our backyard so now we’re growing melons, pumpkins, courgettes etc here. I’ve filled pockets with garden mix, sheep pellets etc and then popped the plant in. I’ve put hay around the top, but not too close to the actual plant. Worked well last year. 
  • I’ve also created a special little patch for our Glass Gem Popping Corn today. This is doing really well so far. I’ve planted beans between this corn too and will do the Three Sisters concept here as well. 
  • Kumara slips have been planted today too. 
  • Hubby did his little bit by cutting up stakes and popping them in the garden for my tomatoes and courgette. Sarah has inspired me to have a go at growing a couple of courgettes vertically. Another little experiment. 
  • My three year old came running into the backyard as soon as he got home, asking if he could plant his seeds now. I was shattered, but how could I say no to that. He did a great job with the seed tape too and now has peas, sweet peas, baby carrots and radishes in his little garden. I was rewarded with big smiles and a single flower he picked for me from our garden. Love my little rascal so much. 

What next? 

  • A frame needs to go up for the beans and smaller pumpkin varieties. This will be placed at the back of the sweetcorn bed. 
  • Wire netting needs to be attached to one end of the sandpit framing. This will be used for Mr 3 to grow his peas and sweet peas up. 
  • I want to add more framing to the tomato bed (another job for the other half). I’ll write more on my plans for the tomatoes another night, but basically I’m going to start them off with stakes and then eventually tie down from a top frame. 
  • More peas need to be planted. 
  • I need to tie the tomatoes gently to their stakes. The stakes are in, but I was out of energy so decided it could wait for tomorrow. 
  • I’ve ordered a packet of rainbow carrots (Mr 3’s request) so we will sow those later in the week too. 
  • I still need another trailer load of garden mix for a large herb garden I’ve got planned. 
  • Sort out my left over plants – kumara slips, sweetcorn, tomatoes, cucumber, watermelon, pumpkin etc and gift to my dad for his own garden. 

I’m sure my list will continue to grow, but right now it’s shower time and then off to bed! Rome wasn’t built in a day. I hope everyone else has had a good weekend, whether it’s been in the garden or relaxing at the beach. Roll on another Kiwi Summer! We really do live in paradise.