Monday, March 31, 2014

The Garden Share Collective - April

I have to say, I am loving these Garden Share Collective posts. They give me a monthly calendar of the veggie garden. I've just been looking back over them and it's very cool to see what it all looks like month to month!

So, April...

The main thing this time is the veggie garden. It was well past its best. Lloyd and I have just spent a couple of hours totally clearing it.

BEFORE
Loads of dead stuff, pumpkins and squash all over the place. Just general mayhem!

AFTER
Now that it's clear, I can get my head round what I'm going to plant and where. I don't work well in chaos. I need order!


A few more before and afters. Pumpkins growing all over the asparagus ferns ( which really needed cutting down)



Nice clear beds, and the pumpkin haul. Not too bad from only one crown pumpkin plant and one butternut squash.


I'm really pleased with these. I only bunged them in because I had a spare bed and didn't want to waste it.



So that was a hard graft, but it feels good to have got it done. We are enjoying an Indian Summer in Northland in NZ so we have to make the most of it.

In the greenhouse
I am still getting hundreds of tomatoes. One of the plants I planted last autumn is STILL producing tomatoes! It's the wonder plant!

These cherry tomatoes are so sweet. (Sweet 100)

There are chillies coming out of our ears. We've got about 5kg of them in the freezer. Lloyd does a stockpile then makes a gigantic batch of chilli sauce when we've picked them all.

Theres some more basil in there and a few tomato seedlings to go in as well.

This month - PLANTING
I don't do a lot of winter veggies. But this year I am going to do broad beans - always do these, and some parsnips.
I just planted a load of sweetpea seeds.

Also will collect a huge trailer load of alpaca and horse poop - put it on some of the beds -  definitely the asparagus bed - then cover with a thick layer of hay. By spring it will have mulched right down and will make a weedfree ( almost! ) bed with lovely top soil!

HARVESTING
Tomatoes, potatoes ( Agria and Maori) loads of herbs, chillies, the luffahs, globe artichokes, passion fruit, feijoas, figs, bananas, spring onions...


In the rest of the garden...
we've got flowers all over the place

Brugmansia like a detura !

Castor oil plant flowers


My swan plants are still bearing up under the onslaught of monarch caterpillars. This year has been great, so many of them have hatched! It's so cool!

This month the alpacas were all injected with their boosters, drenched, toenails trimmed and the ones that have genetic dermatitis got their cream put on. We don't do all this ourselves. The lovely Keenan from Waiheke Alpacas comes and does it - I run around like a daftie trying to catch them and generally making a fool of myself. This year one of the girls spat in my eye! That wasn't fun!

Oh and remember the elderberries from last month?  Well, I did make something from them. I made 2 batches of elderberry elixir - its lovely!

Today was a good day and incredibly productive. I also cleaned out all the chicken houses and put new bedding in them.

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The Garden Share Collective is the brain child of Lizzie from Strayed from the Table. There are a group of bloggers from all over the place who chat about what is going on in their gardens, with hints and tips. Pop over and check out all the others.

23 comments:

  1. Wow it certainly makes a difference when all those pumpkins are pulled out, I really need to pull mine out soon my gardens look like your before shots.

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    1. it's hard graft, but very satisfying! you feel really good once it's done!

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  2. I love the monarc butterfly grabs and seeing them come into a wonderful butterfly. I used to have them on the farm.

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    1. me too - I planted all the swan plants especially for them. I've been able to time some hatchings - I've never quite made the hatching, but have arrived maybe five minutes after and held the butterfly - they will happily crawl onto your hand!

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  3. oh I love the row of your pumpkins and butternut - cool pic! That castor oil flower is very pretty too. I find that my asparagus loves a mulch of fresh seaweed, so if you find yourself at the beach pick up a few bags.

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    1. me too! :) I've put seaweed on it before, but got a bit lazy and just go with what we have here. it would maybe do better with seaweed? but hey ho! :)

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  4. Gorgeous photos Laura! and the garden looks great after all your hard work. I actually love the snap of the caterpillars too. cheers Wendy

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    1. the caterpillars are my fave!

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  5. Love your photos! Here in New Hampshire,we still have a couple of feet of snow on the ground.

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  6. Your garden looks lovely, Laura. The thing I can't get over when my garden gets to that stage is that it really only takes a couple of hours to get it looking lovely again and I wonder why I put it off in the first place.

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    1. you are absolutely right! Often I put off jobs in the garden that I think are going to be mammoth! Then they're done in half an hour!

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  7. It's all looking pretty good, it's always a mess in the garden this time of year. Tidying up here too, planting and new trees to put in.

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    1. I hate it till it's done, then I can't stop looking at it!!! Ive just put some sweet peas in

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  8. I should have got a cutting from your elderberry when we were there. What time of year do I plant the swan plant seeds you gave me? And doesn't it make you feel good accomplishing something like clear the veg garden! That's on our to do list too :D

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    1. Next time :) erm...the swan plant seeds - I just scatter them around that bit when they're ready and sort of moosh them into the ground a bit. Don't suppose it would do any harm to get some in now.

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    2. I might start them in a pot, hard to know where to put things when we;ve got a huge canvas to start with. Suppose I should work out some kind of plan :D

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  9. I am impressed with your tomato growth its great to see. I too like order in my veggie patch, we go from extreme chaos to organised planting often. Clearing is so satisfying. Great harvest of pumpkins too!

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    1. I'm so chuffed with the pumpkin harvest from only 2 seedlings. I'm really hoping that with the greenhouse we'll have tomatoes almost all year.

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  10. love your cleaned out garden picture. It always feels so good when you get the garden cleared to start again doesn't it (as daunting as it can feel to get started)?

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    1. I love it too - I put it off and off, then when I actually get down to it it's fine!

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  11. Oh golly, your mayhem pictures look pretty orderly to me - at least in comparison to my garden. But I agree the act of clearly everything out and starting a fresh is good for the mind. Great pumpkin haul and what an extraordinary tomato you have going in the greenhouse. The alpacas on the other hand sound like quite the handful.

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    1. your name's not really Barbara Good is it!!! :) :)

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I love it when you leave me comments, it lets me know there are folk out there reading my ramblings! Thank you, I appreciate them loads and loads
Laura x