7 December 2021

Long, hot days are here and your summer planting should be all but complete.

Since our last blog post, I’ve hilled up our potatoes and when all the soil was used up, I packed barley straw in around the plants to keep them cool and support the tops.

I’ve planted our main crop Agrias already too, by way of experiment (ie earlier than we usually would), since my attempts over the last two years haven’t yielded anything.  The comfrey under the fruit trees is lovely and lush, so that went into the troughs first along with neem granules to ward off psyllids, then the well-chitted seed potatoes.

I covered them lightly and watered in well.  I did add some rock dust (Natures Organic Fertiliser) into the soil before creating the troughs.

We’re eating our winter-planted beetroot, and the spring-planted ones are coming along nicely.

Not the carrots though.  This is another attempt to get them going.  This time with carrot seed with a 2024 expiry date and the seeds have been in the fridge for 2 weeks.  Feeling optimistic about these seeds!

Our mother kumara has been sprouting and I figured the slips were big enough to pull off and plant. 

Last year I was a bit late getting them in which meant a later harvest which I wasn’t happy with.  I did dig up the mother kumara because I think it’s easier to see where the roots are, so you can be super careful pulling the slips off. 

I aerated the planting area with a fork first, then added a bag of compost.  After planting I applied rock dust (Natures Organic Fertiliser) round each plant and watered them in well.  Since then I’ve been keeping an eye on them and watering frequently to make sure they take.

I’ve planted 18 plants and there are still heaps on the mother kumara.  I’ve re-planted it in case we need some replacements.  

There has been tremendous growth on our tomatoes in the week since delateralling them.  Now as I carefully water them – base only, as we’re so prone to blight – I can see many laterals that are growing downwards and little ones growing in the crooks that need removing.

Most of our garden is in now.  The focus in June is on watering and mulching and keeping the greens supply up with monthly seed sowing, pricking out and planting.

When mulching, water the ground first, lay your mulch on top, then water the mulch to keep it from flying away either in the wind or in a bird’s mouth.  I’m using barley straw here on this long-term leafy green bed.  I’ll use the premium lucerne chaff on the tomatoes, but I’m just waiting till I get the companion plants of marigolds more established and the basil plants (oh so slow to grow) planted in there.

 Very excited this year to see our first Luisa plums sizing up. 

And look at the Granny Smith tree.  Too many apples.  Rob says cull each bunch of baby apples down to one – he says the tree might be able to hold about 10 apples in total only this year. 

Happy summer days!

From Jan and Rob.

4 Responses

  1. For carrots, it’s important to keep them moist, cover with dry lawn clippings or a board, check after 2 weeks. I cover mine with netting to keep carrot root fly off.
    For potatoes, if you get lots of small ones, then you have the Psyllid bug problem. Use Biomaglia fine mesh netting. My favourite way of growing them is to make the ridges first and plant through that. Then I put all the lawn clippings between the rows and don’t need to earth up. Really, potatoes don’t need much if your soil is reasonable. I have had good success with growing them in large containers (100 litres), have already harvested my first crop and quickly replanted for another one! My best potato variety would be Red Fantasy followed by Lisetta, but Agria keep well and are just as good.

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