6 May 2024

Brassicas planted in March are taking off and I continue to plant more as space appears. 

We’re still enjoying lettuces, so it’s a real changeover of seasons.  I really like this lettuce which does well in the cooler weather.  There are no damaged outer leaves to dispose of and it’s lovely and crunchy.  Can’t begin to understand the name ‘Drunken Woman Fringed (some say Frizzy) Head’, but it’s an Italian heirloom lettuce.

I’ve been holding off getting this next bed sown with a green manure crop because it has had amazing mizuna in it. 

But the mizuna is all down at the Pataka Kai now, the bed is finally cleared and it’s ready for sowing.  As mentioned, I’m sowing Mustard seed to give the soil a cleanse as there was quite a lot of water sitting on the neighbouring path last winter.  We’ve since discovered a mains pipe leaking so I expect any excess water gathering there this year will now drain away.  Firstly I fork the bed through to aerate it.

Then I broadcast the seeds reasonably thickly.

Make sure you net this bed extremely well as the birds could have a field day here.

I’m having one more go at planting garlic.  Call me stupid, but here goes!  This little space which was full of flowers is about to have a good bag of compost and several handfuls of sulphur prills mixed into it. 

Then in go the cloves. These are organic ones from our local farmers market.  Not huge, but only time will tell if they can pull off a miracle.

Net this bed too to avoid disturbance of the cloves by birds while they’re settling in.  See here for how Rob plants garlic.

If you planted your kumara when our calendar said to, then you could be ready to harvest your crop now.  I was about a month late getting mine in, so I’m leaving it till the next Last Quarter at the end of this month.

Strawberry plants are coming away.  I could cut them from their mother plant now, but will wait another week or so, and they’ll go into a new bed in the First Quarter phase this month.

Onions are looking nice. 

Citrus need a feed in autumn (as do all evergreen fruit trees) – a nitrogen source like sheep pellets or chicken manure and a couple of handfuls of a multi-mineral fertiliser.  Feed again in spring. I put grass clippings round them as well.  We’re eagerly waiting for our first mandarins to fully ripen.  It’s a tiny plant to be bearing that fruit, but now that our water issue is sorted, we should see some good growth.  Citrus don’t like wet feet.

I’ll also feed the feijoas which are just coming to an end, and the passionfruit.

Deciduous fruit trees only need to be fed once a year and that’s in spring.

Now all I have to do is get some new carrots and beetroot (and maybe some radishes) in.  And keep up the supply of brassicas – sowing, pricking out, hardening off and planting out.  I’ll have all available space occupied by the end of this month, as June and July are a very slow growing time, so there’s no point in planting in those months.

Happy gardening!


From Jan and Rob

4 Responses

  1. Wonderful thanks. Can you give us more detail on how you make your black hoops you put your netting over? They look like they have a metal stake up through them, but i cant work it out! I’d love to make some 🙂

    1. Hi Kathy Check out our video here… https://organicediblegarden.co.nz/2017/02/16/17-february-2017/ We have an engineering firm near us where I get the 6mm steel rods from. They cut 6m long rods in 2. The black irrigation hosing is from a Mitre 10 or Bunnings. What is handy is the plank of timber with the large screws to wind your steel around – easy to make up though. When finished, you can bend them like Rob does in the video or just stick one end in the ground and bend the other end over and it tends to make them a bit more symmetrical that way 😊

  2. Thanks for the all the good advice Jan and Rob, love your videos too.
    I have a couple of passionfruit vines that provided fruit for the first time this summer, but sadly they are now totally covered with hopper eggs! Any advice on how to deal to them? They are mainly on the curling tendrils, making it impossible to physically scrape them all off. I would much rather pull the vines out than see this massive crop of hoppers hatch!
    Cheers, Dawn

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