Autumn is creeping up on us, slowly but surely, it's cooling down at night, and while the days are still hot, I know Autumn is there, waiting. It's my favourite time of year. We don't have pronounced seasons in the sub tropics, some say we have only two - summer and winter, but the subtlety of autumn, and the explosion of spring are there, but they're most noticeable to a gardener. So as I see the leaves yellow on our neighbour's magnificent front yard tree, and veins appear on our wisteria, I prepare myself for the new vegetable garden.
It's taking shape slowly, the way gardens should. One day a mass of weeds, bare patches and old plants hanging on, the next, weeds have gone, perennials transplanted, soil dug and raked. Compost is turned over and moistened. Plans are drawn. Bricks realigned, herbs cut back, vines trimmed.
A pineapple is moved. :- ) A garden inches its way towards a new season.
Hanno has planted corn, bok choi, chives, green onions, red onions, brandywine, amish paste, moneymaker and oxheart tomatoes, Richmond Green cucumbers, green beans, potatoes, capsicums (peppers) and lettuce. Yet to go are leeks, sugarloaf cabbage, kale, peas, carrots, radishes, turnips and white onions. There may be other odds and ends that go in too, but that is the basis of our food for the next few months.
Now they're in and growing, the seedlings will need extra care until they're properly established. If there is no rain, we'll water them every day, the tomatoes have already been mulched right up to their stems to encourage extra roots to grow where we place the mulch. The more roots we encourage along the stem, the more tomatoes we will get. Newly transplanted seedlings have been watered in with a seaweed solution to help with transplant shock, the newly established plants, like the potatoes, are watered with a weak solution of blood and bone and potash. The flowers are slowly arriving, when most of the plants have flowers, we'll give them a good watering, then wait while the potatoes grow big enough to harvest - first with us pinching new potatoes from the sides, and then later, digging the whole garden up and storing what we find. There is always something to do in a vegetable garden. The work is rewarding and interesting and you get paid in the freshest organic produce. No wonder gardening is a big part of us now.
So what are you planting this year?