Sunday, 4 October 2015

Gardening and Sunshine

Spring is well and truly here, my completely unexpected morning sunburn is proof of it, and it's time that I pulled my finger out and got our veggie garden feeding us again. I'm not going to lie, making the time to plant seeds with two babies is challenging. I've probably missed the boat for planting tomato seeds, but I'm giving them a go any the challenge will be to water them every day so they don't dry out, whilst avoiding the battle with Lara's "I help". Fingers crossed we will get some delicious fruit before Christmas.

I planted lots of seeds; various kinds of tomato seeds, basil seeds to companion plant with the tomatoes, and cucumber so we have all the ingredients for a delicious salad-the cut and come again lettuce in the garden has been providing us well for some time now. There are also chilli seeds that I saved from a previous crop and am seriously crossing my fingers will germinate, and some pumpkin seeds that I saved from a delicious 'farm bought' organic pumpkin...but I may have processed them all wrong, time will tell.

Tomato, basil, cucumber, chilli and pumpkin seeds.

Half way through processing the seed trays I got tired of squatting at the edge of the veggie garden and wished I had a gardening table to work on. Then I remembered that we had an old work bench just sitting out the front doing nothing, so with a bit of help from Mark I carried it up the back steps and wheeled it into position. Perfect, and yet another 'why didn't I do that sooner?' moment. Fingers crossed it also keeps the ants away (job to put on list, pour boiling water over ants).

Veggie garden in October with new work bench in position.

I also planted some seeds directly in the veggie garden as the packet instructions suggested. However, I'm not expecting great things from this, because some pesky little critter(s) stole my last planting of bean seeds. Living in the Northern Beaches of Sydney is absolutely lovely, but we do have a lot of wildlife to cohabitat with, so it is anyones' guess if birds, possums or bandicoots stole the last lot of seeds, oh, and there is a new culprit to consider; brush turkeys. Yes, two landed on our roof on Friday when we were out gardening, the boys (dogs) went off at them like you wouldn't believe so hopefully they will find somewhere else to hangout....I suspect their home got cut down that morning at the construction site across the road. Still, I don't want them visiting my chickens or helping themselves to our food. That said, I deliberately left some sacrificial bean seeds out in the main part of the garden, so hopefully they will act as a decoy to any creatures considering the veggie garden.

Cucumber and zucchini seeds planted with a trellis waiting for them to grow up.

Of course there are a lot of creatures that we do want to attract to the garden, and I've been rather upset by the lack of bees lately. I've been planting more flowers and waiting and waiting for the bees to come, and finally I saw two native bees and a bush honey bee in the garden, so that made my day. Years ago there would be groups of bees enjoying my veggie garden, so the bee issue that everyone is talking about is becoming terribly apparent....the discussion with my husband about having a beehive continues, for now the bees will just have to visit and enjoy the flowering sage.

Flowering sage; a tasty bee treat.

By far the best thing about the veggie garden is watching my family eat from it, and this is getting even better with Lara's developing enthusiasm for picking and eating strawberries. The half eaten strawberries you can see are Lara's solution to my suggestion of only eating the strawberries when they are pink and leaving them on the plant to ripen. She took a bite out of the pink bit straight from the pot, and left the green part of the fruit on the plant to ripen. Waiting sucks. This kid has got some amazing logic. She makes me laugh every day.

When the toddler critter gets to the strawberries.

Something tells me I won't be eating many of these.

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