Winter Garden Wrap-Up
Winter in the new garden went fairly well, all things considered. The protective frost cloth worked well in the raised beds, allowing us to exceed our winter veggie/herb growing expectations. After a long series of heavy frosts, we gave up on the old sheets for our trees. I ordered more frost cloth and we made boxes for the vulnerable trees in the main garden. Functional but ugly! We’ll do better next year (sorry, neighbours!). The glasshouse performed well for overwintering our mobile tropicals and other frost-tender plants, including our experimental winter tomatoes and peppers. The latter survived, but didn’t fruit in winter. More of a head start going into spring than a true winter growing cycle.
Preparing for the Spring/Summer Growing Season
Seed Stash Review and Top-Up Orders
Things may have been successfully growing, but most winter veggies aren’t really my favourites. In winter, what we can grow is such a limiting factor (more kale, anyone???). I’m far more excited about warmer season plantings. Whoot whoot! I’m embracing growing new/interesting varieties of our favourite edibles when selecting seeds for the coming seasons. The upside of planting from seed is the massive variety, but the downside is trying to choose! I now have an excess of seeds (of course), but most properly stored seeds will reliably germinate for several years. I’m also happy to share extra seedlings and/or produce with friends and neighbours when I (inevitably) get a bit carried away with my plantings. Hehehe.
Seed Starting in the Glasshouse
Based upon our small winter tomato and pepper germination experiment, the fully degradable wood fibre starter pots are getting a full scale trial. I’m using them to start most of our glasshouse transplants for the coming seasons. I’ll do a full post sometime after we’ve tried them in earnest, but they performed very well in our experimental plantings. I was particularly impressed at how well the baby roots penetrated at the seedling stage. They also merged and degraded better than past planting trials with peat pots or coconut coir pellets. The only downside is that they can be difficult to extract intact from the starter tray (especially if wet), so transplanting requires a little extra patience.
Buzzing and Blossoming in the Spring Garden
Spring is such a busy time in the garden. Everything seems to be bursting, blooming, budding, and buzzing. My little seedlings are quickly outgrowing their starter pots in the glasshouse and will soon need to be moved into the main garden, weather permitting. I’ve cleared many of the winter veggies for rotation, but a few remain including a spectacularly blossoming kohlrabi (pictured at the start of this post). I let it go to flower just to see what it looked like in bloom. Turns out that the bees LOVE it, so win win all around!
The fruit tree blossoms that started to pop in the final weeks of winter are now rapidly growing fruitlets on lush green trees. So much has changed in just one year at the new garden, it’s almost hard to believe sometimes. Being so new, there hasn’t been much of a harvest this year as most plants weren’t allowed to set fruit whilst settling for the initial year. The potted loquat, however, decided to ignore my rules and a small branch of rogue fruit are currently ripening. Hubby is quite excited as this plant was one of his requests for the garden.
The perennial flowers are coming into bloom, too. Despite the green-and-white theme of the “decorative” areas of the garden, the bees still seem pleased. I wasn’t sure about trying white lavender instead of the usual pretty mauves and purples, but the shrubs are constantly buzzing. I take that as a vote of approval from the bees.
Whether you are heading into spring or autumn, I hope the weather smiles on you and your garden. Drop by our Instagram to check in on how things are growing in our garden, and I hope to see you again here on the blog sometime soon.