Sunday, September 25, 2011

Grr Slugs!

Opps sorry for being a bit late posting this! On Tuesday Sharon and I went to visit the lovely Tenderfoot. Sharon planted carrots, radishes and parsnips and after discovering the slugs had eaten EVERY last trace of my broccoli plants from last week, I planted more!! I also planted a few silverbeet plants. It will be good to plant a new lots of those kind of plants every week, so we will have a continual crop.

The lettuces from last week were looking great! Still no sign of my peas or beans yet, but hopefully as the weather warms up, it we will see some action :)

I won't be able to make it this week, as my schedule is full and crazy with end-of-term busy-ness, but I can't wait to get back next week!

Alex, that photo of Zoe sitting in the middle of the row is so cute!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

A sunny, busy morning at the Tenderfoot plot...

On Wednesday (21st Sept), Zoe and I made our first visit to Wai-Ora as we've been away in Australia for the past two weeks. It was a sunny, beautiful morning and there were lots of people out working in their gardens. Peeto, the English language school, was having a gardening morning with about 20 people working on their plots. Other groups were out too, enjoying the nice weather. We met Jenny, who showed us around and helped us to find plants, tools and seeds.

In between nappy changes and feeding, we sowed carrots, parsnips and a row of peas. Unfortunately it sounds like we may have doubled up on what had previously been planted. Oh well- more carrots etc for all!
We also planted cabbage seedlings in section 6 - let's hope they survive the slugs! We covered all the newly planted areas with bird netting and gave the seedlings a little water.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Lots of lettuces

Heidi and I went to the plot this afternoon - finally managed to get out of the house! I planted two half rows of lettuces in Section 1 while Heidi kicked on her blanket and tried to eat the grass :-). Three different kinds of lettuce. Jen showed me the seaweed concentrate fertiliser and how to make it up. It was one small measuring cup to one watering can of water which was enough for the 20 lettuces. She said that it helped the plants to get the most from the nutrients already present in the soil. I would have liked to sow carrots and beetroot as well but Heidi was not so keen, so after covering the seedlings with netting to protect against the birds, we signed out and went home.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

A Cloudy Day at Tenderfoot

It was my first visit to the Tenderfoot plot today. Unfortunately, Abby and Jacob couldn't make it so I ventured out alone. There was no one at the shed when I got there, so a nice lady from the office hailed in the lady on the tractor (and her very cute dog) who came to show me around. It was a cloudy day but perfect weather for planting out new seedlings and not getting a sunburned face!

The place is gorgeous and I had a blissful hour and a half, planting broad beans and pea seeds, and six broccoli seedlings. I normally only grow broad beans in Winter, as a cover crop, and they never get pollinated by the bees as it is too cold so I am very excited to be able to finally eat some we have grown ourselves! The beans and peas will need staking at some point, so they don't flop over in the wind. The newly planted area I had been working on needed to be covered with bird netting, so the birds wouldn't be able to help themselves to my freshly planted seeds. I grabbed a roll of netting from the large bag and took it down to the plot to unroll. It turns out the roll was larger than I anticipated and after unrolling about 30 metres of bird netting for my five metre patch, I decided I better try and find a smaller roll!

The plot is managed on a strict rotation system, with each plot divided into six sections, and information provided on what to plant in each, and when. This is such a fabulous opportunity for non-gardeners to discover the joy of growing your own food, in a very well-informed and well-managed way. I am very excited about what is to come for the Tenderfoot plot!

I took a few photos for the archives too. Soon this plot will be full of plants!

Note to self: bring gloves next time!

Friday, September 9, 2011

First time to the Tenderfoot plot

Friday 9 Sept 2011

Jacob and I took Heidi and our lunch to the plot today. It was sunny and warm, with blue skies and a little wind. Found the Trust easily, parked and were pleased with how close Tenderfoot's plot was to the car park, shed etc, thumbs up to Elaine for picking such an accessible plot.

The office was empty but we spoke with two gardeners who had spent the morning there, Tania and her mum, Win. They were very helpful, showed us where to sign in, the garden shed with whiteboard (lots of information on there about what to plant at the moment and what is available to plant).

First we divided our plot into the six sections (different things planted in each section). We realised that we didn't have the whole length of the plot as we originally thought and later asked Jen the garden manager about it. She said that there were so many requests for land that they had divided the larger plots in half. She apologised and said that if people didn't show up to do their hours, then we would get another half plot.

We decided to plant early season potatoes which should be ready by Christmas (there was a big bucket of seed potatoes there with very precise planting directions. We planted three rows, half the length of section 3. The rows are meant to run up and down the plot, rather than side to side because of irrigation requirements. We did this, setting up stakes and string to ensure they were all straight. Then we covered all of it up again with mulch as per the planting directions (the mulch will keep the weeds down and will protect the plants from late frosts (Jen told us this later).

When we were eating lunch, Jen came over and introduced herself. We talked for a while and she mentioned that because we would harvest these potatoes early, they wouldn't necessarily need the 60cm gap that we had left between the rows. She suggested that we plant garlic in between the rows of potatoes. So, after lunch we (Jacob did it while I fed Heidi!) planted two rows of garlic. You can tell the garlic because they can't have as much mulch on the top of them so there are big mounds of mulch on top of the potatoes and not much on the garlic. At the beginning and end of each row there is a short bamboo stake.

There is still half of section 3 available to plant silverbeet, spinach etc!

We had fun and can't wait to go back. We made sure we signed in and out so Tenderfoot completed the requirement for time in the garden this week :-)

See you soon