Sunday, January 17, 2010

A Brief History

We bought our little house in mid 2007, the front yard being one of the reasons why. At around 36 square metres it's pretty small for a vegetable garden, but it's what we have. It had obviously been used to grow vegies before, as evidenced by the brick garden bed borders and bok choy that spontaneously appears each spring. There was also a fig tree and lychee tree. The fig tree seemed to be on its last legs, with signs of termite attack and a distinct lean. I thought it was for the chop, but come spring it burst into life and produced lots of figs. The lychee tree produced one rather disappointing crop, then dropped dead from suspected fungal root rot..

The garden beds themselves were of course full of weeds. Onion weed, asthma weed, wandering dew and lots of other kinds I don't know the names of. There was much weeding.

Since then we've planted all kinds of wonderful things: tomatoes, lettuce, beans, zucchini, carrots, potatoes, rocket, cabbage, kale, chard, corn, peas, beetroot, leeks, broad beans, radishes and a few other things that just didn't work. Don't worry, you'll hear all about the failures as well as the successes.

The soil wasn't too bad to start with, except for a few areas of solid clay, and is slowly improving thanks to the careful attention and the addition of organic matter. The other annoyance is the amount of rocks, broken glass and building debris. It's probably been there since the house was built, 50 years ago. I actually found a lump of concrete with a ring pull stuck in it..

So where we are today is mid way through our third summer. The tomatoes are starting to pick up, the beans are producing and the figs are ripening. We have rainbow chard, red cabbage and kale which can be harvested when needed and I'm really looking forward to seeing how our first batch of eggplant turns out.

Even while this is going on I'm starting to plan for winter. The weather here is mild enough to grow quite a few things through the winter as we're close enough to the coast to not get any frost. Apart from trying new varieties, the focus this year is also on better planning to ensure more continuous production and making better use of the available space. Oh yes, and this blog too...

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