This is a different type of post from me. A little break from the crafting but still keeping with the Eco friendly sustainable concept. Hope you enjoy!
I spent the last few days in the garden weeding, collecting seeds, pulling out dead plants, harvesting crops and replanting for the next season…. and I thought I would share with you my garden.
I love my garden it gets me closer to that self sufficient dream, provides us with healthy yummy food and is fairly easy to maintain. My little garden is a bit different in that it is a 99% container gardening, complete with a mini orchard.
This year New Zealand’s summer season has been cold drizzly and miserable, Queenstown had snow a couple of days ago which is crazy, we should be right in the middle of our hot humid season. We have quite a tropical climate here and without the warm summer blast this year the garden has not faired so well……. but I love it anyway and wanted to share with you a couple of the gems I have cultivated in my little suburban plot.
My backyard orchard
Last year I introduced a mini orchard to my little garden. My favourite performers this year are the Ballerina Apple Trees – these trees are a dwarf variety and grow happily in pots. They are unusual with no lateral branching and they look like a bare stick when it is winter. But the best part is that they are heavy happy little croppers here is what they look like. They produce full size fruit. The one on the left is a ‘Polka’ variety which is a green sweet apple and the one on the right is a ‘Waltz’ which is a green blush sweet and juicy variety. Best of all they only grow to about 6 feet tall and are compact little things so don’t take up a lot of room.
The rest of my mini orchard is made up of dwarf citrus trees – a Lemon Meyer and a Clementine Mandarin, Strawberry plants, thornless blackberry vines and Goji berry trees and rhubarb……….. mmmmmm summer fruit pies – yum!!
not ready just yet….. patience.
Compact Container Vegetable Garden
In the Vegetable area of my little garden my favourites are the heritage purple carrots and Parisian globe carrots as best performer tied with the cucumber vines and the baby aubergine/eggplant. Unfortunately all my Tomatoes curled their toes up and died this year but, besides that, my biggest disappointment is my asparagus – only because it has not been warm enough for it to produce properly.
One of my little aubergine plants
The rest of the garden is complete with all the usual suspects – mesculan mix of lettuces, rocket, artichoke, beetroot, spring onion, corn, spinach, silverbeet, a variety of herbs, varieties of kale, beans and a couple of tomato plants that haven’t died off yet… Red mustard, red mizuna, radicchio plants and red & gold Kumara (Maori sweet potato).
Nifty thrifty trick
The nifty thrifty trick I can pass on is try to use heritage seeds when you initially plant your crops then let a few of them go to seed at the end of the season so you can collect them for next years planting.
They will keep well for about 12 months or probably more in little paper envelopes in cool dry storage. By using heritage seeds you should be able to ensure that the crops are genetically stable and will reproduce well. Most varieties of seeds and seedlings these days are genetically clipped or modified so you cannot get additional runs from the plant and therefore the garden centres ensure you come back each year to buy more plants which can be fairly costly. – Fair enough I suppose they need to make money. *shrug* I prefer to save $$’s where and if I can.
I just wait until the seeds are near ready to drop off the flowers (as in dried on the plant) and then place a bag over the entire flower tie the bag to the stem and clip the entire flower off the plant. Saves so much money in the outlay of your garden each season. Just be sure to clearly label what seeds are what.