Look at this amazing basket of produce! It looks perfect, but I have something to fess up about. Through the artful use of cropping, I have managed to conceal the fact (on social media) that my garden is pretty much dead. By some miracle it is still producing and I was able to pick all these beautiful things yesterday, but if I don’t act soon the supply will dry up. I have so many great excuses how it ended up this way. Aside from Christmas and school holidays (broken fingers, vomit bugs and whinging kids), it has been extremely hot for the best part of two months (34ºC +) with virtually no rainfall. The hottest day we had, the temp in the shade reached 45ºC. Out-of-control. We rely on tank water for our own water supply so having hoses and sprinklers on in the garden isn’t a sustainable option for us. I was able to water just enough to keep things barely alive but not thriving. Everything just got proper fried in the sun. Because we were going away I didn’t bother planting seeds because there was no one to keep them alive. So now I find myself with a very sad looking veggie patch, and zero seedlings to plant out to get things going again.
So what’s my plan of attack? Well, I am launching operation “30 Gardens in 30 Days”. In 30 days I’m going to turn my garden around into a lush and productive oasis of organic goodness. I am going to post a garden update every single day focusing on one garden segment at a time. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither were great gardens. If you want to receive the daily “30 Gardens in 30 Days” straight to your inbox, subscribe by clicking here. The epic journey to self-sufficiency will begin on the 1st of Feb.
Now for the awful tour of the farm so you can see the kind of horror I’m dealing with. It’s pretty much impossible to get 1 pic showing the whole garden as it is quite large. It’s a circular garden with separate beds going all the way around the outside and then an inner circle of beds. I’m still trying to decide what to do with the very centre. During the 30 days I will include many more photos.
Well, actually it’s not too bad. These were all planted directly into mushroom compost, which they seem to really love. Aside from being nutrient rich, compost is great at holding water. That means when you do water, or it rains, it soaks it all up and takes a while to dry out. Some of the vines did get burnt on the really hot days and don’t look to be loving life, but many are doing great.
Next. Kale and broccoli. I’ve been pulling the broccoli out every day feeding it to the pigs. I just don’t think it is ever going to get heads on it, probably because of the heat. The kale is being ravaged by cabbage moths.
Left is the strawberry patch which is doing well. Right is the potato patch that has been taken over by rogue sweet potatoes. There are three zucchini vines planted in the bed behind. I think only one will survive. There are also tomato vines there, but they are also deceased. Behind that is a corn patch that is actually doing quite well, again because I had filled the bed up with mushroom compost before I planted. It really does hold the moisture.
Here is a bit of my herb garden. I have herbs planted everywhere, but this garden bed is dedicated to them and silverbeet. Sage, basil, dill, oregano, valerian, lemon balm, chives and lovage. They need a bit of loving.
Another example of the deadness…
So what are my other ‘Home Grown’ plans?
1. Get the water bore working again. I want to be able to plant more fruit trees, as well as ornamental trees for shading, but I need a good water supply to get them established. That’s where the bore comes into it. I’ve booked an appointment with the bore man so this ball is already rolling.
2. Make compost bays. Something that I’ve been putting off because of the heat and my fear of venomous snakes, but it needs to be done. I have enough animal poop and garden waste to never have to buy compost again (that mushroom compost is amazing though).
3. Fencing so the chickens can free range all day. We try to let them out every day for a while, but our dog LOVES chicken, so we have to tie him up when we let them out. It’s a bit of an annoying process. Fencing would keep them separate and everyone happy.
4. Finish the new pig area.
5. Go pick up my beehive that I’ve ordered and get this bee keeping thing happening!