Monday, September 10, 2012

In the Garden - September 2012

With the weather in Perth starting to warm up, the weekend provided a great opportunity to potter in the garden. Having missed a winter crop due to the Big Gypsy Getaway, I was left with empty garden beds just waiting for spring. Empty apart from a few weeds, but that was nothing a little hard work and some help from a few willing feathered friends couldn't fix.

The new garden bed in the front yard is structurally complete, but we're still getting around to filling it with soil. With the rear bed ready to go, I bought some seeds and seedlings on the weekend and the girls and I got planting. Actually, I got to dig holes and the girls did all the planting. We planted capsicum and basil seedlings, as well as cucumber and zucchini seeds. For some reason I have real trouble growing capsicums, so I opted for seedlings.

Cucumber and zucchini however seem to run rampant in our sandy soils and I have had lots of success with seeds in the past. Slaters and slugs also run rampant in our garden, and I've had entire seedling crops disappear overnight in the past thanks to some ravenous slugs. In an attempt to tackle the problem before the seedlings emerge, I have set quite a few beer traps. They just can't pass up the sweet smell of several year old home brew, and I'm happy to put it to use! A few strategically placed vegemite jars full, should do the trick.

I bought a LOT more seeds, but I have been guilty of over-planting in the past, and ending up with a very busy vege patch, so I'll hold off on anymore planting until we get soil for the front.

The new chickens have been busy settling in, and have found a few favourite places to lay their eggs. Almost everyday there is one in the back corner, furthest away from the house and difficult to get to given a passionfruit-covered bird net about a metre off the ground, covering this area. Egg-collecting is Chicky's job. She has the advantage of being only a metre tall. We've been letting the chickens out most days and they are getting quite socialised. Isa Browns just don't seem to mind being handled, which is fortunate when you have a 4 yr old and a 2 yr old trying to give you cuddles all day.

The same passionfruit vine has grown nicely over the girls' Kombi Cubby, and is taking over the non-existent windscreen. It adds quite a nice ambiance to the cubby, and makes the giant volkswagen in the garden bed a little less obvious at first glance. That's what I tell myself anyway.

Spring has definitely sprung in my garden, and it's only going to get better. I'm looking forward to getting the rest of the garden organised and planting lots more veges. The girls are at great ages to appreciate where food comes from and can take some ownership over their plants. Lets hope the lovely weather hangs around, on the weekends at least.

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