{in the garden – autumn}

Over summer, just as our garden was into the peak of tomato and cucumber production, life happened in pretty spectacular fashion. When we finally turned an eye back to the garden around the Australia Day long weekend, the task ahead of us suddenly felt rather overwhelming. 6 weeks of solid neglect, combined with an automatic watering system (connected to what was then our one remaining dam) still going daily, and compounded with an above average rainfall in January, had a rather impressive effect on the garden. My mother-in-law, a keen gardener herself, offered to start tackling the veggie patch during a visit, but we declined for fear of losing her in the jungle of weeds. I wish I was joking…

With weeks worth of weeding ahead of us, our late summer planting plans got put on hold, and we ended up with a dead spot in our harvesting schedule – which just made us all the more determined to get the garden back up and running! We managed to get a few bits and pieces that had self-seeded or otherwise survived the Great Weed Invasion of 2019, mainly tomatoes, onions & potatoes, and we also got a few things in that we are just now starting to pick.

Currently gracing our salad plates are some cherry tomatoes – the kids are obsessed with picking them, and I swear they eat at least half their haul before they present me with the remainder, a crazy amount of rocket, lettuces (both iceberg and butter), and the occasional cucumber. The beds are slowly filling out again, and we are looking forward to harvesting broadbeans, beetroot, spinach, peas and beans as they grow and ripen. We have also been busy in the hothouse, rearranging table to create some inside beds to hopefully extend our growing seasons and protect delicate leaves from the frosts which, in theory, are only a few weeks away.

In there, as part of the experiment, we have transplanted a heap of self-seeded tomotoes, some peas and cucumbers, as well an attempt at pot potatoes. There’s also plenty of seedlings being started, more onions, peas, beans, corn, beetroot, and kohlrabi, to name a few, along with some poppies that I hope will become the first planting in a new cut flower garden.

I have a few spots in mind that are in need of brightening up, and I have flowers on the mind – as well as a cut flower garden, I am in the planning stages of a cottage garden around the back of the cabin, a complementary/beneficial insect garden along the front of the veggie patch, and, currently the most contentious of my “all the flowers” plans, I would love to start a wild flower meadow near where our new house will be built.

But before I can do all that dreaming, there is a big order of seeds due to arrive tomorrow for the veggie garden, so my weekend plans are helping getting those sorted and started and stored away. We also have an old cupboard to move into the hot house to tidy things up and use as a much more back-friendly potting bench, and then the remainder of the weekend will be taken up with the most exciting addition to the garden to date – finishing the chook pen! Then, of course, we need chooks to fill it with, which will be an adventure all of its own.

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