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What's growing in my garden - September 2013

September already!  Time to start planting spring seeds in my little greenhouse.... I have been a little distracted in August as our next little calf arrived earlier than expected (possibly we miscalculated her due date), so we have been milking twice a day and I can't help spending time playing and photographing our new little heifer who might one day be our next house cow.  The poor garden has been neglected a little, but fortunately it continues to produce plenty for us and now its time to give it some attention.

The late winter harvest basket consists of plenty of asian greens, kale, mustard leaves, small broccoli heads, carrot thinnings, turnips and swedes, spring onions, mint, parsley, nasturtium, borage flowers (for tea), still some tomatoes and chillies, peas and eggs as the chickens start to lay again.

the source of my distractions, Bella's new calf Nancy
 That gives you an idea of what's growing at the moment, but I am looking forward to broad beans coming soon.  And potatoes that sprouted in the cupboard and I planted back in June (WAY too early) are now growing well in a makeshift just-in-case 'greenhouse' made from a large piece of heavy plastic that came off a pallet of organic fertiliser, with a black bucket of water inside for extra heat retention. We had two very heavy frosts in late August, down to -5degC apparently, and the potatoes are fine, so my greenhouse must have worked.  I've also been picking lavender flowers and putting them in paper bags in our wardrobes to fend off moths and bugs.

broad bean flowers smell so good, have you sniffed one?

the potato greenhouse, messy but practical!

Before the calf arrived, I did manage to do some mulching around the garden beds, and spread around some ash from the woodstove and sprinkle out some worm tea.  I also cut back the arrowroot, wormwood and tansy and spread them around the outside of the garden as mulch.  I find that arrowroot stalks make very good mulch in chicken areas as it is too heavy for them to scratch away.  

two chickens dust-bathing around the garden

chicken-proof arrowroot mulch (looking down on the garden)

And here's some photos around the garden.  The pak choi is going to seed, and the yellow flowers are lovely.

This month the focus will be on getting seeds started for spring, at least tomatoes, corn and some curcubits.  Only problem is that this is our dry time.  You will notice in the photos that I have the sprinkler set up, this is for our grey water.  I've been sprinkling the lawn all winter, but this month it started to get really dry, so the grey water is back in the garden.  I also need to set up a fence to keep the chickens out of the raspberries and sweet potato patch, so that they really get a chance to grow when the rain comes.

How is your garden going?  What are you planting for spring?


  1. My garden is surviving on rinse water from the washing and the old water from the sheep troughs (emptied into a watering can and sprinkled on)when I clean it out. We are hoping for some rain soon, or fire season will be really bad.
    My garden is growing well; beans, broad beans, snow peas, strawberries, calendula, pak choy, silverbeet, broccoli and roma tomato are all thriving, sheep water seems to agree with them. I love spring and autumn; when there is such a blending of winter and summer crops.

    1. yes spring and autumn are interesting times, tricky sometimes to find room for everything that wants to grow!

  2. Aw the little calf is adorable

  3. Aw look at her cleaning off that calf! It must really be starting to feel like spring there with all that is going on. Fall crops are coming along here, we have had cooler than normal temperatures and rain.

  4. Awwww, the calf is so cute!!! Totally understandable why you're distracted. :)
    I never realised broadbean flowers could look so pretty, but they're probably too big to be grown in a pot on a balcony.

  5. I can see why you are distracted from the garden, that little calf is adorable! Happy planting this month.

  6. We're distracted by babies too! Four little goats so far. :-) Your calf is GORGEOUS!! :-) Your garden looks so lush and full - even at the tail end of winter! :-)

  7. -5, Ouch! I am really fortunate that we don't get frosts and yes your place is looking a bit dry. I am glad to see you have broad beans, i thought i could not plant them until feb. So I am going to put some in and see how they get on, even though it may be a little late for them now. Also what is the variety of kale in your basket that looks almost black - looks like cavolo nero (italian) kale?

  8. The nearly black leaf is mustard greens (forgot to list that one), they grow really well at this time of year, and I just cook them with the rest of the greens. The broad beans grow frustratingly slowly, I start them at the beginning of winter and they start to produce beans soon, you might be too late, I don't think they like the heat, but its worth a try!

  9. great post!! You know, I was admiring my broad beans flowers the other day but never thought of smelling them! I'll give it a go first thing tomorrow morn ;) Great garden!

  10. LOVE your greenhouse! That is our sort of arrangement.


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