The year's at the
And day's at the
Morning's at seven;
The lark's on the
The snail's on the
God's in His heaven-
All's right with the
(Well, oops! I wrote this post at the beginning of September and then promptly forgot to add photos and publish. Better late than never I guess.)
Spring is here and the weather is perfect! All is right with the world especially at seven in the morning in the garden. Our young tropical apple trees are in flower and our choko vine is growing rambunctiously.
This month I am want to plant-
Vegetables: Pumpkin and beans the seeds of both are sown directly into the garden bed. I would also like to plant potato's but I have been a bit late this year obtaining some tubers.
Pumpkins need fertile, well-drained, well-composted soil and full sun to grow and fruit well. Mostly pumpkins are grown on the ground, somewhere where there is the space for them to spread. Sometimes the smaller varieties of pumpkins are grown up a strong trellis. I will be planting my seeds into mounds of good compost. As pumpkin vines are shallow rooted I will need to make sure they are kept watered in hot, dry or windy weather. Problems to watch out for are the larvae and adults of the 28 spotted ladybird, and mildew. These problems can be dealt with by picking off the Ladybirds and their larvae and spraying the mildew with a solution of one part milk to 10 parts water and spraying this fortnightly.
|The Bird of Paradise have come back into flower.|
The beans I am planting are climbing beans so I will need to plant them next to a fence or trellis, or make myself some tripods from some garden stakes. The beans I am planting will grow to about 2 metres and I will be planting them about 10 to 15 centimetres apart. They take about 3 months from planting until they are ready for harvesting. Beans like well-drained soil in full sun. I will plant them into damp, well composted soil and add a bit of blood and bone on top of the soil after planting. After that I won't be adding fertiliser as beans fix their own nitrogen, but I will water them with a seaweed solution once they have flowered.
Herbs: I would like to plant some Rosemary seeds. I will need to sow them in punnets and then transplant them when the time is right. Each plant will grow to about 1.5 metres and spread about 1 metre, and I will be planting mine about 50 cm apart. According to some gardeners, Rosemary is a good companion plant to broccoli, beans and cabbage. It has a reputation of repelling bean beetle, cabbage moth and cabbage fly. However it is best not to plant Rosemary with carrots, potatoes, or pumpkins. I love to use Rosemary when roasting lamb. How do you use Rosemary?
Ornamentals: For colour and for attracting bees I want to sow two of my favourite flowers cosmos and blue cornflower. Cornflowers are a native of the United Kingdom, they look really pretty when sown along with poppies. Which now come to think of it I just may do. Normally I would wait until autumn to sow my cornflower seeds but the seeds I have are getting toward their best before date so I need to plant them now. I am not sure, but I think they may not flower until next spring, but I will have to just wait and see. I will be planting the cornflower seeds about 1.5 cm deep in a sunny spot in well-drained soil. When they come up I will I will thin them out (the part I hate!) as each plant needs about 35cms space around them. Did you know that cornflowers are used in certain tea blends, one is Twinings Lady Grey? Cornflowers are also used as a companion plant to cereal crops such as wheat, oats and barley. This is such an interesting plant I may do a full plant profile for cornflowers at some stage.
|Hovea in flower|
Cosmos are native to Mexico and also like a sunny spot. I will be planting the seeds in moist, well-drained soil in another part of the garden. It is a good idea not to over fertilise cosmos as it can encourage them to be top heavy, but I may need to stake them anyway. Some gardeners recommend growing cosmos in hot, dry conditions and in poor to average soil. Perhaps this is close to their native growing conditions? Some gardeners also find that cosmos make good companion plants as they repel pest insects and attract ladybugs and other beneficial insects to prey on them. They grow to about 120cms.
What are you planting this month?