It’s fair to say my garden has been a bit neglected of late. There is this small child and all this chicken business. And much rain. And then big frosts. But, in the last week two things happened: I figured out how to have a shower in our shower-curtained shower while The Little Fulla is awake and trying to take over the world (three words: clothes rack barrier) and I said, “Pooh, pooh” to some of the housework in favour of getting some gardening done. So, the kitchen may be starting to look like a ceramic fort and I think there’s a troll hiding somewhere on the dining table, perhaps under the chicken cage (The Husband said, “The dining table is no place for a chicken”, although Half Pie is only there part-time now, so I hate to think what The Husband would say about a troll), but I did some gardening. And I am happy.

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To the vege bed and beyond!

The vege garden has been weeded (well, of the worst weeds) and purged of old crops that hadn’t cared to remove themselves. There are even some things growing in there. The picking celery is absolutely ginormous (stock, anyone?), the kale and parsley are still going strong, there are spring onions and a few wee carrots lurking around, the rhubarb has got its second wind since its crazy neighbour, the pumpkin, has gone and since I fed it a salmon frame, and there is actually still a brassica and lettuce patch with plants of more than one age. Yuss.

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The kale and parsley (slightly frosted) are large as it is, but the picking celery at the other end is ginormous. What is one to do with such an abundance of celery?
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I was worried the rhubarb had been smothered but it has staged a winter comeback. It needs its own bed away from the crazy crops and with a little shade from the hot summer sun.
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Brassicas and lettuces.

Furthermore, I have been planning things. Oh yes, I got my planning hat out again. Somehow, the hat seems a little too big for my head though. Originally, I was going to have a second long raised vege bed alongside the present 8-metre-long one, but things started to change when I realised it was going to get too close to the lemon tree, despite some pruning. This possibly has something to do with the fact that the first vege bed wasn’t quite laid straight. Ah well, it sure ain’t going anywhere now! Then, I decided to pull down the old frame where I had some tomatoes growing over summer. The wooden posts were awkwardly attached to concrete posts and were rotting, the netting was munted and the bottom was not chicken-proof enough. Basically the whole thing was munted and I should have thought to take it out sooner. Stroke of genius though: now I don’t have to plan my vege garden along that line. I am going to take the vege garden area to the corner of the garage and fence off the orchard from there for the alternate chicken pen. This is the part where I swear my thinking hat grew before my eyes.

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The munted netting frame defines the vege garden no more. The new vege bed was going to go in front of it, heading off to the right towards the neighbours’ paddock.
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The second vege bed was going to go between these stakes, heading in the direction of the blue barrel. With a 1-metre gap between it and the existing bed for wheelbarrow access, I had already shortened the proposed width, but the lemon tree (out of the shot) is just too close.

Now, I want to rip out the small black fence along the carport, which is on a lean anyway, move or rebuild it where the carport posts are (the carport has to come down too, which is a whole other matter) to maximise wasted space, plant a row of raspberries from the garage towards the house, plant a row of blackcurrants alongside that, then figure out what shape to build one or two (or more) raised beds from the corner of the garage on an angle towards the lemon tree and the existing raised bed, which will encompass a chicken wire fence, up which I can grow tomatoes, cucumbers, etc and maybe somewhere for boysenberries away from the raspberries so they cannot intermingle. Lost? Perhaps you need to borrow my hat.

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This fence heading towards the garage not only has weird, ugly bits sticking off it, but it is not straight. Can you tell? I want to take it, or a new fence, to around where the carport posts are. The rain barrel and pipe will have to be moved anyway when the carport comes down. The carport wasn’t built well and isn’t very safe. And I still need to relocate that fern…
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The view already looks better without the ugly netting frame, and can only get better. Right? Admittedly, what the people painted the fence and potting shed with I have no idea but it’s not exactly panning out well.
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This photo taken in February shows where the frame was. Also, check out my feijoa pruning job in the photo above compared to the scary dark mass here. See, no wonder I was procrastinating, it was OMINOUS.

There is still the compost area beside my potting shed to sort out too. It’s not supposed to be growing a weed crop. Weeds crop. You know, like weeds weeds. Moving along, before I incriminate myself… I want a wooden three-bay compost bin along the wooden fence, I need to dig out the little something-in-the-peach-family fruit tree by the rain barrel that’s dead, remove the pallet (which is full of dirt inside weed mat) and black compost bin, build a permanent vege bed for things like rhubarb and comfrey so they won’t be disturbed by the annual, cycling vege crops and plant one of my other fruit trees somewhere in there. I might chuck a cranberry patch somewhere in there too. And there are all the weeds around the entire vege garden area that I think I need the chickens to deal with. Somehow. Without the crazy chicks escaping. Funny, my thinking hat seems to have fallen off and rolled into the corner, where it is looking very tired.

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The compost area, currently containing a wooden compost bin of sorts, a large compost pile, an idle black plastic compost bin, a pallet garden that needs to be emptied, a rusty rain barrel, some bamboo tee-pees and weeds. I dug out a big canna lily and an iris and transplanted a young ‘Silverhill’ mandarin tree into a pot.

So, yup. Just a few minor, casual, no-sweat, take-me-a-few-years tasks to do. But aren’t the possibilities exciting? Yes! Sorry, I’m too excited for rhetorical questions.

This all sounds marvelous, doesn’t it? So many great things going on with the vege garden. But I haven’t mentioned the small matter of the garlic yet. We will save that for next time…

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One thought on “Vege Garden: Oh Yes, I Have One of Those

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