The Vegetables March on

There seems to have been an endless stream of vegetable seedlings being planted and somehow they’ve been finding places to go. I’m actually amazed at how great the Vege Garden is doing considering recent circumstances. The Little Fulla and I dug up more lawn along the front of the Cedar Pen and planted three more Wee Bee Little pumpkins. Because I’m sure we can never have enough of them, right? Let’s do a count of the orange swathe:

  • Pumpkin Wee Bee Little — 10
  • Pumpkin Jack Be Little — 3
  • Giant pumpkin — 2
  • Spaghetti squash — 2
  • Butternut Chieftan Squash — 3
  • Pink Banana Jumbo Squash — 2
I’m always looking for excuses to dig up more lawn. Less mowing, more vege growing. Pumpkins are a great excuse. This might be a temporary thing, or it might spark an idea for the future. I think we know what’s more likely.

Pumpkins and squashes are really such space hogs, I think that’s all I can fit in. I suppose 22 is enough. Apparently the slugs and snails heard me triumphing over them in battle. I’m not sure if it was a solo assassin or a regiment assignment, but they took out the Pink Banana Jumbo squash out the front by attacking it at the jugular – on the stem below the first leaves. Fortunately, I had a plant to replace it. I surrounded it with a fort of snail pellets.

IMG_20181128_135351178_HDR 3x2
I looked over, saw the wilted leaves of the squash and went to investigate. Behold, the crime scene! You can’t tell me that was not a planned attack. This means WAR!
We will regroup: the climbing beans replacing those that got eaten by the slugs and snails.

There isn’t anything left to plant in the Vege Garden for now, except I would like to squish some more broccoli in somewhere. And I should probably plant more lettuces, even though I have heaps, as they can go to seed very quickly in our hot summers. The climbing beans are supposed to be giving the main lettuce patch some shade. Thanks snails.

There are heaps of salad greens in the garden. Behind them are young brassicas: cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli, and the Asian green tatsoi. And rocket. Behind them is the swathe of potatoes.

The other thing I’ve been doing is spreadsheeting. After I inserted the in-progress spreadsheet of The Great Vege Garden Expansion Plan into a blog post and noted that I hadn’t even drawn the old compost corner onto the plan yet, well, my mind couldn’t let that go. So I measured up the area and drew it onto the spreadsheet. And that meant I could start fiddling around with the layout and thinking about what was important to fit in there. Do I still really need to build a double barrel composter since I’m planning on compost bins in both chicken pens, or would a single one do? Do I need one at all? More raised beds will need to be built. And now we have a stainless steel sink and bench waiting to be set up outside for processing chickens and other outdoor purposes. And I needed to move a tree. That’ll teach me for not putting it on the spreadsheet!

The nectarine tree has moved just over here (left), in line with this peach tree.

We’ve also been constructing the latest set of raised beds, alongside the back carport. Work halted when we ran out of nails so I set to working on the rest of the plan down that end on the spreadsheet. Trying to fit an awkward-shaped bed in with angled edges to keep a nice flow from the curved edge of the Herb Garden was just not working for me. Stuff a flowing edge! Why didn’t I just take the garden out a bit further to have a nice 90 degree corner? Out spurted another four scale versions of how it could be constructed. The chosen one is the simplest and most functional. It carries on from the long bed we’ve been building, the same width, up to the line of the Herb Garden/Vege Garden fence. The gate will be beside this. Then we’ll extend the Long Bed out a bit further towards this other bed for more growing space.

This will be good. But the timber needs to be used to finish the current project now…

The new set of raised beds has been completed. I did most of the work myself. The final run saw me hammering away at it one Saturday while The Husband made cookies with The Little Fulla. We’re multifaceted here. The new beds have been partially filled.

The Husband cut up the trunk and large branches of the felled kanuka tree with the chainsaw for firewood. Then I found a mulcher for a rather good price – $50. So we now have our own mulcher, just in time to mulch up the rest of the felled tree branches before they get too old. And before Christmas. I’d been on the look out for a mulcher ever since we borrowed our friend’s one. And since The Husband broke the mulching part of our lawn mower. Twice. And it has not been fixed yet. The Husband sharpened the blades of the new (to us) mulcher and it goes well. Since The Husband has been down and out with sickness, I plodded through the mulching with my little helper until all the branches were GONE.

It’s set to be a rainy Christmas, which is quite normal, and fine by me. I don’t mind if it rains when it’s hot and humid. I’ve mowed the lawns and done a full clean and spray of the main coop so I’m feeling good!

The backyard view is getting more and more tidy. The fresh mulch conveniently tidied up the edge of the Vege Garden area.

8 thoughts on “The Vegetables March on

  1. That seems like . . . too many pumpkins. Is it okay to say that? I would be fine if all the neighbors like them too. If it is time for pumpkins, isn’t it too late for broccoli? By the time we put the squash out, it is to warm for broccoli.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha yes, it’s ok to say that. I might not agree with you though. 😉 Some of the pumpkins and squashes are being grown for competition purposes. The giant pumpkins are obviously not for eating as well. Most of the pumpkins are mini pumpkins, so you kind of need a lot more of them to make the harvest last for a while.
      You could be right about the broccoli though. I don’t normally grow it at this time of year but I’m trying it out with a variety that’s supposed to be good for growing year-round. I like to experiment with timing as you never know what will work in your microclimate until you try. Time will tell whether this brassica timing pan out or not.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think that timing is less critical in less arid climates. The season for them is limited here because the air is so dry. They may not mind aridity if the air is cool, and they may not mind warmth if the air is humid, but dry humidity is not good for them. Ironically, we are just a few miles away from the Salinas Valley, where broccoli and related brassicas are the main crops.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Interesting. Yes, it’s definitely humid here – 80% humidity at 9pm. Ick. The brassicas are growing quickly, it will just be a matter of whether they go to seed or mature nicely. Time will tell.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. I am so glad we don’t have snails or slugs here, so that is a war I don’t have to fight. Granted, the climate that keeps them away also means I don’t have peach or nectarine trees or 20 different squash growing. 🙂 There are always trade-offs I guess.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, every climate and microclimate has its pros and cons. The slugs and snails are one of the most annoying pests for us in that they don’t die off or hibernate over winter. Spring is the main trouble season as they love the soft young plants and it’s difficult to keep them all protected. But we do have a nice long growing season with plenty of different crops to grow. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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