We’ve had a productive day getting in vege plants for the winter. We ordered some bundles of plants from Awapuni, who send them out, wrapped in newspaper. Great value & always reliable plants. The important thing to do, if you can’t plant straight away, is to open up the bundles & put the plants in a tray or pots of compost until you are ready to plant them, so the leaves don’t rot. Try really hard not to stress the plants by letting them get dry, otherwise they will tend to bolt, (go to flower)

We are trying to keep our garden small & intensive, so whenever we want to plant things we have to find spaces, this system is very efficient & doesn’t leave areas of bare earth. We pulled up the oldest of our zucchini plants which were getting passed it, & dug horse  manure in, this patch about 1.5m X 1. now has about 150 leeks in it. We dug up some of our potatoes, that had died back, added sheep poos  & planted 2 sorts of broccoli,(Italian & sprouting) & kale there . We’ve dug trenches in the lettuce seed bed & planted celery there, & finally put coloured silver beet in a space by the back door, for easy picking.

There are seedlings coming up that I planted last week, beetroot, carrots, late fennel, chinese cabbage, corn salad, lettuce mesclun & some replacement zucchini.  Finally the tomatoes are cropping, but slowly, these cold nights slow them down. We recorded a low of 3 degrees C last night, that’s not great. There are tiny eggplants & green chillies forming, but again, very slowly.

The raspberries are producing well now, the birds eat the earlier crop but we always get the later one, just enough for breakfast every day.  We have the garlic & onions dried & stashed in our garden caravan, & now the first of the spuds are in there too. I’ve been picking the sweet marjoram flower heads when they are still green & in little balls, & laying them on trays to dry, when they are quite dry I’ll rub them through a sieve & store in a jar for Winter cooking.

My cousin Jon, has spent the last few days here with his digger, what a wonderful thing!! He has cleared enormous amounts of blackberry, which has been encroaching year by year. We  also have a proper driveway that won’t go under water for half the winter, the mailman & courier will be very happy about that, so will everyone else that braves the pond to get to our place. We had a bit of excitement when Jon & digger tried to cross the creek & nearly disappeared, but some cunning manoeuvres  by Jon managed to lever the digger out, luckily I was on hand to record the excitement.

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