Spring Update & Planning

After the most amazing August weather we entered September with wonderful weather too, until as usual, the heavy rains came. Each year our little apricot tree opens its blooms and is more often than not hit with hail which inevitably knocks some of the flowers from the branches. So far this year we have managed to only have heavy showers and enough sunny periods to let the bees into the garden unhindered to do their busy business. After an inspection yesterday it looks like we might get a reasonable crop of apricots this year and with further luck, may be able to save the seed and get some more trees going.

The wattle trees at the back fence are laden with small pods that are just starting to fill out. By late summer they should be popping with seeds. Last year this is what the rats came to us for, until they also discovered the peas, tomatoes, grapes and corn. With a few modifications to this years garden and some early placing of baits I hope to get around the problem this year. It was our first visit from rats and from what I picked up talking to other gardeners the rat problem was wide-spread last year in the Albany area.


It is usual for me at this time of the year to ‘re-design’ the garden for the coming summer. Each year it takes on a different look and purpose depending on what is required. Last year it was getting a good supply of tomatoes and seeds so tomatoes dominated the scene. I’m actually a little behind in the planning this year, but there is little I can do about that.

This year we’ll have a very keen 3 year old wanting to continue to assist in the garden so I need to also watch what is planted where!
Quite a lot of one side of the house has been planted out with Cape Gooseberries since autumn. This was to provide a point of diversion for our toddler come summer when the fruits are plentiful and he can easily reach in and pluck them off to peel them and either eat himself or feed to the koi. This amuses him and keeps him entertained and given I haven’t been able to get into the garden much it has minimised my efforts required in that part of the garden whilst still keeping the soil covered and the earthworms active.
This year I have a range of seed collected from around the place that I am not sure how old it is. I am thinking of planting out what I can into seed trays and taking it from there. The back garden bed has already been modified to be planted out with corn, beans, herbs, salad greens, root crops and pumpkins. All the trellis will remain in position until we eventually move due to a keen desire to keep the work load down where possible. Already, after the extreme winds yesterday in Albany I am looking at how to make watering a little easier this year and to protect the garden from the easterlies which I suspect will be strong this year.
A significant part of the garden is also a small nursery at the moment. I have been propagating trees and herbs and bamboo, ground covers and berries for our eventual move. So another side of the house is virtually filled with these to nurture them along through the next year or so ready for planting out when we create our next garden.
Given the impending move I am also wanting to get bit of variety into the garden this year so that we can still do small garden openings as it will probably be the last summer that we do them here. It is also likely there will be an autumn even also so it would be nice to have plants following through to that time as well. I mention this because it means there will be a lot of containers in the garden and its going to need to retain water where it can so it doesn’t dry out. The new garden I am planning out will be planted out into the soil and utilising grey water so I don’t anticipate the level of care required will be as high as it is currently with this garden.
Some of our fresher seeds will be distributed through the local Seed Circle project group so that we can maintain the diversity and spread the risk of loss. Part of the planning this year has been to do a bit of an audit of where we are currently at and what varieties we need to focus on.

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