Spring is here!!…and not just because the calendar says so, but because I can smell it.
I started to get whiffs of spring a few weeks ago so I have been busy thinking, planning, and shopping in preparation.
What am I preparing for?
Home grown veggies!!!…and the inevitable battle of wits with the possums, cockatoos and every other veggie robbing critters my backyard can offer up.
At the beginning of the year I built (ok – helped to build) 3 veggie patches. As Sydney is classed as a warm temperate region (great for herbs & veggies all year long) the dream was that I would be able to step out every day and pick whatever herbs and veggies I needed for dinner.
Animal Dreaming is very different to mine.
For an insight into my Animals' Dreamings please read 'Possum has an accomplice…Cockatoo'
After 6 months of battling it out with the local nibblers, and having to resort to building cages around my patches I now have a small assortment of lettuces and salad leaves growing on top of each other, some very young celery, a few carrot and beetroot tops, spring onions and two onions.
Not much but I am really stunned I have anything at all.
Interestingly my Mizuna (Japanese mustard green) is flowering. I am not sure that this is a good thing but their yellow four petalled offerings are pretty.
Encouraged by my smattering of veg and the smell of spring. I have popped my gardening hat on once more.
Inspired once again by the idea of back yard self sufficiency I took a celebratory trip to Bunnings.
"Bunnings is like clubbing for old people"
I am not old but I will admit that I find the prospect of a trip to Bunnings far more exciting than a night out on the tiles. You can't beat listening to the 'Best of the 1960's' down the paint aisle.
For those unfamilar with Bunnings, they supply DIY & garden materials.
Bunnings haven't been the only folks to see the colour of my money. I bought some great seeds from the Digger's Club and Green Harvest. They both supply great organic and heirloom seeds not to mention gardening books and other gardening tools.
If you join The Diggers Club you get great savings on your seeds and plants which is fantastic if you plan to give your garden a massive overhaul.
I spent this weekend turning my dream into reality.
Armed with chicken wire, manure, seedlings and packets of seeds I raked and mowed the lawn. Retopped the empty veggie patches. Planted my seedlings into tubs and the patches, built chicken wire hutches and I even managed to dig up a patch at the back of the yard for my future passionfruit extravaganza.
Off topic – can you guess which chicken wire cages are mine?
Clue: I didn't need to buy a staple gun to make mine….
So this is what I planted out the this weekend;
Seedlings – Sweetcorn (x11), Marjoram, Oregano, Curry plant, Rosemary (x3), Lavenders (x2), Lemon balm, Thyme, Petunias (x8), Mint (chocolate), Bay and sage (x2)
Seeds – Zinnias, Parsley, Alyssum, Blue Salvia, Sun flowers and Calendula.
That's just the beginning. I plan to have a go at cucumbers, summer squashes, watermelon, as well the standard vegetable fare.
Bring it on!!
FYI – some anti-Possum sites will advice setting up 1m tall floppy chicken wire fencing around your veggie patches to protect them from marauding Possums. Don't bother, it doesn't work, I suggest smaller cages to go over individual plants or the patches.
Possums are ingenious – see Possum