Road trip – no, make that a global tour! The Growing NOW Garden Tour

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Welcome to the final installment of the Growing NOW Garden Tour.  For those of you who have been following along on the tour, the last post may come with a degree of sadness. The lovely Beth Billstrom from More than Oregano has been hosting an amazing array of fabulous and inspiring gardeners from across America from the early anticipated days of spring, right through to now – Labour Day weekend.  Each week the growing season has been showcased as it burst forth from those early days 16 weeks ago, to the fullness of a summer garden. Now these gardens are beginning to show signs that fall, or autumn as we like to call it, is upon them.

Nothing says spring better than daffodils
Nothing says spring better than daffodils

It is with a strange irony that the last post, with fall knocking on the garden gate, should take the tour full circle, straight back to the hope and anticipation of spring.  For the benefit of those on the tour, my garden is in a completely different hemisphere, down here in New Zealand.  I have watched northern gardens flourish throughout the last few months, stealing sunshine vicariously.  I have watched tomatoes ripen and sunflowers bloom, and absorbed the feeling of warmth that can come through the cheery image of a bright zinnia on a gloomy, wet, miserable winter day.  And now it is my turn for spring and a new growing season.

Our little lambs
Our little lambs

Spring has just begun and my greenhouse is slowly and surely filling up with seedlings.  My peppers were sown about a month ago with great fanfare.  I won’t see fruit from these until the other side of Christmas.  The first days of spring are joyfully celebrated with the sowing of the tomatoes.  A garden without tomatoes isn’t really a garden at all.  I love to grow tomatoes and have space for about 25 different kinds.  Deciding which ones not to sow is a tough call.

Sadly this isn't a pond
Sadly this isn’t a pond, this is one of my garden beds. We have had so much rain this week, with no real sign of it letting up.

Our Labour Day is held later than its American namesake, towards the end of October. However it is way more special to the gardener than a day off work.  It is the day deemed safe enough to plant out the tender summer crops without risk of frost. Having said that, it isn’t always the case, so you have to keep a sharp eye out.

Red cabbage seedlings
The greenhouse is nurturing a range of wonderful seedlings including these tiny red cabbage.

So between now and October I shall be nurturing tiny seedlings that hold the hope of a new season.  I’ll also be frantically digging, weeding and enriching the soil to prepare the homes these seedlings will spend their summer in before being gobbled up in one form or another. Hopefully by me and not the bugs and slugs!  It will take every spare moment as my garden is a little on the large side.  I grow all our veggie needs and my family enjoy the benefits of a wide variety of fresh food, although some are a little less familiar to them as growing the unusual brings in an excitement that elevates things from the standard carrots and spuds.

The red currant cuttings are showing signs of life
The red currant cuttings are showing signs of life.

This year I am growing for the first time:  Caigua, to make up for the fact we can’t get cucamelons.  I’m not really sure what these actually are but time will tell.  And I’m growing Painted Mountain Corn and Soybean. I’m also growing marshmallow, so we can have a go at making our own clouds of delight to roast over a BBQ in months to come.  That should be interesting to see!  And I think there was some kind of African squash, but I can’t seem to find the seed packet!

The spring conditions are perfectly suited to peas
The spring conditions are perfectly suited to peas

So thank you Beth for hosting this tour, and inviting me along.  For those of you who haven’t seen it yet, I encourage you to retrace the tour back to the start and relive the highlights of an American summer. The Growing NOW Garden Tour.  I was fortunate enough to meet Beth earlier this year at the Garden Bloggers Conference and if all goes well, then maybe I will see her again soon.

I love my 3 bin compost system
I love my 3 bin compost system, although it may take quite some time before we see compost come out the other end!

Come again soon – I will gladly share my summer sunshine with you this season.

Sarah the Gardener  : o )

My summer garden in its full glory
My summer garden in its full glory

21 thoughts on “Road trip – no, make that a global tour! The Growing NOW Garden Tour

  1. Sarah, I am glad that your spring is here. Do not feel bad for all of us. My winter is not so bad, usually we have a mild one. Temperatures dipping below 20f a few times. There is something in the garden year around. This year again I will try to plant fava beans, this will be my third year with no success. Maybe third is the charm. I am looking forward to see and read about your promising year gardening. Gene

    1. Thanks. At this point I don’t fertilise my seedling , but grow them in a good quality seed raising mix. The key to strong seedlings is good light. If they have to look for it they will stretch. Once they get their true leaves I’ll transplant them into a potting mix / compost blend.
      Cheers Sarah : o )

      1. Do you fertilize them after transplanting? I have some seedlings I transplanted into potting/compost about two months ago and they seem stunted. Unless it’s just too hot for them still…

        1. I do give them a gentle feed with a liquid fertiliser, but I try not to keep them in too small a pot as this can stunt their growth as they can use up the nutrients or get root bound. Most of my veggie seedlings get transplanted a couple of times before going out into the garden. This gives them stronger roots.
          What are you trying to grow?
          Cheers Sarah : o )

          1. Maybe they just need another transplant…I’m trying to get my winter garden veggies ready to put out. Cauliflower and broccoli, kale and chard, etc.

    1. Hi Deb. I would love to have you along for the summer, and I hope yours lingers longer. The lambs to so sweet, we love having them. Although feeding them late at night in the cold and the wet isn’t so much fun!
      Cheers Sarah : o )

  2. This is so interesting-weird to think we here in the U.S. are going into Fall and Winter and you are going into Fall and Winter. Thanks, Sarah!

  3. Sarah, I am still so tickled to see your compost system. You’ll be amazed at how quickly it can turn, especially with all that space. I’m often amused at what rolls out of there (like the recent hard-sided orange peeling) when other things happily rot down to compost. It’s good to hear that your summer garden is well under way. Look at all those wonderful seedlings. And be still my heart the little lambs are adorable.

    1. Hi Alys. I love my compost castle. I just need to start filling it up. I have a lot of ground to clear for the new season so it won’t take long. Provided I stop being precious about which weeds to let in!
      The lambs have grown heaps. I Shoup post another photo soon.
      Cheers Sarah : o )

    1. Hi Julie. I’m having a bit of trouble with my compost system. It would seem there are very few weeds good enough to go in there. I’m finding myself dumping most on the old pile!
      Cheers Sarah : o )

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