Sowing and Reaping.

Walking into the garden today I was greeted with that delightful aroma of freshly cut grass.  It is like a lingering scent of summer as if to say, but wait – the season isn’t completely over yet, there are still things to be done and still things to be had.   And there are indeed plenty of things to do.

This should be enough peas...
This should be enough peas… for now.

I have to look at things rationally.  As much as taking down the tomatoes will give the place an automatic facelift, as they are beyond help and need to be gone, it isn’t high on the list of “do now before it is too late.”  Things on this list largely involve sowing and reaping.

Cool season plants benefit from a head start in the lingering warmth of early autumn and late summer is often more preferable.  I do struggle with getting ready for winter in the heady days of summer.  It is almost like looking for your coat and handbag to get ready to leave while the party is still in full swing.  I’m normally the kind of girl who is last to leave a party.  And unfortunately I often leave my cool season crops until the last moment.   Although this year I had my super secret project to hold me back.

Ummm... I need that container....
Ummm… I need that container…. never mind, I go look for a bucket or something.

With days to spare before mid autumn slips into late autumn I can kid myself that I’m erring on the side of early…ish to get things sown and planted out.  Today I made great headway and if I have everything sown and planted out by the end of the month I can convince myself I got it all done on time.

Lettuce will enjoy the cooler weather
Lettuce will enjoy the cooler weather – I just need to keep an eye out for the inevitable frost.

The first things to consider are the cover crops.   These take some thinking as for what to put where.  I had already managed to sow a lupin cover crop where the cucumbers were and where the leafy greens will go.  This bed will benefit greatly from the nitrogen injection from the legume root nodules.

The bed the onion and garlic was in is now empty after having melons borrowing the space and next season it will have zucchini and squash in it.  As these new crops don’t like to be planted out when it too cold, it will be quite some time before the bed sees anything in it, so it makes a perfect spot for the wheat.  I don’t grow wheat for the grain, but for the straw.  It is my mulch crop.  It can be quite costly to mulch a garden the size of mine – so I grow my own.

The wheat is sown thickly
The wheat is sown thickly

I have sown the wheat quite thickly as I am probably feeding all the bird and rodents this side of the Waikato River. I am hoping it is just possible they won’t be able to eat them all and some will make their way through the soil, past the gastropod gauntlet and grow nice and tall for me.

I’m hoping this multi layered barrier will keep some of the wheat seeds safe from those who want to eat them.

I also sowed peas in the greenhouse as their intended destination still needs to be cleared away.  They should get away quicker in there too as it is a little warmer.  I transplanted some lettuce seedlings from the low nutrient seed raising mix to a more nutritious soil so they can gain the size and strength to be planted outdoors.

So many feijoas
So many feijoas

The problem with gardening at this time of year is the light fades fast and before I knew it I was almost time to head indoors.  But I couldn’t go in empty handed, it wouldn’t be right when there was so much to be had.  The peppers and chillies have been slow all season.  I don’t know if it due to the neglect or if it was just a slow season in my garden this year.  It has been a disappointing harvest, but finally I was able to pick a red bell pepper and a few chillies.

The raspberries haven’t been that wonderful either, but to have some is better than to have none.  Unlike the cape gooseberries.  Now they have gone crazy and the plants are lolling all over the place.  I had to tie them up so I could mow around them.

Not a bad haul from a neglected garden
Not a bad haul from a neglected garden

The last basket to fill was the feijoas.  Oh how I love them.  But the problem is – they are in the orchard.  We planted the orchard in the furthest part of our land so we would have a reason to go there.  But when you are a little busy, or a little tired, the trek to “down the end” just seems that little bit far…  even for feijoas.  But it had been a few days since I last gathered them up and it wouldn’t be right not to go and check for more.  I took my largest basket and before long it was full to overloaded, and I’d only gathered what lay beneath one half of the tree.   I’ve promised myself I’ll go back tomorrow to get the rest as it was starting to get dark.

It is so lovely to be back in the garden; I feel like I am where I belong.

Come again soon –  there will be more sowing and reaping, and possibly some weeding.

Sarah the Gardener  : o)

22 thoughts on “Sowing and Reaping.

    1. Oh Feijoas are delish – kind of sweet in a sour kind of way with an amazing aromatic nature that can’t really be explained. The season is short but very prolific and much anticipated. Although the end of the season comes at just the right time – when you have eaten so many you couldn’t possibly eat another.
      Its scientific name is Acca sellowiana and it is in the Myrtle family. All the best trying to grow it where you are.
      Cheers Sarah : o)

  1. Love your garden especially your cute cat awwww! I find gardening to be so rewarding and therapeutic but I don’t have the space to grow veggies like you. I have tried herbs and veggies in the pot in the past but there is so much you can plant in pots. Thanks for sharing :). Oh and good luck with birds picking your seeds. Every time I plant grass seeds for my cats, the birds get them all. Once I covered them with gauze and some grass actually grew haha!

  2. Beautiful harvest, Sarah. My summer season is just started. I dream of my sweet corn. Enjoyed your update.

    1. Hi Helen. It is surprizing just how comfortable she was, considering in the tub was all the bits of rubbish I’d found in the greenhouse and intended on throwing out! : o)

  3. Thanks for sharing your garden with us all. I am in the U.K. so my spring is just starting (supposedly, hail, sleet and snow today) but I’m looking forward to a good growing season.

  4. 50,000 words later, you’ve finally earned your longed-for time in the garden. I’m always amazed when the seasons change how quickly the time changes, too. It seems one day it’s still light until 7, then 6 with little in between. And that is before the annoying clock changes that we insist on doing.

    You always have something interesting going on in your garden, Sarah. I love your voice and find pleasure in all your posts.

    1. Thanks Alys. You are always so kind. I’m enjoying being back in the garden, but just how short the days are has taken me a little by surprize.
      Cheers Sarah : o)

  5. I’m exhausted just reading about your work. I’ve had to pare back my garden this year due to my health issues but still enjoy pottering about and I’ll be able to heap loads more tlc into the crops I do grow.

    That said your past has reminded me that there is work to be done over the next few days, including sowing loads more seed 🙂 x

    1. Hi Elaine. Gosh I hope all is well with you. The garden can be such a therapeutic place – so long as we don’t take on too much (not easy I know) and find ways to work smarter not harder. I hope you have a fab season with perfect weather.
      Cheers Sarah : o)

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