I’m turning over a new leaf.

I always start the year with good intentions and normally by now my new year’s resolutions have fallen by the wayside.  However there is no rule to say this is the only time of year you can try to reset things and so I’m taking the opportunity with the start of a new month to be more focused and intentional with telling you about the garden.

Full compost bin
You can tell it has been a busy week when the compost bin can’t take anymore!

It is looking good right now but that is mostly because I’ve pulled most of the faded summer crops and there is nothing like the clean crispness of empty beds.  I’ve been giving each of the beds a jolly good deep sort out – a bit like a spring clean… but in autumn.  Structures have been taken down, where applicable all plant life has been removed and the soil given a slow-release feed of blood and bone and Yates Dynamic Lifter.   The lingering harvest has been brought in, although some of it still sits on the kitchen bench waiting for my good intentions.

Empty beds
Empty beds look so fresh and hold the potential for a bountiful harvest.

I have planted up a load of brassica, silverbeet and lettuce to take to the food bank once they are ready, to be of help to those who find themselves struggling in this precarious and troubled time.  I have yet to plant mine out, but I’ll get there.  The bed the giving plants ended up in was just one that is usually spare at this time of the season and one I normally sow a cover crop into.  The usual brassica spot needs a bit of love still, but it is on the top of the list.

The old melon bed
The melons are long gone, the structures holding them up have come down and that eggplant will be moved into the greenhouse because it hasn’t given me a single fruit and I’m not about to give up on it now – it looks so healthy!

I would say I am halfway across the garden, sorting things out.  I could rush through just yanking weeds, but I want to do it slowly and do it well, so it will be less maintenance in the next wee while so once the whole garden is done I can either throw myself into a new project or just spend a season taking it easy.  I haven’t decided which one yet.

Giving plants
All going well, one day soon this will have a broccoli ready to harvest and destined to end up on someone else’s table. I just need to be extra vigilant keeping the pests away.

The slow methodical process feels like a bit of a reset in itself.  The previous season was not the best we’d ever had, and it was pretty close to being called the worst, so I am pleased to be putting it behind me.  The best thing about a garden is each season is a fresh start, a new beginning and is loaded with hope and anticipation and that is what keeps the love of gardening alive, even after a disastrous season.

The garden in the evening light
There is always a ray of hope in a garden!

Autumn to many may seem like the end of the gardening season, but there is still plenty to be done.  It is the time to work on the foundation of the garden and set things up so the new warm season has everything it needs to be all it needs to be once we emerge from the wintery days.  Unfortunately, we can’t control the weather but if it is a good one… I’ll be ready for it.

Come again soon – I intend to be here more often.

Sarah the Gardener : o)

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