Saturday, 10 August 2013

Winter planting

What can I plant in winter?  I have no idea.  But there are websites, like GardenGrow, which claim to tell me what I can plant.  That raises more questions, like is my property temperate or cool/mountain zoned? I have no idea. It does link to tiny pictures that delineate whereabouts in the country the different zones could fall into, not that I could ever work out where my property falls on them.  Still, no idea.  Oh well, apparently there are some "no brainer" crops.

Broad beans.  These are apparently something anyone (this means me) could grow.  I planted these Sunday, 9th of June.  No idea where this packet was bought, or how much it cost.  Planting involved in simply pushing one of the hard seeds down a few centimetres in two rows in one of my raised beds.

2013-08-06 - Farmlet - 10 - Broad bean variety Broad imperial green packet

Garlic.  This packet of Printanor was bought at New Zealand's equivalent to Walmart, called The Warehouse.  The price is visible in the photo, at $5.99.  Initially I planted the cloves on June 14th from this packet as two rows right beside the broad beans.  The thick end was pushed down, leaving the pointy end of a clove upright.  There were conflicting descriptions of how deep to plant them, so I went for pushing them down around 1.5 centimetres.  I've been told that if you don't push them down far enough, and a frost happens, then the cloves could pop out of the soil.

2013-08-06 - Farmlet - 08 - Garlic variety Printanor packet

After two weeks or so, I researched enough to be able to have confidence in the claim that garlic doesn't go with legumes (which broad beans are) and that unless I moved them, they'd likely be detrimental to the beans. So on June 18th I dug up every clove, and moved them to the far side of the raised bed.  Is it far enough?  I don't think anyone knows, and if they do, they don't bother to write it down.  On the bright side, the garlic had sprouted and it was great to know that something was growing.

I was also given a packet of garlic bulbs which were from a local spray-free business.  These were planted in a flower bed just outside my front door.  This is the photograph just below with the green bulbs coming up in the front.  You can see the bulbs I've pulled out from amongst the garlic, in order to prevent they from getting in the way of the garlic growing and getting whatever nutrients it needs.  You can actually see the garlic green bits (no idea what the correct term is!) here popping up to about 1-2 centimetres in height.  This is growing much better than the "The Warehouse" garlic.  That could also be due to the move which the "The Warehouse" garlic had to put up with, though.

2013-08-06 - Farmlet - 02 - Flower bed garlic

I've been doing quite a bit of damage to this flower bed, and in the process have had to try and tell the bulbs which were coming up from the garlic which was coming up.  The garlic seems pretty well rooted in, which is a good sign.

The following photo is the raised bed with the "The Warehouse" garlic still not above the soil on the right, and the broad beans visible on the left having just come up a week ago.  There's an olive tree in the back corner, and to the left of it, is a walnut.  Now here's another documented gardening problem, which isn't documented well enough to be useful.  All parts of a walnut tree are supposed to exude something called juglones.  Juglones supposedly "harm other plants".  This walnut has been shedding it's leaves and nuts into this raised bed for years.  How should I factor this juglone problem into using the raised beds below it?  Maybe this type of walnut is a kind which doesn't exude juglones?

2013-08-06 - Farmlet - 03 - Raised bed garlic

It's the first week of August now, and after a snow storm which missed this part of the district, followed by a week or so of heavy wind, the weather has been unseasonably mild.  Plants are flowering, and trees have begun to bud.  I'm told there are further frosts likely to come, and that will equally likely damage anything fooled into thinking it's spring already.

All this should just take care of itself.  The broad beans I'll have to stake, so that they can climb up, at some point.  The garlic I'll have to do some further research on, both to work out when they will be ready, and what I would do if I wanted to leave them to go to seed.  I think it takes around six months for garlic to come up, if I recall correctly.  The olive tree.. I really need to do some research to work out whether if I move it out into the paddock, whether that will kill it.

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