At this time of year we should be reaping the benefits of our veggie garden. We should be watching things ripen and eating from our garden every day. This year though, things are a little blah on the garden front.
We’ve had set back after annoying little set back with the garden this season. Nothing major but enough to notice a definite lack of produce and to encourage a bit of a rethink on the way we do things.
A combination of a few things. Crows digging out all our early seedlings, my bad back and then weeks spent dying of early pregnancy have all contributed. Then with all the rain among the warm days a strange prolific weed took over when I wasn’t looking and the late tiny seedlings have struggled to compete.
It’s not all bad.
As usual the zucchinis are not letting us down, with more big green monsters than we know what to do with! The rhubarb, as always, is going strong and we’ve got radishes and some herbs and lots of green tomatoes, and some fabulous bee attracting flowers.
On the downside we have two measly pumpkins, and only one or two cucumbers that may or may not ripen before the frosts come. We might get some corn if the weather is good to us, but our sunflower crop is just dismal and so are the beans.
It’s kind of depressing, but I’ve been working on ‘making the best of things’ and taking this as a sign that we need to change our ways.
I really think we’ve bitten off more than we can chew in the size of our veggie garden (it is rather huge) and how we plant it. The Baldy Boy doesn’t have the time to put into the up keep and every year I think that next year I’ll be able to spend more time out there keeping things under control, but every year something pops up that makes things difficult. We need to downsize and look at how we plant and use the space to minimise weed issues and optimise plant growth.
I got Jackie French’s book ‘Backyard Self Sufficiency’ for Christmas and it was the perfect gift, with the perfect message at the perfect time. We don’t need a HUGE veggie garden to grow all the food we want to grow. We could fit so much more into a smaller space and have it work so much better for us. Just because we have the space doesn’t mean we have to spread everything out and use it!
So we are downsizing the veggie garden, packing loads more into less space and hopefully it will be easier for me to maintain. We’ll still use the big space we have for growing things. We are looking at some chook food plants that we can sow in a large area and mostly leave to themselves, a few cover crops/green mulch like clover, oats and peas, and maybe down the track a BIG planting of sunflowers for oil, or another ‘big area’ crop. But the high maintenance veggies will go into a smaller section and I’m feeling much more positive about that!
So here’s to a new outlook, new motivation and lots of good home grown stuff!
How about you? How is your garden growing?