Archive for June, 2009

Onions and Garlic

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2009

A couple of days ago, I braided up some of our garlic to give as a gift to a relative. Last year’s garlic crop didn’t produce very big heads, but the cloves are large, chunky and pungent, making it very satisfying to use. I love having extra garlic to give away as gifts!

Garlic braid

With the winter solstice approaching and the moon waning, I sorted out a collection of the biggest, plumpest cloves to plant for next year’s crop. I think we have chosen a better spot than last year, and have spent more time preparing it. Lets hope that these changes will result in a better garlic crop.

Yesterday I planted out the onion sets and garlic, with a wish that good things will sprout and grow with the passing of the solstice and the coming of a new moon.

Winter Vege Garden

Thursday, June 4th, 2009

After last year’s poor effort, I vowed to be better organised with our winter vegetable garden this time around. There’s still lots of room for improvment, but I’m pleased to say that the garden does look more productive and promising than it did at the same time last year. We have been enjoying some winter salad greens: corn salad, arugula, mizuna, tat-soi, and cress, as well as the first lettuces (winter lettuce, deer’s tongue, and half century). I am harvesting plenty of swiss chard (silver beet), as well as some New Zealand spinach and a few collard greens and green onions. There are still a few beets and carrots around, and lots of yacon tubers.

Winter greens

Becky and Owen dig some spuds

Leeks, sprouting broccoli, mustard lettuce, red cabbage, broad beans and snow peas are well established, but will not be ready to harvest for a good while yet. I’ve also planted some seedlings of celery, beets, and turnips. These are still very small and not yet properly established.

I’ve had a big disappointment on the onion front. Having gone to the trouble of saving our best onions from last year’s crop and growing them on for seed, I was hoping to have lots of our own onion sets to plant. Sadly, the seed didn’t take well. Only 4 of them germinated. Maybe the seed’s not viable because I didn’t dry and store it carefully enough? Or maybe I didn’t tend the seed tray with enough care? I’m planning to sow the rest of the seed to see if any come up, but have bought some onion seedlings in the mean time. I don’t want to risk having no onion crop!

I spent this afternoon preparing the garden beds for planting onions and garlic. There is a real nip in the air at the moment, and the nights are frosty. We are enjoying the chance to work outside in the cool winter sunshine.

Frost dealing to yacon plants

Brrr: -1.3C is pretty cold for us.