Simone - Picnics and Paddocks is talking about growing Beetroot, Cabbage, Carrot, Celery, Lettuce, Peas, Radish, Silverbeet from Northland

Garden ready!

I apologise for been absent over the past week. I’ve had to put my health and family before blogging, but couldn’t not write my final post. There’s always a bit of guilt when you go from blogging daily to not posting for a few days, but I’ve told myself that it’s okay. These things happen and I’ve otherwise constantly blogged pretty much daily through the entire challenge.

I won’t go into huge detail, but I suffer from an ongoing autoimmune illness. Currently it’s not so good and I’m on some heavy immune suppressing drugs/low dose chemo. One of the side effects of my illness is that my body can’t retain iron well. It’s dropped really low again and I’m waiting for an iron infusion at the hospital. The downside of immune suppressing drugs are obviously that you then pick up other bugs more easily and my body is very run down at the moment. So in a nutshell while my garden has continued to thrive, by the time night time rolled around after a long day at work I simply haven’t had the energy to blog as much over the past week. I really am sorry, but hopefully people understand. One night I was even asleep on the couch by 5.30 pm. Extremely low iron makes the most simple of tasks challenging. Anyway, onward and upwards. It can only all improve.

Here’s a little wrap up of where all my gardens are at -

  • The bank now has pumpkin, courgette, melon and cucumber plants starting to go crazy. They’ve really taken off with all the rain we’ve had lately.

  • Tomatoes are growing like crazy and fruit is developing. We’ve had a bad run so far this season with tomatoes so hopefully things continue to improve. I’m doing absolutely everything I can to ensure that we have a decent harvest this season.

  • Luke’s garden is doing so well! It’s full of radishes, which he started to harvest today. The carrots, peas and miniature squash (babynut and buttercup) are growing rapidly now.

  • Wild flowers are popping up everywhere, which is really exciting to see. The Borage is finally starting to bring in all the bees. Fingers crossed that we don’t have any more cold snaps.

  • Baby cabbages are ready to harvest now and will soon be replaced with popping corn plants.

  • Our potato towers are looking super healthy and are no longer showing any signs of disease (what appeared to look like the start of blight), thanks to Nature’s Way Fungus Spray.

  • Our lettuces are HUGE! We’re picking so much now and dropped off salad packs to all our family today. The celery is also looking really good. One thing I’m lucky with is that despite refusing to use snail/slug bait of any kind we have very few problems with holes in our lettuce.

  • The peas in the pot (Shiraz and Golden Sweet) are producing extremely well. The more we pick, the more they grow.

  • The Three Sisters garden (runner beans, miniature pumpkins and sweetcorn) is really taking off. I’ve just taken the bird netting off part of the garden to see how we go. It’s time to start training the beans up their vertical frame, as well as the pumpkins. I’ve been really impressed with this garden.

  • Overall the gardens definitely have a more cottage feel to them, which was one of my big goals for this season. It works in well with the succession planting that I’ve been doing too. Although it never bothers me if we have more of something ready than we need, as I love being able to share our fresh produce around.

  • The dwarf beans are growing well and peas have popped up in that area too (direct sown a couple of weeks ago).

  • We’re loving eating the baby carrots from our garden. I was sooo excited to pull out lots of straight carrots with Luke today. We only had a couple of wonky donkey carrots so that was a success! First time growing carrots properly.

  • Today we had a pretty decent harvest (photo attached). We harvested a mix of lettuce, celery, baby cabbage, radishes, baby carrots, peas, beetroot (rainbow and red), solar flare courgettes and a zephyr courgette, bright lights silverbeet, heather potatoes and Ilam Hardy potatoes. Luke had so much fun having a little treasure hunt through his tipped out potato bucket today.

Highlights of the challenge for me have included – being part of such an awesome community of gardeners, learning lots from each other, growing straight carrots (woohoo!! haha), completing our insect hotel, gardening with my three year old and seeing a genuine passion for gardening grow in him, growing all my vegetables without using chemical sprays etc.

I hope everyone gets an awesome harvest and that beautiful, sunny summer weather sets in for you all soon. Take care xo