Wednesday, December 10, 2008

I can do it

I can do it and I will do it. It is true that our very high rainfall and short season summer make gardening challenging at times. Sometimes challenging equates to many things dying, or failing to thrive. My plans for eating our own fruit have been thwarted somewhat. The first lemon tree died and the second one has had a hard life but I do see a couple of new leaves, so still alive. The blueberries lost their berries and one of the two bushes looks very unwell. The blackcurrants are alive and have a few currants on them. They are up the best drained end of the section. The feijoas seem fine but no flowers. At least I have two this year.

So all the fruit needs to be moved to the highest end of the section. And nourished a lot. The glasshouse when we build it needs to go where the old chook run garden currently as. It needs to be raised off the ground quite a lot and have well drained (deepish shingle or bark or sawdust) paths all around it.

The garden along the back of the house grew us some lovely tomatoes last year. The part of it where I mixed in some blood and bone, lime and seaweed is growing quite well - I have a broccoli forming a head there. A head! First time in years. But the poor raspberry, even though I encircled it in seaweed, is definitely not happy. The onions are doing okay there but not fabulously. Though of course at least they are alive which is more than I could say for my onion attempts last year.

So last night I weeded and pulled out the flower bulbs which were still in the ground. I now have a blank patch of over a metre long (and perhaps 6ocm deep back to the house) with nothing in it except one tiny maori potato which has just peeked through. That could push it's way up through more soilish items though. It is time for intensive help. I think the biggest probelm over and above the wet is that the very large tree which is not far away from this garden bed has roots extending down into this garden. Deepish roots for the most part and if I raise the bed up with lots of nutrient-intensive material, I should get noticeable improvement. My fingers aren't crossed because then I can't type, but in my mind I have many things crossed.

I've got sheep poo, sheep dags ground into a soil conditioner, seaweed, blood and bone and pea straw all on hand. I'll have to check the state of the last batch of compost because it would be great if that was ready to use as well. I want to raise the soil by 10 cm and then put pea straw on top of that.

My kefir is still alive. I'm hoping that if I leave it in a coolish place (i.e not the hot water cupboard like I have been), then it will be okay to leave unstrained and unrefreshed by more milk for 2-3 days.

Why? Because we are going on holiday this weekend. Holiday. Holiday! To Karamea for two nights. I am so excited. Karamea is still on the West Coast and it still could rain but it is a very beautiful place that I have wanted to go back to (last went as a child) ever since we moved to smallwettown almost three years ago.


Marino said...

please stop moaning about your very high rainfall! it's a blessing. here on the east coast of the North Island (Wairoa) we have have had two dry months - infact this month alone we've only had 4mm in two week!!!
so count yourself lucky that you have no shortage of rain over there on the west.

Sandra said...

I'm sorry Mariella. It wasn't my intention to be insensitive. I hope you get substantial rainfall up your way very soon.

Christy said...

...we've got more rain on the way tomorrow apparently so thanks!

re drainage issues - although we don't have so much rain, we do have a clay pan underneath about 30cm of topsoil, so something i have to work with as well. you probably already know this? but rootstocks chosen for fruit trees are really important, i make sure my peaches, plums, nectarines etc are all on plum stock which can cope with wetter soil, and also from memory pear trees are supposed to do okay too (although mine are still little). from the copious amounts of reading i did when i put in my berry garden, i think all berries are extremely fussy about good drainage, except for cranberries which naturally grow in bogs - maybe they could be worth trying!