One month of winter to go and we are aiming for a summer harvest from the Block. Over the past two weeks we have prepared a veggie patch between the poplars and the liquid amber. Eug secured 4 corner posts and dug a trench on four sides to slot in the wire fencing. We did not complete installing the rabbit proof fencing, as it will require some securing with Brads which we did not have with us today. Part of the garden bed spans old blackberry infested areas on the southern boundary. There is a marked difference in soil quality – much richer and darker where the blackberries had been. There are also enormous quantities of worms just under the grassy surface. However we are still digging out copious blackberry roots and envisage a fight for preeminence on this veggie patch. We decided on the location of the veggie patch based on the proximity to the water tank and the amount of sunlight it receives. It is a temporary patch, in lieu of any other infrastructure on the Block to date.
Today we added 4 bags of bought organic compost, as my compost bin on site is still maturing and probably won’t be ready for another 2 months. We also topped it with a whole block of sugar cane mulch. By September we should be ready to plant some veggies that don’t require us to be there daily, but can survive with minimal intervention, perhaps some pumpkin, potatoes and zucchini. As these take up some space, they will be better on the Block, rather than in our confined space at home.
We planted the silver birch (a Christmas present from Frank) at the top of the block before the northern boundary blackberries. The soil is very heavy and clay like, but we added some ash from the fires we had in June and hope for the best. It was not the ideal planting scenario, so I will be very happy if the silver birch defies our sloppy preparation and does well. On that note, the lemon tree is looking rather sorry and will require a bit more loving care if it is to produce as much as we want it to. The clay soil and lack of mulching and composting is probably hampering its growth and general health.
I can’t wait for Spring!
The daffodils are starting to emerge all over the block, but the difference this year is that the grass is not as short as last year, as there are now no horses on the block. I wonder if it will impede the viewing spectacular we enjoyed last year. If so, we could consider mowing the grass in early winter in future before the daffodils begin.