April is finished and it feels like Autumn has left already and Winter is here. So. much. rain.

We are still on a waitlist for new chooks, but we are hopeful we can get them sometime in May. It would be lovely to have chooks as part of our household again. Around midday on a day last week (after the first heavy rains) I spotted a fox jumping over the back fence after spending some time in our garden. It does make me nervous bringing new chooks in, but I know our coop is secure and we will not be leaving our chooks in the yard free-ranging unless we are out there with them. It does mean these chooks will have less freedom than our other chooks, but we are extending our already generous run when we can get hold of enough wire, so they will have a great set up even if they aren’t out as much as I’d like.

Back to the garden and the 10 in 10 Challenge!

The ’10 in 10′ garden beds have continued evolving over April –

  • Last of the tomatoes have been picked, and tomato plants removed.
  • We managed to make one more bulk lot of pesto with our basil. The basil is still in the garden, I will leave a few to go to flower so we can collect the seed, the rest will be removed during May
  • Potatoes from past harvest still pop up and we will leave as many as possible to grow over Winter
  • Our established chives still going strong
  • Self seeded purslane is still a minor feature
  • our two zucchini plants in this space have been the most productive plants in the space and have given us another 6 zucchinis over April, but will soon need be removed.
  • Our February plantings of carrots and lettuce continue to do well – though the lettuce may have been mislabelled – it doesn’t look like iceberg to me.
  • The cucumber seedlings planted in late February (too late in the season) were a complete fail and have been removed.
  • The peas we have raised from seed have been planted out – I have added a bamboo structure and jute netting for them to climb. Most are Greenfeast, but I also have some sugarsnap and purple podded peas in there. I am hoping for a good harvest but we’ve never done well with peas, let’s hope this year is different!
  • We were going to plant more carrot seeds, but at the moment we are tight on space as the basil and zucchini are still in, so will look at planting in May
  • We have planted out our brassicas that we had grown from seed – purple cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower and they all seem to be growing well.
The jute netting I’ve used for my peas – it is then put in the compost at the end of the season
The peas ready to go in
This bed has the peas, carrot, lettuce, basil, zucchini and chives.
The basil, peas and lettuce. The basil is almost finished and we will replant with carrots.
Basil and the odd potato in the foreground, then our brasiccas under the exclusion net
Our basil at the end of its season, getting woody and going to flower.
A peek under the nets at one of our purple cabbages.

Plans for May for the 10 in 10 Challenge crops:

Crop May tasks
Tomatoes Now that these have been removed, add manure and mulch ready for replanting.
Basil Remove the remaining basil plants
Zucchini Remove the remaining zucchini plants
Carrots Sow another two plantings
Lettuce / Salad Greens Plant baby spinach and lettuce
Peas Check for snail/slug damage
Cabbage Seedlings planted out, keep under nets protected from cabbage moth.
Broccoli/ Cauliflower Seedlings planted out, keep under nets protected from cabbage moth.

Other tasks for May
Most of our seedlings have been planted out now – it’s been great to have the time to grow more from seed. We have planted broadbeans, pak choi, bok choi, silverbeet, onions and coriander in other parts of the garden too.

Last week I arranged a bulk delivery of sheep manure with the neighbours. This month we’ll be using that plus some cow manure to top up the nutrients in the garden beds, especially where we’ve had heavy feeders growing, like the tomatoes and zucchinis.

I’ll be posting updates on Facebook and Instagram throughout the month, and will have a blog review of the month for you towards the end of May.

Until then – get growing!

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