Saturday, November 22, 2008

Makeup for gardens -and food too

We have been mulching all week.
We purchased some lovely black mulch made mostly of pine and compost, from the people at Gardeners Direct. This forms a clumping mat which nicely shades the soil, supresses weeds and conserves moisture. We call it 'makeup for gardens' because it makes a poor garden look well-cared for, and the black colour really shows off the plants that are there. Our front garden is almost recovered from the changes we have made lately.

We also bought a huge bag of lupin mulch from Gardeners Direct.
Now this is different! Loose, smells wonderful and is magic for plants. Holds lots of moisture and feeds the plants with lovely nitrogen. You can almost see the plants grow the minute you use it.
Does not last as long as the black stuff, but is great for vegetables, roses and fruit trees.

I have combined the two mulches in the veggie patch out the back -the black makes a little path to keep my feet clean when I go to tend it or to pick something, but the lupin mulch feeds the veggies. Since I put this on last week, the beans have started to flower.

We have added a cape gooseberry to the garden and a passionfruit. We are thinking of long-term fruits as well as the vegetables we have now. We have limes, lemons, grapefruit and mandarins now, but only the limes and the lemons are big enough to fruit regularly. I hope this season we will get some of the other citrus.

My tomatoes are growing and the zucchini in the wicking bed is doing well.
We are still harvesting celery and silverbeet daily. I pulled out the first lettuces of the season which were going to seed, and the new ones are just about ready to pick again.

It feels great to be providing these fresh things for the family. The other interesting effect is that there is more room in the fridge, because the food I used to keep there is now in the garden until just before I need it!

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