Growing Plants From Seed

A couple of months ago, the supermarket that I shop at weekly started a promotion called Little Garden where they gave away vegetable seedling kits for every $40 you spent on groceries. As I do my weekly family shop there, I accumulated a few over a few weeks.

Last month, I finally decided to plant them. I have never grown anything from seed before so I thought I should. Now I have a whole lot of seedlings sprouting!

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Little Garden Seedlings sprouting on the deck

The first ones I have repotted are Cherry Tomatoes. I asked my dad for some tips on how to repot them. He told me to water the pot then to drop it on the ground to loosen the roots. Then once the roots are loosened, slowly ease the plants out of the soil, handling them by the stems and not the leaves. Once they are in the pots, water them and add some wet paper towels as mulch so they don’t dry out. I managed to plant 7 of them so when they get a bit bigger I will be planting some of them in the garden.

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Cherry Tomato Seedlings

The next ones to be planted in the garden will be the spinach, lettuce and rocket, followed by all the herbs. I have also planted some capsicum seeds and zucchini seeds too so will see how they go. Apparently zucchini plants are pretty massive so will have to find somewhere to plant them.

 

Clearing dead ladder ferns

Ok so for ages I have gone out onto our deck, and looked out over a garden full of dead ladder ferns that were killed off way back in April. On the day back in May where we did a massive clear out, we ran out of time and this garden sat neglected over winter.

Today I went out there to finish painting the balustrade on our deck and thought “fuck it, today we are going to finally clear that garden”. So we did.

It took about an hour, and we had to get the large fork out to pull a bunch of the stuck roots out, but it all came out pretty easily. I’m sure all the bugs who have been living happily in the garden got a massive shock. We completely filled the whole garden bag, and now have a massive pile of garden waste (again!) to get rid of.

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Mega pile of garden waste to get rid of.

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Snail in my garden.

So now we have a nice empty garden waiting to be filled with some awesome plants. The garden doesn’t get much sun at all, it is mostly completely shaded and dry, so whatever I put in there has to love the shade. The soil is pretty good, as I think was bought from somewhere and tipped into the planters. The soil on our property is mostly clay but this seems more like top soil from a garden centre.

Since the area is mostly dry shade, it will probably be something like Clivia  and/or Astelia. So if you have any ideas for what I should plant in my lovely shade garden next to the fence, let me know.

 

 

Jade plant in a neon pot and succulents in pots

The Front Door Garden

The front of our house is North facing so it gets a shit load of sun. Heaps of plants I have had out there have died in the harsh conditions so now it’s mostly succulents and the odd herb plant. I went on trademe and bought 12 succulents for $12 from a lady in Sandringham. I set about cleaning out all the empty pots and planting the succulents in them. I also planted a sad looking Italian Parsley plant from the supermarket, which is now thriving.

 

We also were given a Buddha that Mark’s mum’s dog had dug out of her garden. With the addition of a $10 door mat from Mitre 10 it actually looked half decent.

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Succulents are really hard wearing and can tolerate dry conditions, so if like me, you are terrible at watering plants, succulents are the way to go. They usually get more than enough water from your average Auckland rainy days.

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I think in the future I will also have some planter boxes out the front with flowers. I might plant a whole of Zinnias 🙂

 

My Garden is kind of a Mess

It’s Labour weekend, which is the traditional start of the summer gardening season so I thought I would start a blog about getting my shit together with the garden finally. When it comes down to it, I’m not what you would call an expert gardener in the slightest. Over the past few years I have had a few successes and many failures in terms of growing vegetables and flowers, and maintaining the beast that is our garden.

Back in 2012 when we bought this house, the garden seemed like a rustic but tidy space. I had romantic notions of having roses and growing vegetables etc. However, neither Mark or I had what you would call gardening skills. A few years before this we had been living in a flat in Christchurch and Mark had used the lawnmower to mow over a massively overgrown flower bed.

We started off reasonably enough – I started growing strawberries in buckets and created a vege garden out the front next to our sad lemon tree. We spent a very sweaty saturday trying to pull all the agapanthus out of the garden next to the front door. The garden just grew and grew and slowly became more of a jungle. We accumulated a large pile of clippings / branches etc round the back of the house which was kind of like something you might see on that TV show Hoarders.

Fast forward to 2016. The garden has been pretty much neglected full stop since about January 2015. 3 months of morning sickness, 9 months of pregnancy and the first few months of having a baby culminated in a messy, overgrown jungle of weeds.

In May this year, we finally thought fuck it, lets clean it all up. With the help of my dad and Mark’s mum we cleared away the garden waste pile of doom and cleared out the garden in general.

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Auckland rainforest

And now we’re here. Since May we have let it go a bit as it has rained A LOT in the last few months. Over the winter, we pretty much left it alone. Only our cat really ventured out there on a regular basis.

I hope over the coming months I can slowly transform our garden in some way that is better than it looks now! It might end up being one of those pinterest fail situations but it also might be great. I guess we will find out 🙂