Spring Garden Update

My property has two main garden beds, the short wide bed raised which runs the length of my back fence which we'll call the back bed and the smaller 1x2m^2 low raised bed in front of the rainwater tank which we'll call tank bed.

Winter

Through the winter tank bed was a disaster, it turns out it doesn't really get much sun in winter so it just spent most of it's time wet so virtually nothing grew.

Back bed has been planted with spinach, rocket, kale, sporadic radishes, carrots, silverbeet (swiss chard), broad beans, a dwarf imperial mandarin and a passionfruit vine. The leafy greens have been going really really well, I've always loved going out in the morning and collecting some to put in to lunch for the day. Broad beans were sort of a random decision when I was at the hardware store. They're finally big enough to harvest which is exciting. I've pulled a bunch of pods, shelled the beans, blanched them and then shelled them out of their little internal pods. I've never really eaten broad beans before but I'm liking them. In future seasons I'm definitely going to be reaching for broad beans again. The mandarin and the passionfruit have been pretty dormant through the winter.

The final project has been raising tomatoes from seeds I saved from a plant I got from a friend last season. These damn tomatoes have got to be the most babied plants on the planet but I have about 12 viable plants to show for my efforts!

The Present and Future plans

For the spring season I built up the tank bed with some roof tiles and wooden stakes. I've added compost from our compost bin (which is exciting in and of itself because we've owned the property for a year and haven't actually done anything with the compost bin other than dump food and straw into it.) and planted tomatoes I raised from seed and a basil seedling from a shop. I planted some beetroot and spring onion seeds further down the bed and just kind of sprinkled radish seeds in all the gaps so we'll see what happens there.

The back bed has largely stayed the same at the moment. I've sprinkled mustard seeds around near the base of the mandarin to experiment with using it as green manure as well as an additional salad green (and I might have a crack at making something with the seed later, we'll see how adventurous I'm feeling I guess.) Currently the carrots are pretty tightly packed so I'm thinking I'll pick up some more seeds and plant them a little more spread out now that I'm starting to get a feel for what I'm actually doing with the bed.

In a planter sort of off to one side I've put a few raspberries which some friends gave us which are growing well but are nowhere near producing any fruit yet.

As far as the future is concerned I'm thinking about picking up a few grow bags and growing some potatoes. I'd like to branch out and have a go at eggplant and capsicum when space opens up in back bed.

I think for the space I have to grow, it's infeasible to grow *ALL* our vegetables but I like that I'm reducing the distance that at least *SOME* of our food needs to travel.

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