The reason for the hiatus? Nothing and everything... no illness or amazing overseas holiday to internet-unconnected land just masses of gardening.
We have really bitten off a lot this year garden-wise and maintenance is pretty much a fulltime job. As it is I should be out staking ohhh you know 45 eggplant bushes and about the same of capsicums... not much right?
After having massive success with my Aussie seedraising (Queensland Blue, Golden nugget and button squash which I found out North Americans call pattypan squash- that plant gets the cutest name wherever it goes!) and having about 30 seedlings to do something with we were given the leftover seedlings from a seedling grower/ wholesaler here. Neighbour, friend, co-farmer and occasional fiend A swore to me that she was going to give away heaps to friends and neighbours.
Sucker that I am I believed her.
I think we gave away 10 seedlings.
Not being able to let the rest die of neglect (I know way too softhearted for this gardening lark) I decided we had the space- it just needed weeding
and shaping into rows
and you know what with extra hours at work and all I have so much free time this season so why not?
And thus we now have a garden that will be forcing me to push veggies on everyone in about a month.
Because my softheartedness to veggies means that I hate seeing them rot on the bush almost as much as I hate seeing the seedlings wither.
And just so you don't think I'm making all this up, some pictures:
From the back door:
Row 1 of the back half of the garden. Snowpeas with blueberries on the left and for those with good eyesight the frame of our greenhouse and a row of pumpkin mounds at the back.
Row two. the cucumber frame. Plenty of red shiso growing wild and those cool white flowers that flower at night and then turn pink by morning in there so it's not really all weeds even though it appears to be! I bought 4 incredibly extravagant grafted cucumbers for the horrifying price of 258 yen each as that's all the shop had (the wholesaler lost her cucumber crop this year so none to be had there) and then bought 10 more when I found them at the local hardware for 58 yen each. I have been really shocked (and kind of pleased!) to see that the expensive ones are at least 5 times as big and tall as the cheap ones. Still horrified at the price though! There are two bitter gourd plants at the end as I love the stuff.
Row three the tomatoes. Under the shelter are six mini/cherry tomato plants of different varieties- orange, black, yellow, red, grape and something else I've forgotten. At the front without a cover are two groundcover tomatoes. These are regular sized and apparently inedible raw and only good for sauce and juice as they are too 'savoury' and not sweet enough. Which is of course exactly why I like them! The fact they are groundcovers and don't require staking or covering is a bonus, too!
Row 4, 5, 6, 7- silverbeat/ swiss chard, more tomatoes, three types of chilli peppers and the first of the eggplants. These are 'salad' eggplants which means they can be eaten raw. Because you've always wanted to chomp into a raw eggplant, right?
Row 8 then 9-10-11-12-13 and 14-15-16-17-18
row eight is green capsicums. Two varieties but I got confused so they're all muddled up.
row 9-13 is five holed mulch in which I planted a row each of daikon (shot to seed) chingensai/ bokchoy (retarded by shading out from daikon but coming along well as we eat through the daikon), carrots, beetroot and parsnips. Row 14-18 is the same 5 holed stuff and we have turnips, komatsuna (Japanese mustard spinach according to google) and radishes so far with a few cauliflower sown along the edge.
Rows 19-23, two rows of corn, more capsicum, cabbages and stick broccoli (got confused again so it's al a bit mixed up in there!) and more eggplants. Staked this time... ooo errr!
Row 24 snake beans on this side and black beans, soy beans, red beans and some purple flowering broad beans on the otherside. Behind that is mizuna, lettuce, spinach in a non plasticced bed and then the herb bed overflowing with coriander and parsley and occasionally deigning to grow a basil plant.
Row whatever- I've lost count! From the left we have pumpkin mounds with Meg's melon plant at the far end, I can't stand the smell of melon let alone the flavour but she watered the wholesalers entire stock while we were there and was given a melon seedling so I could hardly say no... then four more rows of something in the pepper family and some kind of peppers... I got less careful about planning the more I planted and the more I realised I still had to plant! The otherside of the greenhouse frame- did I mention K and I finally put up the greenhouse frame? Did I? I have only wanted one for six years and had all the materials for four afterall... anyway, the otherside of the greenhouse frame is swet potatoes then zuchinnis then pumpkins (get all the viney things in there together and sorry zucchinis!) then more beeping green pepper/ chilli pepper plants then in the far corner nine more pumpkin mounds. Two of which look suspiciously like they are button squash plants... oh well!
Phew.... That's about it I think. We have potatoes and leeks planted in a field elsewhere (long term, low maintenance foods get planted further away from the house) and I'm cofarming wheat at neighbour W's place and of course the rice paddy and that is about all my spare time between now and Winter!
Boss K and Dad hope that's enough of an excuse for my absence!