Blog: The Urban Gardener
The fantastic sunshine over the past couple of weeks has done great things for my little garden.
Spring produce definitely grows faster than winter produce. So far I have harvested lettuce and the first of my strawberries!
I currently can't keep up with how fast my lettuce is growing. Our flat has been having lettuce in the occasional sandwich, salad, lunch and dinner and there's still more outside. Hopefully it lasts until Christmas.
I can confirm that strawberries you grow yourself taste way better than those from a supermarket or a vege market. I think it has something to do with the love and worry you put into them.
I am quite excited about how many of my strawberries are starting to go red. I have at least 12 I am keeping a watchful eye on and plenty more flowers.
I have decided that growing vegetables in spring is definitely more rewarding than in winter.
Everyday it seems like a new seedling has popped up, a new flower has appeared on my strawberry plants or my beans are a lot taller.
It has also been great watching the seeds I sowed a couple of weeks ago appear out of the soil.
I can remember doing small gardening projects at primary school. Things like drawing a smiley face on an egg shell and growing cress from seeds as its hair. Or learning about where vegetables came from by planting a bean seed and watching it grow into a plant, flower and fruit.
However, I don’t remember it being as fascinating as it is now.
Firstly, I’m not sure I’m doing it right.
I realised when I was reading up on what to plant in spring that my gardening knowledge is pretty non-existent. All I know is what books or Google tell me.
I don't even know if they are correct. It would probably also help if I was good at following instructions, but sadly I often need to tweak what books/Google says and make it my own.
So in the spirit of becoming a better gardener I decided to do a couple of gardening workshops held in Wellington.
The first was a container gardening course run by Innermost Gardens and held at the community gardens at the top of Majoribanks Street.
The second was a seed raising course run by The Kitchen Garden in Ohariu Valley.
During the past week I have spent as much time as possible trolling garden centres for spring plants.
As I mentioned in my first blog I have decided to grow strawberries, potatoes, lettuce, tomatoes, capsicum and beans. I also still have spinach, herbs and some cabbage growing.
My potatoes (left) were planted a couple of weeks ago now and are humming along. I was a little upset when I realised, despite large leafy plants growing out of one container, the potatoes are still a couple of months away from being ready.
Now thanks to some sunny weather and a long weekend I have finished my spring planting.
After a couple of disasters in my winter vegetable growing* I have decided to start spring off with something easier.
In that spirit I am currently growing potatoes. According to my trusty gardening book they are one of the easiest vegetables to grow. So easy in fact they are a good project for kids. Sounds like my skill level!
I planted my first batch of potatoes three weeks ago and as far as I can tell they are growing great. My second batch is in a much larger container and was planted a week ago.
I re-used the soil from my winter vegetables, boosting it for a week by watering in some potato fertiliser and normal fertiliser.
You then simply pop your seed potatoes in the pot, cover with soil and away you go. When the plant breaks through the soil you cover it over again. Keep going until the container is full and then let the plants grow. This is called mounding. Theoretically you will then have lots of awesome potatoes.
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