Week 30 in the OMG

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Friday morning – it felt a little chilly overnight so when I did my pre-breakfast walk through the garden I took this photo of my morning temperature reading… the lowest this year. Winter is coming.

And so time to break out the row-cover fleece. OK, so we have not had a frost yet, but it is not far away. Oh, and we also have the ‘Starting a Market Garden’ Course this weekend so I put the fleece over one row as below.

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This view of the first quarter of the garden also shows it at its best – well with your Mentor/Teacher coming it was a bit like waiting for the Admiral to arrive on the ship…. Ha. Out with the wipper-snipper/lawnmowers/weeding forks and the help of willing hands and this is result. Pretty tidy huh ? Well when I was in the Navy we used to say “a clean ship is a happy ship” … but I digress.

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Actually our hens are very happy munching their way through the spoiled Roma tomatoes and doing a most excellent job of clearing the ground. Mother with 9 babies now 11 weeks old.

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So this is a view of the other side of the first section – pretty much all the tomatoes are now gone with just a few Cherry and San Marzano tomatoes soldiering on.

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Despite the low night temperatures the days have still been hitting the low 30s so I decided to erect this simple shade tunnel over the brassicas try and prevent them bolting… not sure if this was quite necessary but we are having adventures in market gardening. This took and afternoon to put up and is a very simple construction : 3 x lengths of 1.5inch poly-pipe (found at the ‘Waste Transfer Station’ (used to be called the Tip in my day however….)) put over steel fencing stretchers and 30% shade cloth stitched to rope; the whole tensioned against 2 x star-pickets.

Incidentally the 30% shade cloth is recommended for growing vegetables and we got our from a company called Shade Australia. Not sponsors of MIlkwood Market Garden, but you can’t get this stuff at Bunnings or Mitre 10 (also not sponsors !)

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On the left is a smaller frame over the Red Cabbages – I am particularly not wanting the still-active cabbage white butterflies to nibble these – and the mesh is preventing them getting in.

On the right the cloth is shading some beautiful late Cos Lettuce .

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The corn is looking good and ready. We tried one this week and Oh Boy – I had not idea how wonderfully sweet and juicy is a fresh corn-cob straight off the stalk. It does not even need steaming.

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The other project we finished this week was planting out the North Border. We now have a hedge of Elder trees, hyssop, lavender, feverfew, comfrey, dahlias, plum trees and a small pond for some aquatic plants. And inside the border the Asparagus bed flourished with cane fruits along the fence. In futures year this should provide both a strong yet slightly permeable wind-break ( we get the hot, dry winds through here which dessicates the garden in an hour – fortunately very little of that in this year’s cool and wet summer) and lots of plant diversity attracting bees and other beneficial insects.

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Here two views of the Potatoe Patch and Bean Border. Potatoes removed from half the patch as this will be used as a Market Garden Course Learnscape this weekend.

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And our usual weekly general view of the garden all tidy and ready for inspection – Sir/Ma’am !!

But before I leave you for this weekend I could not resist this picture of my afternoon tea today.

You just cannot beat fresh honey comb from our own Milkwood bees… seems a fitting tribute to our little pollonisers without whom we would not have got our 1.5 tonnes of veggies (so far) from the Milkwood OMG. Praise be for the honey bee, nature’s little miracle worker.

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Filed under Garden Diary, Growing, Stephen Couling, Vegetables

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