Spring is finally here! And as soon as I think of spring, I think of the garden. I have been hanging out for the warmer weather and can’t wait to get stuck into something outside. I don’t mind winter, but am looking forward to stepping outside and feeling the beautiful enveloping warmth of the spring sunshine. There’s nothing quite like it.
We moved house about 4 months ago and are currently living in rented accommodation so we aren’t able to change our garden. We’ve also moved from a temperate zone to a cooler climate so we have to get used to different weather conditions too. So, for the moment I’ll be growing as much as I can in pots, and I’ve also rented a plot in the community garden to grow some vegetables.
In my community garden vegetable plot, I have planted peas, mini cauliflower, mini broccoli, spinach, lettuce, spring onions, radishes, beetroot and carrots. Some I planted out as seedlings and some were directly sown from seed. In the next week or two, I’ll be sowing capsicum, chilli and tomato seeds in the greenhouse. The tomatoes I’m especially excited about as our “honey drop” yellow cherry tomatoes we grew last year were amazing, and we kept some of the seeds to grow more. I’ve also picked up some “tommy toe” tomato seeds and want to try a few different heirloom varieties too. There really is nothing like a eating a homegrown tomato fresh off the vine.
I am also growing my own potatoes this year for the first time. I ordered some King Edward spuds and green “tatey bags” from the Diggers Club and have planted them in the bags and popped them into the garden. A couple of weeks ago I was planting out my plot at the community garden and met a couple in the plot next to mine who were harvesting their potatoes. My daughter and I helped sift through the dirt to find their potatoes and were pulling out dozens and dozens of spuds. Our neighbour said she had planted about 10 potatoes in their plot and as a few spuds are inevitably left behind after harvesting, over a few years the entire bed is sprouting potatoes. There was no fuss, no hilling dirt over the growth, she just leaves some behind in the bed and they self-seed every year. Too easy! I can’t wait to try it myself, my kids will love trying to find the biggest potato in the patch! Well, biggest potato in the tatey bag this year. If you’re renting like me or have limited space, growing potatoes in a bag or in pots as Bel has done (here) is a great way to still be able to grow your own.
A month or two ago I also bought some bare-rooted strawberry runners from the Diggers Club. I was curious as to how the plants would go being sent through the mail, and was incredibly surprised to see a teeny tiny postage box delivered, with a bundle of roots bound together inside. The roots had a little nub at the top, no leaves, but full instructions on how to plant the runners. Well, about 6 weeks on, every single strawberry runner has taken and put on growth, even with our 12°C days. I planted 20 runners but doubt I’ll get to see many strawberries myself by the time my 3 seagull-children get to them.
I have also just picked up a couple of bargains from Bunnings yesterday as they had some end of season fruit trees going out half price. I bought a miniature pink lady apple tree and a miniature gala apple tree and have planted them in some old plastic pots I had at home.
So, no matter what size your garden, if you rent or just have a balcony, you can still grow some of your own fruits and vegetables in pots. And if you don’t have any outside space, why not grow some herbs on the windowsill? Spring is such a beautiful time of year to be pottering outside, and the work you put in now will reward you all through the warmer months to come. Happy gardening!
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