The New Year in the Garden and some resolutions

I love the start of the year, it is a line in the sand, a time for new beginnings and building on the old. We have been working very hard in our garden over the holidays. It has been superb gardening weather. Today is the first day it has been quite hot, hence I am inside in the middle of the day.
Our efforts in garden have been largely about restoirng and reclaiming, getting things back in order after my absence and Peters illness. So we have been mowing, weeding, pruning and digging out the never ending Kikuyu. Hard work most of it.
If we are to sustain our gardening over time we will have to get smarter and be more consistent.
Thanks to two years of mild temperatures and reasonable rainfall, most of our garden is now pretty well established. We don't need to be planting a whole lot of new plants, maybe just the occasional specimen that takes our fancy. We also don't need to be watering a lot.
So my New Years resolution for the garden is to be consistent in maintaining what we have, be proactive and not reactive. In practice that will mean doing all the edges every week, this is then a small and quite easy job, mow a bit every day, prune ruthlessly and deadhead often. Plant and fertilise in a timely manner and keep on top of the needs of the fruit trees.
I haven't always been a big fan of pruning but this summers experiences have led me to believe that little and often is probably the way to go. Our fruit trees had become quite large and difficult to manage, hard to thin and pick the fruit, let alone put pest exclusion bags on! I  think this stems from greediness and a more is more attitude. In reality, this summer we have lost most of the fruit to fruit fly and coddling moth, (and then had the big job of picking and disposing of bad fruit). I have noticed that my friends who have smaller and better maintained trees still have a load of fruit and much less pests so I am reducing the size of all the fruit trees to one that I can manage. I want to be able to easily mow and weed under the trees and reach all the branches. I plan to use exclusion bags and nets to stop the fruit fly and coddling moths so I think even if I get say fifty pieces of good fruit from the peach tree that is better than hundreds of poor quality or bad quality fruit. Perhaps the real problem with the summer fruit this year goes back to the over abundance of mandarins and the time we spent picking and disposing of them. There is only so much fruit two people can eat and I still have passion fruits in the freezer from last summer and loads of stone fruit in jars.
Yesterday I spent about three hours pruning one of the giant Rosemary bushes,  it was probably twice as big as this one.

 It really didn't look very nice any more and I could see that it would probably fall over or Begin to rot if I didn't attend to it soon. Having given it a massive prune I think it looks a lot better

so I am thinking I will try and get around all the parts of the garden every week and clip and prune as needed rather than having these massive pruning jobs.

Lots of the garden is looking quite spectacular and we are eating quite a few vegetables from the garden despite the neglect, there are nice onions, potatoes seem to be everywhere when I am weeding I am constantly digging them up. The Zucchinis are going well and there are some nice beetroot, carrots and capsicum and as always an abundance of herbs. I will be planting now to have loads of vegetables at Easter when Katie and her family come. So hopefully come the first of April the garden will be full of roses and lots of good things to eat.
I also plan to blog a bit more regularly to keep on track with these resolutions.
I hope everyone is having a Happy New Year and making some useful resolutions.


Kt said…
Grandpa Ken would be pleased you've become a pruner!
Anne said…
I know Katie, i think my pruning is getting even more drastic than Dad's, we'll have to say Grannie prune instead of boy prune!

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