I’ve mulched round my pumpkins with cocoa husks and the whole garden smells delicious. I still put a bottomless flower pot over the plant to protect it from wind and bird scratching. Mulching your soil is the easiest thing you can do to improve it. You can use straw, seaweed or bark but Whittaker’s cocoa husks look lovely and smell even better. They’re light and easy to handle. They even come in jute sacks that you can use as weed mat underneath for extra weed-supression. Call Petra Aregger on 027 272 2276 or 04 293 3489 at Ghana Gold if you’d like to buy some. The chooks seem to love scratching about in it in the chook house too. No chocolate eggs yet I’m afraid, but if someone forgets to lay in the nest box, it makes for a soft landing. Afterwards I use the chook house litter in the compost heap.
If you’d like some more unusual tomato varieties I’ll have tomato plants for sale at the Ohariu Valley Garden Ramble on Sunday 10-4 or please email me. $4 each or six for $20. Congratulations to Terry Brandon and Kim Kershaw who won the draw for tickets to the ramble (article on page 4). You’ve still got time to enter the draw in Saturday’s Dominion Post ‘Your Weekend’ if you have a copy or you can buy tickets from these outlets for $20 each. Hope you can make it.
The broad beans are thriving – you might need some broad bean recipes if yours are too. You can plant or sow pretty much anything at the moment. I’ve planted out beans, spinach, lettuces, zucchini, onions, pumpkins and cucumbers and sown turnip, radish, carrots and beetroot this week. If you empty a punnet, fill it up with potting compost and sow something else to keep your garden full. Some things will go to seed very quickly in hot weather – coriander, rocket, spinach and pak choi for example. Just keep sowing so you have a good supply if they’re your favourites.
We had another beautiful day for the fresh food garden course on Saturday. The next afternoon courses are on Friday 12 and Saturday 20 November 2010. Or if evenings suit you better, come for two Tuesday evenings on 23 and 30 November 2010.