The gardens surrounding our house have been layered with river rocks. While I have hated this format as a gardener since we moved here (each time you add a new plant, you have to move the rocks away, dig in gnarly clay, then re arrange the rocks – missing that all important feeling of Soil in Your Hands…), I had an epiphany. The rocks deter the neighbours cats from crapping in my garden! This benefit cannot be underestimated. I digress. A couple of years ago we built manuka framed vege garden boxes in our sun trap courtyard. We filled them with luscious soil and quality compost, with a drainage layer at the bottom, and off we went.
The first summer I grew corn and carrots. Well the corn went wild, the carrots, despite being laid in a tape, curled into each other and kinda failed. The beans, were good, lettuces awesome, but the beetroot never grew large enough to eat. Of course the cherry tomatoes were prolific. i ended up making them into tomato puree and freezing them. The cucumbers were a delight. This year, I focused on cherry tomatoes, scarlet runner beans, lettuce, zucchinis and telegraph cucumbers. attempting beetroot again, but don’t want to pull them up just yet. in order to cat-pooh-proof my vege garden (and any soil topped garden), I use bamboo skewers. Cats cannot negotiate their way through skewers, unless they are micro cats. Coffee grounds for the snails, and the good old dishwash liquid and garlic spray for a white butterfly repellent. Tomatoes are coming on now, zucchinis flowering but not converting (need fertilization, so I bought some more). All organic seedlings. Nothing beats eating your home grown vege, and while I cannot sustain my family on these small quantities, I hope to convince my beloved to let me take over some of our recently cleared back yard….