Category Archives: Minority Report

Vege Garden Boxes

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.

True not in the vege bed itself, but right next door...
True not in the vege bed itself, but right next door…

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….

 

My Back Yard

This summer we put our house on the market. It didn’t sell for the price (or less than the price) of our registered valuation.  So we decided to stay. in order to stay, we agreed that some ‘tuning’ was required, to shape it more to our liking, and be more comfortable all year round. Phase one involves installing a skylight, recoating our front deck , installing a heat recovery system and doing some tree trimming.

The skylight. in order to install a skylight in our truss roof, we needed to move some stuff. The gas line move itself was straightforward. Finding out we had a gas leak somewhere was not. Three tradesman hours looking for the leak. The electric cabling was next. this required adding wiring to the existing loom. of course, making big lengths of wiring creates an induction circuit, which causes energy saver bulbs to behave strangely. More tradesman hours.

now I am waiting for the builder to come and install the skylight. We are scheduled for late February. Watch this space….