Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Daily routine

My daily routine at Maculata Grove is to check out what is happening in the garden. Eventually this routine will be a bit more involved as we plan to have chooks and other tasty creatures, but for now its all about the fruit and veg.

First thing in the morning is always the best time to visit the garden. There are many reasons for this. During the summer in South East Queensland, it can get very hot during the day. So you don't want to be doing too much stuff outside during the heat of the day. But sticky humidity aside, plants in the Cucurbit family (e.g. watermelons, pumpkins, zucchini, spaghetti squash, etc.) are only available for pollination in the morning. Now in a perfect world the insects would pollinate all of the female flowers for you. However I have found that this is rarely the case. Leaving up to the insects can result in very disappointing results. There are enough challenges around here as it is without having produce which does not mature.

Another thing which I generally do in the morning is harvest produce which is ready for eating. In particular peas, beans, tomatoes, and zucchini are some of my main targets. I find that if I do not do this, then I can leave some of the produce too long and it will spoil or be past its prime. However I do leave all the produce that I can on the plants, as nothing is better for you and tastier than freshly picked produce.

The other main morning task is to water the garden if there has been no recent rain. At this time, I do not have an irrigation system set up for the veggies. Thus it is all hand watering with my hose. The only exceptions are the banana pit which receives grey water from the laundry and the citrus orchard which receives treated effluent from my aqua nova waste treatment plant.

All in all this routine is quite relaxing and a great way to start the day. It allows me to keep a close eye on the garden, thus giving me the chance to take action as problems arise. Then I usually move onto the next part of my day, a blended smoothie. :)

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