A while back (when we were still in Auckland) I discovered a pretty cool show - Get Growing. Basically it is a show where they take a couple and teach them from scratch how to set up a proper veggie garden to be as self-sufficient as possible. They talk about organic ways to reduce pests, crop rotation, what works well when planted together, how to save seeds and so on. So then I got all inspired and wanting to get stuck in, which of course I couldn't because we didn't have any garden except this tiny little courtyard in shade pretty much all day long.
When we got here I thought that the time has come to look at my options. We love this rental home. It is nice and spacious, is all on one level (so no stairs inside), plenty of space for the kids to play outside and in a really quiet and peaceful area. The only downside unfortunately is that we don't have gardens, we have grass and then this big concrete slab in the front which is great for the kids to ride their bikes or scooters on and then a deck at the back. So my only option was to look at planting things in containers. I considered building raised beds on the concrete, but unfortunately for now it is a cost issue. We have permission to dig up some of the grass, but then when we move out we have to replace the grass which will once again be a cost issue (especially since this is not our house). So I managed to get some polystyrene containers from New World and some planter bags from Warehouse. Maybe next year I might re-look building raised beds, but this year it is more about learning when the right time is for our climate to plant things, what works well, what didn't and so on. So for now there is no real planning that went into deciding where to "plonk down" the planter bags and containers other than trying to give them as much sun as possible for most of the day.
Before we came back to Wellington I started saving tomato seeds. I love tomatoes and so growing my own would be just so cool. Right now I have 3 plants (had 4 but 1 unfortunately died) that I bought from New World and they are heritage type tomatoes - 1 golden nugget and 2 bloody butcher. I'm especially excited about the golden nugget because I have never seen yellow / orange tomatoes and can't wait to taste it. One thing I will have to remember though is that the Bloody Butcher one grows really tall and needs quite a bit of space. The Golden nugget has a lot of fruit.
One of my little Golden Nugget tomatoes are nearly ripe - can't wait:
And then I have several plants that I grew from seeds I saved at times when we bought tomatoes to eat at home. So I'm very excited. Look how nice they are doing:
One of my Bloody Butcher tomatoes were so close to getting ripe when some stupid bird came to help itself. It was not even fully ripe and was then left half eaten. Sigh! So now I have bought some nets and will need to buy a few more. One more thing to remember when I do veggie gardening again next year - plan it with nets from the word go.