A lovely Stewart Island Day
What a gorgeous day we have here today. A light breeze of easterly, a little broken cloud and an outside temperature of 11.4 deg. And that’s taken from our weather station which is about 5 metres above Sails Ashore roof line. Our sheltered back yard and garden area is probably about 3 deg warmer.
Looking back it’s been a while since I last posted… actually far too long. Winter is our quiet time. The weather has been reasonably settled… far better than we would expect for winter, and it’s allowed us to get well up on the winter and spring chores. And we’ve had more guests than ever before for what is normally our quiet season. And all either Kiwi’s or Australians. It’s really good to see New Zealander’s exploring their own country. I suspect Stewart Island is on most Kiwi’s bucket list, and as a destination is actually quiet easy to get to.
High Soil Temperature and our Vegetable Garden.
Our winter vegetables have been excellent, with lots of broccoli, brussel sprouts, carrots, parsnips, silver beet and kale. In fact almost too good, as we now need the space for the spring planting.
A few days ago I checked the soil temperature, and we were astounded to see it was 10.3 deg C. In the Autumn we cover the vegetable garden with pea straw, and then it’s left until late winter, when I rotary hoe it, and then cover with black polythene for 2 or 3 weeks which both allows the soil to dry, and also warm up. So with the soil temperature ready to plant I immediately hoed it up, and Iris has just planted 4 rows of early potatoes, which, all being equal we will be eating late November. If the weather goes sour… and it probably will … we just cover the soil with the polythene, to stop it getting waterlogged and cold.
The soil condition was the best I’ve seen at this time of year. One pass with the hoe rather than the three or so I would normally give it. And we put that down to the 3 or 4 cubic metres of compost we put on in autumn. As well as our own green waste I give the local council worker our trailer when he’s mowing the village lawns. The clippings get 4 or 5 good big handfuls of lime when it goes into the bin, and by judicious use of a cover I keep the moisture levels in check. The temperature goes through the roof… 78 deg C one test, and I turn it a couple of times. There is always a large colony of worms in the bottom level and these work their way up into the heap as it cools off. So in total we produce around 5 cu metres each year.
Long may this fine weather continue ……