OK so update on the garden. Here's the strawbale bed when it went in. Now growing in there and mostly doing well are 3 kinds of lettuce - about 20 odd plants in all, a couple I'll let go to seed, one or two I'll put as mature fully grown lettuce and the rest are for daily picking of leaves. Then there's capsi, chilli (pest repel and to eat), chives, cucumber, feral spuds, parsely, pak choy, African marigold (for pest repel) English spinach and the straw that sprouted but that's ok. Once we prune the big old tree, they will get more sun and hopefully take off even more - they're doing just fine now though. I am finding the pak choy a good ... decoy lol because the caterpillars are devouring that and leaving my lettuce alone to look lovely and non-holey! I've done close proximity planting mostly because they're 'pick every other day' plants rather than waiting for full maturity, but also to keep the weeds and so on out.
The plums are getting bigger, between 20 and 50c piece size now - I only left a few on when we planted them, out of curiousity and I suppose impatience lol. The rest I dutifully removed. The mulberry tree is running a muck as always and the kids picked the equiv to half an icecream containerful the other morning - we had fresh mulberries and vanilla icecream after lunch today (a treat in itself!). In dinner the other night we used our own pak choy (the non-hole-er bits lol) and English spinach... And while we're 'in the kitchen', some biscuits that Brooke made today - Cherry Nut biscuits from the WW Beautiful Biscuits book.
The planted zuccini, rockmelon and tomato are doing well... somewhat... 'loved' by the feral ones that have popped up everywhere because it seems that all the seeds I have given the kids at dinner prep time to 'scatter' all got scattered in the one spot lol. Bonus is so far, you can't see the zuc flowers from the air so maybe this will keep the birds away - such close proximity planting. there's plenty of poo etc in the bed so we'll see how it goes. The bed is about... 2.5m x 2.5m in a triangle shape and it's CHOC-a-BLOC! I think we will have zuccini (sp?) coming out of our EARS (and everywhere else) so plenty to trade if anyone is keen.
And here's my anti-rat/mice device to stop them climbing the tree and pulling down and wasting (half eating) barely ripe fruit. Someone (well meaning) bought around plastic disposable plates for a bbq once. I just can't bring myself to use them to eat off only to end up in the bin... so they have been sitting in the back of the cupboard for how long I don't know, so I fished one out, made a slit and a hole to form a collar for the tree, then sticky taped the slit. The plate is too slippery and flimsy for them to get a grip and so far so good! I need to be careful though to adjust the hole as the tree grows. This one is on the mandarine tree... I suppose I should get some sorted for the apricot, 2 plums and the lime... although they haven't bothered the mulberry... maybe that cat at R&K's down the road DID get the last rat lol
The whole garden hasn't actually been in for that long and it's doing well and really, not that much work once it's in. So long as I replace whatever I pick straight away, we should get a reasonably continuous picking garden... for now at least... until we can make it bigger! Hopefully the water tanks can go in soon as well.