April 2013

In the beginning

We arrived in New Zealand from South Africa on the morning of 5 Feb 2013. After a first few weeks in the central city of Auckland where an impulse buy saw me three teeny tiny ferns richer, we moved to a great new location out in North Shore City. Although I now have a full native forest on my doorstep – literally, the need to grow something of my own finally boiled over into the decision to start growing veges again.


My trio of ferns

Native forest

Native forest – Coatesville

This is going to be a record of our trials, triumphs and tribulations and we hope you have fun joining us with our experiments in growing and using our own produce. It is a small start, but one which I ultimately hope will result in me being old and grey and looking out onto my rural homestead with my grandchildren chasing chickens through the orchard….

Raising Seeds

We decided we’ll do as much as we can from scratch, so we’re going to be raising a lot of seedlings.

We bought two bags of seed raising mix at The Warehouse for NZ$6 and some seed packets, each about NZ$3 and we’ve been using whatever household trash we could recycle to create seedling trays – old juice and milk cartons work fabulously, as do baby tomato punnets, empty small yoghurt jars, empty spread dishes and even tins.

These are the late autumn/winter seeds we got for now:

Our vegetable seeds

Our vegetable seeds

  • Red Bunching Spring Onions
  • Gleam Double Mixed Nasturtiums
  • Sweet Pea Mammoth Mixed
  • Chives Plain
  • Oregano
  • Thyme Common
  • Broccoli De Cicco
  • Beetroot Red Globe
  • Tarragon Russian
  • Parsley Tripple Moss Curled
  • Sage
  • Tomato Patio
  • Silverbeet Emerald Dark Green
  • Calendula Pacific Beauty
  • Carrot Resistafly F1Hybrid

We’re putting the seedlings in a modified tomato planter that we got on special for NZ$10 – Rick got some strong rods to re-infore the poles and some mesh and zip ties and made a few extra “racks”.




This is what we got right so far:
Sowed on 11 April


Silverbeet 2.5 weeks

Calendula Seedlings

Calendula 2.5 weeks

Sowed 18 April 


Broccoli 1.5 weeks


Calendula 2.5 weeks


Carrots 1.5 weeks

Spring Onion

Spring Onion 1.5 weeks


Beetroot 1.5 weeks

Sowed 21 April 


Nasturtium 1.5 weeks


Sage 1.5 weeks


Tomato 1 week

 Potting up

We’re still in a “holiday house” set-up at the moment, so we can’t go dig up a vegetable patch and seeing as our first batch of silverbeets are nearly ready for a larger home, we had to think of a temporary plan…

Pot selection

Pot selection

Garden soil

Garden soil

So today, we got two bags of Garden Mix on special at The Warehouse for NZ$7 each and a selection of pots – one red square one for Rick’s tomatoes for NZ$7, big green one for my Rosemary and Thymes NZ$7 and four small planters for our silverbeets (just for now) NZ$4 each.


I got a Rosemary plant for NZ$6, thinking that propagating from stem cuttings is a good idea and will make the purchase worth while. Also, I can use some fresh Rosemary immediately 😀
The mint got added to our weekly grocery shopping yesterday as the potted herb cost the same a small packet of harvested mint o.O
Today, while we were getting pots and soil from The Warhehouse, I had a good look around their plant section (of course!) and spotted these two beautiful thymes that were marked down to NZ$3.50 each! Now, who could resist that?






Lemon Thyme

Doone Valley Thyme

Doone Valley

Growing from the greengrocer

I’ve got this thing with raising avocado plants, I confess, it is a problem 😉 When I left SA, I must’ve given my sister about 20 little avocado plants… but I reckon it is a genetic predisposition, because mine only added to her already huge stash! We eat a lot of avo – one of the superfoods, and subsequently I am starting a little avocado farm ….

Avo farm

Avo farm

Avo root

Avo root

And we’re going to try garlic too, but for now its just tins with soil…


Garlics…shhh – they sleeping

One thought on “April 2013

  1. Rayana

    May 1, 2013 at 7:46pm

    We share a dream… mine also includes a rocking chair or a swinging bench, a cup of tea, and little ones running through sprinklers with a bouncy dog barking at them. And I slowly get up to get a mint leaf or two to add to my tea and make lemonades for the rest of the squealing bunch

Leave a Reply

Your email will not be published. Name and Email fields are required.