Welcome to Stewart Island & Sails Ashore +64 3 219 1151 tait@sailsashore.co.nz

Spring Parakeets

We have a Pseudopanax “goldsplash” in our garden. And it’s a very prolific seeder, and thus popular with much of our local birdlife.  A couple of days ago Iris discovered a trio of Red Crowned Parakeets busy feeding on the fallen seed. We had seen them quite regularly flying nearby, and head them chittering in the local trees behind Sails Ashore. So nice to see them down on the ground feeding. Hopefully they will stay.

And no, I don’t think they are into a “Menage a Trois”.  We often see trio’s at this time of year, and will do well into the summer. I had wondered it one was a pairs last year juvenile. But seems odd, as parakeet will have clutches of up to at least 5 or 6, so seems unlikely that one would stay with the parents, but its siblings would not. 

The first row of potatoes. The fish tubs on the right will be filled with compost & soil and will be for the tomatoes in the glass house. Black polythene cover underneath

Spring Gardening

We’ve been busy with the spring gardening. Or to be honest Iris has been busy, and I’ve sort of helped. She has 3 rows of spuds in, and one is already up and ridged up. Also a couple of rows of carrots, parsnips and radishes in and covered. The covering is important, as after having lovely warm sunny spring days it’s turned wet and cold… down to 3 deg C yesterday. So the black polythene cover both keeps the ground from becoming sodden, but also keeps the soil temperature up. 

I’ve repaired a few broken panes in the glass house, and turned around 3 cubic metres of compost in our bins.

Garden Pests

We have real problems with slugs in the vegie garden, and Iris does not use slug baits. Rather she places boards around the garden with silver beet leaves under neath. The slugs will hide under the board … nice and close to a snack when they get hungry. And every day Iris collects the slugs and disposes of them. So far this winter and spring she’s caught in 71 days 8300 slugs. So hopefully there will be some vegetables for us to eat !!.

 

Apparently blackbirds like slugs as well. We have a resident population of blackbirds, and although our old friend “Mr Spot” died last year …. he had a white spot on his feathers .. it appears one of his daughters has assumed the mantle of top bird. As well as a distinctive white patch on her back she has many of her fathers habits. Totally fearless foraging for worms when I’m shoveling compost in the bins. Almost perched on my fork, and she will come inside if we leave the back door open.