Well, not much has happened in the vege patch over the past month. I’ve done a fair bit, but the seeds and plants have really taken their time to grow. There has been very little rainfall and the warm weather makes watering a constant battle. Most of the first lot of seeds I planted have eventually germinated; a few things still haven’t popped up. The weather has been on and off – sometimes warm in the day, often really chilly at night, so I think it’s just that the soil is simply not warm enough yet.
In the dark soil patches in this pic, there are tiny purple carrot seedlings, wong bok seedlings, kale seedlings, mizuna seedlings, and radish seedlings. you can’t see much – they are really small still. I gave them a good watering and a dose of liquid aged chook poop, so hopefully that should help them along.
On the centre left there are radish seedlings, on the centre right there are silverbeet seedlings. There are some tiny tiny kohlrabi seedlings too, but you can’t see them at all in this pic. As you can see the grape is loving all the water, sunlight and sheep poop – unlike everything else it has grown heaps in the last month and has a lot of little immature bunches of grapes already.
The polystyrene boxes were brought home from work and recycled as seed raising beds. In these I planted shallow rooted crops like lettuce, kale and mizuna. I also put some kohl rabi in one. The dark patches of soil beyond the boxes is the brand spanking new extension of the vege patch that Dad helped me with the other day when he visited. Here I’ll be planting zucchinis, squash and tomatoes. Along the fence I’ve pushed in some bamboo poles and will string some thin wire or cotton between them, because I’ve planted some peas along the fence line. I’m hoping this will provide some shade to the roots of the toms or zucchinis (depending on where they’re placed) because these always suffer a bit in the harsh summer sun.
I’ve also planted some lazy housewife beans around one of the fruit trees (an experiment) and some next to a paved area of the backyard – where I constructed a trellis for them today (forgot to photograph). They have popped up recently and look awesome. Because they’re located outside of the enclosed vege patch, I’ve covered their patch of soil with some chicken wire so the chooks are less likely to scratch there and dig them up.
I’ve done a fair bit of mulching in the front yard recently using straw, and plan to plant some pumpkins and zucchinis out in a large, sunny garden bed out there too. I figure, why not? It’s free from chook interference, and already thickly mulched. Canaan’s Mum brought us up a pumpkin from Albany the other day, and we’ve saved the seeds with the view to germinating them in a little bit and planting the seedlings in the front yard.
So it’s all coming along nicely, albeit a tad slowly.
I was a bit surprised to see that we didn’t have as many saved tomato seeds in our stocks as I thought, so I bit the bullet and bought some from eBay. There’s a lady on there who sells them in little packs of 10 for about $1.50 each. It’s not as economical in terms of quantity, but it means you can get lots of different varieties. I’ve bought about 5 different varieties of tomatoes, some rockmelon seeds, and a bulk pack of alfalfa seeds for indoor germination.
Hopefully tomorrow I’ll get around to ordering some more straw and sheep poop, and finish off manure-ing the extension part of the vege patch, and begin mulching the bigger seedlings and supressing some of the weeds & grass. I’m hoping to plant out my zucchini seedlings next week – they have their first lot of true leaves but theyre still a bit small. Should hopefully be ready to plant out by the weekend/early next week.
The magpies are really active at the moment. Here are two youngins, having a feed from the chooks mess (foodwaste brought home from work). Here they have strawberries, brioche and museli. Our chooks & maggies are little gourmets! As is Fritz – he turned his nose up at a teaspoon-sized dollop of my yoghurt in his foodbowl today! Little food snob!