Saturday, December 14, 2013

Another Mulch, and a Diary

 I am working on another bird-deterrent mulch. In this case it is the one closest to the camera - two fairly heavy stakes on either side of the beetroot. I had to take the cloche off them for another row of beetroot (at the top), and the birds were in there fast. The aim is to make it so hard for them to get to the seedlings, they go elsewhere, where they cause less damage.

That is another row of sugarbeet seed at the top. This time I have dug a shallow trench, filed it with potting mix (hopefully without too many weed seeds), edged it with sugarcane mulch and then planted the seed. I'm having fun trialling things.

This is another mulch version, below. Lighter stakes, either side of a row of carrot seed. As I have run out of cloches and heavy stakes.

Here is a diary of what I have been up to since the last report to the Garden Share Collective. It is a really busy time of year, and I find it easiest to just wander in here and some nights (if I get time), just put a couple of rough notes about what is happening in the garden. I am sure I am going to look back on them to work out what happened when. Every season is so different.

5.12.2013 Planted four seed of Giant Sunflowers from Mr Fotheringill in toilet roll holders - three came up, but the roots were already out of the bottom of the roll almost before the seed leaves appeared, and were showing signs of the roots being damaged. Next time I think I would direct sow. Looking for climbing pea seed to have ready to sow to go up the stems once they get going.

6.12.2013 Planted seed from an eight-varieties mixed lettuce pack from Green Harvest, who are organic growers in Queensland. We tried to do the sums to work out how many seeds to plant to make sure we would get all eight, and gave up. Some seeds are white, some are black, so we have planted four of each. We think if we do this every week we will have a continual and ever-changing range of lettuce. And the seeds (lots of them), are in date to September 2016.

We have also been buying a few seeds from The Seed Collection - very impressed with the prices.

11.12.2013 Cool, intermittent rain, windy.

There are lots of chillies and cappies of various sorts in punnets, coming along from seed.

Soaked some red beet seed for 48 hours, and now keeping damp in wet paper toweling. Roots already coming out, so they need to go in the ground. Getting very interesting in pre-soaking seed - have some carrot in now.

Harvested first two small zucchini, small beans off climbing bean so it bushes up a bit more. Transplanted wild rocket to main beds.

12.12.2013 Planted out Parsnip seedlings (hand raised), some spring onions (commercial punnet), soaked and unsoaked carrot seed. Lots of both Lebanese and Apple cucumbers coming. Potted up the chillies from the ten-years-old seed. And plaited the garlic - more about that soon.

13.12.2013 Quick trip to Garden World in Melbourne. So finally sourced Yates Majestic Red carrot seed. But not as good a range of Thyme as I had hoped. Need to go back to BAAG

Put in a few seeds of Blue Lake climbing bean (from Goodmans), where two of the four un-named seedlings (Brunnings?) have failed to thrive.  I always come back to Goodman's seeds - a genuinely local family firm, where I was honoured many, many years ago to have editorial input to the family history.

Does anyone know any good nurseries between say Warragul and Malvern they would recommend? We are going to be doing that trip a few times in the next few months.


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