Friday, December 3, 2010

The first month is gone

How quickly did the first month pass? It seems like a long time ago that we dug up the first patch of dirt and turned it into a garden bed. But the new moon will be back tomorrow, so it has only been thirty days since we started! What a great experience!

The first patch is looking very good, it holds mainly tomatoes but as well three zuccinnis, a huge plant that looks like a pumpkin (in front right of picture), one strawberry plant without fruit and a recently repotted basil as companion plant for the tomatoes. We have staked them and they grew so well that I started attaching another layer of strings as a second storey to keep them from falling over. I have pruned some plants and took secondary branches off to assist the plants in managing the weight of future harvest. Two plants have already set fruit, a good mixture of Roma tomatoes, Grosse Lisse and cherry tomatoes. No yellow leaves, all is fine. They live happily with an army of slaters that has made its habitat under the straw which we applied as mulch. It keeps the plants moist and happy and was a good decision despite different advice at a gardening workshop. I would like to put some woodchips on top of the straw to increase the protection against dehydration.

The second patch has two rows of potatoes, cucumber, pumpkin, three rock melons, a few capsicums, two chillis and some more pumpkins. The desire potatoes are doing fine, the white ones are struggling. The coriander did not do as well as we hoped, but with the cooler weather there was a bit of growth at last. The first zucchini has got a male flower. Its leaves are still quite small, might be a sign of water stress? Not sure and room for growth and my own learling. Yesterday I extended this bed and added some good compost around a few pumpkin plants that were coming up just like that at the side of the patch.
I was very lucky in spotting and buying a second composter off e-bay last week. the seller even lived very close in my neghbourhood.  My new composter is older than the borrowed one but still in good nick. This composter is the best in my view, turning scraps and earth into decent compost in just about two weeks. I am happy that I don't have to return the borrowed composter to my friend for a while as well, so we will be able to use both! The bought composter was full of good earth and the friendly seller conveniently put the compost into four big plant pots which he gave to me as well. The left of the picture shows four bags of manure, two bags of chicken manure and two bags of emu manure.which he threw into the mix, so it was a bit like Christmas and Easter all at once. Another sign that the universe will provide.

In the meantime I have as well planted spring onions, more chillies and also put some papaya seeds into a pot. I put beans in the ground into our third patch. I prepapred them for sowing in a moist tissue inside my house first, so they already had 1cm long roots when I put them into the ground. Plants seem to just come to me, some I got from a yoga friend and even some plants at 6:40am from a neighbour who handed them over the fence. And I pass on what I don't need as well.

Gardeners united in wanting to make a small difference to our world.

More work ahead, the banana plant has got an off shoot already and needs to find a good spot and tomorrow is new moon again, so the time is right to plant more. the weather has been good to us, the last week was cool and even had a sprinkler of rain, but the water tank did not get any new fill. It is about half full now and if things go well it will last until January. On Saturdays it my weater day and I will today use th mains to give our veggied a good soaking. The greens verge collection is gone, convenient service by the local council.

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