You might remember that I got a whole stash of seeds to trial for the seed company Mr Fothergill. I may have started them out too early, since this was an la nina year and the wet season was extended later than "normal". I figure though that you never know until you try. A lot of the seedlings became long and leggy with the lack of sunshine, but for about a week now we have had a fair amount of sunshine every day.
I like the little grow pots that come with their own little sauna cover and in fact my grandson came up with two of his own as well. - basil and tomato, to add to my parsley. Parsley is a notoriously slow starter here, and I felt that the sauna environment gave it a good start. The basil also did very well, but they do need to be kept out of the rain as there is no drainage hole. The tomato has done nothing - even though I also put in other seeds, not sure what is going on there. They would do very well on a kitchen windowsill which is what they are designed for. I am keeping them along with a pot of salad greens, and a pot of radishes, on the front porch where they get light, but are protected from the rain. This is very convenient to the kitchen, and I must say look nice and tidy. I definitely recommend these for young kids and anyone who is gardening on a kitchen windowsill.
I want the veggies that I grow to be way way better than what I can purchase in the local store. I read something a while back about the nutrient value of mass grown vegetables compared to organically home grown vegetables. I would be very interested to see more studies on this. I grew carrots last year, but they take so long, and I felt that the few carrots I harvested were not worth the space they took up. I am glad to trial the harlequin carrots as I think they will be fun. I have successive sown another row every two weeks. The first lot were sown according the moon planting time so it will be interesting to see if there is any difference in the final harvest. The seed tape makes for a more even line, and is super easy to pop into the garden. The radish look very good too. For some reason I have been unable to get big juicy globes and I am hoping this will change. I used the same radish seeds in the pot on the front porch.
I have planted out some other seeds I got from green harvest - Cabbage Tokyo bekana and Kailan Kaulburi - both Asian stir fry type of greens. Also capsicum and cucumber, which were a bit slow in starting but now seem happier. The silverbeet I got from MrForthergills seemed to be quite slow at getting started in the jiffy pots, so I put a couple of rows of seeds directly into the garden. I am pre-soaking the seeds overnight in seaweed solution. The bush beans never came up, and then I decided to add a huge amount of compost to the bed, so even if they did decide to come up they would have been smothered or drowned. I also read that it is a bad idea to plant peas straight after a bean crop - not sure why. I planted more blue lake bush beans seeds this weekend along the back fence.
As part of the Urban farm handbook challenge I won 2 pairs of gloves and they arrived in the mail today. A pair of bamboo gloves and pair of workhorse gloves - they feel like great quality and I cant wait to get out into the dirt and start digging. This is where they came from - ethel gloves - what a wonderful selection.
What have I learned since I started this garden?
1. Plant seeds closer than you are told to on seed packets. If they are too close you can just snip off the extra leaves to use as microgreens.
2. Invest in sugar cane mulch - this is nice and fine and you can tuck it around little plants.
3. In my garden it is better to plant most seeds straight out in the garden rather than fiddle with pots.
4. Successive planting to ensure continuous harvest.
5. Spray often with chili garlic for bugs, and milky water for fungus.
what are you doing differently this year?