Thursday, March 7, 2019

Time to get the veggie garden going again.

I am very excited to be preparing the raised beds to grow my vegetables this year.  I grow from seed so do not want to miss the beginning of the growing season.  Of course we never really know when the wet season is going to end, but most people rely on April being the time when one can plant out seedlings.   I might be a little early, but want to stagger my plantings, so will only start off a few each weekend.
I did go a little crazy with seeds, but will share around some of the seedlings with friends and family.  I am starting out marketmore cucumber, San Marzano and Tommy toe tomato, Tsakoni eggplant, and rainbow chard.  The greenhouse where I start the seeds is semi shaded, and I am making sure to water every day.  This is an old greenhouse, and the zipper no longer works, but I dont think I want it zipped up tight anyway because I want the fresh air inside.

It was a great buy, and I have had it now for about three years.  Even though I live in a hot climate and dont need it for the warmth, it is perfect for keeping my seedlings all together and away from bugs and too much sun.  My little seedlings are doing great.  I use seed raising mix that you buy in a block and then it expands when you add water.  It is mostly coir based I think.   I had some plastic cutlery that was just hanging around and it is working perfectly for labels!  re-use :)

I hope to have lots of compost to add to the beds, the hughelkulture bed has broken down a bit, but will not need topping up.  I will have to dig up the sweet potato and cassava, but only when I am ready to plant out seeds.  Pumpkin, zuchinni, carrots, beetroot,beans, lettuce and rocket I find do better when the seeds are planted directly into the beds.  I think I might leave a couple of cassava in the back corners so they can provide a bit of shade.  Since I put in the raised beds I dont have the trees that used to provide shade.  The shadecloth tends to be put up and down depending on the wind.  Not perfect, but I cannot think of any other options.

The other bed with the ginger has compacted down a bit but it was never as high as the hughelkulture bed anyway.  I have amended the soil with a little lime and also a bit of trace elements. I will also pick up some manure, I like the five in one.  Also a bit of compost, maybe blood and bone?

I have been growing sprouts and microgreens during the hot wet season.  I really loved these fenugreek  microgreens, and planted a few little plants into the herb spiral to see if they will grow there.  I am growing them in flat plastic trays with half compost and half seed raising mix.  One thing I have found really helps to give them a head start is to lay a piece of thin fabric (I have muslin) over the top,  this forces the seeds to anchor themselves firmly in the ground as they are starting out.  You take it off as soon as the seedlings start to push it up.

Very exciting news this morning - we are having another garden competition this year, and Costa is coming back. Yeah!  Even more reason to get my garden up and pumping!  :)
My garden adds so much sweetness to my life, and I love to share it!


4 comments:

  1. The little hot house looks great and as you say it's a great spot to keep them altogether away from bugs and let airflow inside. Exciting that Costa is coming.

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    1. thank you Kathy, it is quite old now, but still serves its purpose well. In fact this week with our torrential rains, it has kept the little seedlings cosy and dry.

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  2. How exciting to have a garden competition and that Costa is coming. Are you in Cairns? Would you mind telling me where you buy your seeds from, particularly the Mother of Herbs? I saw it on Down to Earth and it sounds interesting. You have lots of great ideas for your garden, particularly using the plastic forks for labels, and the muslin on your seeds. I really enjoyed reading your blog again.Best wishes, Pauline

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    1. I buy my seeds from The Seed Collection. Great prices and good seeds. Everything I know about gardening I learned from blogs, so am happy to pass on the knowledge (and the fails). I think mother of herbs only grows from a slip, so can send you some in the mail - I sent you an e-mail message.

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