Monday, 1 October 2007

Mulch mats, seeds and seedlings

Hi folks

I've been off in my other life (there I am with my trusty crew...), with my head awash in circuits and sensors for measuring salinity in our soils and water. Kate wrote to me to ask if I'd died, and so I thought I'd better log on and post a few of the things happening in the veggie patch.

At this time of year - early Spring - there's always competition for garden space if you are a seed-saver. I like to pay the bees for their services, so I let all the brassicas and greens go to flower, though I may not always let them go through to seed (depending on rarity).

With the last rains in August, I purchased about 50 bales of pea-straw, and laid it in 10cm thick 'tiles' over the beds to save the soil water while waiting through the inevitable delay before Spring plantings begin. If you follow through the photos, you'll see how these 'tiles' can be peeled back, a furrow made in the still-moist soil, rainwater bucketed into the trench before seedlings are transplanted, followed by plantings and cloche-covers to keep the chooks and blackbirds out.

The seedlings came from Diana Bickford. Thank God she's been busy propagating things while I haven't! This trench is full of Japanese greens, kale and silver beet.

My seed table consists of an abandoned frame used by telecom workers, which I've placed over the mint patch. Mint likes shade and plenty of water, so I drilled holes in the cover boards to let overflow water keep them wet, while the seedlings give them shade. Anyone need a bucket full of mint?

Some of the things being picked at the moment include kale, Warrigal greens, sage, lettuce, nettles and fennel bulbs. And how about those bush chillies? Not shown are my magnificent crop of snow peas, most of which I eat while down there by the tanks getting water.

I even let the lawn run to seed at this time of year, as it provides seed for flocks of sparrows, pigeons and Magpie-larks, so it's all looking pretty ragged. But I did manage to 'pot on' my tomato seedlings in the Spring sunshine this afternoon, as it will quite a few more weeks before I've got the bamboo frames up for those.

Now I have to get back to those circuits...


Kate said...

Andrew, you are a star.Lovely to have you around again.

Anonymous said...

How do you form the bamboo for your tomato trellis?