Saturday, 13 October 2007


The garden was smiling again this morning, over the last 3 evenings we have had 17mm of gentle rain. On my regular morning visits to both the veggie & herb gardens (to collect ingredients for the chookies breakfast) All the seeds planted earlier are up and looking happy & the seedling tomatoes, pumpkins and cucumber which have been hardening off where planted this week and are all settled in after the rain. I have lots of tomato seedling to share. (See seeds to share) insert pictures of Garden
Garlic purple podded peas
You know spring has finally arrived when the chestnuts start to leaf out, and there is an expansion of growth everywhere and this is when you can really appreciate the role of weeds. This week I have been busy weeding the raspberries. I use a technique I call

weed’n mulch
. Simply pull up weeds, add some compost and put the weeds back on the beds as mulch... Mainly annual plants fill in the spaces over winter/spring so they pull up easily. It’s a sustainable way to mulch. I actually developed an even better way several years ago that you may find useful. Again I used the raspberry rows; the bonus to the method is with competition the perennial weeds were pushed out. Just before the opening rains in autumn I sowed oat seeds on the surface (a bit like a green manure) over winter it grew strongly and in October I used it as above. I used it like this for a couple of seasons THEN the GEESE discovered the grain. Fencing them out was not really an option so now I just use the volunteer plants. I feel it’s important to develop ways of creating your own mulch for reasons like
· Weed seeds. (that’s where most of the weeds on our place came from)
· Possible chemical contaminates.
· Sustainability of the system producing the material. (organic farmers should not be parting with any organic material)
· Distance carted.
I like also using living mulches. In the tunnel the paths are planted with annual clover. They grow; cover the soil, seed and collapse forming mulch that can be added to the next crop.
In the orchard a there is a mix of plants that can be mowed. When you observe this material you notice the range of plants, their health and vigour as well as what creatures are living there and the amount of biomass that is being returned to the trees as mulch which normally would have to be procured and put around the trees in a separate operation. Each time the orchard is mowed all the goodness is returned and the orchard becomes self mulching.
Insert picture orchard inline mowing


Maggie said...

Great idea we shall do that next year for mulch. We planted all sorts of seeds for a green manure crop, barley, coriander, fenugreek and parsley. It was great because we had heaps to eat. I am letting some plants go to seed and hope to use them in cooking.

Kate said...

Life is bountiful, isn't it, when you know how to see.

Kate said...

Is that your garlic Deb ? Looks fabulous.