It is the best time to grow thing here at Chez Calidore. The weather is warm through the day, cooler at night and today we have light rain. Perfect growing conditions for vegie seeds and the like. Autumn is definately coming but while there is warmth in the soil I will plant.
Renovated garden beds with new lawn. The brown bags are the potatoe bags.
Actually I think that’s my new mantra…… ” I will plant.” If I say it often enough it will keep me motivated…vbg.
Woke at 8 am and wandered out into the garden. Light rain falling but it really wasn’t cold. I put in more vegie seeds. Lettuce, English Spinach and Leeks. The Rocket, and broccoli I planted a few days ago is up already which means the parsley and cabbage won’t be far behind.
Bird protected bed at end has broccoli, spinach, lettuce, cabbage and leeks in it.
The seeds I had scattered in January after reading One Straw Revolution are growing strongly . I did end up watering the seeds the seeds as we had a run of very hot days and no rain and up they came. There is a forest of carrots in one bed and the salad greens in the other are growing strongly. I picked some leaves last night for our tea and they were fabulous. Crisp and crunchy and bursting with flavour.
The potatoes I had planted in those growing bags are doing so well. You really don’t need a lot of water for them to keep them going which is nice. As they did seem to do so well I planted more potatoes in a chook food bag beside them (the white bag with writing on it at the right of the photo). It will be interesting to see if they do as well. I have already put more soil around these potatoes and will need to get more as they are growing so rapidly.
There are butternut pumpkins all over these vines and some are massive. I must admit to prefering to grow butternuts on a trellis. I’m always a bit worried that with the larger pumpkins that they might become too heavy and pull the whole structure down. Besides butternuts are the perfect pumpkin for us. I can get two meals out of one pumpkin with no waste or loss.
Did you know that if you sprinkle white pepper on the cut part of a pumpkin it will help to keep it until you want to use the rest of the pumpkin. It doesn’t keep the pumpkin for weeks but you do get about a week before it starts to go off. I have been doing it for years and it works. With the price of pumpkins in the shops at the moment ($2 a kilo and rising) it’s worth trying.
I did ask if anyone knew why my tomatoes had stopped flowering way back in January and thank you to those who replied. One friend suggested that like you dead head flowers to keep them flowering, you should also do that with tomatoes to keep them fruiting. I tried but to no avail. Finally I cut back all the tomatoes to any green shoots figuring I had nothing to loose. Some, mainly the taller varieties, promptly turned up their toes and died. I think they were going to anyway. Others, like these, were the bush tomatoes and the put on new growth then seemed to stop.
Today I emptied out the compost bin, pulled back the mulch and put a really thick (4″) layer of compost around the base of each tomatoe. It is well worth the time to drag back your mulch every now and then to check the quality of your soil. I thought I had prepared this bed really well but the soil ended up being very sandy, very, very dry and fairly water resisitant. Hopefully with the addition of this compost things will start to improve. I watered in the compost and then gave them a drink of worm wee to boost them along.
As always there is another experiment in the offering. I have been collecting the big plastic bags that Ashley gets on new stoves, airconditioners etc. I’m hoping to create mini hot houses over each tomatoe to try and get them through the winter. I’m not sure if I will get any flowers or fruit during this time but if they survive it might mean earlier tomatoes and give me a head start on next years season. I figure I have nothing to loose. The bags cost me nothing and if it works it’s a bonus. If it doesn’t…….well at least I can say I tried.
Now I’m off to measure up the bed in front of where the tomatoes are growing. It’s full of weeds and a few roses and I think I can get a new vegie garden bed in there. Not a huge one but it will be another bed and as it’s close to the path it will be easy to maintain. Acutally the measuring bit will be easy. Convincing Ashley I need it might be another matter.