30 September 2015 4:51pm – Vegie Patch Update: Another Busy Weekend

Finally got a chance to do an update about last weekend’s gardening endeavours! Another busy Spring weekend!

First item on the list was preparing the tank-planter (it’s a cut-in-half water tank) for sweet potato and another banana sucker, being careful to not disturb the pumpkins and arrowroot that have come up from the compost, manure and mulch that I’d put in there a few months ago, digging in a few spades of mushroom compost to increase water-holding capacity and watering the whole lot with wetting agent, before planting out several sweet potato cuttings and the banana sucker (back right) and watering again

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Then another few small-barrow’s-worth of mushroom compost was forked into the garden bed under our bedroom window – haven’t decided what I’ll be putting in there this year, but the soil needed improvement anyway

Then the chook house was raked out and new shredded paper put down, and the ‘reward’ collected :)

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Two strawberry towers were made from some hand-me-down pots, the strawberry runners transplanted from the old bed to the towers and mulched with pine needles

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Hubby went vegie shopping and came home with 2 more strawberry plants and 2 more chillies (and vegies) – “they were on special!” .. and he thinks I’m bad for random plant-buying! :P

Planted out the strawberries into another hand-me-down terracotta pot, and the chillies into two beds in the vegie patch

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We planted out The Chilli Patch with (from left to right) ‘Magnum’, ‘Cayenne Colour Mix’, ‘Jalapeno’ and ‘Hungarian Hot Wax’ seeds, and more Firecracker seedlings on the right – fingers crossed some come up and we get a good variety for next year’s jams!

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Then it was back into the vegie patch to plant out ‘Balinese’ corn, ‘Sugar Baby’ watermelon (recently expired seed, but I’ll give them a go anyway) and a second lot of ‘Costa Romanesque’ bush zucchinis (on the right are the pumpkins that we transplanted out of the potato bag I posted about earlier)

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Then ‘Delicata Mini Sweet’ bush pumpkins into wicking pots

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Then we decided to start a new experiment: home-made wicking beds. Not sure how they’ll go. They’re just Styrofoam broccoli boxes (free from the local market) with gravel in the bottom to act as a water reservoir, covered with shade cloth, then compost and pulverised cow manure on top, remembering to put in a small overflow hole slightly above the shade cloth level and an access pipe up the side so that water can be added to the reservoir without watering the plants from above. I think I put the overflow hole a bit too low down on the first one (left), so I’m not sure it’ll work – we’ll see; the seeds have to germinate first before we’ll see whether they work or not. Stay tuned! :)

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These were then planted out with ‘Sweet Banana’ capsicum seeds in the first one (left), and ‘Violet of Florence’ eggplant seeds in the second (right), watered and mulched

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If you’ve got larger containers that you’d like to convert to wicking beds, Gardening Australia have done a good segment on making your own: http://www.abc.net.au/gardening/stories/s4010599.htm

Bought more herbs at a roadside stall that our friends told us about while we were visiting Sunday morning:

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(2x sage, left and right at the back, oregano between them, 2x lavender at the front, and mint to the right – nice big, healthy plants for only $2!)

The ‘Sex Without Strings’ (love that name!) beans are starting to develop

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Next I planted out a few roma tomato seeds into seedling pots

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And lastly, we scattered a whole stack of expired seeds into a flower bed next to the vegie patch, where I’ve already got a basil, strawberry sage, lucerne and 2 bush zucchinis. If anything comes up, good. If not, I’ll scatter some bug mix and chook fodder in there in a few weeks

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And some more wildflower seeds into the other flower bed (only ended up with coriander (right), broadbeans (back) and cornflowers (left) last time – the only ones the chooks left behind when they got in there)

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And that was all we managed to pack in before the storm moved in Sunday afternoon and we retreated inside.

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