Last year was disastrous in terms of vegetable seed sowing. I managed to raise a couple of courgette plants a few french beans and four cucumbers which shriveled up and died. I think my grand total harvest was three beans and a courgette. The problem was a combination of my method and my dedication. Everything just got lost in the dust and I lost heart. I should have waited for the rains to plant them out because my enthusiasm couldn’t sustain watering them daily so most of them had died by the time the rains came. Those that hadn’t were sufficiently weakened to be suffocated by the forest of weeds which then sprung up.
This year everything is different. Although it’s slow progress I am getting things done and I’m determined to stick to my resolutions.
I have been planting the seedlings in my paper pots. It’s such a simple way of doing it, as they’ll just degrade into the soil when I plant them. I have even planted some carrots in them as the ones I sowed straight into the beds got eaten by chickens. These were sown on August 22, I even labeled them, so far the peas and carrots have come up as well as the pumpkin seeds I saved from one I bought at the Bryanston Organic Market. The only downside is they don’t stand up so well to an excited puppy stepping on them.
Spring has poked it’s nose in and retreated again, like a cat trying to decide whether or not it wants to come in; while it’s owner stands holding the door open and freezing. At any rate it won’t be long before it comes all the way in, promptly followed by summer. Time to get on with planning the veg garden.
There is no formal layout. I’m starting to wish I had put down straight rows of paths for the methodicalness and aesthetics of it if nothing else. Will do that next year.
Of course there is A LOT of garlic in already, some onions, possibly a couple of leeks and a few peas. I planted some more peas because most of them didn’t grow. Probably eaten by chickens. I planted out my brassica seedlings (now fenced because of chickens dust bathing) but I have a feeling we’re in the wrong season. Oops.
I’ve made a list of veggies I want to grow based on what we eat – lettuce, cucumber, celery, tomatoes, peas, beans, beetroot, carrots, sweetcorn, potatoes, peppers, squashes, melons – and I’ll probably add some others along the way.
I’ve already started planted some seeds in little paper pots but that’s another post.
I’m sure other gardeners out there must also find that if you lose something you’re sure to find it when you’re sifting the compost. In the past I’ve found a veg peeler, a pair of secateurs and yesterday a small garden fork.
We’ve been digging out compost heaps to improve our poor sandy soil and also so I can make a new home for my chickens. I think this will be house number 5 but they get better with each try.
I’ve also planted out more garlic, I think i must have about a hundred garlic plants but you can never have too much right. Peas are just coming up, so exciting as well as broccoli, cauliflower, red onions and red lettuce that i planted into trays.
The expected frost came with a vengeance, 4mm thick ice on the water bowls, so I’m putting the seedling trays to bed at night and bringing them into the sun every morning.