Saturday Catch-up

Saturday catch-up

Great news! We are with tomato fruit! Not surprisingly the Siberians are leading the way and one of the Cherry tomatoes has also started fruiting. (Photographic evidence included below). The Brandywines seem to be starting to grow a bit but are nowhere near big enough to even flower as yet.

We have been out this morning putting some shredded paper mulch on the potatoes. I know I only mulched last weekend but they have outstripped their last covering and have grown overall between 15-20cms this week. I’ve also dug up some potatoes that have sprouted in inconvenient places to pass on to a work colleague.

As far as the paper mulch goes it gets used for various things around the garden. Mainly we put it is as a dry component for our compost bin. We have an old plastic bin with the shreddings next to the compost, so when the kitchen waste goes in the bin a few handfuls of paper go in after it. We are also using the paper to put in the bottom of our waste bucket to stop it from getting too disgusting. As a direct mulch you need to be a bit more careful. If you put it on too thickly it can clag down into one solid mass of pulp and no water will get through. Because the paper is high in carbon it will use up soil nitrogen when it is breaking down so always try and throw some blood and bone or chook poo on it when you put it out.

I actually bought my own shredder – a fairly sturdy model from the office supply shop. I had had enough of chucking out what I considered to be usable paper that seems to arrive in our house in ever increasing amounts. I consider it to be one of the most useful purchases I’ve made in a long time.

Apart from that we have also harvested the first of our China Rose Radishes this morning (see the photo). These were planted as seeds on 5 October, transplanted to their growing bed on 15 October and picked today. 7 weeks from go to whoa. We are planning on eating our first radishes, along with our lettuce on flatbread with kofta-style lamb meatballs for lunch.

We also picked some garlic, planted somewhat earlier this year (March from what we can tell – we keep a fairly detailed garden diary but it isn’t always as detailed as we would like). We have certainly got a better crop and bulbs that were much bigger than any we had last year.

I’ve also included a photo of our seedling nursery, aka several Styrofoam containers with re-cycled coffee cups. And thank you to all my work colleagues who so generously force themselves to drink coffee every day to ensure that our seedlings have a pot to be planted in.

TB was watching one of the recent River Cottage episodes last night and has decided to make Rillons of Pork Belly – the smell of cooking pork is driving me to distraction! Here is the link if you would like to experience the aroma!…

PS you might also like to drop over to Variegated’s blog and see what they are up to with a new courtyard garden



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