It was Joan Rivers who said “I hate housework! You make the beds, you do the dishes and six months later you have to start all over again.” Apart from the fact I love gardening, the time has definitely rolled around again for re-making the beds (I agree about the housework).
On Saturday we pulled out the remaining parsnips in pipes and purple sprouting broccoli (we’ve been eating them since mid-September), with a view to planting our tomatoes in the bed. We have kept one purple sprouting broccoli plant for the seeds (front right of the picture along with a large weed which has since been removed) and I have plans for the parsnips.
Before anyone gets overly excited I will say that our idea of crop rotation is just don’t plant the same thing in the same place twice in a row. I can never find the rotation chart when I want to and here at Chez Fork we are rarely able to bring ourselves to rip out plants that are still producing. The other thing about pulling out the old stuff was that we found all this other stuff we didn’t even know we had. In my case three potatoes, three onions and a long forgotton cauliflower – well one brassica looks pretty much like another when you aren’t paying attention.
It was quite instructive to see that half the bed, where two or three crops have been grown over the last year and have therefore been manured and mulched had a vastly improved soil structure to the other end of the bed. In poorer part of the bed we’d grown carrots last year and then the purple sprouting broccoli this winter. Clearly with less mulch and regular addition of compost it was no where near as ‘good’ a soil as the other end. I was able to get some of our rotted compost onto the garden bed – the compost was full of worms so I only lightly forked it in so they could get on with their work.
Meanwhile on the other side of the garden TB was rennovating our second most venerable concrete block bed with a view to making our second wicking bed. Out came a very scraggy spinach and enough broad beans pods to yield 500 gms of beans. Like me TB also found some lost things – in his case a very welcome self-sown warrigal greens seedling. Unfortunately we are still looking for the good pair of secateurs and they could be anywhere!
Our first bed wicking bed is going great guns and we have not watered it since I built it at the beginning of October (er yes, it has rained a bit since then).
As you can see the peas and silver beet are growing well. And my Purple Podded Peas are podding!
Apart from not having to water so often the other good reason for a second wicking bed here is to stop the roots of the wattle tree from stealing all the moisture from the plants. Like me TB also found some lost things – in his case a very welcome self-sown warrigal greens seedling. Unfortunately we are still looking for the good pair of secateurs and they could be anywhere!
After calling it quits for the day we awoke the next morning to see that the “rain had interrupted play”.