This week we’ve had to put recollections of Tasmania to one side as we tackle the overgrown jungle that is our garden. I’m thrilled with the plenitude of peas and bounty of broadbeans we are currently harvesting, but the broccoli is going to seed and most of the tomatoes are still in their pots. And as for the green manure crop ….
well rampant just doesn’t begin to describe it. So much for digging the plants in before they flower – some of the peas even had pods! Not much we could do but start digging it in and hope for the best.
We were good, we started with spades but it only took a few minutes before TB sensibly reverted to the lawn mower and we finally got the bed into some sort of order.
After this there was plenty of hard slog turning the green mass into the soil. Normally I’d put some fertiliser (chook pellets etc) on the surface, put down a layer of newspaper and heavily mulch the whole thing for several weeks before planting into it, but my tomatoes were calling. There are some tomatoes in the garden already, planted on spec, before we left, but the remainder were growing in an elongated fashion in the polyhouse. It was definitely time to get them in the ground.
So in the tomatoes went. I planted them well down in the ground as they will put out roots along their otherwise spindly stems. I surrounded them with damp newspaper,
and then mulched the bed with pea straw. I’m hoping that the decomposing green manure won’t delay the growth of the tomato seedlings too much.
This morning I interplanted the tomatoes with their regular companion, sweet basil. Lets hope some of the basil survives the snail onslaught!
The rest of the morning was spent trying to give the front garden bed its late spring make-over. All bar one of the purple sprouting broccoli plants (one is being kept for seed) have been pulled out, along with the remains of the purple-podded peas and a whole stack of weeds! What was left of my beetroots came out as well. They have failed to thrive in a most complete fashion. Not one of them is more than 6 cm long and most are even smaller. I’m not sure of the reason why they grew so poorly, perhaps a lack of trace elements. Anyway I’ve bought some more beetroot seedlings and planted them in a different part of the front garden and hope they do somewhat better.