Back to work!

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 ….

Tom1

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.

Tom2

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,

Tom3

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.

Tom4

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.

 

Theme and variation

There are as many styles of vegetable garden as there are people growing them, which means its always good to check out what other people are doing.

I was in the front garden planting out some chicory and lettuce seedlings when my neighbour called me over to see the progress she’s been making with her new vegetable garden. Wow! she and her husband have created two large raised beds which she has filled with tomatoes and capsicums. Corn and other seedlings are sprouting away. While it’s still a touch early for outside plantings of tomatoes in my more exposed garden, I think her plants will do well as they are inside a solidly fenced sun trap. Short of a dire frost I expectour neighbours will definitely be eating tomatoes for Christmas lunch.

Later in the day I popped over to friend M’s to check out her new green-house. Made of clear polycarbonate panels which slide into an aluminium frame it is just the right size for her small garden.

Msgreenhouse

She also has a great crop of red cabbage underway. I just love the variegated colour of their leaves.

Redcabbage