Monday, November 29, 2010

Gardening in the rain

I had a day off work today and spent some time in the garden between rain showers.  One of our tomato plants grew at least 15cms while we were away on the weekend.  I had to retie all of the tomato plants and have now run out of things to tie them up with.  We are trying to keep them off the ground this year so we can underplant with other things.  The basil that survived the repeated onslaught from the earwigs is now starting to shoot new leaves and I'm sure will appreciate some sun. 

I also planted out some of our seedlings - scarlet runner beans, sunflowers, pumpkins, corn, rocket, silverbeet (great for the chooks) and watermelons.  And I heaped some mulch and soil over the potatoes - this is our first year growing potatoes in the ground, so we'll see how they go.  We put in a bag of Dutch Cream seed potatoes and a couple of sprouting potatoes from the cupboard (probably also Dutch Creams as they are my favourite).  We have planted four lots of corn over different plantings, so we should have a continuous harvest over several weeks. 

Oh, and in addition to the 16 tomato plants we already have, I planted some more seeds a couple of weeks ago.  Growing from seed can be tricky - sometimes all the seeds sprout and other times only one or two will.  I think all the tomato seeds sprouted.  So now we have another 10 tomato plants to do something with.  We are seriously running out of space.  The sweetpeas are starting to go to seed (I just couldn't keep up with all the flowers!) and the foliage is turning yellow at the base, so I think we will have some space in a few weeks.  But not sure what to do with the new tomato plants in the meantime..! 

We have 5 vegetable garden beds, but keep wanting to plant more things than we have space for.  When we established the raised garden beds last year we bought in compost and soil, but the rest of the garden is the original clay dirt.  So we are slowly working in organic matter and today I even saw a few worms, which was quite exciting.  The problem with the rest of the garden is Tansy - she is pretty good about not going into the raised garden beds, but she romps through the rest of the garden with no heed to what is growing there.  We put up a little fence around some of the corn, but the sunflowers were left to their own devices (and some were crushed almost immediately!). 

Our first cherries (Lapins) are almost ready and we've foiled the birds by covering both the cherry tree and the raspberry canes with netting.  Our blueberries aren't liking their new home in the ground, so we are going to pull 2 of them out and put them back into pots.  Hopefully next year we will have a good harvest again.

A few weeks ago we put our 3 rhubarb plants into pots after they spent a terrible year in the ground (poor soil and constant slug attacks).  They love the pots!  We might be able to have a small harvest this year, but since their first year was such a struggle we might let them keep growing for another year before harvesting.

4 of the 5 asparagus crowns we planted have come up, and we are thinking of planting more for next year - if home grown asparagus is as good as home grown corn, we won't be able to get enough of it!   

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