Saturday, December 20, 2008

Tomatoes, tomatoes, tomatoes

Okay, I think I can officially say now that I have an abundance of tomato plants. The rouge de marmande and roma tomato plants in the big pot are rapidly becoming too big for that pot and fruiting like crazy.

The two remaining tiny tim tomatoes (one was gifted to a friend) are starting to fruit, even the one that suffered an accident and the main stem snapped. Two of the three tomatoes grown from seed saved from a shop bought tomato are going strong and starting to flower. The other one was a bit of a runt and has been planted into the front garden to give it one last chance. The riesenstraube seedlings are in desperate need of transplanting and I planted three of them out today.

Plus, when I planted out the marjoram and thyme into the front garden I brought up a couple of buckets of compost to dig in before I planted them. I now have eleven (!) tomato plants growing amongst the marjoram and thyme. I think they may have to go as that's not really the best spot for them and I have no idea what sort of tomato they are.
Tomato plant tally: 16 regular size, 9 tiny size. Anyone want some tomato plants?

Today involved planting out a number of seedlings and discover that I am running out of places to plant them as we still haven't finished the vegie patch in the back yard. We need to get a trailer load of dirt to build up the beds, plus I thinking of doing the layers of wet newspaper thing to kill of the remaining kikuyu. Seedlings transplanted included: marigolds, borage, basil, coriander, parsley, and riesenstraube tomatoes. There are a lot in the seedling trays as I ran out of potting mix.
I've also got a good number of sunflowers growing in the front garden. The first lot of seeds didn't have a good success rate with only two strong seedlings. The second lot has been more successful. There are now 8 of them plants in two rows in the front garden.
They should grow to about 120cm tall (short variety) which is just above the lattice. In the photo you can see the little wind breaks the CPD very kindly erected when we had strong winds the other weekend.

And in breaking news, the Cunning Plans Dept has just come in with the first carrot of the season. It's just a bit bigger than "baby carrot" sized and seems to have grown straight. I was a bit worried that where we planted them might not be soft enough for them to grow straight (oh okay I confess I was secretly hoping for a bifurcated carrot). Tasted a little bit bitter though. Wonder if I need to add some fertiliser or something. They've just had compost and worm wee so far. The broccoli and corn are still going well, but no sign of broccoli heads or corn ears yet.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Vegie patch terracing and fencing

The Cunning Plans Dept did a bit more work on the terrace edges of the vegie patch and also put the fence up. The weather wasn't so great so not a lot of work got done.

On to the pictures.This shows the terrace edges of the four beds.
The wood is all recycled, most of the long planks you see are the joists from the spare room floor that was ripped out recently. We will need to get some extra bits from somewhere to fill in the gaps.
The fence isn't overly attractive, but will serve the purpose of keeping the two destructodogs out. Next stage is to mark out the paths clearly and then cover the bed area with some plastic to solarise the ground and hopefully kill the Kikuyu. We'll also need a trailer load or two of soil as there isn't enough there and we don't have enough compost to bulk it up.

The vegie patch mk I is still doing okay. The carrots, broccoli and corn are doing well. A few corn stalks broke in the high winds the other weekend and something is eating the broccoli leaves. Here have an action shot of me picking off caterpillars:
This one shows the irrigation system the CPD rigged up before. We pour in water at the top, which flows into the plastic container and trickles out the irrigation hose. Pretty nifty.

My seeds arrived from Diggers Club so on the weekend I set up a couple of propagator trays with parsley, coriander, basil, pyrethrum, marigolds, and borage. The sunflowers and riesenstraube tomatoes have started to sprout, but no sign of the yellow capsicum yet. Perhaps they're a dud. They were collected out of a capsicum I bought from the grocers so I wouldn't be surprised. Oh well, nothing ventured, nothing gained. Also transplanted a couple of mint cuttings I had propagating in water. The big tomatoes are growing great and there are lots of fruit appearing. The tiny tim tomatoes are also starting the fruit. One of them had a minor accident and the stem got snapped, but there are some lower shoots that will be fine.