Sunday, January 4, 2009

Vegie patch - now with soil!

While I know it seems a rather obvious statement that a vegie patch has soil, but up until a week or so ago, mine didn't. There was not enough dirt from the terracing to fill the beds and what was there was mostly clay and rock. The gypsum had worked a treat on the clay, but I simply needed more soil and the compost heap isn't THAT big.

So the Cunning Plans Dept went and got a truckload of soil, which was dumped on our front lawn. This needed to be moved down to the back yard. Given my feebleness it was fortuitous that my brother needed some extra cash in hand and was willing and able to do some manual labour. So he and the CPD spent a day using a small tipper to load soil into the trailer, attach trailer to tipper, drive down the neighbours driveway to the side fence of our backyard (after removing a panel of fence), dump soil into our yard, repeat. Once all the soil was moved to our back yard, the tipper was then used to transport soil to the vegie patch beds.

They also got the mulched the dead tree branches that had become overgrown with grass and weeds from sitting in a heap for so long. Plus some mowing and edging and the back yard is actually looking not to bad.

Now all that needs to be done is the edging of the ends of the beds, putting down plastic and gravel for the walkways and we'll be ready to start transplanting some of the potted vegies. I've drawn up the plans for the four beds. One will be for perennials (strawberries, rhubarb, asparagus, and garlic) and the other three will be annuals with rotating crops.

Meanwhile, vegie patch mkI is going berserk!

The corn have flowered and the first ears are starting to grow. Broccoli is getting huge, but no heads yet. There are bloody cabbage white butterflies everywhere and the leaves are riddled with holes, but they still seem to be growing okay. Carrots are still going well. The bonus compost potatoes and tomatoes are also growing fine.

We've also picked our first tomatoes! Some had a bit of blossom end rot, but that didn't really affect them. Nice and tasty and so red in the middle that the shop bought tomatoes literally pale in comparison. The tomato plants themselves have started to get yellowing in the leaves. I looked up some gardening books and google, but there are a apparently a lot of things that could cause yellowing of leaves ranging from the harmless, don't worry about it, to all is lost, please destroy your plant and the soil it grew in. They still seem to be growing okay and the fruit is ripening, so I'm just going to see what happens.

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