Prepping more garden beds..
Started to get some beds prepared for planting out this week.. Has been a busy weekend with 5 beds getting a bit of a makeover..
The first 2 beds were nice & easy to sort out.. One is an IBC wicking bed behind the chook shed that will have some glass gem corn sown into it next week end.. The second was the large trellised bed at the back of the yard.. This bed already has a feral Black Russian tomato, 3 x red sorrel & 2 x spaghetti squash plants in it that needed to be worked around but that was no issue.. Both beds had some hastily activated char added to them along with some organic fertiliser.. About 50mm/2" of broken up horse pellets were then added to the beds before they were tucked in with a nice thick layer of mulch..
The large trellis bed was also covered with a run of 50% shade cloth as some of the fruit on the tomatoes are showing signs of sunburn already.. This has got me thinking that it might pay to cover the rest of the hoop house in a thin run of shade cloth just to give the plants in there a bit of a respite from the sun for a few hours a day..
The bed behind the trellis bed also got some attention.. Over the past few weeks the Tuscan Kale were infested with tiny caterpillars & even with the Dipel, I think I was fighting a losing battle.. All but 2 of the least infested plants were pulled & given to the chooks as a treat.. A bit disappointed in myself, as that type of kale in particular is a favourite of mine.. I think I will be starting off a few plants to grow in the hoop house over summer & see how they go.. The bed was fed up with a little bit of worm castings & organic fertiliser ready for new seedlings..
The 4th bed to get the treatment was a bit more of an effort.. This bed had a mix of purchased & home made soil added to it when it was originally made which was fine for the first few seasons.. Over the past year or so I have noticed a downturn in the productivity of the bed & had suspected that tree roots may have invaded it.. After having a bit of a dig around I found the problem, the soil had next to no organic matter left in the lower levels & had become very firm & compacted..
While this was fine for the cauliflower & other brassicas the plants that are to go into this bed may not find it to their liking..
The only way I could see to fix the problem was to remove some of the plants, 2½ barrow loads of soil & add some organic matter back into the remaining soil..
2 barrow loads of mushroom compost along with a bag of horse manure were added in & blended well with the remaining soil.. One thing I did notice while taking the soil out was the lack of worms in the bed so this too was also rectified..
A 15L/4gal bucket of worm filled compost taken from the last no dig spud bed was added to the top of the bed.. I think these squirmers will be most happy in there with all the compost & manure to feed on.. The bed was then topped off with a generous layer of mulch & watered well..
The 5th bed to get worked on was the trellis bed beside the chook yard.. This bed was planted out with mustard greens in an attempt to knock some remaining root knot nematodes on the head..
The greens were pulled out, cut up then dug back through the bed.. The beauty of this is that while they are busy decomposing & fumigate the soil, they will also be adding extra organic matter for the worms to feast on improving the soil further.. The bed was then mulched over & will be left for 3-4 weeks before seedlings are planted out..
Went off to the BOGI (Brisbane Organic Growers Inc) fair today & managed to spend a bit more than intended :/
I unfortunately missed the native bee talk this morning that I really wanted to catch but did manage to catch up with a few friends we have made over the past few months & pick up a few plants..
Managed to pick up a native finger lime (right) which we've wanted for a while now as well as a dwarf lemon (left).. The lemon will be grown in a barrel as it will only grow to about 1.5m/4½' while the lime will be planted out into the ground in the front yard..
Also picked up a punnet each of di Toro capsicum & some zucchini seedlings to give us a bit of a head start.. The 2 small pots at the front contain 2 different types of ginger from SE Asia.. Kachai or finger root ginger (boesenbergia pandurata) & Kencur ginger (Kaempferia galangal) are 2 varieties that I have only recently read about.. Both are used in Thai & Indonesian cuisine & am eager to try them out once we have some ready to harvest..
Planting out the patch...
Over the past week a few seedlings have made it out into the patch.. Some okra, spaghetti squash & some sad warrigal greens went into the trellis bed down the back.. The Warrigal greens have been living in a pot for far to long so I am hoping that they will bounce back now they have their roots in some well fed soil..
The bulls horn capsicums we grew from seed & di Toro seedlings went into 2 of the beds in the hoop house.. I actually think that these may be the same variety so it will be interesting to compare the fruit..
2 zucchini went into the kale bed down the back as well as one in the top bed in the hoop house.. The plant in the hoop house is going to be experimented on so will up date you on that one in future posts..
3 KY1 & 2 Berkley tie dye tomatoes went into the second bed in the hoop house..
Hope to have some more of the seedlings planted out during the week with the cooler weather we are expecting..
Some ginger we saved from our last harvest, as well as some that was gifted to us, was planted out too..
I am really hoping that we get a bumper crop from this batch of ginger after this years poor harvest.. Will be organising some spots for the new varieties this week as well as getting the turmeric ready to go in..
That's about it for an update on the patch this week.. I am hoping that with a week of cooler temperatures some more progress will be made on setting up & planting out a few more.. We shall see I suppose..
Hope you all had a great weekend & manage to spend some time in the patch this week..