Getting a wriggle on in the patch...

Posted June 16th, 2013 by Rob Bob : )»

Cleaning up the hoop house...
Has been a bit of a productive week in the patch with a few jobbies being started..
Started off by clearing out the tomato & chilli plants from what I call bed #2..
Both plants still had fruit on them so they were collected & the green tomatoes set out to ripen in the yard.. The chilli on the other hand will be used for collecting seeds, with a few going to any willing takers I can find..
The bed was then covered with a full bag of semi composted horse manure mixed with a few other ingredients & then raked through the soil..
The beds got a good stomping where the plants were to be planted to firm the soil up (brassicas do well in firm soils).. The holes were dug & a handful of worm casting was added & the caulies planted on top.. 3 cauliflower seedlings we sprouted were planted out with 8 plants that came from a purchased punnet..
Speaking of cauliflowers, the "60 Day Cauliflower" that I am letting go to seed has started to form flower buds..
This variety has done really well for us this year, so I am really looking forward to getting some seeds...

Cleaning the paths...
You might also notice from the before & after shots of the hoop house that I have started to give the pavers their once a year scrape back.. I have been pulling a few handfuls of the "Paver weeds" every day to feed the chooks with.. Shall be clearing the rest of the pavers over the next week or so, much to the joy of the chooks methinks..
There is a small stand of Thai basil growing from some pavers at the end of the spice bed (right hand path in pic above).. I couldn't bring myself to remove it.. These are the plants that hybridised with the purple basil, so would like to try & keep them going if I could..
I also couldn't remove the 4 volunteer/feral strawberries that had decided to call the pavers home.. Will be interesting to see how they go as I know that even during the driest summer we have had, the soil under the pavers has always stayed moist..

Pineapples on the move...
The pineapples finally made it to their new home..
They have been moved up the side of the house that receives the northern winter sun.. I think they should do rather well here & would like to make a permanent bed for them... It might come in the future after the plumbing has been replaced & a water tank installed, but for now I think they are just as happy in pots..
Speaking of pineapples, a very lovely person sent me some seeds they collected from a pineapple this week..
Not many people know that some pineapples have seeds.. They are situated behind the "eyes" which are normally cut off.. Not every variety has seeds that I know of.. I have been looking for a while so was most happy to find these in our mail.. These shall be planted out in spring & will most definitely be sharing some of the fruit with the sender in a few years time..

Moving the beds...
Started to make some space for the new fish farm by emptying out one of the IBC beds..
Being a wicking bed some care needs to be taken not to mix the soil through the sand in the base.. That way, it can all be re-used once it is repositioned.. This one here will be going out the front yard & will have some asparagus planted into it.. The middle bed will be left until the eggplant stops producing.. It will then go out the front as well, with the cauliflower bed at the other end.. These should all be moved next Spring.

Harvests from the patch...

The KY1 tomato plants had a few fruit on it when they were pulled, so they have been set aside to ripen in a warm spot out the back.. Am glad I saved some seeds from this variety as they are very tasty & versatile..

Picked the first of the Winter strawberries as well this weekend..
These grew from plants that were set aside for someone that never picked them up.. There are about 10 small 10cm pots sitting in the tray & they are all flowering.. I think watering them with water from the aquaponic set up is definitely helping them along..

This load of veggies ended up as braised with some chicken thighs.. There are not many heads of broccoli left on the plants at the moment, so I am savouring every head we have until the next comes on..

Have still been picking loads of salads from the patch but am missing my lettuce..
Think I shall be planting some of our saved seed this week in the soil & aquaponic beds..

The lime tree has been providing us with a seemingly unending supply of limes at the moment..
We have been sharing them out left right & centre.. Was very surprised to find more juvenile fruit & flowers on the tree, so think we will be set for the next few months **fingers crossed**

Well that's what I have been up to in the patch this week.. Hope you have all been out there getting some soil under the nails & having fun in the garden..
Have a great one..
Rob : )»

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