Saturday, October 31, 2009

Week 7 - Lots of Growth

During the last week we got over 100mm of rain. Including about 20mm of rain in about 15min on last Sunday.

This meant that we have had a great deal of plant growth over the last week. The tomato plants have almost doubled in size in 7 days.

The lettuce have grown quite a lot and hopefully in a couple of weeks we will be harvesting some lettuce.

The squash plants have thrived and are now starting to produce prolific shoots and leaves. They are very healthy plants and I am expecting to get a good crop of squash.

The strawberry plants have started to flower and to protect the fruits from birds I created a wire mesh screen to place over the plants.

The final work done this weekend was to put some snail baits down in the garden bed and re-mulch the beds where the mulch was washed out during the torrential downpour last Sunday. I also sprayed the leafy vegetables with pyrethrum spray to protect them from pests.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Week 6 - Extending the Garden Bed

This weekend I spent some time and extended the garden bed to allow me to plant some more seedlings. The garden bed had previously had been a flower bed but had been let go. After cleaning up all the grass and leaves I used a mattock to break up the heavily compacted soil.

Once the soil was broken up and the larger clumps removed, I added cow manure, chicken manure and some slow release fertiliser. I mixed the soil thoroughly and planted seedlings purchased from a local garden centre.

My experiences with growing my own seedlings were varied and the lettuce and tomato plants grown from seeds do not seem to be maturing and I am going to supplement the seed grown plants with seedlings.

This week I planted the following new plants:
  • Tomatoes (2 plants)
  • Lettuce (cos, butter)
  • Capsicum (6 plants)
  • Sweet Corn (7 plants)
  • Strawberries (2 plants)
Once the seedlings were planted I watered them thoroughly and mulched using sugarcane mulch. This should prevent them from drying out as quickly.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Week 5 - Mulching

During the last week, we had some fairly substantial winds and I noticed that the seedlings planted into the bed had started to dry out. On the Friday night I gave both the bed and the seedling tray a water with diluted sea-weed fertiliser solution.

On Saturday morning I weeded the garden bed and placed some straw mulch around the plants. This should prevent the soil from drying out so much in the wind.

Next week, I will be planting the tomatoes and lettuce out into the garden bed.
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Saturday, October 10, 2009

End of Month 1 - First Seedlings Planted

It is the end of the first month since I started the garden. The seedlings grown in the seed planter were reasonably successful and it was time to get the larger seedlings (squash and cucumber) into the garden bed.

After a week of cold and wet weather, the weather on Sunday morning was clear enough that I could spend some time planting seedlings.

There were a small number of weeds in the garden bed that required removal and once this was done I worked out the required spacing and planted out the squash and cucumber seedlings.

It was at this point that I realised that the space was small and that if I planted the seedlings at the recommended spacing I would not be able to fit much in this bed.

I made the decision to plant them closer together with the idea that I would thin them out to the strongest growing plants in a couple of weeks.

The tomato and lettuce seedlings I left in the seed planter. They need a couple more weeks prior to planting in the bed.

The final step was to water the bed with a diluted mixture of seaweed fertiliser. Shortly after completing this the rain came back.
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