Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Shameful gardening update ...

I haven't blogged about any gardening for a while ... and if you continue reading you will understand why!

I wrote about the state of our backyard recently HERE after the chooks had 'moon-scaped' it, I am thinking I will put a mulch-type pathway through, going around the middle section, and up to the top corners where we go a lot (washing line one side and chook pen on the other) which sections off the centre. Still thinking of what I can put in there, as it is shady and has lots of tree roots, but need to do something fast as the soil is turning to dust..... any ideas welcome!
That leaves the front rectangle to become grassy again, and the fence sides ... well, not sure about them.

On the food garden front - well that has been somewhat shameful too. Practically nothing grew over winter, even though we didn't get frost. The patch is looking very sad :-(

The little bits of green that are growing are parsley, a handful of lettuces and a few silverbeet.

My cauliflowers didn't work at all, the few that survived long enough to transplant into the patch have just sat there providing food for the odd snail, but not displaying anything that looks like a flower.

My leeks, which I grew from seed in April, still look like skinny, spindly grasses sticking out of the soil. I was dreaming of leek and potato soup over winter- no chance!

I have about a dozen or so garlic plants in, which seem to look ok (above the ground anyway) but when I sneakily dug one up yesterday for a peek, there was just lots of roots.
Times like this are so disheartening! I really thought we could have a patch full of healthy, organic produce over each season, but instead it is depressingly empty.

Ho Hum, life goes on. Spring in a couple of weeks, and the weather is warming up already, so I will simply get my box of seeds out and sort through what can go in next. Its does seem that leafy greens do fine in the patch, but root vegetables and fruiting ones don't, so I wil bear that in mind. Perhaps the soil has lots of nitrogen but not much else? Nitrogen produces lots of green growth but not so good for fruiting or flowering, although by composting our chook manure it is supposed to stabilise all the nutrients ...... oh, I thought this was going to be easy - so wrong!

Oh, almost forgot, I did do something today! I found these in the back of my veggie cupboard .....

Oh yes, the shame again! I couldn't believe the enormous shoots on these potatoes, (my children thought they looked like 'aliens' !!) and decided they would be great for planting. Certainly not going to eat them anyway!

I read recently about planting them into sacks, with compost and mulch, a bit like the potato-cage idea. As they grow, you just roll up the sack a bit more and top up the compost to cover the stems (so you don't get poisonous green potatoes!) We have loads of big sacks from the produce store (they give them away, used to have bulk chook grain in them) and also loads of compost to use (2 compost bins full) so with my 2 little helpers we planted the wrinkly spuds into a sack each.

We spent quite a bit of money and effort last year on certified seed potatoes, only to yield -nothing. So, this time ....

If they work - bonus! Lots of free spuds!
If they don't - well, we will have neat sacks of compost ready for the next experiment!



Xena said...

We have been busy in our yard too. Will be trying out the sack garden for potatoes. I did my heshan bag herbs yesturday.

Nicole and Andrew said...

nice work with the aliens, i have always had better luck with the free potatoes than with the seed ones.
as for my veggie garden, i dont even have one yet :o( our to do list is getting ever longer