What did you do this weekend?
Andrew and I hauled out the beans which was a big job considering it was midday and it was hot! I often wonder why I have to do things when I do .. but hey that’s gardening for you. So with a pair of secateurs in hand and plenty of patience, I snipped away at the plants which had firmly entwined themselves around the metal frame. We then unravelled and tugged the greenery away. These runner beans are perennial so I could have let them die down. But I needed this space and had my eye on the frame for my next crop of peas! More nitrogen fixers.
So once the greenery was removed, we dumped 2 rather large bags of seaweed onto the bed, perfect stuff rotting and smelly. Also into the bed went the contents of my Bokasi bin ( this was dug in) and then 2 bags of coffee grounds were strewn about. These are a great additive … perhaps a little acidic, but they also contain nitrogen and the slugs and snails aren’t too fond of them. A super good hose and then a good thick layer of homemade mulch was popped on top.
On Easter Monday I poked those peas into their new home which included a layer of homemade compost. The seeds went into the soil approx 1.5cm deep and then I spaced them out at approx 5 – 8cm apart. Yes, yes we all know I over plant!
Once these were in situ I threw about liberal handfuls of rok solid. This is a mineral rich rock dust with organic seaweed and fish fertiliser, a must in all gardens.
Next to be planted were the brassicas. I erected the hoops for the cloche, threaded tape through the holes positioned near the ground and then pulled the frost netting over the hoops, pegging it to the tape. This obviously acts as a screen protecting the seedlings from those pesky white butterflies, it also keeps the environ about 3 degrees warmer.
I always endeavour to gently squeeze the seedlings from their punnets, but usually end up dumping them unceremoniously head first onto the ground, which is exactly what I did yesterday …. So Macerata and Scilian violet cauli were planted at the rear of the cloche with Italian and purple sprouting broccoli varieties planted in the front.
All heirloom and all grown here from seed! I spaced the seedlings approx 30 – 40 cm apart, but ideally plant them 40 – 50 cm intervals (check the pack). Me? I hate wasting an inch of soil! A good hose and then the netting was draped back over the hoops and pegged in place. Yay!
My lupins were also broadcast yesterday. The packet said about 30g per sq metre or thereabouts … I didn’t have scales so I scattered about half the kilo pack over the bed. Again a super good hose before and after sowing. I read that lupins can be moistened and fridge stored before sowing, this apparently speeds up the germinating process. I obviously didn’t do this, so let’s see how mine behave.
Lastly I was at the vets this morning with a sick chook! Ah, but that’s another story …
Andrew is down in Blenheim … harvest is well and truly underway. More Toi Toi is on the way.
Happy gardening ..