Good growth is happening now in our neck of the woods. I put a few of our leftover-from-filming bok choy and iceberg and Cos lettuces in a bed that’s supposed to be the peas and beans bed this summer. They went in with some of our home-baked compost and they’re growing before my eyes. I’m hoping they’ll be in and out before bean planting time.
I’m so taken with the success of the hot compost but thought I may not have enough biomass to make a new batch now to assist with summer planting. But looking at it again, I reckon I have, so that’s next on the list.
I did get some sugar snap peas in the right bed which I plan to train up the frame.
I wasn’t successful sowing sweet peas directly, so they’re germinating on the windowsill now and can be planted out soon – a touch on the late side!
In the next-door bed, the beautiful lupins have come down. There was one full flower and loads of others about to burst.
I pulled the plants out gently, laid them on the bed, using a spade gave them a bit of a chop, then gently loosened the soil below with a fork and lastly added lime to assist with the breakdown. I watered the lime in as it was a windy day. Should take 2-3 weeks to break down. These lupins followed leafy greens and fruiting plants are going in next.
The Cliffs Kidney and Maris Anchor early potatoes at the other end of this bed look super healthy. Time to hill them up and plant the Jersey Bennes whose chits are now big enough. Remember to add neem granules to ward off psyllids, cover lightly with soil and add some rock dust.
If I can get my act together this Full Moon (if not, then next month), I’ll plant Agria potatoes which take around 5 months to mature, and I hope to be able to store those to use during next winter. Remember the ones I planted in July last year didn’t come to anything – so going earlier this season to see if that works better.
In this year’s summer root crop bed, the parsnips and spring onions have germinated nicely. The carrots were disturbed by the blackbird, then they came up and I reckon they’ve been eaten since. So I’m sowing again and this time definitely using a towel and yeast traps.
The bed the tomatoes are going in this summer was last summer’s root crop bed. I’ve harvested the remaining vegetables – still crisp and delicious. I feel the soil is depleted, so I’m prepping this bed 3 weeks out from needing it to give the soil microbes time to do their thing.
Encountered this really long worm while I was working, so the soil can’t be all bad.
Firstly, I checked the pH of the soil. While waiting for that to process, I forked through the bed. The result was Alkaline (tomatoes actually prefer a slightly Acidic soil). I applied gypsum which doesn’t alter the pH yet adds calcium to the soil – very important for tomatoes. Next went rock dust (Natures Organic Fertiliser). Then I broke into our Black Gold. Thought it might have needed a bit more time, but I’m keen to see how it does. Not quite enough of it, so I added some chicken manure. Finally, the last of our home-baked compost and netted the bed against our feathered friends.
Lastly, the sight of our common thyme flowering – with a friend!
Happy April gardening!
From Jan, Rob and the Team at OEG!