The weather is warming up and out of bare sticks emerge leaves and fruit.
We got our tomatoes in during Labour Weekend. Still not too late to plant tomatoes if you haven’t already.
The bed that had chopped lupins and chicken manure covered over with weed matting was easy to prepare. Just forked it through and got the waratahs in. Then into each individual hole went a handful of gypsum (for added calcium) and neem granules (to ward off psyllids) then the plant. Around each plant went a handful of Morganics fertiliser and the plants were all watered in. This is the bed for the indeterminate varieties.
The prep for the other bed which had had brassicas in consisted of trenching vermicast from our Hungry Bin, then the entire lot of the last hot compost, chicken manure and finally a generous application of sulphur prills (since we’ve had the high pH issue). The Romas and Scoresby Dwarfs were planted in this bed as we did above. This first image below is, from right to left, the biomass pile to make up the next hot compost, the finished compost that went on this second tomato bed and the patch I used to make the compost.
The Scoresby Dwarf are on the northern side of the bed as they’re low growers and don’t require staking.
Our marigold and basil seedlings are just big enough to plant as companions in the tomato beds and went in in the last week.
Our second lot of early potatoes (Swift and Cliffs Kidney) have just gone in. Give them their last soak in a liquid seaweed solution for high health. These ones are well chitted.
Then create troughs in your garden bed, lay in comfrey if you have it (the potassium improves the yield), then neem granules for the same reason as for tomatoes. And lay the seed potatoes in, chits up. Cover with soil, apply Morganics, and water in.
We have so many birds hanging around as I work, waiting for the worms (and they are prolific) for their babies, so everything is well netted at the end of planting. I know the birds need the worms, but they will uproot new plants in order to get them. Fortunately they don’t seem interested in the tomato beds!
The Jersey Bennes planted a month ago probably should have been hilled before now, but no time like the present. I push up as much soil as I can round the base of the plants, creating mounds around them. It’s not enough to support them, so a bit of straw goes in to do the job.
Our beans are in. I sowed them in paper pots so I could put the whole thing in the ground and reduce root disturbance on planting. They don’t need a rich soil, so just a handful of Morganics on planting suffices.
Our first zucchini and cucumber are just in. The soil in this patch is quite good, so I don’t add any more compost, just some chicken manure and Dave’s Humate before planting, and some Morganics round the plants on planting. They pump out lots of food and consequently need loads of fertiliser.
Pumpkins, melons and sweetcorn are just sown. Like zucchini and cucumber, sow these big seeds in their own pots or cells. They germinate quickly and grow on quickly too.
And I’ve started the process of growing kumara chits by submerging two organic kumara in a pot of half sand and half potting mix.
Finally while there can be disappointments in food gardening, I’ve had two bigger than usual vegetables recently – this carrot and this cabbage. A real cause for celebration, though we might need a few people to get through the cabbage!
From Jan and Rob