Apr 17, 2010

A spot of gardening - sowing winter veg

Well howdy folks, long time no see!

Our little MrBaby slept ALL NIGHT last night! (perhaps to make up for not sleeping at all - okay, perhaps for an hour or so - the night before!). Even so, I have a little bit of headspace to be blogging.

Aren't you lucky?

I thought I'd do an update on our garden.

Having completely neglected my veggie patch (and all the rest of the garden) in order to pour my energy into the baby and his sisters for the last 7+ months, I had the urge to get my hands dirty a couple of days ago.

So while Miss6 sat inside reading a book and MrBaby had a wee sleep, Miss3 and I sallied forth.
First, we took a couple of days to double-dig the small garden patch, incorporating the manured straw from the chicken's coop into the top-soil. If I was tougher and more dedicated it could have been done in one day, but I'm not. Big deal.

Meanwhile, I looked up the gardening book to see what would grow as a winter crop in our climate. The answer? silverbeet, cabbage and cauliflower. Excellent. I have seeds for a variation on that theme, so I set them aside and went back to readying the patch.

Once the soil was well dug and raked out to a (relatively) fine tilth (not anally retentively fine - but not too lumpy either), I marked it out into square-feet.

I'm using the 'square-foot' approach instead of the 'rows' approach. The idea is to plant out the veg into little blocks of plants. You can fit more into the patch, and it's better for soil health and weed control than having great stretches of bare earth open to the weather. Anyhow, I've never quite managed it before, so I figured it was worth a crack.

The patch is about 12 square feet, so I planted out 6 this week and will plant the other half in a couple of weeks to give a bit of a succession for the winter, instead of a glut (I hope).

So far I have 2 types of silverbeet (swiss chard), red cabbage, green cabbage, pak choi and kale

Now all I need to do is remember to keep it moist.

And find some way of keeping the chickens off it.
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