Monday, 22 June 2015

March 2015 Part II - Our first big planting!

Our first foray into the wilderness...

If I was you I'd wonder what this crazy woman is doing posting pictures of organized dirt. I agree, that's what it looks like right now! But that's the thing about gardening isn't it? Understanding that I can facilitate good growth, but I can't force it or speed it up. When organised dirt becomes an oasis of edible greenliness then everyone wants a pic!

Recovering perfectionist confession time: those pictures of established gardens intimidate and even paralyse me - I won't get my garden looking like that in a weekend, or a month or even a year, so why try?  So maybe my ineptitude will  encourage to start your own garden.

I read once that gardening is a great way to teach kids about delayed gratification, as it includes a long period of waiting between the labour and the fruit of that labour. I think it should be compulsory for adults too... Back to the organised dirt:

We have a wonderful gentleman called Ali who comes in to help with some muscle in our garden every Wednesday. You can see in the background of this image how overgrown the space had become with blackjacks and sweethearts and syringa seedlings. This planted area looked just like that until Ali got hold of it! Yay for Ali!

You can see a white railing in the top right hand corner of this organised dirt image - that is where the original picture was taken from. 

So what have we got here?
I had bought some seeds from Living Seeds in February - including their Late Summer / Autumn Starter Pack - and planted them on the 24th of that month - so I had some seedlings ready to plant a month later as you see them here. I started with the 6 beds on the right, and added the 3 on the left later. 

Even though you can't see all of it - these are the plants I have in this spot:
(Links redirect to
Bok Choy / Pak Choi
Spring Onions
And some Sweet Potatoes I grew from slips from my mom-in-law

Still in seed trays:

You can see the diagram I made in my gardening journal - although in the diagram the bottom edge is the edge of the garden against the wall - as if you are leaning over the railing looking at the garden from the top. 

I know it doesn't look like much right now, but there's a whole lot of potential under that soil! I have been known to go check my seeds the morning after I sow them - waiting for seeds to germinate is a big challenge for me! But I guess that is one of the difficulties about gardening - we can only give a good environment as far as it's up to us - but that seed has to do its work all on its own in the dark underground!

The soil down here is very sandy and full of weed seeds so it looks like we'll just need to be vigilant with our weeding.for a while. I did have a chance to let a batch of weeds germinate so I could pull them out all in one go, and not let them go to seed - but beyond that we just have to keep at it. For these beds I aerated the soil up to a spade's depth and removed rocks where necessary. The paths you see are made of discarded roof tiles left by our previous owners - upcycling builder's rubble for the win! There was some lovely black compost from the garden refuse pile, also left by the previous owners, so I mixed that in where I could. You can see I used some straw over the beds on the left - actually, it was dried grass from the plants we cleared - but it does the same job!

I know I could have raised the beds more and done more to improve the soil, but I just wanted to get plants in there as soon as possible!

So join us to see how it grows! Make sure you subscribe so you can see the 'after' shots of these 'before' shots!

1 comment:

  1. so exciting to finally see the seed send out their first tentative leaves.