I thought I was organised to early this year. I planted our first seeds way back in September… but now mid November it is still a mad rush to get things in the ground and we’ve got no early spring/summer crops to show for all our hard work. I blame frost, and ear wigs and seeds that just would not germinate… and well probably a good dose of laziness too. But whatever the reason, we are madly planting at the moment and so I have a lot to blog for both Belinda’s Back to Basics Challenge and The Growing Challenge.
A handful of seedlings that germinated and survived the mass earwig attack on their first day outside ‘hardening off’:
Pumpkin – butter (new for us this year), turks turban and one saved from last year and I can’t remember what kind it is.
Zuchini – lets hope this one survives after frost killed the early one
Water Melon – shining light (new variety this year) and ditto above
tomatoes – replanted a heap of volunteer seedlings that have popped up everywhere, they are much bigger than my tiny seedlings that I started from seed weeks and weeks ago.
Seeds – directly into the garden in the hope they will grow!
corn – have stared sowing the corn we saved from last years crop, if it all grows we’ll be drowning in the stuff
sun flowers – same as above.
water melon – two varieties
rockmelon/cantelope – last ditch attempt to get it to germinate and grow anything more than the initial seed leaves
Carrots and radishes – our clay soil is hopeless for root veggies but I found a really nice patch of dirt that seemed deep and loose and rich so giving them another try
zucchini – putting in heaps as these always do well for us, even if we only get two plants we’ll be swamped.
Lettuce and Bok Choi – from seeds saved from last year, in a spot that gets arvo shade in the hope they won’t go to seed straight away.
Beans – scarlett runner beans (have planted before but with little success) and some that we saved from last year.
Marigolds – second attempt after slugs and earwigs feasted.
Chives and spring onions.
Pumpkin (three kinds) and squash.
Strawberries!!!!! – We got enough delicious berries for everyone to have a couple on their pancakes on the weekend and we’ve snacked on the odd one or two while out in the garden. Muski has become very good at spotting the red berries and stealing under the net to eat them – I have had to make the bird net Muski-proof as well! Still loads starting to ripen and still more green ones and more flowers… crossing fingers we may get enough to attempt some jam!
Sugar Snap Peas – finally the peas are looking good, they have a few flowers and Izzy spotted pods the other day – about 6 of them which she and I promptly ate. Shhhh don’t tell the rest of the family, they were delicious!
Spinach and Lettuce. The spinach is going great and I keep finding new ways to sneak it into our food. The girls quite like it, even on pizza but they LOVE lettuce at the moment and happily sit and eat a plate full of the stuff with a little salad dressing.
We are trying hard to get the watering system in and working. We are lucky to have bore water we can use to water the garden and over the last few years have tried a few ways of setting up automatically timed drip watering systems. We are yet to find the perfect, easy and cheap answer. All that black tubing and trying to get the drippers to water in the spot we want them to this year as opposed to last year when we made the holes… it’s driving me mental. Still it is important to sort out and time is running out – it needs to be done and working before we go away so that the plants will survive on their own for a while.
I have been working on collecting some new recipes and ideas for how to cook the veggies we are growing. I bookmarked a great post from You’ll Eat it and Like It on making strawberry jam, if not for this year, then maybe next year as we are thinking of ways to grow our strawberry crop.
We’ve been discussing the idea of planting some kind of ‘bush food’ trees/shrubs in the space between the house and the dam. Looking at our options as to what would grow happily in our area and so be reasonably maintenance free but also maybe one day bear a small crop. More for interests sake and our own use than anything else, but it feels like a better use of the land than grassed paddocks since we don’t have any grazing animals. Maybe pepper berries?