Sunday, 4 March 2012

Out of little things, big things grow...

I've been growing veges from heirloom seedlings for a few years now and find it one of the most satisfying things I do. From planting out the seeds...

I care for them (bringing them inside nightly to stop the critters from cleaning them out, from their custom built seedling table (thanks MOTH and little MOTH). Once they get big enough, they then head to the garden and end up in our tummies. I try not to use pesticides where I can help it but some days we have plagues of things, including a rogue bandicoot every so often. MOTH recently made me some spray from old coffee grindings that I will try soon. 

The above photo is one of our vege/herb gardens. This one has 4 stone edged garden beds that are fenced to keep the chooker moles out. They make a hell of a mess when they get in there but they are obviously having a great time!

The paths around the stone edged beds are based with deco to minimise weeds and makes it nice to walk on and helps with drainage when there are excessive rains (like right now... we've just received a storm alert on my mobile and they are expecting up to 200mm tonite - not good).

We also have another vege patch that lines the front of the downstairs area. I had tomatoes in that one until today. They'd come to the end of their life so out they came... a whole trailer load full. MOTH bought me a trailer for Christmas - best present ever - and I use it every weekend. I wore the last one one. This one is kept under cover and cared for like a new car. Anyway, a top up for the garden bed of sugar cane mulch (again, trailer full) once the tomato plants had been transferred to the compost bin (another construction by MOTH - very impressive) and this bed will be ready for plating about the same time the seedlings will be ready for transferring... perfect!

Both vege garden areas have automated sprinkler systems to ensure plenty of water - not that that is a problem at the moment. We're on tank water so it's not problem, with 80,000 litres available at our disposal.

I do collect seeds from my plants and then replant them the next season. Works really well with high volume items like coriander and rocket. I usually plant them every month so that we have an ongoing supply. MOTH is an awesome cook and we use an obscene amount of herbs, nearly all that we grow ourselves. Using herbs such as rosemary as a hedge for the rose garden (minimising bugs) works really well and the guys at work love it when I bring in a bucket of hedge trimmings ;o)

One of the other ways we grow and develop our gardens, is the big planter that sits on the deck, just off the kitchen. When we find something that we really like, or have some leftover, say, ginger, we pop in in the seedling mix and see what happens. It's always interesting what comes up. Here's what it looks like today:

There's a tomato, some ginger, lemongrass and some other stuff that I haven't identified yet.

Anyway, must go... lamb shanks need checking...