Sunday, March 23, 2008

Vegetable garden

So far my posts have only mentioned happenings in the orchard. There is a very good reason for this.. the state of our vegie garden has in recent months been dire.

As you know, I hate summer, and one of the main reasons I hate summer is weeds. Weeds everywhere. Sometimes I feel as if I could weed 24/7 and still not make any headway. Needless to say, the vegie garden is the part of my garden worst affected. The sheer volume of weeds in summer is enough to make me throw up my hands in surrender, so I do. Or at least, I plant the veg, then give it a wide berth, leaving the vegetables to the mercy of the weeds.

Yeah, I know that if I mulch, the weeds will supposedly not occur. Guess what? The weeds grow through the mulch. And because I have an aversion to spraying (I try to be organic as much as possible) my only choice is to pull up the weeds by hand. Which I hate with passion.

Today I weeded some of the vegie patch, because I had bought vegetable seedlings last weekend and I needed to plant them. Actually, it wasn't too bad. It's autumn now, and while it was warm, the sun didn't fry me quite as much as recently. It was quite meditative, really, then my daughter came up to the patch and chatted to me of inconsequential things while I weeded. No, she didn't help me weed. She hates weeding too. She's just turned 8 years old, and knows what's what.

So,until this morning this was what was growing in the patch besides weeds: pumpkins, rhubarb, basil, parsley, sage, thyme, capsicum, cabbage, broccolini, corn (an animal feed variety, which we grew as an experiment after the seeds were given to Action Man by a farmer. Will feed these to the chooks) and tomatoes. Not bad when I consider how much time I have spent on the vegie garden. To give him his due, Action Man has put the hard yards in the vegie patch lately. He had pulled out some potatoes so I had a large area to plant. I also pulled out a few of the spent tomatoes. Then I weeded. And weeded. Despite all the weeding, there were ever more weeds. I noticed chickweed for the first time this year. Grrr...The bane of winter.

Anyway, this is what went in this morning, ready for winter: silverbeet, cos lettuce, radicchio, bok choy, broccoli, leeks, shallots and fennel. I put a spadeful of compost into each planting hole, and watered with seaweed extract, so the seedlings have had a warm welcome into their new home. Getting all that done was very satisfying. Despite all this planting, too, there is still a sizeable area available to plant, and more tomatoes and the corn can come out soon, so planting possibilities abound. I'm thinking about peas for the first time this year. And it occurs to me that garlic should go in soon.

It is promising rain later this week, so the seedlings will get another dose of loving soon. Ahh..the vegies are in, and all is right with the world....

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