Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Spring, compost and other things

Every year from about August to November I tend to go missing in action from this blog. I've been teaching as many hours as there are available for most of this term, so spare hours to do anything blogworthy, let alone blog about them, are at a premium. By some miracle I only got booked for a half day today so here I am.
Typical spring weather here - balmy one day, blustery the next. Getting organised to plant up the vegie patch, mainly spreading old sheep manure and compost about. You could smell the fertility of the compost, fantastic stuff.
I've been also planning what to plant. Even though we have five acres here, vegie garden space is limited, because our property sits on the side of a hill - very little flat space. The only flat space is around the house, and up next to the shed. That's it. Our vegie patch is about 36m2. It's very productive, but I have to be choosy about what to plant. I would love to build more vegie beds so can grow things like artichokes, asparagus and strawberries. Unless I get the earth mover in, though, it ain't happening.

So, what to plant: going on my experience from the last few years, here is what I am thinking:
-Plant more lettuces than I think we need. We always eat them.
- Don't bother planting cherry tomatoes - a self seeded plant always pops up somewhere.
-Plant tomatoes much further apart than I think they - I tend to plant too close.
- Don't plant pumpkin in the vegie patch!
- Only one eggplant as I am the only one who appreciates them.
- Ditto beetroot - limit.
- Plan for successive plantings of beans.
-Experiment with climbing beans this year, to save space.
-Plant cucumbers up a trellis this year, again to save space.
- Raise seedlings.
- Don't forget basil - I did last year to the chagrin of my children who live for pesto.

That's the plan. Now, I just need a bit of time to get cracking. School holidays can't get here too quickly.


Libby said...

Good idea to do a plan. I didn't this year - just walked around the nursery and picked what I liked :-). We had a really bad year with the garden last year so I'm hoping this year will be better.
Can I ask why you don't plant pumpkin in the veggie garden? And where you'll plant it instead?


Paola said...

Libby, I normally do exactly the same thing. Results haven't been too bad, but I figure if I get a bit more strategic, things will go even better.
Two years ago I made the error of growing pumpkins in the main vegie patch, which then proceeded to take over the joint, and smother nearly everything else. Last year I planted in another part of the garden - out of the way under some gum trees but in full sun. Worked really well.

achan said...

we only have a small veggie garden too and for us it is more important to plant the things that we will eat lots of as well. When you think about it gardening really takes a lot of time so it is pointless to plant stuff that's going to end up in the compost. I love to plant stuff though that is really expensive to buy or hard to find. We're looking forward to our first asparagus crop next year, planted from seed it has been a long wait.