Thursday, May 17, 2012

My gardening shame

Ever wonder what happens when you pay your vegie patch no mind while you go away for 5 or six weeks? This picture may give you an idea.
It's an absolute jungle up there. In the foreground you can see a mint bush that threatens to take over. Why, why, why, did we ever plant mint in the vegie patch? The darn thing just won't go away, and spends its life waiting for opportunities like this to insinuate itself everywhere. There are also basil bushes gone to seed which I think I'll save, and radicchio as well (actually, this has quite a pretty flower).
Elsewhere its a mess of tomato bushes dying off, dock, chickweed (I have read this is edible - if anyone can verify this, it would be appreciated!), dandelions, kikuyu. Only the rhubarb is in good nick.
Since taking this photo, I've started to clean the patch up. I have to admit, it is slow going, and at the moment seems a bit like climbing Everest. There are just so many weeds!
The other thing is that I'm not sure what I'll do once the weeds are removed. Being May, it's too late to sow winter veg, and too early to sow summer veg. I need to get some garlic in though. Apart from that, I thought I would sow some green manure seeds - but then I read Peter Cundall on the subject, and he warned against too much nitrogen, especially for plants like tomatoes. Our tomatoes this past summer were not a big success - part of that was the crazy weather, I'm sure. But we got lots of leafy growth, so maybe I shouldn't go the green manure. Confused? Yep, so am I!

The question is - green manure or not? Any thoughts would be appreciated.


Kate said...

My vegie patch is a tangled jungle at the moment (not helped by invading cattle dogs) so my advice lacks credentials.... but I wouldn't have a problem sowing green manure, it's more than nitrogen. The green manure crop gives your soil bulk, organic matter, and the other minerals in the leaves as well. In Wollongong I've started seeds for some last minute winter vegies such as broccoli and cauliflower in a home made green house - a plastic crate with a lid, and the snow peas didn't get sown until yesterday! You never know.....

Paola said...

Hi Kate - Thanks for your comment!I think I'll go the green manure - it can't hurt can it? I still might leave a section free for tomatoes though.

Sonia said...

Hi Paola,
Great to read your posts again. And thanks for popping by my way.

Our tomatoes were a complete disaster this year and yep, the weather played a big part. Very leafy but no tomatoes.

First thing's first - get onto that mint!!!

africanaussie said...

When I went away for two months in January I covered the garden with a lot of mulch - from a tree that had been cut down - it was going free. It was a great idea - no weeds grew, and the mulch protected the ground and attracted lots of earthworms. My soil has never been better.

Tracy said...

Chickweed is edible but it is rather bland in my opinion.
One step at a time as they say and the garden will be well rested and prepared for a great spring/summer.
Think of it as a wonderful, rewarding and free workout. Much better than any gym.

Cabbage Tree Farm said...

Hi Paola, I would suggest broad beans as a green manure crop, you can always eat them too!
Will be putting some in at our place, plus lupins, any day now..just waiting for all the heavy rain showers to stop!