Chain Gang, day 2


Screen shot 2014-05-26 at 3.23.12 PM The heavy lifting’s all done. There are three pods out there waiting for seedlings. I’m SO excited I can hardly breathe. Vegetables at last!

First stop was the animal feed store for lucerne (alfalfa) hay, small bales. Seven of those, two for each pod and one spare for stuffing into the gaps. Next was the planting medium: 2/3 garden soil to 1/3 organic compost, 80 litres of mix per pod (approximately 5 gallons), well blended.

Screen shot 2014-05-26 at 3.23.26 PMScreen shot 2014-05-26 at 3.23.58 PMScreen shot 2014-05-26 at 3.24.10 PMYesterday, we put 4 barrowloads of rocks into the bottom of each pod to give good drainage, about 20cm deep (8″). On top of that went two bales of lucerne, the gaps round them well stuffed with extra hay. That lot was well watered until water came out of the tap at the bottom of the pod, so I knew it was well soaked. On top of that went the planting medium, well mixed and with the lumps bashed out. It’s been raked smooth, ready for planting. On top of that, I top dressed with liquid feed consisting of Seasol (seaweed, etc) and a big slug of worm tea, topped up with 10 litres of water (approx. 20 pints). That got shared out between the three pods, a little extra nutrition to give the vegies a good start.

Screen shot 2014-05-26 at 3.24.56 PMNow we’re ready to go. Tomorrow I shall go and select my seedlings and plant them. The pods don’t yet have their frames and netting completed, but the plants can be getting established until it’s done and the mozzie netting and shade cloth go up. I’m really pleased with how it’s looking out there. The little fruit trees are enjoying the milder weather and putting on lots of growth, instead of hanging on for grim death. The avocado was looking very poorly for a little while, but is coming back strongly, so long as I check it daily for caterpillars, which seem to find the new leaves irresistible.

Screen shot 2014-05-26 at 3.24.34 PMI’m very happy now with how things are coming together. It’s starting to be a pleasant place to work, instead of a slightly grim, weed infested dead zone. There are pleasantly scented wood chips under foot, I don’t have to bend over to tend my plants, I’ve taken measures to prevent everything from drowning in the Wet, and now I have hopes of actually being able to pick something soon, instead of delivering it all up to the grasshoppers, aphids, caterpillars, fruit bats and possums. I’ll keep you informed, and yes, there will be brag photos when I have everything planted, and probably more once I get the netting and frames up properly!

And now it’s time for a big cold drink, a shower and an attempt to dig out the large quantities of soil which have lodged under my fingernails. I could probably grow cabbages under there…

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12 thoughts on “Chain Gang, day 2

  1. tialys says:

    Mr Tialys spends many hours poring over seed catalogues – the gardeners’ version of porn.
    Interesting what you say about a bath. We got rid of the bath in our en-suite bathroom and have a walk in shower now. The family bathroom has a bath and shower but it needs renovating. Nobody ever takes baths in this house but, on occasions, as you say, it does the trick and it occurs to me that, if we ever sell the house, a buyer might be put off if there is no bath.

    • katechiconi says:

      As a gardener, I occasionally pine for a bath! I know it’s very wasteful of water, etc, but there’s nothing better if you’ve clobbered your back. We are looking at real estate as potential retirement homes in the distant future, and I’ve stipulated anything we buy must have a bath!

  2. Kirsten says:

    Worm tea . . . ?????

    • katechiconi says:

      A polite way of saying worm pee. It’s a concentrated dark brown ‘juice’ that comes out of the bottom of a worm farm, full of nutrients and micro-organisms that improve soil structure and make it easier for plants to access minerals in the soil. You dilute it in lots of water and use it as fertiliser, a foliar feed or soil preparation.

  3. good luck with the veggies, look forward to see the pictures !

  4. wombatquilts says:

    There is nothing quite like home grown veggies. I just wish our back yard was not the size of a carparking space!

    • katechiconi says:

      Mine’s the size of two parking spaces, but I was only allowed to take over half! And if even that had been denied, I’d have grown them in window boxes hung from the fence. I’m now going to start a subtle (OK, overt) campaign to be allowed to keep some quail for eggs and for enjoyment. I miss my chooks.

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