We have finally had some of the glorious winter weather for which south-east Queensland is renowned – clear, sunny days and crisp, cool nights.
The majority of yesterday and today has been spent in the garden. I have previously shown you the 3 raised vegetable garden beds. One was planted out with seeds a couple of weeks ago. I planted 2 bean seeds together in each hole and they all germinated so I transplanted the extras. I am not sure whether they will survive the process but it never hurts to try.
We moved some lemon tree prunings which had been in this tank and filled it with soil from one of the old garden beds which is now redundant. The soil is fabulous and it would be a shame to waste it. We mixed it with some mulch (from the poinciana stump which we had ground last year) and also some mushroom compost. In the centre you can also see some bok choy seedlings. The bok choy seeds came up so thickly that I have thinned heaps of them and will thin them out again as they get a bit bigger. I could not bear to just throw the thinnings away so they were all transplanted. Some went into this old esky filled with soil and mulch.
I put some others in between the potato plants in the other raised bed. The bok choy will be well and truly finished before the potatoes take over.
The carrots, onions and beetroot have also germinated and are growing but are probably too small to identify in this photo. You can, however, see the beans and bok choy.
A few weeks ago I bought some organic garlic ready to sprout and plant. It has been languishing in a bag on the floor of the pantry but today was the day to plant it out. Firstly, we had to finish preparing the third raised bed. It was about 1/3 full of leaf litter, mushroom compost and shredded arrowroot leaves. Today we added some grass clippings after The Duke had mowed the lawn area area the vegie patch, more mushroom compost, lots of mulch and soil as previously described. Then it was time to plant the garlic. We peeled off the papery outer layer, separated the cloves and planted them in rows with the sprouting tip pointing upwards. You can see all of the shredded outer layers on the ground beside the bed. It really did look like something had been massacred. The bed is 2.4m x 1.2m and it is entirely planted with rows of garlic. If this is even moderately successful I should never have to buy garlic again!
I cleared some old cherry tomato plants out of another round tank, topped up the soil and mulch and planted these golden sweet potato plants that had been in a pot for ages since my brother-in-law gave them to us.
The pile of mulch which resulted from the grinding of the tree stump last year has been put to good use in the garden beds. We still have more that we can take from here to build up the next round of garden beds.
It is gratifying to be able to use and reuse everything from our own property in the gardens. Leaf litter, compost, mulch, soil and grass clippings all go into creating the next lot of vegetables for us to eat. Chickens, chickens manure and eggs are also part of the cycle. Trees provide fallen timber for firewood which in turn leaves ash that we put back into the compost heap or garden bed. Permaculture in action really is the circle of life.