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Diary of a brown thumb

Getting the soil right

Project 1 — Operation Veggie Patch — Part 2

The seeds planted last month were growing nicely but it had definitely got to the point where they needed to be planted in the veggie patch before they outgrew their little egg shell pots.

The raised garden bed that was selected for a veggie patch is in view from the kitchen window (which will hopefully remind me to water the plants!). It had been cleared for a month or two of the straggly plants that were occupying it, and as a result was growing a successful crop of Soursobs! (I have always said my true skill is growing weeds).

Mark Caldicott told me that Soursobs' are an indicator of poor soil, and the fact that there weren't other weeds growing in the bed confirmed that the soil was most likely low in nutrition. I mixed in compost to approximately 80mm - and was again surprised with just how dry the underlying soil was. I am hoping the compost will add the nutrients my veggies and herbs are going to need and provide water retention where the plants require it. 

The little egg shell pots were SUPER easy to plant and as I planted them I crushed the shell just a little so that any roots that wish to escape can find a path of least resistance. I planted out the successful seedlings — lettuce, rocket and one little basil plant. The lettuce seedlings were the most abundant, which is useful as I have a 5 year old who will eat lettuce until it comes out of his ears.

It“s been a couple of says and so far so good. No major pest damage, although the dog dug up one of the egg shell pots which was easy enough to put back in. There is a lot more room for plants so I will be taking the kids to visit Mark at the Garden Centre to pick out commercially grown seedlings very soon.

 

Mark recommended the book One Magic Square by Lolo Houbein which I will endeavor to buy soon as it has good ideas for planting in garden themes  

 

I“m a great gardener . . . of weeds and metal fruit :/

 

Digging up dry soil after the wettest May in quite some time was very surprising. Needs more compost!

 

The view of the new veggie patch from the kitchen window — with any luck I wont forget to water it!