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I’ve been a bit lax in keeping up with the gardening updates, due largely to either being out in the garden, or hiding inside because it has been too HOT!

Earlier in the week I finished off my 12th bed (if I count the asparagus and strawberry bed, plus the pumpkin patch plus salad bowl as roughly equivalent to two beds) and planted it out.

IMG_0361Getting the new bed ready – in the background you can see the new shed! I took a bit more care preparing this bed than many of the others, which were done in a rush and mostly raised over paper on top of the grass. This one didn’t have much grass, so I actually weeded and hoed it, sprinkled on lime, laid down pea straw, then composted manure, mushroom compost and top soil, then mulched with straw. I’m glad I did as two days after planting we had a couple of 30 plus days.

IMG_0383
New bed all planted out and netted up to keep out the chickens/wallabies/rabbits. The bed has a row of cosmos down the middle; a row of Golden Valley Farm Spring onion seeds down one side; then half the bed has Southern Harvest ‘Snow Queen F1′ Cauliflower, the other half ‘Copenhagen Market’ Cabbage. I tried to follow Tassie gardening guru Steve Solomon’s advice (for a change) and space these out at a decent interval. For the caulis, about 40cm apart, a mound with 3-4 seeds each; and about 30cm apart for the cabbage. This is a smaller spacing than Solomon reccomends, so we will see what happens. I’m a bit chastened by seeing the crazy crowding resulting from my last seed sowing efforts (see next post), but still find it hard to have so few seeds in one bed. I’m very conscious of the fact that as fast as I am building these beds, I fill them up and still end up looking around for space for my next lot of seedlings!

I managed to find a bit of space where my broad beans used to be:IMG_0382
(The view from pretty much directly outside the kitchen door, looking toward our driveway gate).   Under the shade cloth you can just glimpse above I planted my third variety of carrot “Little Finger” from another local guy who sells his seeds at the Cygnet market. My mate Ken informs me he is commonly known as ‘Pointy Pete’ so I guess that is what I will call his seeds!

Another bed is on the way of course, but will be a while before it is ready as I am doing the sheet-mulching approach, again using no cardboard or paper to smother the straw, so it will really need a month before I should plant in it. IMG_0357
Well, when I say bed, I mean a rather large space which should hold another 8 beds! Here you can see the first layer of the mulch down – I need to get some more poo, compost and more straw on top. Whether or not I can actually resist planting anything in here for another month remains to be seen of course …