Saturday, August 22, 2015

Woo hoo, rain coming, action stations!

We gardeners are right up there in the top echelon of people who get a real kick out of enjoying life's simple pleasures. This morning, I'm a kid again, excited by the forecast of showers maybe coming this afternoon, then a definite promise of rain tomorrow. Woo hoo, the first rain in ages! Lots of little jobs to do ...

But wait, there's more. My bag of potatoes is sprouting up a forest of little green men. It's about time, too. It's been three weeks since I bagged them up (you can read all about that little excercise here). 

Traaa daaa, Mr Potato Head makes his debut. I've planted
four seed potatoes in the bad and there are four sets of
buds coming up, so they're all performing nicely.
Now that the potato shoots are up, the other job to do is to
gently fold down the sides of the bag, so the little shoots can
get some more sunlight. They don't need any fertiliser. They
are surrounded by it all already, courtesy of the compost. 

With this rain coming, it's the perfect time to get the job of
feeding the citrus trees done. Our lemon tree is covered in
new shoots, flowers and flower buds, so it's busting for a
decent feed. The same applies to our lime tree and our potted
Thai (kaffir) lime. 

Here in Australia it's best to feed citrus twice
a year, at the end of summer (in late February)
and now, the end of winter or start of spring
(late August). So if you have citrus trees, do
it now. Here's my posting on how I do it from
last February, 'Flingin' in the rain'. Today
I am again using my old standby, Dynamic Lifter.
This is outrageous. I only planted this strawberry seedling
on Wednesday, and it's already flowering. So, as well as
making sure it is well mulched, I have sprinkled around some
Dynamic Lifter and watered it in (but not too much, the
coming deluge will water in all my fertiliser for me).
Another big job to squeeze in before the rains
come is to yank out all the weeds. I'm down to
my last two square metres of weeding to do, so
it won't take long to pull these invaders out.
While weeding is a dull task, I find that if I
do it in small sections over a week or two, covering
the weeded ground with mulch as soon as I
finish, it's not such an onerous task.

One little trick with pulling weeds is to learn
what "wanted" self-seeding plants look like as
babies. These are two self-seeded Love-in-a-Mist
plants coming up, and there's about a dozen
of them showing up now near the lime tree.
I love the ethereal beauty of Love-in-a-Mist
(Nigella) flowers, and I am hoping that they
will become a permanent part of our garden
without me ever having to plant them again.
Finally, I'm planting out some more of my
supermarket sprouts. This time I am giving some
parsley sprouts a go as a border around a bed. 

I'm not sure how the parsley sprouts will take, but if they work out OK then most of the "micro sprouts" (eg, coriander, chervil, radish, sorrel, parsley) sold in punnets at my local Woolies supermarket can be treated as cheap seedlings to grow in the garden. You can read all about the original experiment here

Parsley has always been a plant which is very fussy about being transplanted as seedlings. The old wisdom is that it's best to grow parsley from seed, so I won't be surprised if my parsley seedlings don't survive. But if they do survive, I guess that will be because I planted clumps of several baby seedlings together, and all I really need from each clump is for one seedling to survive and grow to maturity.

Time will tell, but the first stage of caring for my parsley seedlings is to water them well, and I believe that Huey the rain god has that job covered for the next seven days. Over to you Huey!

1 comment:

  1. Reading your posts is so thrilling for me! I get all charged up and start calculating the difference in seasons to when I can start here. The links to older turtorials are very convenient, helped me brush up my knowledge.