Monday, 20 April 2020

Autumn Veggie Garden

It appears, as there has been a clear shortage of seeds and seedlings that many people have been using the extra time at home to set up veggie gardens.
Which is something we can definitely relate too. Hopefully the uptake in gardening, amongst other skills and activities will continue after these "uncertain times". And that for all the fear and negative aspects of our current reality that the positive legacy would be a resurgence in basic living skills; the home garden and home produce, cooking, forgotten crafts and up-cycling rather than purchase of new.

For us establishing, or our case 're-establishing' our veggie patch was not a product of our forced time at home; though the dedicated time has helped. But had been planned for the autumn, following the decommission of our previous veggie beds in late spring last year. 

Unfortunately decommissioning the existing garden bed was a requirement when installing the new sewerage system (as our old one literally went to poop); a requirement for our family home! The 'geo tech' report for the new system specified the location for the treated water dispersion was exactly where the old beds were located. So unfortunately they had to go. Therefore we planned to re-establish some new raised beds, in a new location in autumn. 

Autumn may seem like a strange time of year to many. Having grown up in Wales I always associated spring with fresh planting and new starts. However here in the tropics, summer is our wet season. And the hot, humid conditions and torrential rains are not great for growing much other than weeds. So starting out then did not seem like a great idea. Also trucking in soil would do a fair amount of damage to the ground.

So this week we finally got the beds prepped and formed. Lining the ground with weed matting and up-cycling strips from where we finally replaced the old water tank. The large poly-tank split during cyclone Debbie- though we hadn’t done anything with it, or replaced it until last year.

The ground work and new water tanks we installed around the same time as the plumbers installed the sewerage system. 

So knowing the veg bed had to go, we decided 600mm strips from the old poly tank would make good raised beds in the future.
And 6 ton of soil delivered and shoveled into the new beds.
We didn't make her move it all!

So for our veggie beds we have started with some basic vegetable that we use frequently and that are fast producing. We tried not to get too carried away with too many varieties or produce options;
Lettuce, bok choy, spinach, rocket, mustard greens, tomatoes, cucumbers, eggplant, capsicum, corn, fennel, sweet potato, carrots, radishes, snowpeas, beans

We also used a combination of seedlings and seeds. This is so that a) we see some results sooner, but also by planting seeds along seedlings we have succession planting. So more coming behind the established plants.

Now I am not one for conventional straight lines, as my partner would agree. So I have divided the beds up into sections for the larger items, and then planted smaller, companion plants as under planting. Which we have used to plant into. Hopefully creating some attractive and productive gardens.

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