Saturday, November 13, 2010

Rain changes everything

Following on from yesterday's post... yes, the rain did come:

The swales filled,

rain drove across the cellar door,

the neighbour's excess storm water was directed around two beds,

the newly planted seeds were bedded in,

the broad beans lapped up the heavens,

and my giant eucalypt pods were painted wet, among the grasses and berries.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Companion planting

Zeph and I got up early this morning and hit the garden. There was the promise of large amounts of rain on the horizon and we still had loads of soil to move in order to finish the new beds and plant them out. We worked for an hour in the balmy morning before our companion Meg put the porridge on. After breakfast we sorted seeds into companion groups, planted them in a random dispersal method about 30cm apart, and put a plank path up the middle of the larger of the two beds before adding a thin layer of pea straw.

In the large bed we planted the following companions: cucumbers (Mexican Sour Gherkin), sweet corn (Golden Bantam), sunflowers, beans (Lazy Housewife, Snake Yard Long, Borlotti, Kidney, Yin Yang, Cherokee, Flageolot), pea (Greenfast), borage, eggplant, watermelon, pumpkin (Delicata), and zucchini.

In the smaller bed we planted: dill, corriander (Delfino), carrots (Nantes, Chantenay), onions, and leek (King Richard).

And next to this bed, potatoes, corn and broccoli are already booming in the horse manure and composted soil we built over winter.

I gave Zeph the option of staying home from school until morning tea if he wanted to keep working in the garden. He accepted and we did some more mulching and pulled up green manure to lay beside the raspberries.

Strawberries, raspberries and then fruit trees line the swales to ensure they get a steady supply of water passively throughout the summer. They fill up with rain and our bath water.

I took Zeph to school and picked up some new garden stakes and chicken wire to fence off the new beds from chooks, dog and straying soccer balls.