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1st September 2022

Hello my lovelies!

I hope you’ve had a little of the sunshine we’ve had our end and enjoyed some time in the garden!

There’s not a great deal happening just yet, however, the greenhouse has proven to be a complete success with seedlings popping up everywhere!

I have added in some small raised garden beds, in the hope of having some sort of crops (lettuce and carrots etc) all year round, while also being able to prolong a growing season a little.
The garden beds are doing amaingly well, though I am finding they do require quite a bit of water, though honestly, I did expect that to a degree.
I have planted out Pak Choy seedlings with baby ball carrot seeds in one bed, loose leaf lettuce variety and baby cos seedlings along with more carrot seeds in the second, beetroot and snow pea seedlings in the third and fourth, more beets in the fifth and the sixth is still currently empty while the seedlings are growing.

I’m a big believer in NOT doing a heavy feed once a fortnight or month, but a diluted feed of powerfeed (or alike in liquid form and organic) every week. This has proven to be the most effective way for me. In theory, it means the seeds are getting a constant small feed and using that up regularly, rather than one big hit that they take in and then run out of quickly. Hope that makes sense, but again, this is what’s worked best for me.

Oh, a little trick for potting up your seeds.
Always sift your potting medium!
I bought a cheap, plastic sieve from bunnings and I swear by it!

I used to use a mixture of potting mix (the cheaper the better), mushroom compost and blood and bone. However, I found that the tops of the soil was turning green and slimy, making the slower growing seeds either not germinate or really struggle. Now I just use a medium quality potting mix (I don’t like paying the price of specialised seed raising mix!) through the sieve and, as I said above, liquid feed on planting and then again every week with a diluted solution. This has proven to be the best method so far! I have great germination, no struggling seedlings and no slime!

Now, a warning…..

If you have OCD or a major aversion to weeds, please stop reading and scroll past the next group of photos!!!

I read on a permaculture site about a gentleman that refuses to weed his veggie patch and leaves it to go wild to keep the bugs at bay.

Sounds crazy right!!!

Well, I thought I’d give that a go myself (yes, I am that lazy a gardener and any excuse not to weed sounds good to me!). In theory, the weeds grow dense enough to keep the snails, slugs and yuckies away from the plants themselves, while also, after harvesting, becoming ‘green manure’ to turn back into the soil to add nitrogen and other goodies. Again, you’ve been warned, here is the chaos in all its glory!!

As you can see, a total and utter mess. But look past that mess. Every single brassica plant is going gangbusters, with zero signs of pests!! No snails, no slugs and no white cabbage moth!!! ZERO!!!!! Yep, I’m not looking forward to the turning it all over bit, but not one plant has so much as a patch if frost burn!!! So there has to be something in this. Our weeds consist of Oats (wild and from the horse manure we put in there, produced by our 4 pooping factories), native grasses, plantain (please note NOT a weed in this household! More to come on that one) and cape weed. Now, the cape weed will be pulled before turning all the rest over, then I will be adding more compost and replanting.

I have a mumma hen (silkie) with her three babies roaming the veggie patch at the moment, and I think they are pretty happy with that arrangement! Freedom to forage, where no other chicken has foraged before!

Thanks to Happy Valley Seeds!!!

My seed order from Happy Valley Seeds arrived! So it’s time to get serious about spring planting!

My tips for this week:

Get enriching that soil! Add plenty of organic matter, old manure (never use fresh, it’ll burn plants!) or mushroom compost, a sprinkle of blood and bone and a good watering with worm tea or a liquid soil probiotic etc. this will give you a huge kick start to your Spring planting!! Top up your raised beds with good soil if needed and get some mulch ready to go around your new seedlings!

I am in the process of developing an illustrated planting guide for individual climates (in Australia only), with my own art work being used. Stay tuned for that one!

Well, fellow green thumbs, may your days be filled with the scent of wild flowers, the sun on your face and the hum of the bees to fill your soul!

Until next time……

Live life to the fullest, love beyond words and laugh like no one can hear you.

Blessed be.

-Amy xx

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