Another day of sowing seeds

I got to spend the day in the garden. Well, on the deck and with my fingers in seed raising mix at least. It was glorious!

My seed raising attempts have met with mixed success. I tossed my pathetic excuses for radishes. I suspect their failure to do anything other than sprout was probably mostly due to inappropriate potting mix (don’t use crappy soil from your garden to raise seeds in and expect good results – my first lesson) and insufficient drainage (lots of holes doesn’t necessarily mean good drainage, you need good OPEN holes, not just holes that close back up again – lesson 2) and possibly insufficient sunlight (my deck faces east and gets only the morning sun and not even all of that due to trees along our north facing. Yeah I know, REALLY well designed. 😦

Anyway, I have learned through trial and error that our back patio has sufficient light to successfully grow violas but not enough for much else. My tomatoes have grown more in the 2 weeks they’ve been planted in Ballan and that includes surviving a frost, than they did in the 2 months since they were planted. I have also learned that even should the app say you can plant things in your climate, and even though they’re in a sheltered corner and even when they’re under glass (or plastic as the case may be) it doesn’t mean that the conditions are right for them to grow. If the time is right and the conditions are met however…

So, my gardening today involved piffing to the chooks about 7 milk containers of crappy soil and straggling radish plants. Some fo the milk containers had housed plants like tomatoes, hyssop, red cabbages, basil and such but all the permanent marker labels I had put on them had faded clean off so I have no idea what they are. Some I have guessed (the tomatoes were pretty obvious even at the cotyledon stage) but there are a few which could well be seeds sewn by the wind or a passing bird but they’ve been re-potted into a newspaper pot and they will be given a chance to prove themselves.

Allegra has also been on at me about pretty things and Jasper has consistently picked flowers for me (not such a problem with dandelions but sadly the fruit trees here won’t be fruiting much this year) so I figured I’d best get some planted. I also have several packs of seeds, many of them will probably self sow for next year and I have a garden of tyres to fill so it’s time for some flower seeds. Allegra helped me to sow Swan River Daisy, Alyssum (Allegra called it ” I yissen” (I listen) 😀 ), Nasturtium (ah sturshin) and Johnny Jump Ups. I know that the Johnny’s and Alyssum can sometimes run more than just a little crazy but I don’t really mind and I can always sic the chooks on them should they get above their station. 😉 They should also help encourage the pollinators to visit – bees and butterflies, as well as other beneficial bugs. I’m also planning to plant my sunflowers in the north facing tyres and throw a pack of poppy seeds in there too so there’s more flowers right there.

I also planted some coriander seeds even though a friend gave me several coriander seedlings. I adore fresh coriander – it must be my favourite herb – but it can bolt fairly quickly and even though I often use the seeds in Indian cooking, I also use the leaves in Thai so I’m not concerned about growing too much. Besides, the seeds were years old so i don’t know how successful they will actually be.

My marigold seedlings did really well with a very high percentage sprout rate so I will have their sunshiney-maned heads bobbing at me too in a few weeks. Sadly I don’t buy calendula, although I sure will next year. I also had my third go at striking passion-fruit vine even though I doubt it will survive the frosts in Ballan. I may just leave it in a pot and sent it around my greenhouse maybe. It can keep my mandarin and lemon company in there. 🙂

My last job was to stake up my carrot tops. Without their taproot they are very top heavy with their tall flowers. I couldn’t find anything to tie them to the stakes though so a couple of elastic bands got called into duty. So far they’re doing the trick.

Anyway, the therapy of getting some dirt on the fingers has really helped and I am feeling so very much more motivated. Yay for gardening. 🙂

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8 thoughts on “Another day of sowing seeds

  1. narf77 says:

    Lesson 1…plant radishes where you want them to grow, right into the ground. They don’t like being transplanted. Sunflowers! I forgot the sunflowers! Now I know what to do with those tyres that my tight dad was too tight fisted to pay $5 at the tip to dump. I have been hoarding them for just the right reason. A permie person I talked to uses stacked tyres to extend their coriander harvest well into winter as the warmth of the black sun absorbing tyres keeps the soil inside warm. I am going to get some Johnny jump ups in town today 🙂 Great minds think alike (and as my gran once said “a fool and his folly are soon parted”) so I guess we get to choose which we are ;). I too adore coriander…Steve HATES it but bought me a punnet of seedlings in town so that tells me that he does love me :). There is NOTHING like getting dirt on your hands to make you feel one with nature…aside from getting chook poo on your feet…now THAT is a true melding of nature!

    • The radishes were an experiment in growing them in pots – no transplanting. Either way, fail! I planted more in Ballan though, along with my carrots so reckon I should see their leaves waving at me when we go up on Sunday.
      Interesting re the tyre warmth too. I hope it doesn’t cook their roots in summer then. I’d planned to one day paint the tyres but I’ll see how they go for 12 months before then.
      As for chook poo on the feet, my kids did that instead and wiped it on my wool jumper when I picked said kid up. 😦
      As I lie here listening to my family I know that yesterday’s gardening has done me a world of good. I can’t wait to get stuck in to the garden again on Sunday. 🙂

      • narf77 says:

        We just had a meeting with our lecturer and I have a few things to fix up on my drawings but aside from that we are effectively finished for the year so the garden is going to get a good going over ASAP. We have to whipper snip 2 1/2 acres of bushland at the top of the property and both have to share the task because it’s intersperced with sheoks etc. and is effectively a wildlife corridor. We have plans to get this area certified as a wildlife corridor (aside from a cleared bit down the side where we are going to plant some grape vines, some olive trees and some fig trees as the rocky hilly dry terrain is perfect for them along with the full sun. We are also considering signing up to the wildlife garden scheme and will share it with you all when we do. They both involve writing a submission about how we plan on using the property and what we are doing to include habitat, integrated weed and pest management etc. on the property. We foresee a totally holistic approach as far as possible and it will be interesting to see how all of the permaculture and other natural cycles all start to work together on Serendipity Farm. Thats what happens when you let nature take the lead and its going to be really interesting to see how Ballan works its magic on you all :). I think it gives a family a whole new dimension and a real strong connection to the earth 🙂

        • Congratulations on finishing your course and the year! Have you a little celebration planned? Good luck whipper snippering. Martin will well understand your pain after that.

          • narf77 says:

            Not quite finished yet! Our lecturer is particularly finiky and difficult to please BUT that makes us constantly raise the bar and feel good about it when he does tell us he is happy with our work 🙂 We will be feeling the pain…nothing like a day whipper snipping a steep slope in the Tasmanian frying sun in between sheoks and trying to avoid all of the fallen branches to make you feel as old as you are! 😉

  2. Ingrid says:

    Have you moved in yet?

    • No sadly, not yet. Painting is the order of the day this week and then tiling from next Wednesday. We have started moving things up though, mainly kitchen boxes. We’re on hold on the moving until Wednesday and then I can start taking up a lot more stuff including clothes, linen etc. We will be down to bare bones pretty soon after. Moving is dependent on the carpet being laid but if needs be we can put mattresses on the floors and just haul them out for carpet laying. It’s all very exciting and the end is very much in sight now. Hoping to get the chook pen finished on Sunday and that means once the watering system is in place and feeders are in, the chooks can be moved up. I’ll be heading up a lot more then too as I will probably take a load of boxes or furniture items up most days. 🙂

  3. tricia says:

    Sounds like a perfect day!

    And following on from a comment you left on my blog – I love your term ‘upsized land, downsized house lifestyle’. Perfect!

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