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. 🙂