Progress in the Garden!

So today we got stuck into the garden. My boyfriend finished the six main vege beds while I planted out seeds that are meant to be started in punnets, wrote a billion plant labels and  sorted out all the packets of seed. 20140913_111137a

We’ve now planted some capsicums, a variety of lettuces, broccoli, cauliflower and leaks in addition to our tomatoes, basil, parsley and various flowers on the made-out-of-scrap seed table

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You might be able to see it but the basil I planted last week already has two small leaves peeping out! The bushier seedlings are all herbs that my boyfriend picked up yesterday when getting some fertilisers. The unlabelled trays at the back are all flowers my boyfriend planted once I announced I had planted all the seeds that I was starting in punnets for a few weeks.   I then fertilised the beds (except for the root bed) and gave them a good water and we went in for lunch having already done four hours work. After lunch I planted out the seed that was going direct into the beds.

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The back left bed will be the root bed this year. I’ve planted it with some red and purple carrots, beetroot, silverbeet and spring onions. This is where the leaks will grow once we transplant them out. I’ve got some orange carrot seed still to plant so we can have orange carrots as well. The back right bed is the pea and bean bed. We salvaged a bit of wooden trellis from my parent’s place that we will train the climbers up on. I also planted some russel lupins today in the punnets and they will be going in this bed also to look pretty but they’re also a member of the pea family and like the other legumes will improve the soil for when we rotate the crops. The middle right bed is the brassica bed. We’re also putting our salads here as it was the emptiest bed. There’s not much here yet, just two lonely rows of seeds while the rest grow in their punnets. The middle left bed is the fruiting crops. I planted three tomato seedlings and some marigold seeds in here. I also planted some cucumbers. This is also where the capsicums will go when they’re ready for transplanting. The front left bed is the melon patch, where I planted two watermelons and two rockmelons. I planted two of each in case one didn’t germinate but I think I’ll have to thin out the weaker of each to ensure the plants have enough space. The right front bed is the pumpkin patch and it was hard not to plant too many seeds! I had about seven different types of pumpkin seeds and I planted four seeds.   Here is another view of the four main vege beds.

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We also need to finish building the fence you see in this photo. It stops just to the left of the picture and the un-finished part is where we always find deer prints, they have a little highway right through our vege patch it seems. But we’ve got the seeds in now, so hopefully now we can finish off the fence. We felt that spring was going to rush by us if we didn’t get cracking on the garden!

Seeds!

Our seeds arrived today. I’m looking forward to getting stuck in on Saturday.

I’ve been thinking about two things I’ve yet to finalise the planning for in the garden. The first, if I take after my mother and sister, is that I will end up with a ton of tomato plants that won’t die. As well as the seed I planted on the weekend we’ve got three seedlings and a promised seedling from my mother (the infamous un-killable tomato plant that she never even planted in the first place) and a bunch of other varieties that we want to try.  We want to try a few and see which we like best in terms of growing AND taste. We have 1.2 by 2.4 metre raised beds and I was wanting to grow the tomatoes as part of the crop rotation, which means fitting my tomato plants into half of a raised bed.

The other thing is we’re yet to finalise our decision on how to make best use of the 10 metre or so strip by the fence.

The answer should be pretty obvious but it just came to me that if we end up with too many plants then we can plant them in this strip. I don’t know why I didn’t think of this before.

Planting begins!

We’re still waiting for our main seeds and plant order to arrive but are itching to get started. Yesterday my young man began rigging up a seed raising table out of some scrap and this morning he finished it. It’s actually very sturdy and for the price (free) is good value. We had a few packets of free seeds from a variety of sources and we sorted through them. My mother says tomato seeds can be planted straight in the ground but everything I hear says raise them as seedlings first so while we’re waiting for the main garden beds to be finished (there’s still a few bolts to go in and some manure to be worked in) I planted some tomatoes into seed trays and we can try sewing some direct at a later date (we have a lot of tomato sees somehow).  I planted one packet of ‘heirloom tomato mix’ from diggers and some ‘grosse lisse’ tomato seeds that were amongst the seeds my partner’s mother gave to him. I also planted some parsley and basil. We had a lot of seeds that had “expired”, amongst them were some cosmos and honesty. I figured it was worth a bit of potting mix and water to see how many would germinate so we planted them too.

I also sat down and worked out where we were planting what in the garden beds. I’d already worked out what was going in which bed but now I have a plan for where everything is going inside the beds. A rough plan, anyway. One thing we haven’t yet decided what to do with is the ten metre strip by the fence. We’d love to plant all kinds of cane berries there, but everything I read says Brisbane isn’t the right place for cane berries. Grapes is an option and they have my vote but my boyfriend wants to put them in the other paddock (after we get water there and dig the ground up). My mum has a passionfruit vine that she doesn’t want so that’s a possibility but one fine does not fill a ten-odd metre trench. I’m thinking for this year we should just fill it with flowers (and the passionfruit) and re-assess next year.

Welcome to Treeview Acres

Welcome to Treeview Acres. This blog is to record our progress towards living a more sustainable life.  Treeview Acres is a sort of romantic name but it’s exactly what we have. You look out the window of the lounge and see a sea of green treetops sloping away from you. To stand outside however is not so idyllic.  Or green for that matter. There’s dust held together with the occasional clump of grass and the knowledge that just undeer the surface is a bed of solid clay. Then there are the trees, mostly eucalypts and from this view theu look pretty brown. But it’s not all bad from this view. There is a house which is pretty much a real house. It’s an old Queenslander which means the ground floor is upstairs as the whole house was built on stilts. The floor may not be quite flat but there are two external doors (one of which leads to a set of stairs and the other leads to mid air), one too few windows, a part blue, part pink and part neutral bathroom with most of a floor, working electricity and it even has running water. The actual garden is quite pretty with a bougainvillea archway leading to a large lawn sorrounded by lavender, jasmine and roses (when the wallabies don’t eat them).

What more could a young couple want from their first house together? Well, obviously alpacas and goats and chickens and a fruit Orchard and kitchen gardens and fields of corn and peas and feijoa trees. We want to eat fresh home made goat’s cheese on bread just out of the oven with tomatoes still warm from the vine and we’ve decided that this is the year we start working towards our future.

Our first step is to build a vegetable garden. We’ve chosen a 15 by 11 metre section near the house. We chose this spot not only because it’ s not too far to the kitchen but because it has access to running water so we don’t have to lug it over in buckets. We’ve gone for a four raised bed crop rotation design with two additional lower, but still raised beds for other things we don’t want to grow in the crop rotation.  The beds have been constructed and are filled with top soil. My father has a pile of horse manure that’s been sitting in his horse’s paddock for some time so we will dig that through all the beds except for the one which will contain  the root crops as I understand too rich a soil will fork the rots. We may also get a fertiliser high in nitrogen for the brassica and leaf bed (we are growing these in the same bed) and while I know tomatoes don’t like too much nitrogen I’m not sure if the pea and bean bed or the root bed should have this added. With spring nipping at our heels we’ve ordered our seeds and are giving a wide variety of things a go. My mum is also giving us a few seedling from her garden. We’re also planting a few flowers, some as companion plants but also in hopes of attracting bees.

We have started but need to finish fencing off the vegetable garden area. It’s a popular spot for deer to wander through and we want to keep all unwannted animals out of the vegetable garden.

The other thing we’re starting with is the chicken coop. We have sunk four posts into the ground so far so there is still a lot of work to do.

We also need to get a space for a compost heap organised and built something to contain it. In truth this should have been done months ago but better late than never.

 

So there’s a lot of work to do. Hopefully the next update I’ll include some photos  of where we’re at.