this glorious warm spring weather is doing wonders in the garden. time for a Growing Challenge post hosted by Melinda at OneGreenGeneration. Last week i planted up the purple king climber and bush beans. Both have performed incredibly and are up and running. Compared to the beetroot,carrot and parsnip and tomato, which look so wispy and delicate when they poke through the topsoil, these emerging lovelies look so tough and strong as they uncurl from their seed.
The second planting of various heirloom varieties of tomatoes, black zucchinis, pumpkins and cucumbers are finally showing some promise. About a month ago i planted the first sowing out in egg cartons. Never again. unless you are prepared to keep yor eye on them FULL TIME ( ie: no pizza ovens, no kids, no other responsibilities). The reconstituted pulped cardboard acts like a water wick, so it draws the moisture away from the soil rapidly and i was watering, when i remembered, up to 4 times a day. (my husband did warn me) They obviously did not enjoy such a haphazard start to life. So i planted my second run in a plastic seedling tray and after a week and a half they are on the move.
I planted out corn among the middle section of the climbing bean support structure so it can grow up and amongs the beans. Bit of an experiment to maximise space so we shall see how it goes. Corn is apparently a very good plant for determining the quality of the soil and as this is the first year we have used these new beds, i will be interested to see if we applied enough compost, gypsum and lime to this very heavy and acidic clay soil.
The rocket is already starting to go to seed, so a new lot has beeen sown amogst the old until they go to seed and sow themselves. You can see in the pic below, the cabbages in front of the rocket are gaining strength, the bush beans have secondary leaves and the climbing beans are this big after peeking out from the soil only yesterday and the garlic is also shooting.
A rather unusual growing chalenge is Ollie, our rather large 3 legged cat, whois creating havoc in the lower vege garden .i have had to develop a way to prevent him from both digging up the earth to use as kitty litter (noice!) and from lolling in the afternoon sun all over my coriander and chives and totally flattenning it. i have resorted to the feline version of razor wire: vertical sticks pressed in amongst the growth ! it appears to be working a treat.
And just because i can, here's the latest progress shot on the ...yup...the pizza oven, looking like a ruin from pompeii... except for the purple ice cream tub... my mum came over yesterday to look after the boybean so i could put in a solid days work, and after 5 hours of squatting and pressing in the middle of the oven, i have to say , one of my butt cheeks is rather well worked out. The clay chimney pot you can see next to the oven is from my old house. when i had a new roof installed i needed an unused chimney removed and this came down and i kept it, its 100 years old, lovely and i knew it would come in useful one day! if it doesnt end up looking too big for the oven, i will install it as the flue. i love that kind of continuity in lifes path.