Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Creating our garden

Last weekend was busy, busy, busy. Graeme finished building the second frame for our vegetable garden.

We had the bales of hay, cow manure, organic chicken pellets and compost delivered the day before, so I was itching to get our gardens built, especially as I was planning on buying the plants at the markets the following day.

I have to add here that, in Graeme's words, we are winging it. Oddly enough for us, we haven't read and researched it to death like we do everything else. The boys have done this to us, which could be a good thing; we're just getting on with it with the little information we've gleaned and hoping it's not all a big flop.

If you grow your own and haven't heard about Esther Dean, it's definitely worth looking into. Here's a factsheet on ABC Gardening Australia that will help shed some light.

I still don't really understand the ins and outs, but we've basically layered the lucerne hay, the two types of fertiliser (cow and chicken poo) and compost. Luca was such a great help. He was back and forth filling his bucket with Graeme, and then helped me loosen the pads of hay. He was in his element.

Kian, on the other hand, wasn't as easy to keep happy. Anything cooler than bathwater isn't his idea of fun, apparently.

But we did it, and on Sunday I bought luscious pots of basil, mint, parsley, coriander, dill and tarragon, plus strawberries, black kale (or cavolo nero), tomatoes, cucumber, spinach and a few different lettuces.

Luca and I have nearly finished planting them and once we have, I'll post some more pictures (including the scorched lettuces from Monday).

I'll see how much room I have left in the beds and if I can fit in some beetroot. The boys love roasted beetroot so I serve it often, wincing though I do at the thought of the pink-hued clothes, walls and floors that always follow.

Next on the list are marigolds, mainly for their pest-repelling properties, but also for a splash of colour. I happened to mention to Luca that we can eat certain flowers, so he's itching to know which ones he can pick and eat. So might have to put nasturtiums in too, despite them taking over our garden in Beckenham a few years back.

I'm going to be very hot on the trail of any pests in my garden. I've already given the plants a strong caffeine hit with an early evening cold coffee spray and my mum has suggested broken-up egg shells. Luca, meanwhile, knows it's his job to 'relocate' any snails he sees around the garden, but if he doesn't get them all, I may have to give them a beer bath.


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