Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Talk about cutting it thin

We eventually got the water timer working the night before we left for the coast. It took 2 visits to Builders Warehouse (for bits that my hubby had rendered unusable and extra sprinklers) and many many hours in the garden. It doesn't look great - black piping winding around the beds...but hey, at least it did the job.

We got back home during what felt like a heatwave and first chance I got, I popped out to the garden. The babymarrow and spinach where wilting, but they've since recovered nicely. Casualities where 1chilli plant and some bean seeds - I can confirm that overwatered bean seeds do indeed rot.... :)

So, apart from the bits of overwatering and underwatering, the timer and sprinklers where worth the effort, and their cost will eventually be offset by the savings in my veggie bill later in the season (that's what I keep telling myself). I hate wasting water, so I'll only use the timer when necessary. It makes more sense to inspect each bed and water where needed.

On a sad note, my gardener has gone and used up my wonderful horse manure on the lawn :( I only have a quarter bag left and am guarding it fiercely. My hubby already thinks I'm obsessed, because I was mourning all the kitchen peelings I had to throw away while on holiday. What's wrong with keeping them in the fridge to bring back home for the compost heap?

Have been terribly lax with posting pics, so I'll make an effort to get my camera hooked to my laptop sometime this week:)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Watering & Chilli seedlings

We'll be going away for a few days and I've been stressing about how to keep the veggie patch watered. The plants are so little, so their roots are not deep and we've been having really hot weather, with no rain in sight. I've tried the 2lt-bottles-with-a-pin-hole idea, but it's not going to be enough for the time we're away.

So, I bit the bullet and decided to coughed up the money for a timer - discovered a really nice one on special at Makro (bulk warehouse type store) – 33% off the normal price :) Now I have 2 days to figure out how to use it and to lay out the sprinklers etc - lucky we have all the other bits and bobs in the garden shed. As it will be a rush job, it’s not going to look pretty, but at least it will get the job done, and I won’t spend my holiday praying for rain over Gauteng :)

On another note, I came across "Chilli – Tobasco" seedlings which I couldn’t resist. Why couldn’t I resist this, you may ask? Because a few weeks ago, I found a recipe for tobasco sauce, one in which you ferment the sauce for a few months etc. Now, I know this is probably not the same chilli that’s used in the original recipe, but hey, if I’m going to try to make tobasco sauce, I might as well do it with a chilli called Tobasco :) Anyway, as would happen, I have now lost the above-mentioned recipe and will now have to trawl through 100’s of them on the internet.... Will post a link here when I do.

Edit: I just came across this at the site where I get some of my seeds from http://www.livingseeds.co.za/shop/seeds/peppers/tabasco.html
So there's a chance that the chilli plants I have are the real tobasco - I'll compare them when I have the fruit....

Monday, September 6, 2010

It's September!

It's spring here in the southern hemisphere, which means lots of hard work for the people like me who leave things for the last minute :) My hubby has finally built my last 3 raised beds - but he assembled them completely out of the ground. Which means that I'll need to install them - lot's of digging.

I seem to have forgotten how to sow seeds, I'm not getting a very good success rate. Maybe it's the quality of the compost I'm using? I hate wasting seed - especially the heirloom ones that I bought, which work out to about a rand per seed!! I've even prayed over the little things :)

Had some poles delivered last week, will be setting them up for my tomatoes - am going to try the Florida Weave method of "staking" them. And my hubby's Aunt got me the most wonderful composted horse manure - I keep going out to admire the stuff - only another gardener can understand that :) I've already set out some manure tea to soak....

So my To-do list for this evening is:
Prep soil for Cukes, Marrows and butternut.
Plant out butternut that's ready (4)
Add some manure to pumpkin and marrow that's been planted out.
Spray Peach and nectarine with neem
Add mulch to rest to the planted beds
Test a soaker hose system for while we're away.
Trasplant tomatoes into bigger pots

And the rest of the week
Install the last 3 raised beds and kinda lasagne them
Dig in the tomato poles in 2 of the beds.

And while I'm doing all this, I'll be thanking the Lord for the gift of the garden and the space that allows me to grow pumpkins and have 3 compost piles. A gift that I know I don't deserve, given thru' grace and received with absolute gratitude...and willingness ;)