Thursday, March 12, 2015

seed saving, crop rotation, and potatoes

I've saved seeds from 50 Shades of Grape (Tomato), and the fat little ones out the front which I'm calling the 'Buddha Belly' strain, because they're just so round and fat and cute. They're in the height of cropping, too, but they were planted later, so that's okay. They're also pretty sweet, which might be that the soil is a bit better where they are.

I'm worried about the multi-citrus; it's just dying - the leaves are going yellow and it's seriously dying. I don't know how to stop it - I've tried all kinds of micronutrient additions and it's just giving up the ghost. I may have to dig up the roots and see if it's got grubs or something.

Crop rotation has kind of begun on Bed #2 - I've planted swedes, parsnip, spring onions, chinese cabbage, and kale among the last of the early-planting tomato, eggplant, and capsicum. Assuming any of them grow, I'll replace them with green leafies for spring, and hope they don't rot too much in the winter/spring wet.

The green mulch beds are looking pretty good. The original idea for mulch bed #1 was to plant it out with the asparagus come winter, but I only have about four asparagus plants that are actually alive, so it's a question of where they should go. They're going to be there for the next 20-30 years, so it can't be somewhere that needs too much shifting or changing. I've been wondering if maybe I should plant out a couple more potatoes up the back of asparagus bed - plus the beetroot, and a bunch of other summer plants that I have growing - eggplants, zucchini, capsicum, cukes, and a jarradale pumpkin...

Also must decide on the final bed orientation for the garden. It's pretty much dependent on the fruit trees. Which, right now, I'd plant around the edge of the garden, with good bug mixes/orchard cover beneath. Annual beds at the leafline, flowing with the treeline, and the perennial/long growing beds in between. It's a little messy, but I think it could work okay. And I need to get the avocadoes in ASAP - they're outgrowing their teeny tiny pots.

Ideally the plantout could take place Easter long weekend. (I wonder if I could organise an Easter feast, and invite people over for a food-provided working bee?)

The potatoes are confusing me. I put a load of lucerne mulch on top, and I have a feeling it should have been lucerne straw, and that the mulch is actually rotting the potatoes instead of feeding them. Next year, I think the potatoes will have to be much better organised, and my mulching procedures set up. Also, growing things up strings will need to be a thing. I have to get some shelving braces and attach them to the wooden fence to act as growing frames. Need many more growing frames. Also, cotton twine, not the plastic stuff, which will never biodegrade.

That vine growing all over the back fence? African horned cucumber. I have no idea where it came from, but we'll let it start producing and see what we think. Maybe not a seed saver.

The spaghetti squash is growing pretty well, however, I cannot for the life of me get the butternut pumpkin to actually set fruit. It's the most frustrating thing in the universe, and I am jack of it right now. If the next pumpkin doesn't set, I'm going to pull the thing up. It's had months to get its act together, and it hasn't. At this point, I'm doing this entirely for the seeds, since one pumpkin off an entire vine is not a very productive outcome. (I wonder if I could grow the pumpkin up the jacaranda next year...)

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