Day 93: It Could be Corn

The crows have had a good go at my chilli seedlings and corn seeds over the last few months, which is disappointing. While you know when a seedling has been attacked, you can never be quite sure when it comes to seeds. For this reason, I’ve let everything grow in this side of the bed. Most of it will be weeds, but something might be edible!  I have hopes that the plant in the bottom right corner may indeed be corn…

In other news, the tomatoes grew a lot higher than I had anticipated, which meant that they outgrew their stakes. Then they got a heap of fruit, and the rain made the soil soft. So now I have some collapsed plants that have decided to grow along the ground instead. They’re still flowering, so I’m not complaining.

Profit: -$59.38

Day 72: First Results

Not much to report over the last few weeks. The tomatoes grew, I put some of the chilli plants in the raised garden beds, the crows had a good go at them.

So the chillies are having a hard time, but the tomatoes are going well. It’ll only be a little while until they are ready.

Profit: -$53.33

Day 30: Eat Your Tomatoes

Especially if they are cherry tomatoes.

The reason is that the containers make great seed trays. They are the right size, have drainage holes and the lids can make a type of greenhouse.

Here you can see some ball and jalapeño seeds. If it looks like overkill, take note that my success rate in growing chillis from seed is about 1 in 3. I also really like spicy food! 

Profit: -$53.33

Day 20: After the Big Wet

In case you’re not from Queensland, or are reading this later, we’ve had quite a large weather event over the last week. It started with a Cyclone in North Queensland, which then moved south and dropped a heap of rain on Brisbane on Thursday. It kept moving and now a couple of people have died in northern New South Wales.

We have been relatively unharmed. The biggest casualty was our grass, which quickly showed up the limitations of our cars’ traction control ssystems. 

The tomato plants are leaning over a bit, but they will be staked this weekend, so that isn’t an issue.

Just for fun, here’s a picture of a learner’s plate in a tree…

Profit: -$53.33

Day 17: I Dug A Hole

Remember when I posted that I filled my raised garden bed with a heap of things, including soil? Well, that soil had to come from somewhere, and I was too cheap to buy any. So I dug it out of the ground.

I made six holes in my front yard, which are close to 50cm cubes. Rather than leave them as is (even though they are out of the way), I’ve been filling them in with whatever turns up in my mower’s grass catcher. So that’s mainly grass…

The hope is that if I leave it, only filling it up as it compacts, and only hit it with the line trimmer every so often, it will end up all composted and soil-like. However, it is only a hope…

Will I end up with free soil? Or will I never be able to mow this area again? Stay tuned!

Profit: -$53.33

Day 8: More Birds

The above picture says it all. The parsley plants on the right are no more, and the smallest tomato doesn’t look good.

The good news is that the larger plants were left completely alone. I’m pretty sure that letting the plants grow up a bit more before putting them in the bed, in conjunction with mulching, will solve these problems.

Profit: -$53.33

Day 7: Birds 

I knew that I would run up against some problems from time to time with this garden. However, I didn’t think that I would have a problem straight away. But that’s how it is.

The symptoms: little holes in the compost, with some of the plants being dug up. It’s been hot recently, so the digging up has affected theme quite a lot. I suspect birds, and am thinking of how to get around the problem. 

The first thing that I noticed was that the taller plants are somewhat immune to this. Maybe the birds don’t recognise the shorter ones as plants, maybe the taller ones are harder to dislodge. A solution to this would be to have the seedlings in an intermediate pot to grow them up to a size where they don’t get dug up.

However, I’m fairly lazy, so am going to go the route of least work, which is just watching the bed more. If that doesn’t work, I’ll look at keeping the plants out of the garden bed for a bit longer, or putting some shade cloth over them.

Profit: -$53.33

Day 4: First Plants Go In

Today I went to Bunnings and picked up a few plants to get the bed started. Cherry tomatoes are a favourite in our family, as is parsley.

They went into the bed easily enough, although the different parsley plants had a tendency to stick together where the roots had escaped through the holes in the plastic.

The recommended distance between the tomato plants is 50 – 75cm, with 30cm between the parsley plants, so I’ve squashed them in a little. Additionally, I have put some of the parsley plants in between the tomato plants, to see how they fare compared to those on the far right, which are by themselves.

This will either be the beginning of a thriving garden bed or the healthiest that these plants ever look!

Profit: -$53.33

Day 1: The garden without plants

Just because there are no plants does not mean that there has been no activity in the garden. There has been a great deal of effort (and expense) in the setting up of the garden, because I really want it to be a success.

I originally planned to create the raised garden bed out of treated pine. However, there is a bit of concern about the old type of timber that uses arsenic (there is an article about it here). I tried to get the newer ACQ timber, but that comes in lengths that I would have to cut (and then re-treat), so it ended up easier to buy an ACQ garden bed kit from Bunnings. It’s 1200mm square, so should fit quite a few plants.

Into this I poured a combination of soil from my garden (that was a piggery for 50 years, so it’s good quality stuff) and compost, along with a bit of potting mix. It took a few months (and about $50), but it’s now ready to go.

At the end of each post I will state the profit (or loss) generated by the garden. This will be calculated using current supermarket prices, and will only reflect the food eaten, not the plants that are thrown away.

Profit: -$47.35