For a busy family, growing food in the backyard seems so simple and essential when the crops are blooming. From March to November last year, the garden produced so much silverbeet, lettuce, cabbage and parsley, as well as several crops of butter beans and green beans – enough to fulfil most of our ‘greens’ needs.
Post Christmas holidays the garden is run down, the only edible greens are a couple of clumps of parsley. It is tough to keep the plants alive through the heat of summer. Now the first rains of February have broken the spell, it’s time to plant, grow and eat greens from the backyard again… and never buy anymore silverbeet!
Flat-leaf Parsley, a great low maintenance summer staple
Today I planted the Sugarbaby watermelon seedlings in a tub underneath sturdy trees that they can climb up – they do not naturally climb, so will require encouragement – and avoid spreading around the garden. The trees will shelter the plants from the rain, as I have a feeling that too much water will bloat the fruit and make it taste less.
The tub was layered with alternate layers of soil and compost to enrich the soil to grow tasty healthy fruit. Two seedlings, grown in the same pot, were planted together. To disentangle the roots of the two plants may weaken both, and it is better to see which plant grows strong, and then cut the other off at the stem with secateurs.
At the moment too much rain is not the issue, Brisbane has not received any significant rain for months. The 3,000 litre water tank in the garden hit empty today and I will start to siphon water from the kids’ bath to the garden to stay sustainable. The lack of rain means that mulching the garden properly is important.
Jobs – buy a bale of sugar cane mulch and spread on garden, and organise the siphoning.
For details on how to grow watermelon, and especially for reasons not to grow watermelons, see…..
Too acidic – this compost needs help!
Every veggie garden needs a compost. My compost is overrun with vinegar fly and so many maggots. I feel like giving up as it is so yuck!
Too many vinegar flies show that the compost is too acidic. More ‘browns’ – dried leaves, cardboard, wood shavings – will balance the ‘greens’ – kitchen scraps. The remedy is worth a try.
Organic scraps account for about 60% of household waste and, when composted appropriately, provide ongoing, recycled and free nutrients for the veggie garden. Compost is a large part of what makes a garden sustainable. I can do this!