Friday, March 9, 2012

Raised Beds- Progress Report

And progress is good! The plants seem to be loving the raised beds, despite the majority of the growing media being a mixture of dried weeds, prunings and crummy soil with a 10-15 cm final layer of good soil, compost and old (used) potting mix. I haven't bought anything for it -no manures, sugarcane trash or lucerne, but I have included nitrogen rich leaves from Black Locust trees. (These are thorny and sucker badly, I don't recommend them for a backyard but they were well established here when we moved in.)

I've planted things much closer than usually recommended, and I'm hoping that being raised will buy me a bit more time as the corn, beans, tomatoes, basil and capsicums in the beds are very late in their season. We've had such an odd, cool summer and needing to do lots of bed preparation work really slowed me down with plantings. But next year I should have much more garden space ready for just quick refreshing/weeding and then plant.

The supermarket dried bean mix that I planted is doing very nicely, but soup mix packets give you cooking instructions not growing instruction.s so I had no idea if the beans would be bush, climbing or  a mixture. Some of these are definitely wanting to climb so I'll push in some twiggy branches for them to grab. The black eyed beans at the front of the photo look like they're a bush variety, but they're being slower to flower than the other sorts- just starting over the last few days. They're a good tasting, good textured bean so I hope they produce soon.

Pea Trellis the Old Fashioned Way

My husband came out the other day and found me busy weaving up a pea trellis out of plum, apple and grapevine prunings like you see in English gardening books- so of course he had fun taking some photos. I've planted Golden Podded Peas, Yukomo Giant snowpeas, Oregon Dwarf snowpeas down in front of the trellis and a row of Johnny-Jump-Up (Heartsease) violas between the two rows of climbing peas, where they'll hopefully make an attractive groundcover- and if I feel like it, their flowers are edible too.