Garden log 27/10/12

So have about three weeks to cover today…

The butternut I sowed on 22/09 finally sprouted on 11/10. It did some crazy growing, pushing its seed around till finally pinging it off.

Also from that sowing, my eggplants (Black Beauty and Tokyo Black) both germinated, TB sprouting two seedlings. One of the beetroots that had already germinated later surprised me with two more germinations.

These are my tiny wee beetroots – much easier to see where they are from their sticks than by their plantness atm! Some of those stones are there to tell me where plants are going, but there are a few too many still in the garden – I think I’ll be using sticks to mark out planting spots from now on.

Since my garden is finally ready for seedlings (at least I think it is – not entirely sure of the quality of the soil and have only just been digging in the horse poop and too lazy to look up how to do that so hopefully I don’t burn my seedlings – it’s quite old poop so I’m hopeful) I transplanted today all the beetroots and marigolds that were big enough, plus all 4 nasturtiums, the oregano (it’s still TINY but figure it’ll manage since it’s an either direct sow or transplant one), and the broccoli from 30/09 and 06/10. Also stuck in the butternut (hanging out in a completely different part of the garden – I’m planning on draping it over the corrugated iron roof of out funny shed thing) and the pickle sized cucumber. As in that’s what it’ll produce. Oh and the chamomile, which is going in with the kale and cabbage. I wasn’t brave enough to stick any cabbages in yet, since the first lot I raised disappeared not long after transplant.


Still not sure who to believe about companion planting, but I think it’ll look really nice so I’m doing it. As said above, the kale and cabbage will have chamomile as a ground cover rootling between plants. My gourds are getting nasturtiums. My strawberries and lettuces will get some borage. The tomatoes will have plenty of basil. There may be a couple more but I can’t think of them right now, other than marigolds, which will just pop around all over the place.

Intensive gardening

As well as a few pairings between veges and herbs, I’m planting families together, and I’m not planting in boring lines; rather, I’m using a style of garden sometimes called intensive gardening. This means using the space you have to the maximum – instead of spacing between plants and then also between rows you have the same amount of space between plants in every direction. It ends up being a hexagon with a plant in the middle. Once I have a bed nicely full I can put up a picture to demonstrate this – it’s kinda hard to explain without a visual aid. If you’re grouping two or more veges in the same bed, you space them the average of their individual spacings – for kale and broccoli it’s easy cos they both like 45cm to themselves; things like silverbeet, spinach, beetroot were a bit trickier to calculate but it ended up they needed 20cm between them. I accidentally tried to add in an extra row when I transplanted the first lot of beetroot which means I’ll have to shift them slightly tomorrow when I sow my first silverbeet and spinach – but it’s going to look super cool – diagonal rows, and my silverbeet is the crazy mixed coloured (stems) swiss chard, so it’ll be very colourful.

You can kinda see from my kale what I mean by equidistant spacings rather than rows. Imagine there are two more on the left to make the hexagon with one in the middle. The mulch you see is wood chips mixed with goat poo.

Back to sowings

From my sowing on 06/10 I got beetroot (plus a bonus one), broccoli, and a nasturtium. The celery is yet to sprout. Being sick of not having any lettuce and beets I bravely stuck a lettuce seed and a sunflower seed semi together (they like each other, apparently) in a random spot elsewhere in the garden on 08/10. They don’t seem to have done much. Also chucked a silverbeet one in somewhere else, which also doesn’t seem to have done much. But I haven’t checked for a few days, so you never know. (Update – either I’ve forgotten where I stuck them or nothing is happening. Or both.)

(Continued 28/10)

On 13/10 I sowed:

  • 3x pepper (1 germinated 25/10, the other two 28/10)
  • 1x eggplant (Tokyo Black) (germinated 26/10)
  • 1x betroot (germinated 23/10 and a bonus one 24/10)
  • 1x nasturtium (germinated 23/10)
  • 1x marigold (germinated 19/10)
  • and transplanted a doubled up broccoli into its own container rather than sowing another one

On 20/10 I sowed:

  • 4x peppers
  • 1x eggplant Black Beauty
  • 1x zucchine Costasto Romanesco (germinated 28/10)
  • 1x broccoli

And on 26/10 stuck in the strawberry plants I got on freecyle. They’re not looking super happy right now, but hopefully will recover!

Strawberries and a barrow full of horse poop. I cunningly used (ok, it was Amazing Husband’s idea) bits of old mortar off the bricks for the bed dividers – nice and thin and go with the colour scheme, plus it’ll be that many fewer to get rid of!

This weekend (27-28/10) I’ve sown:


  • 1x marigold
  • 1x broccoli
  • 1x celery
  • 3x peppers (yes, I’m planning on having a lot of capsicum plants – can never have too many I don’t think!)


  • 1x beetroot (yay – one less thing that needs to be transplanted now!)
  • 7x carrots
  • 2x silverbeet
  • 2x spinach (though it’s a winter variety so will probably either do nothing or bolt really quickly in the heat)
  • 2x kohlrabi
  • 1x lettuce Rubin
  • 1x lettuce 4 Seasons
  • some borage seeds at the emptier end of the strawberry/lettuce bed
  • a spring manure mix – covered it up with wire netting stuff so hopefully the birds wont get the seeds!

Think the strawberries are going to need permanent net cover too cos the tiny fruit are all gone already – damn birds!

And now to share my clever new “pots”. Observe and be amazed.

Get a good shaped bottle and put some seed raising mix in it with a funnel.

Take sheet of your local free rag, fold in half and in half again, cut into a square, then tie over bottle. I used a slip knot so it was easy to adjust, then a proper knot over that so it didn’t slip off.

Turn it upside down and pack soil down a bit before sowing seeds.

Give spare sheet with picture of model trains to baby so he leaves you alone for long enough to do the above.

Did you notice the popsicle sticks I’m using for markers now? Got 1000 for $10 from Bin Inn – they’ll last a while! Much better than plastic ones too 🙂


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