I ended up with a pretty cool plastic covered greenhouse that stands about 1.8 metres and is about 70 cm square. I used it last year in August with a fair bit of sucess, however because it was out of site, it was basically out of mind, and I kept forgetting to check if the seedlings needed watering, or re-potting or even checking if it was too hot. To add to my problems, somehow the snails found their way in and ate just about any seedling that managed to break through each night. I never did get to plant any rockmelons last year like I had hoped. They were just to irresistable for the snails!
Just before May this year, we moved the greenhut to the main vegetable patch, however, because we did not secure it to anything, it blew over about 5 times due to heavy winds (you think I would have figured it out after the first time), and about the 6th time it blew over, something ripped a huge hole in the top of the plastic cover and being PVC, it became brittle. Now being the keen gardener I am, I didn’t want to throw away the greenhut because of a simple tear, so Kim decided to repair it for me today. I found her some waterproof gaffa tape, and she broke out her massive roll of bubble wrap, and low and behold, she had constructed a new roof where the tear was, and had tied it to the railing that surrounds our deck quite securely. That way, we see the hut every single day, as it is in clear view. I even had a spare thermometer that was given to me at the Sustainable Living Festival in February, and tied it to the inside of the hut with string. It was 13 degrees outside, but a nice warm 20 degrees celcius inside the plastic hut! Just the right temperature for tomatoes, chilies and capsicums to germinate before spring starts, so that I get a good head start.
It would be about now that I would insert some pictures for everyone to see, which I did take this afternoon. Unfortunately, someone who shall remain nameless deleted the pictures to take some videos of Ben running around in my Captain Planet cape and cuffs! Not to worry, because not only will we have photos of Kim’s repair work tomorrow, we will also have photos of the six tomato seedlings that are about 20 cm tall that I re-potted today from around the Mandarin tree that we have growing in a very large pot. The tomatoes self seeded, and we are pretty sure that they are of the Tommy Toe variety, because that was the only variety that wrapped itself around the tree early this year. Some of the fruit must have fallen into the mulch under the tree and germinated. The same thing has happened under the thornless Lemon tree which is the next row over (which has thorns, ouch), but we thinK that they are either the green zebra or tigerella variety because they were the closest variety to that tree’s pot.
I took it very slowly so as not to flare my back up again, and managed to extract half a 10 litre bucket of home made compost and the other half filled with my newly aquired organic coconut planting medium and mixed the two together. What a fantastic potting mix it made, with lots of nutrients and water absorbing properties! I then kneeled at the manderin tree like I was praying in church, and carefully transplanted each of the six tomato seedlings into old plastic pots that I had saved from last year. After watering them in with a weak solution of seasol and water, I placed them in the newly repaired greenhut, and then hung up the thermometer and took the photos. Like I said, you will get a treat tomorrow, and get a look at Kim’s great handy work. It even withstood the hail and thunderstorm that we received at about 4 pm this afternoon, so it must be ready for the growing season! I think we received about 2mm of rain in about 30 minutes, which was welcome by all of my plants.
We have also figured out, as hinted at previously, that we can take about 6 minutes of good quality video with our digital SLR camera. We really hadn’t tried it out before, but had some promising screeners of Ben running around this afternoon. Ben is writing a script about saving the planet (pretty good for an 8 yr old), as he is currently reading the book “True Green – For Kids”, which is written for kids in a language they can relate to. For example, you should have seen him a couple of days ago when he found out that we can feed dog pooh to compost worms. He wanted to make a new worm farm there and then. I promised that we would give it a go this weekend, as I have two plastic boxes that I found about three months ago on one of my wombling trips. As I have more than enough compost worms, we can make some bedding with the organic coconut mix and then add the worms and slowly add Butch’s daily doings. As Butch is now mainly being fed vegetables with a little bit of cooked chicken each day (he is getting old and needs the fibre), I don’t think the worms will have too much trouble with the faeces. It is better than bagging it in compostable cornstarch plastic bags and sending it to landfill. Those bags cost a fortune let alone adding them to landfill!
Anyway, we are hoping to put together a little “Save the Planet, by saving energy” video in the next few days, starring Ben of course, and the older girls if they let me. Stay tuned, because my video editing skills are a bit rusty, but it should work out fine, and as I said earlier in the post, photos tomorrow, I promise!