Here is my very basic recipe. You need a garden sieve, a couple of 10 litre buckets, and a big tub to mix it all up in.
I used the following ingredients.
- 2 buckets of sieved compost (which once sieved equated to about 1 bucket in the tub)
- 1 bucket of fine coconut coir
- quarter of a bucket of sheep manure, crushed finely (in sack with lump of wood) and sieved
- 5 big double handfuls of worm castings.
This is a big handful of the end result in my big tub. The mixture filled the top when I started!
All ingredients mixed well with gloved hands for about a good 10 minutes for even distribution. Then wet down with only a little water mixed with seaweed solution so that it was moist but not damp. If I squeezed it, no water would come out. I did a quite pH test with a tool I bought long ago and forgot I had, and it was about neutral, so no need to add anything else to balance it. The mix this year is about the same as last year, but instead of sheep manure, I used horse manure and a lot of grass sprouted as well, which confused me for a while as to what was the deliberate seed and what was the weed! However, if you don’t have these ingredients around your home, just buy some good quality seed raising mix at your local nursery. It shouldn’t cost you very much, but not half as satisfying as making your own!
Then I went searching for all of the seed trays and punnets I have been saving and filled them all with my special seed raising mix. I ended up with quite a few filled and even a few little pots for some bigger seeds.
This is what I ended up planting:
Spacemaster Cucumbers, and Greenskin Zucchini (to the right), Tomatoes to the left. Purple Russian Tomato, Tigerella tomato, Broad yellow current tomato, Tommy Toe tomato, Mortgage Lifter tomato, Purple Tomarillo, and Eggplants.
Warragal Greens and some basil (saved seed)
Baby corn (popping corn) to the right, and a complete tray of salad greens, all different types. You might be able to tell from the photo if it enlarges. Things like Goldrush, Mizuna, Mesculan mix, Freckles bunte, Italian lollo mix to name a few.
I want to save lots of seed this year and have already grown some lettuce seedlings from seed I saved last year, as I mentioned in this mornings post.. They are doing well in big pots and should be ready for harvest in about 3 weeks time. All the seeds I planted were purchased from Diggers club a few years ago, but like I said, I want free seeds, and be able to keep the varieties I grow true to type and hopefully varieties that are acclimatised to our dry weather.
Also, on Saturday, Kim and I mulched the Garlic, leek and onion beds, as they were drying out to quickly. the mulch is well dried chicken coop litter, and is full of chook poo as well. I gave the entire bed a sprinkle of blood and bone before laying down the mulch and watered in very well.
We also gave the broad bean patch the once over as well, as it to was drying out too quickly now that the weather is warming up.
Here is a shot of the black mulberry tree that Adam got me for Fathers Day. It is a little hard to make out, but because I don’t have photo editing software on this PC, it is the best I could do. The tree even has berries on it already.
Now that we have a bit of room next to the garage and fence line, we decided to put a small bed where the compost bins were for a while. It should be full of nutrients, and will be where the pop corn gets planted out. It will receive full sun from the end of Sept to about the middle of March, so and ideal summer plot. I did the bricks and Kim turned it over a little to get rid of some of the roots from next doors’ small tree.
It is a funny shape, but then again nature works in the same sort of way! It should be about a month before we plant out here. It get plenty of water when it rains as you can see as well.
So, happy spring planting to all in the Southern Hemisphere, and if it is not too cold happy Autumn planting in the Northern Hemisphere. Well, happy planting where ever you may be.