Thursday, August 23, 2012
Spring, we're ready!
I often feel I am running behind when it comes to the garden, but this spring I wasn’t going to let that happen. In preparation I built a mini greenhouse, to hopefully aid an earlier start to seedling raising, and as of last weekend the chickens started preparing the first garden bed. With all that ready it was time to get the seedlings going.
One thing I have been slowly learning is that a bit of planning makes a big difference to the efficiency and outcome of most tasks. So the first thing Melanie and I did was to sit down with a pen and paper and work out what we wanted to plant and in what quantities. We planned upon seedling taking about a month to grow, which aligning with the rotation of the chicken tractor means we needed enough seedling for two beds always on the go. Here is what we came up with:
Cherry Tomato 2
Spring Onion 6 pots, multi per pot
Pumpkin 2, not in mandala
Melon 2, not in mandala
Carrot lots, direct sow
Onion lots, direct sow
Chives direct in pot
This spring we have decided to not be shy with how much we can squeeze into a single bed. As Linda Woodrow explains in her book... Mother nature will fill the gaps if you don’t, with weeds. I had this concept reinforced at an urban farming workshop, where I was blown away by how dense they planted.
With 98 pots to prepare and a pressing urgency to get this job done, I had a little brain wave, that I was quite chuffed with myself over. Instead of filling each pot separately with soil, as we have done in the past, it occurred to me that we could fill the lot in one go. We simply laid the pots out on the ground then without care poured the soil all over them.
Putting a mat down is the key. It can be picked up to finish off the pots or put any leftover soil back into the bag.
We also were able to do this with the pots already in the trays as our trays have very large holes in the bottom, the dirt just fell straight through. These trays were a lucky score, I found them on a rubbish pile, and are the perfect size for the table. I have been trying to get one more, but no hardware store seems to sell them. If you happen to know where I can source one, do tell.
Working from our plan the whole operation was complete in around one and a half hours.
So bring it on spring, we're ready for ya.