The vegies have sprouted at child care! Three pots of beans, three pots of cucumbers and a few pumpkins in between have reared their brave little heads. The geranium and pigface cuttings are surviving in spite of many little feet to trample them, and the kids are excited instead of grossed out when I show them a pot full of worm poo! The beans are a good 6 inches tall already. This afternoon Ben and I gave both the gardens at childcare a good dose of worm castings – and his carer presented us with the biggest, most thoroughly decorated thank-you card I’ve ever seen, thanks to all the toddlers. Aw, wow!!
On the home front, the leafy greens have gone absolutely nuts. I don’t know whether it’s the worm castings, last week’s spate of hot weather, extra watering and shadecloth cover or the whole lot combined, but I have never seen pak choi or rainbow chard take off like this lot has! Just when I was wondering where my succession crop of lettuce was going to come from (after slugs demolished my previous attempt at re-seeding the raised bed), rainbow chard has taken off as the leafy green du jour. Interestingly, the capsicum seedlings right next to the rainbow chard are lagging way behind. I wonder if they want more heat and less shade?
The volunteer cherry tomato in the no-dig bed is reaching for the eaves while browning off a little lower down (a bit fungal perhaps?), and the Grosse Lisse and Roma tomatoes are setting big, beautiful fruit on very solid and healthy-looking vines. I want lots of tomatoes for passata this summer!
And at the potting bench, my first box of 60 Trees For Life tubes stands filled and ready to be seeded tomorrow, with Drooping Sheoak. Andrew and I have each done one previous season of TFL volunteer growing, for the Million Trees Project and for a landholder in the mid-north of SA, respectively. Friends gave us a great seedling trolley as a wedding present, all set up with a fitted shadecloth cover, so now that we have our own food basics established in our garden there is no excuse not to be growing something for others and to revegetate some countryside. This year we are excited to be growing 7 boxes of mixed seedlings for our mates’ woodlot at Williamstown (if all goes well we’ll nick some of the wood in future years to fire up our pizza oven, and they can come and feast on the results), and a bonus box for a reveg project at Onkaparinga Hills. More on these sites in autumn/winter when we’ll help with the planting out. Meanwhile December will be a busy month filling and seeding the remaining 420 tubes with another 7 varieties of natives.