Friday, 14 September 2012

Veggie fun

I've been wanting a veggie garden for ages. I don't have much experience with growing veggies but I do enjoy the satisfaction when I have grown stuff - flowers and herbs mainly.

I've been collecting seeds for things like green leafy veg (lettuces, swiss chard) and cherry tomatoes for many months. When I walk past the gardening section at my local hadware store I take a peek to see what is there. As a result I've got quite a few varieties now, including some flowers for companion planting.

In our complex there's a piece of ground at the far end, under powerlines. It isn't used for anything so we've created a bed (thanks to Libia, the complex's gardener). This afternoon I finally got around to putting in my seeds - bring Spring 'n all.

I've been very taken with the idea of seed strips/tape. It makes sense to protect your little seeds in their germination days. How many times have you scattered a packet of seeds only to get three seedlings comes up? Indeed, the seeds get munched by insects and birds and if they're not covered properly they can blow away... so many dangers lurking out there for a teeny-tiny tasty seed.

A while back I made some seed tape for my green-fingered friend. Now, months later, I've finally gotten around to doing the same for myself. Inside each 'envelope' is one seed and a little compost. It is sealed with a flour-water glue. The paper I used is similar to that old style jotter paper; I couldn't find exactly what I wanted.

My veggie garden needed a plan - yes, I couldn't possibly have conceived this without a map. It was totally unscientifically compiled but based more on having an aesthetic appearance (I couldn't resist making it symmetrical) as there are many leafy plants that will have leaves of different shades. I've added a few fun plants like catnip - for my cat and the neighbourhood cats - as well as pretty flowers like marigolds, a dwarf sunflower, a multi-petaled sunflower, blue cornflowers and another sunny-type flower. The circle sizes are based on the planting spacing recommended on the seed packets.

1.4m x 5.5m
It took me far quicker than I expected to mark the planting position of the main veggies - spinach, the two cherry tomato varieties and three types of lettuce - and it was even quicker to get the seeds in. Good thing too as rain was threatening.

Quick photo from my mobile. The colours of the ice-cream sticks don't mean anything - they're just there to mark the planting locations. Note the strips in front of the sticks.
Tomorrow I'm going to build teepees for my cherry tomatoes, in anticipation of big, strong, fruitful plants.

This is a different kind of adventure for me and I'm going to be keeping an eagle-eye on the bed, waiting for little seedlines to emerge in seven to 14 days. It will be interesting to see whether all of my seeds germinate (in theory, they should) and I aim to learn more about growing veggies - like about the space that the full-grown plants take up and yield.

UPDATE: Wooohooo! HUGE storm on Saturday night - tons of hail. Gonna check out my veg garden shortly to see how it fared.

My friend with the green fingers planted the seeds strips that I made for her some months ago. She has only got two plants growing from the five seed strips she planted... Mmm... That's got me worried. If some of my seeds don't grow it will mess up my pattern. So, I've just created myself a nursery. I can replenish the veg garden with viable seedlings, should it be neccesary. I'm hoping too to get an idea of what percentage of seeds to germinate. I'd like to hope that it will be between 90-100%. We'll see in two weeks!

Of course I have a written plan for what is where; for when the seed-strip paper disintegrates. Hahahaha


seanverret said...

And you thought I had OCD! :-) Great stuff Lisa!

adventurelisa said...

*grin* You and me both Sean ;)