I was away for half of May. Mother’s Day weekend saw me putting down irrigation hose so the patch could be watered with ease while I was gone. I said goodbye to the patch on the 11th of May and felt confident that it would be well looked after. Esther who works in our office was going to water the patch. The kale seedlings were under the micromesh tunnel so the white cabbage moth couldn’t get to those delicate leaves. I feel like I can relax while I’m on holidays if I know the patch will be fine.
Couldn’t Predict This One!
When I arrived back home, I was happy to see my veggie patch. The endives had flourished, there were two cucumbers ready to harvest and loads of leafy greens to enjoy.
I had wondered what had happened to my sorrel as it looked a bit sad. Only a few leaves and loads of stems. Then I noticed that the dill next to the sorrel was no longer there. Both these plants were healthy looking when I left. The comfrey surrounding these plants (or lack of plants) looked nibbled as well. I heard rustling close by and a guinea pig scampered from the undergrowth. There were not just one but a few. Looked like the neighbours guinea pigs were free rangers now!
These guinea pigs did an awesome job of weeding my path. But do I want them having access to my veggie patch – no way. We used to have two free ranging guinea pigs and they used to nibble at the parsley in the patch, which was OK with me as there was loads of parsley. But I’m reluctant to let six hungry guinea pigs have access to the patch. I love guinea pigs but I’m going to have to block off their entrance route into my garden.
Flurry of Activity
The last weekend of May saw me getting busy. I didn’t want to plant anything new at the start of May as I knew I would be away. Now I was back, I was eager to get planting away. Dave from our local markets had loads of seedlings to tempt me with. There was green sorrel to replace the nibbled sorrel (although I’m hoping it will make a comeback once the guinea pigs stay on their side of the fence). There was also red sorrel seedlings. I haven’t seen red sorrel before. The leaves are beautiful – green with red veins…Dave told me it tastes milder than green sorrel.
Broccoli, kale, bean, silverbeet, snowpea and lettuce seedlings went into the patch as well. I like to give my seedlings a dose of Dr Grow It All which is a liquid fertiliser to help them settle into their new home.
Kale, Basil and Pumpkins
The tunnel came off my kale. The plants were hitting the top of the tunnel and have now grown enough that they won’t be totally destroyed by white cabbage moths. I usually hand pick any caterpillars and squash any eggs, if I start to notice the leaves being munched. The school garden used a natural caterpillar control called Dipel. I will keep this in mind just in case.
Eight pumpkins came from the pumpkin vine. These will be stored until I’m ready to use them. I recently learnt that it is best to cut the pumpkins from the vine a week before you’d like to use them. Before I would use pumpkin that had been cut straight from the vine and they would always be sappy. Allowing the pumpkin time off the vine stops the sappiness.
Two basil plants are still lush in the patch. Their flowers and scent reminds me of warmer days….
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WHAT HAVE BEEN YOUR MAY HAPPENINGS IN YOUR VEGGIE PATCH? WE WOULD LOVE TO KNOW! PLEASE LET US KNOW IN THE COMMENTS BELOW.