Gardeners love talking about the weather. I’m no different. It has been a dry month here in April but some good rainfall late March meant the soil had a good soaking. So in early April when I created my second no dig garden bed there was enough moisture in the soil. I didn’t have to worry about soaking the ground beforehand. Bonus!
Second No-Dig Garden Bed
Sorrel, tarragon, parsley, lemon balm and a mushroom plant were planted in this second no dig garden bed. I prepared the area like I did last month. This time round I didn’t have any hay to use as the top level mulch so I used the leaves that I had raked from the area before hand. I’m trying to use what I already have in my garden so this fit into my plans.
While raking the leaves away in preparation for this garden bed, I discovered a wooden sleeper that we had laid as a path between garden beds. It had been there for years and had compost and fallen leaves on top of it. I went to move it and as I went to pull it, I noticed the ground lifting in the first no-dig garden bed I had created last month.
So I had a choice. Pull the sleeper out and disturb a section of the no-dig garden or leave it there. I like wooden sleepers so I decided to pull it out from under the ground and use it as a temporary path to the compost area. What a reminder that any path I have tried to lay in this particular area gets covered by falling leaves. Leaving a gap between the beds is the best path of all.
Nourishing the Soil
The kids up the road have been collecting and selling cow and horse poo for pocket money. I need to nourish my soil so I decided to support their little venture. One morning I grabbed four bags of manure. I prepared some beds by raking the area, using a fork to open up the soil, sprinkling some chicken manure pallets and watering this in. I then added the cow and horse poo, finished off with thick wet layers of newspaper to stop any seeds from geminating while I let these beds sit until I’m ready to plant in them.
Planting in fresh manure can burn any delicate seedlings. I didn’t want that to happen! So I’m waiting approximately eight weeks before I plant out in these beds. Why eight weeks? Well, I am trying to grow my veggies in the favourable moon phases that apply. I’m growing leafy greens in this area so the next time that is favourable and allows time for the manure to settle is May 18th.
Flowers and Seeds
How pretty are tarragon flowers? I have never grown tarragon before. So, I had a pleasant surprise when a mass of delightful yellow flowers popped up.
My tansy plant had started to go to seed. I would like to grow some tansy under my peach tree as tansy is a good companion plant to a peach tree. I decided to collect the tansy seed and give growing some myself a go.
Last month, I had written about vegetable grasshoppers. I didn’t see them being too much of an issue. Well, this month I have changed my tune. Maybe I’m blaming them unfairly because I have now noticed some larger grasshoppers, the ones that look like they can eat loads of succulent leafy greens.
My kale seedlings had already been munched, quickly as well almost like an entree. Then my newly planted nasturtium seedlings and sorrel were showing signs of being the next course! I needed to do something. So I Googled ‘how to get rid of grasshoppers naturally’ and started reading. I was looking for something quick and simple using ingredients that I had available.
Tabasco sauce spray is what I decided to use as the gardener that posted this tip said that oil based sprays burnt his plants up in Cairns. The day was heating up here so Tabasco sauce spray it was. I’m sad to report though that these grasshoppers liked their meal spicy as it didn’t deter them. More Tabasco sauce next time I think!
There is a quick rundown of what has been happening in my veggie patch this past month. For more regular updates, don’t forget to Like our Facebook page.
WHAT HAVE BEEN YOUR APRIL HAPPENINGS IN YOUR VEGGIE PATCH? WE WOULD LOVE TO KNOW! PLEASE LET US KNOW IN THE COMMENTS BELOW.
Would you like to learn more about adding manure to your garden? Then check out this article, Manure Nutrients for useful advice.