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Gardening Diary Notes
November 17th, 2002

Yesterday I planted out the top raised bed and scatteredd a light layer of mulch. We bought a huge mulcher about a month ago and it's fantastic, especially in reducing the fuel load around the house.

We've mulched four olive trees - they usually burn in huge bonfires, adding CO2 to the atmosphere big time. So far we've collected about 20 bags of mulch and it's definitely making a difference to the moisture content in the soil around the gardens. The thing about permaculture gardens is that they tend to be unbelievably overgrown... something I've encouraged as I've always wanted to use the excess as mulch. It's so much easier with the monster mulcher. We tried ordinary garden variety mulchers, but they can't hack the heavy workload around here. Plus they wouldn't run on the inverter and the poor petrol generator struggles a fair bit.

I used cheap commercial potting soil mixed with coarse sand as a seed raising mix about 8 weeks ago - BIG mistake. Very few seeds germinated and those that did were very yellow. The plants I potted on were also very yellow. I've had to add liquid fertiliser a couple of times a week to remedy this, but the spring sowings were a waste of time, hence the direct seeding into the garden bed yesterday. In the past few of my direct sown seeds have come up or survived. The garden is alive with insects and there's plenty of mice about, so I guess they were eaten pretty well straight off. Anyway, I've learned my lesson - STAY AWAY from CHEAP POTTING MIX! It was full of fine pine chips barely composted and even mixed with better potting soil, sand and loam it didn't cut the grade. In fact, several of my pot plants have curled up and died! Including four new raspberries I was going to grow in tubs (so I can move them into the shade on those scorching days).

I pulled out the peas today - the guinea pigs were reaching up for the pea straw before I could dump into on the ground for them! They could smell it coming. I've new peas coming on, but I suspect it's a bit late in the season. Fingers crossed, as we love peas.

It's already too hot to work in the garden, and the sun has an unpleasant bite. I'm putting off the work I'd planned - building more raised beds - until the cool change. At least the chicken house is cleaned out and the manure and straw has been placed in the area set aside for corn. Last year we did the wrong thing - planted the corn seedlings directly into the fresh chook manure/straw - but no one told the corn it was the wrong thing to do - the seedlings thrived and grew tall in no time flat and we enjoyed some of the juiciest, tastiest corn we've ever grown. I aim to replicate this result this year. 1



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Our ever-changing view!
Moonset ~ Roll Cloud ~ Sunset

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care for earth,
care for people,
return surplus,
reduce consumption

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Copyright © Beverley Paine 2002-14. Article from this website may be downloaded, reproduced, and distributed without permission as long as each copy includes this entire notice along with citation information (i.e., name of the periodical in which it originally appeared, date of publication, and author's name). Permission must be obtained from the author in order to reprint this article in a published work or to offer it for sale in any form. Please visit Bungala Ridge Permaculture Gardens for more original content by Beverley Paine.