Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Gardening question

My garden has been pretty much non-existent since we came back from Xmas holidays and I've been putting off doing anything.

Mainly because the area around it looked like this (that is supposed to be a clear path area!):


Do you ever get paralysed in starting something because the first step just makes you feel overwhelmed? And the longer you leave it, the worse it gets?? That's how I was.

I spent a productive hour (that's all it took) over Easter and cleared a substantial part of it:


Now I'm feeling inspired again and am ready to start planting. I'm going to concentrate on what I know we'll eat rather than trying to be adventurous and spending a fortune on seeds this season! I still have most of the seeds I need (and quite a few that I don't!), so I'm not renewing my Diggers membership this year - will review the situation next year.

So now I'm ready to start planting, it brings me to my question..

The garden bed on the left desperately needs some nutrients. I think the season sucked all the goodness out of the soil, and by the end of the season everything was succumbing to diseases and pests. I had a lot of cutgrubs, and the tomatoes particularly were suffering from some sort of rot and a black sooty mould.

Given that they were so many problems / diseases with it, should I dig the existing dirt out and start fresh? Or will it be enough to get some manure / fertiliser etc to try and rebuild the soil, and maybe mix it with some fresh soil? If I do that, how long will it be until I can plant in there?

6 comments:

Louise said...

Hi kez, just wanted to stop by and say thanks for your support, it's very much appreciated. I haven't had much time for blogging lately, but it was so nice to get your comments :)

Suji said...

I don't have much of a green thumb but know someone who does. In case you haven't met her yet her name is Sheila and she writes a darn rib-tickling blog about homeschooling and sometimes gardening.
http://greenridgechronicles.blogspot.com/

Julie said...

Hey Kez,

Geez, there's so little of anything left in it that I wouldn't bother digging out the remainder. Fill it back up with heaps of compost and aged manure I reckon and everything should power away. Good luck!

Cheers, Julie

libby said...

Lookin' good Kerrie. I need to get into my veggie garden. We want to totally to-over on the bed this winter. We had such a bad year veggie wise - though I hear from many others they experience the same with our stupid weather.

Libby

The Tin House said...

Kez, we're turning everything over at the moment for a new lot of plants. What we do here that seems to work - even in the very poor soil areas of the garden - is add compost (commercial if you don't have any good rotted stuff of your own), and lots of mulch. My favourite is sugarcane - fairly cheap and a block of it goes a long way. A nice free but labour intensive option for mulch at this time of year are autumn leaves. Collect bags and bags and bags of them and use them for mulch. They can be a bit fly-away unless they're kept moist. It's amazing the number of people in town who rake up all the leaves and send them off in green waste bins. Actually, you can buy green mulch really cheaply at our local tip - but it can be a bit dodgy with bits of plastic and other stuff in in. Easy enough to pick out though.

Then tune it all up with a dose of seaweed tonic or worm juice or something along those lines.

Lisa x

ps we went to the Star Wars exhibition about a month ago and it was superb fun. Waaay too busy for my taste but the boys loved it. But they also really enjoyed the space exhibit and the recreated train station. Did you go to the "members lounge"? It was a nice way to calm everyone down and have a cup of tea that didn't cost $5!

Kez said...

Louise - anytime :) I hope your health is improving.

Suji - how have I missed Sheila's blog before! I'm now subscribed! Thanks :)

Julie - it's pretty pathetic, isn't it! Hopefully a new improved garden by the end of the weekend.

Libby - I had a shocking year with the veges too, so I'm also blaming our weird weather.

Lisa - thanks for the detailed instructions. I went shopping today and bought compost, sugar cane mulch and some "organic" soil mix. I'll mix it all into the garden this weekend. Re the star wars exhibition - we popped into the member's lounge but it looked as crowded as the rest of the place, so we didn't stay :)