Saturday, 10 May 2008

Death and Life in the Garden

I always feel a little sad in autumn when the plants that have served us so well with fresh food over the summer are dying back and need pulling out of the ground. It's a little like a friend dying.

So this afternoon I was clearing up number 1 tomato bed, lamenting the passing of my friends. But after adding cow manure, dolomite, mushroom compost and some trace elements, I was back into planting mode again and I put in some spring onion and leek seeds, with hopes of new life and a crop by spring.

Then I moved onto the next bed and removed some spent zucchinis and assorted weeds. After manuring the bed, I put in peas (red flowering and greenfeast), Asian vegetables (wong bok, pak choi and Senposai greens), kale and winter lettuce. Bare spots in a couple of other beds had broad beans planted. And the broad beans, red flowering peas and the greenfeast peas were all from seed I'd saved myself, so I'm feeling pretty happy.

When I was clearing out the tomato bed, a couple of the stakes broke off at ground level - they are quite a few years old and I guess they've finally rotted. I've been eyeing off some new ones at the hardware store - made from recycled plastic or something so they should last a lot longer - maybe an option for next spring?

Also, for all of you gardening women out there who wear tights/pantyhose/stockings in winter - if you should get a ladder in them, don't throw them out. Simply clean them and then put them aside for plant ties. I use them to tie up my tomatoes and they are fabulous - long lasting, soft and elastic. And you get to use them again and again until they disintegrate, which has to be better for our planet.

love and light

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