Despite receiving very little attention, other than three hosings since things started germinating, the very raised bed lives on! A lot of transplanting to do with so many seedlings popping up, which is delightful. I had not expected such a success rate as the seeds that went in were, for the most part, at least a year old and I hadn’t stored them well – which says more for the quality of seed from the sellers (Rowan’s Garden Larder and Boondi Seeds) than my germination skillz.
Still, growth does seem slow. We didn’t get much of a summer, other than a few scorchers, and it is cold (4degrees C yesterday morning – and the first frost). Or maybe I’m just expecting a bit much from such a crowd and once I do some thinning they’ll have a chance to stretch their elbows out. I’m especially chuffed to see four little Purple Dragon brassica seedlings about to push their way forward
I constructed this very raised bed to the easterly side of the orchard for no other reason than a relatively flat space. There are five or six hinged packaging planks (?) that lock nicely into each other, enclosing a double layer of six “milk crates” (those plastic ones used for storing kids toys and such). Some firm wire mesh went on top to help hold the layer of garden mesh which sits on top of that, full of growing medium. The mesh comes up each side about 40cm, and is held in place with shadecloth fasteners tapped into the sides of the wood. the “soil” level is around 35cm or so and made up of 5 bags of potting mix – 3 of a fairly average standard, 2 Home Brand – about 3/4 bag of cow manure, a quarter-brick of coir and that’s about it. I measured the pH a day after watering and firming – it was 8.5. Geep! Considering the largest by far component is organic matter from the potting mixes, this is probably to be expected. Two days is not really a decent interval to wait before testing either. More on soil pH and vegies another time.
Emergence after four days! this is likely salad mix. The red flower is a tip cutting I’m hoping will root, as is the dianthus.
Go little guy, Go! I think this might be an all-seasons carrot – i scattered a lot of fine, nearly out-of-date or past-it seed on the surface, Purple Dragon Broccoli in each corner; the plan being that the salads and small things will emerge first – by the time they’re harvested the brassicas will be partially grown and ready for a top-up feed. The carrots I’m not sure about as they dont’t like a lot of manure whereas the broccoli loves to feed.
You may be able to get a rough idea of the height from this and the next picture. It’s currently at a good resting height, though I may add another hinged wooden thing to increase the depth of the growing medium. I really took these two pictures to help me imagine what colour to paint it, though I’m very much liking “just wood”
This little patch is in it’s third year, with things slowly being added as it starts to take shape. It’s becoming a bit of a citrus-y patch, with the lime tree behind and the orange roses, hmm. A vision comes to those who wait.