Happy Plague :) Planting in April 2020

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As this isolation thing unfolds, I have never felt less isolated in my life. Every day of ‘lockdown’ uncovers more community connections and deepens family relationships. There is so much meaningful work to do that it hasn’t had a chance to become boring (yet) and rarely do we look for entertainment (in which case one need look no further than a pair of chooks catching slaters in the compost!)

What’s happening in the garden

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This weekend we made over a raised bed which, until now, had been the source of innumerable seeds for sowing and sharing. Our little seedlings, sown four weeks ago in the last days of close neighbourly contact, were ready to move out of their punnets into a patch of their own.

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So this bed had all its plants pulled out, chopped up and given to the chooks (apart from some silverbeet leaves for our dinner and a goodly number of seed heads that are now hanging in paper bags to dry). As the wheelbarrow emptied its load into the chook yard, it was immediately refilled with some of the manure-enriched clay soil from their floor to replenish the veg bed. We have found that imported soil is often too free-draining for raised beds and needs this occasional clay boost to help it hold moisture. We also added mature compost, some blood and bone and a sprinkle of organic fertiliser. To mix and spread these goodies while removing unwanted slaters and cockroaches from the compost, who better than a pair of those good feathered girls, contained with a temporary bit of fencing – while we tootled off around the neighbourhood to forage some local lillypillies for tomorrow’s breakfast.

 

What to plant now

Today we planted seedlings of spring onion, pak choi, silverbeet, rainbow chard and rocket, as well as seeds of carrot, mustard (to protect the carrots from root knot nematodes), parsley, coriander, lettuce, sugarsnap peas and telephone peas. Yesterday I planted another pea trellis with dwarf snowpeas and sugarsnaps but those peas had been soaked overnight (because I didn’t check the forecast and see how much rain was coming!). So I’ll be curious to see which peas do best. We also put in garlic cloves and the bottoms of some very old spring onions that have been transplanted around the garden a few times already (just the bottom inch plus roots) while their thick white stems are about to reach the dinner table as the ‘leeks’ in a potato and leek soup.

This month, in addition to those listed above, you could also add these seeds direct to your veg beds or into punnets or trays: broad beans, dill, radish, cabbage, kale.

And these seedlings into the garden: broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, chives, chicory, endive, kale, kohlrabi, lettuce, mizuna, mustard, onions, swede and turnips.

Plus artichoke suckers, asparagus crowns, seed potatoes and strawberry runners.

 

For tips and tasks in every season,

download the free PDF ebook ‘Starting a Garden in Adelaide

and follow Nadja’s Garden on facebook.

 

Next time… perhaps we’ll explore some of the other aspects of our current permaculture life at home, e.g. grain milling and sourdough baking, solar cooking, some of our favourite ferments (in order of speed: yogurt, sauerkraut and miso), see how the school holidays are going (what’s that, we’re still at home!?)… and see what else is preoccupying us and our neighbourhood by then!

Have you seen the new SA Urban Food Network website? It has a growing collection of resources for everyone concerned with growing, producing, sharing, selling, teaching about and eating real food in Adelaide.

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