Our front yard faces north. That is the direction that captures most of the sun in the Southern Hemisphere. It is a reasonable size, about 3 x 2 metres. So it is the perfect spot in my garden for growing veggies. Unfortunately, last year it was simply a pile of dirt, even though I tried to trick myself into believing that it was left deliberately as fallow ground! All that grew were untended parsley and strawberry plants.
This Autumn the time had come for an upgrade . My Fella grabbed the fork and turned over the soil. After some lovely soaking rain I added compost and lightly forked it again. Then I mounded it into “beds”. Two of them are finished; the other half is still to be worked.
I planted out the silverbeet that had been growing in a pot. I rummaged through my old seed packets and found broad beans, radishes and beetroot. They weren’t too far out-of-date, so in they went too. All enjoying today’s lovely soaking rain, no doubt.
I planted the silverbeet with a dollop of worm castings. This is an amazing, magical ingredient, which you get free from the worms. It is surprisingly soft, rather like chocolate mousse ~ and I am sorry if that image has put some of you off chocolate mousse for life!
I also use the worm juice (the dark liquid that comes out of the worm farm into the square bucket). Diluted down it makes excellent liquid fertiliser and helps plants get established.
There are some of my little beauties, munching their way through the kitchen scraps and leaf litter. Remember though, worms for the compost and worm farms are not the same as worms found in the garden. If you wish to set up a worm farm (and it is very easy), you will need to get the appropriate worms. That could be from someone else’s farm or compost. If you live in Melbourne, come and visit and I will give you some.
I mentioned parsley before. It loves my garden and all my plants are self sown. During the front garden’s “fallow” period it grew like topsy and set more seed.
Just look at all the parsley seedlings we have growing ~ and this is only a small number of them!
I have also planted out sweet pea seeds in the back garden. I quietly picked these seeds from one of my very favourite gardens in the neighbourhood. The gardener had mass planted the sweet peas so that they tumbled down her fence. It was a riot of flowers and colour and perfume. So I only quietly picked a few pods from the mass, and they were on the street side of the fence ~ and I am sure she wouldn’t have minded!
Last thing to tell you about is my hellebore. Once I planted about half a dozen bushes under my maple tree. Only one survived. Imagine my delight when I looked the other day and saw that it had had babies!
When I looked further I saw that one little leaflet was growing up between the bricks in the paving, surrounded by weeds. (Brick paving is rather grandiose, but that’s a story for another day.) Not the best spot, so I dug it out. I thought it would be a seedling. Instead it had this strong root system that made me think it was a runner rather than a seedling. Does any one know? This is the root system.
It is replanted nearer the parent plant. I hope it will have a long and happy life! It may be sharing its life with sweet peas, because I sowed the seeds around there too.