The addition of these products will help build up the height
of the bed at little cost and provide a rich mix for worms
and soil life. Lay several sheets of wet newspaper over the
dead grass, then leaves, shrub clippings with kitchen scraps
and then grass clippings. Sprinkle garden lime over this before
a good layer of clean compost. This will reduce the emergence
of weeds and thus your weeding problems. If weeds appear later
just pull them out when they are very small and leave them
laying on the top of the compost in the hot sun. If they get
to be 50mm or taller then cut them off at ground level or
just below and leave the foliage laying on the compost.
If you have a long strip, several metres long, you may prefer
to fill part of the area as above and over time, treat the
rest of the area to the products and compost. This will be
less damaging on your pocket for the products purchased and
allow for succession plantings of your favourite crops.
Tall growing plants such as corn and tomatoes can be grown
at the back of the bed (front of bed is the north facing side)
Medium tall plants such as cabbages, dwarf beans and silverbeet
can be grown in the middle of the bed and short growing plants
such as lettuce, beet root, carrots, parsnips, onions, spring
onions and herbs can be grown in the front of the bed. The
staging of your crops to potential heights allows for all
plants to share the maximum amount of sunlight with minimum
shading of each other.
If you want to ensure that your crops have the all the minerals
possible then sprinkle Ocean Solids over the bed at the recommended
rates and spray the plants two weekly with Magic Botanic Liquid
Some plants are best grown directly from seed where others
can be obtained from a garden centre as seedlings. Seed sown
plants are, beans, peas, corn, onions, spring onions, beetroot,
carrots, parsnips, potatoes, yams.
You will get the best results from direct sowing of the above
There is no reason you cant grow all vegetable plants from
seed direct sown where you want them to grow. Alternative
is to buy seedlings which is a quicker start.
If you would like to grow pumpkins then plant a couple of
plants at the end of the bed and train them to grow over the
ground away from the bed as they do take a fair bit of room.
Zucchini also takes a big space but by growing in a separate
container or later as you start to pick the fruit remove some
of the larger outer leaves. Progressively continue to pick
fruit and remove leaves to keep it under control.
Another interesting way to grow corn and climbing beans is
to plant a double row of corn seed, zigzagged at the back
of the bed 150mm apart. When the corn plants are up about
150mm plant a climbing bean seed next to each corn plant.
The corn will provide support for the beans which can be
easily trained to climb up the corn stalks.
Watering your vegetables should be done on all days when its
is not raining by giving them a light watering to keep the
area moist. A problem arises if your water supply has chlorine
Chlorine kills soil life and harms worms which is not of benefit
to the health of your plants.
You can overcome the problem by placing a filter on your tap
that removes the chlorine.
Alternatively if you can place an open tank a metre or so
off the ground with a hose fitted to the tank, fill the tank
with tap water and stand till the following evening, then
use this water to water the garden. (The open tank to sunlight
gets rid of the chlorine and being raised allows gravity to
supply the water) Failing both these aspects instead of directing
the water onto the soil, turn your chlorinated water hose
nozzle to a jet and direct this high up into the air above
the garden so water will fall like rain onto your garden.
This helps reduce the amount of chlorine in the water especially
when the jet of water is exposed to sunlight.
The best time to water is late in the day which suits most
people that are working.
The amount of water applied should be sufficient for the plants
to have adequate moisture till they are watered again. On
the other hand do not water too much as this does more harm
Applications of potash to the soil will help reduce the plants
need for water.
Over time your garden bed will build up an excellent layer
of humus which is the dead bodies of the microbes that live
in the soil. This stores carbon and assists in reducing your
carbon foot print.
Humus has great water retention properties.
Problems ring me at 0800 466 464 (Palmerston
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