Things are starting to grow!!!
Wednesday was a lovely sunny day with a very bracing morning. The very exciting news is that the broad beans have started to sprout and the radish seeds in the green manure bed are popping up which means the wire is working to stop the rabbits devouring our vegetables. Also the seeds in the punnets are germinating and we think they are the spinach. I took them home but I do not have a warm and sunny spot for them, so I left them at work which has the right conditions. It is the warmth that causes the seeds to initiate roots and leaves. Once the leaves are up, then sunlight is important.
Raising seeds in punnets is a lot more work than planting directly into the soil. Seeds need to be monitored consequently as they cannot be allowed to dry out otherwise they will die. Once the plant has four to six leaves, they are then ready to be planted out, but you cannot plant them straight into the garden as they will not be able to cope with the cold nights or hot days. They need to be hardened off.
Begin by placing them outside during the day, preferably when it is sunny bringing them in at night time. Do that for a couple of weeks, then leave them outside overnight but with some cover eg. shade cloth or on the veranda. Once they have got use to those conditions, start leaving them overnight without any cover. Once they have adjusted to this, they are then ready to plant out.
In cool/cold climates if frost is forecast, you will need to provide some sort of protection. You can use just about anything but do not use plastic as it sweats.
Meanwhile, on the plant front, Plantmark in Langwarrin very generously donated to Lend-A-Hand ten white flowering Grevillea ‘Moonlight’ which we are going to use to make an informal hedge from.* The idea is to attract the birds such as Honeyeaters as they love the nectar in grevilleas. Then in return, yes there are no free lunches any more, they will eat the sap sucking pests like aphids for us. Well that is my plan whether it works, we will see.
And why white flowers instead of the traditional red ones, well I thought white is a cooling colour, whereas red is a hot colour and maybe in summer, the area will feel cooler. Again, another theory being tested.
And the good news is our rabbit proof fence is ready to be installed. Will let you know how we go next week.
Signing off for now. Happy Gardening
Cheers Sandi and the Work for the Dole Participants of Lend-A-Hand
Work for the Dole places job seekers in activities where they can gain skills and experience that give back to the community and can help them find a job.
* To get the hedge to thicken up, we will nip the tip out of the top growth and that will cause the side shoots to grow.