First planting of the year – and sweet potato greens

At last. The first planting of 2013 over at the allotment. We’ve had some good rain and the daytime temperatures have dropped to a lovely 28c degrees so hopefully the weather will be kind to my little seedlings.

Much of my allotment has laid fallow and under a thick layer of mulch for weeks during the worst of the summer. Recently I have been over there feeding the soil. I’ve dug in heaps of organic fertiliser, rotted manure, blood and bone, and liquid fertiliser from the horse ‘poo’ barrel at the farm.  I should have the happiest worms in Brisbane in my little patch of dirt.

It was lovely to lift off the sugar cane mulch this morning and find the soil so beautiful and friable.

The first seedlings

The first seedlings, curly parsley and mignonette lettuce

You will see from the photograph, if you notice the little labels, that I cheated a bit. I will be sowing seeds and raising my own seedlings but my impatience reared it’s ugly head this morning. After all, that’s what Bunnings nursery department is for. So I took myself over there. I bought little punnets of silverbeet, curly parsley and that pretty green mignonette lettuce.

A small punnet each may not look like a lot to gardeners in the UK who tend to have much larger allotments but once they spread out they’ll soon fill the space up.

Parsley, lettuce and silverbeet planted

Parsley, lettuce and silverbeet planted

I finished the job with a good dousing of Seasol liquid seaweed to help the seedlings get over the shock of transplanting and then put the mulch back around the plants.

Over on the other side of the allotment the sweet potato which seems to cope beautifully with the extreme weather we’ve been having is really flourishing. You can see from the holes in the leaves that the grass hoppers have been having a nice feed off them.

Incidentally, on the subject of sweet potato leaves I have been told that if you pick them when they are young and tender they are good to eat, either raw or cooked.  I’ve been googling the subject of sweet potato greens as I write this post and there is heaps of information out there. Try this link for a start.

Mmmmm. Perhaps the grass hoppers will have to learn to share – maybe I’d like those leaves on my dinner plate too!

Sweet potato

Sweet potato

Happy gardening.

Advertisements

20 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Deb
    Feb 06, 2013 @ 20:32:06

    I have been experimenting growing sweet potato here in Tasmania. They are still alive and thriving but not to the extent of yours. Something to aspire to.

    Reply

    • Allotment adventures with Jean
      Feb 06, 2013 @ 20:53:45

      Hi Deb. Perhaps sweet potato need the Queensland climate. These plants have proved quite vigorous. My little grandson gave me one which was had started to sprout and my gardening friend from New Farm Library gave me a couple more. So I just popped them in the ground and they took off. They take up rather a lot of space on my small allotment but fortunately I love eating sweet potato so the more the merrier.

      Reply

  2. samsallotment
    Feb 06, 2013 @ 21:02:35

    Those have got to be the best fed plants ever, you’ve given them a really good start so they should make strong healthy plants in no time. I will be interested to see your sweet potato’s when you dig them!

    Reply

    • Allotment adventures with Jean
      Feb 06, 2013 @ 21:09:15

      I hope I have given my plants a good start and I’ll reap the benefits on my dinner plate. I will be interested to see what lies under the ground too. I know in the community garden at the farm we had a large area of ground covered in sweet potato leaves but there was a very poor harvest. I’m going to read more about the vegetable so perhaps I can improve my harvest.

      Reply

  3. Live and Learn-Toss and Turn
    Feb 06, 2013 @ 22:16:57

    Interesting–sweet potato greens. I don’t like sweet potatoes, so I’ve never grown them. I wonder if I would like the greens?

    Reply

    • narf77
      Feb 07, 2013 @ 04:23:40

      If you ever want to really boost root growth in something Jean, an old horticultural secret is to use Beroccas. Just dissolve 1 tablet in a litre of water and use this water to water the plant in. The Berocca have lots of B vitamins that are important to plant root growth and they really do work! ;). Your soil looks AMAZING! We have a lot of work to do with our “soil” on the property and my compost heap invasion seems to be doing the trick. I am making little compost heaps everywhere that I want to plant things out (trees in autumn this year) to soften the soil, add nutrients and lure worms in. After we plant out all of our nut trees, carob trees, avocados and everything else on the cards (all of our potted pines) we are going to put haybales around the base and plant edible ground covers like strawberries and lettuce all over the haybales. I am going to try sweet potatoes this year. If New Zealand can grow kumara’s…so can Tasmania! You CAN eat the leaves and they are supposed to be nice :). The grasshoppers have been bad this year but our little vegetable oasis up the back hasn’t just attracted grasshoppers…there are wasps flying in and out of the netting (like it isn’t even there!) and the other day I found a dead stinkbug on a leaf…something is predating them. I also noticed that there are more than a normal smattering of small lizards that have set up camp around and in the veggie beds and they are certainly eating a lot of pests as we don’t have many problems in there :). I must admit the veggie garden is a lot more chaotic than your lovely neat rows…Things have gone wild underneath the netting that we had to put over them to stop the possums from scarfing EVERYTHING and it is also stopping me from going inside and weeding (thats my excuse 😉 ). They all seem to be living together harmoniously though…the weeds and the veggies ;).

      Reply

      • Allotment adventures with Jean
        Feb 08, 2013 @ 04:16:35

        Hi Fran. I forgot to thank you for the Beroccas hint. I hadn’t heard that one before. Definitely going to use it.

      • narf77
        Feb 08, 2013 @ 04:30:20

        We dealt with an expensive product called “Auxinone” when we were studying horticulture. It is a mix of hormonal root growth ingredients with vitamins and as we were penniless student hippies, I went hunting to see how to make it ourselves and found that most interesting tip, the berocca tip, online. Gardeners are amazing Jean in how much they share with each other :). There isn’t a better circle of mates to hang with than gardeners :). By the way…you are up early! 😉

      • Allotment adventures with Jean
        Feb 08, 2013 @ 04:44:41

        Fran, my nocturnal wanderings also included making a soft cheese would you believe. I made some yoghurt the other day that came out watery and ‘stringy’ so I’ve put it in a cheese cloth and drained it above a bowl. Very shortly I’ll have a nice soft cheese and a nice little bowl of whey. Nothing wasted in my kitchen. I’m getting into using cultures and fermenting veggies.

      • narf77
        Feb 08, 2013 @ 04:55:02

        SAVE! :). THAT is what it is all about Jean! “The Save”. How we take what life throws at us and turn it to our advantage :). I am uber proud of you! I have gone mental today and decided to use up the sourdough starter that had to be discarded from my feeding up the starter that Jessie (Rabid) sent to me the other day. I have a bowl with starter ingredients for a sourdough chocolate cake…a bowl with starter ingredients for a batch of English muffins and a bowl with starter ingredients for cinnamon muffins, all sourdough started and all full of potential all sitting there waiting for me to bake with today. To say that I am excited is a complete understatement! I just sniffed them gingerly and none of them have Hermans (my dehydrated lactobacilli rich old starter) vinegar scent, instead they all smell yeasty and faintly yoghurty and full of promise! I will share them on the blog (if they work) or I might just go back to the drawing board if they don’t ;). Again, sorry about your neighbours :(. I guess if you are up being productive you have made another save 🙂 Have a great day fermenting and culturing, I will be doing exactly the same thing 🙂

      • Allotment adventures with Jean
        Feb 08, 2013 @ 05:08:43

        You with your sourdough and me with my sauerkraut and fermenting carrots. The thing with all this is they become more demanding of your attention than babies. And, of course, it’s addictive.

      • narf77
        Feb 08, 2013 @ 05:39:51

        I get the feeling that I might be able to substitute my need to nurture with sourdough and other ferments lol! I love that we can share our experiences from a distance Jean and can support each other through our adventures. I also love sharing recipes and gardening tips and hints and just the simple act of being able to find “community” online…it is an incredibly gratifying experience 🙂

    • Allotment adventures with Jean
      Feb 08, 2013 @ 04:18:08

      Sweet potatoes take up so much room that if you are not a fan of the tuber, you may not want to sacrifice the space just for the greens. To me the greens will be a bonus, it’s really the tubers I want.

      Reply

  4. MrsYub
    Feb 07, 2013 @ 18:59:55

    Your seedling so look so lovely and neat!
    I did not know that about sweet potato leaves. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply

  5. Anna B
    Feb 07, 2013 @ 22:46:20

    I can’t resist buying little plants from the nursery too! They’re very handy and at the end of the day, it all goes down the same way! I love following what you’re getting up to. Makes me even more excited about the spring and summer.

    Reply

  6. Tanya @ Lovely Greens
    Feb 08, 2013 @ 20:56:38

    Not cheating Jean…it’s instilling a bit of motivation to get on with the rest of your seed sowing 🙂

    Reply

  7. notjustgreenfingers
    Feb 22, 2013 @ 07:23:48

    We all buy nursery plants from time to time, it’s good to for filling unexpected gaps or sowings that you have missed.

    I do love reading your blog as I find it fasinating….grass hoppers eating holes in your sweet potatoes, I would never of thought of that.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Frugal Queen

Writing about all things thrifty, home cooking, fun on a budget and living between Cornwall and Huelgoat in Brittany.

Jerry Coleby-Williams

Sustainable Gardening in our Continually Surprising Climate

The Power of Thrift

and other ramblings

Nourishing Traditions

The Blog that Challenges Policitally Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats

could do worse

adventures in London

Allotmentals Plot 103

Allotment, garden and daytrips

Pickle Me Too

Nourishing foods for the whole family (including pickles!)

myproductivebackyard

Sustainable Backyard Food Production

My Front Burner

making what matters

30 acres of sunshine

organic, sustainable and self-sufficient hobby farm in the making

Lottie Land Girl

Living the 'Good Life' the Brown way!

Throwback at Trapper Creek

An ongoing chronicle of meeting the expectations of the land...

Foodnstuff

Energy decline & self-sufficiency from Melbourne, Australia

horticultural 'obbit

'obbitry of the horticultural kind

Frugal Queen

Writing about all things thrifty, home cooking, fun on a budget and living between Cornwall and Huelgoat in Brittany.

Jerry Coleby-Williams

Sustainable Gardening in our Continually Surprising Climate

The Power of Thrift

and other ramblings

Nourishing Traditions

The Blog that Challenges Policitally Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats

could do worse

adventures in London

Allotmentals Plot 103

Allotment, garden and daytrips

Pickle Me Too

Nourishing foods for the whole family (including pickles!)

myproductivebackyard

Sustainable Backyard Food Production

My Front Burner

making what matters

30 acres of sunshine

organic, sustainable and self-sufficient hobby farm in the making

Lottie Land Girl

Living the 'Good Life' the Brown way!

Throwback at Trapper Creek

An ongoing chronicle of meeting the expectations of the land...

Foodnstuff

Energy decline & self-sufficiency from Melbourne, Australia

horticultural 'obbit

'obbitry of the horticultural kind

Leisa Rayven

Passionate stories for lovers of words

The Self Sufficient HomeAcre

One homemaker. One Acre. My quest for Self Sufficiency.

not just greenfingers

Mrs Thrift's Simple Living in the Modern Day......Kitchen Garden, Allotment, Baking And More...

quarteracrelifestyle

The "Good Life" on a quarter acre, frugal living

Gardener Jen

Trials, errors and joys of creating and maintaining my first garden.

Our Everyday Life in Pictures

Growing vegetables on one small allotment

Exercising Septuagenarian

Growing vegetables on one small allotment

Tootlepedal's Blog

A look at life in the borders

frugalfeeding | Low Budget Family Recipes, UK Food Blog

n. frugality; the quality of being economical with money or food.

The Next Stage

Growing vegetables on one small allotment

The Greening of Gavin

Sustainable Living in the Suburbs

Down to Earth

Growing vegetables on one small allotment

%d bloggers like this: