Tractors and Trailers

This post is specially for my son who told me ages ago that although he thinks my vegetable pics are ok and all that, what about  tractors and the big stuff.  Steve, here it is, not one, but three pics taken of John driving the tractor at the farm yesterday as it does it’s stuff.

Now just because one of our regulars Peter ( he’s the one without the sun glasses) and a new member (who’s obviously been to Spec Savers) couldn’t miss a photo opportunity – here is a pic of the farm trailer and a couple of ‘media tarts’ pushing it.  Note: this pic was not photo-shopped as both blokes are good-looking enough!

Happy gardening.

Compost Rolling and Manure Mounds

Yes folks. It’s not all glitz and glamour down at the allotment.

This morning I’ve been rolling compost bins and forming pony poo mounds.

But the first job was to get the hose going as it is now two months since we last had rain. After I had watered my plot I played the hose on the compost bins which were very dry. And then we rolled the bins. I know that I’ve featured these bins before but it was some time ago and it’s a job we do each week.

The temperature was in the late 20’s today so the hats were not a fashion accessory!

Rolling the compost bins, I’m the one taking the photo

We have six of these bins in use at the moment – here are just three.

Compost bins lined up

Back at my little plot it was time to dig up the last of the parsnips and clear the bed. So here they are lined up after a quick wash – more legs than a line of chorus girls and more whiskers than Santa.

Parsnips – nothing to boast about.

The four parsnips on the right were in the bed that I had prepared carefully and apart from slicing off the root of one as I was digging it up, they are shaped as a parsnip should be because they didn’t have to struggle through the soil.

The dramatic ones were growing on the edge of the prepared bed and that shows me that you need to make a bit of effort with your soil when you are growing these root vegetables to stop them forking. The minute they hit a pebble or anything they’ll grow legs.

Anyway, enough of that. The question was what to put in that bed now? Very shortly we will be in the heat of the summer with temperatures regularly in the mid 30’s and with high humidity. I’ve only been gardening through two Queensland summers and I sought the advice of Sara who knows what she is talking about. Zucchini was the answer.

Now I’ve had a bit of a dabble with zucchini’s once, to a thunderous (what’s that word – the opposite to success?)

But this time it’s different because Sara told me how to do it. You build a mound, plant three seeds, thin out the weakest two, and you are left with one strong plant sitting on the top of a (slight) mound to give it good drainage.  I had room for two plants, so I needed two mounds.

I am determined these two plants are going to keep me in zucchinis through the summer so they needed a bit of a good start.  Nothing better than a good dollop of well rotted pony poo.  And as luck would have it there was still a bit left of the original pile sitting no more than a few yards away.  Just a few shovels full would do it.

So, I built my little mounds, laid three seeds on the top of each, and watered it all in. Easy.

Then, a stroke of genius!  Lettuces suffer in our summer heat and just bolt. I had some Speckled Lettuce seedlings which needed transplanted as they were a bit crowded so I planted them around the bottom of the mounds with the idea that as they grow the zucchini leaves will give them shade. It could work, time will tell.

So here is the picture. Hard to see the mounds really, but you can see the lettuce seedlings so you get the idea.

Zucchini mounds and Speckled Lettuce seedlings

And this is what I planted, Golden Zucchini.

Golden zucchini seeds

I try to be a bit adventurous as well as growing the staple vegetables and today I planted golden zucchini which I hope will be a bit more exciting than the green variety.

And I am looking forward to watching my speckled lettuce grow as the seeds were given to me and I was told it is an heirloom variety with European origins dating back to 1660. In my book that makes them rather interesting.

Happy gardening.

Jerry Coleby-Williams

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