Friday, April 20, 2012

Kids in the garden

Alfie will be one next month - who knows where the time has gone! As he engages more, especially outdoors, I'm reminded of when Clancy was a toddler and how we spent lots of time out in the garden when we lived in Canberra.

Now Alfie can spread his wings (or should that be green thumbs?) in the garden! How do you best engage the highly physical toddler without unleashing total garden destruction? My answer is pots.

And a big sister helps too! Alfie follows Clancy everywhere and no doubt is learning heaps from observing her and then copying where he can! He was stoked to "help" sow some peas in these colourful pots. If he decides they need not be in pots anymore, well, at least he hasn't destroyed the bigger garden beds! :-)

I've also noticed that Clancy can now focus on the whole process of choosing and filling pots, choosing seeds, sowing, watering - the lot, when she only need deal with one or two pots. This detailed experience combined with the bigger picture experience of exploring the garden in its entirety (we often walk a circuit in the morning to check everything out) is a good overall development process I reckon.

Little jobs, exploring and discovering, pretend plantings (planting cut flowers for example) all help to develop Clancy and no doubt Alfie into engaged and confident gardeners!

And if course it's simply gotta be good fun... Happy gardening!

Sunday, April 15, 2012


Perth has been inundated with the pesky millipede lately, but they didn't count on Clancy!! Two benefits: Clancy gets to explore the world of bugs while ridding the garden of our mini plague of millipedes!

Some say they are of some benefit in the garden, but probably not so when in plague proportions!

Happy gardening!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Working with seeds

I mentioned in our last post that we hadn't yet seen the carrots pop up, but they have since then! Don't you just love their delicate fine leaves?

Will be keeping these moist so they get the best start possible and we also sowed another couple of rows in one of our large planters. That should keep us in carrots for a while. :-)

As for our Okra seeds, we have yet to see these emerge from the soil! Have been reading what others have experienced with Okra and apart from keeping the soil moist and the environment warm I can't see what else could hinder them. So, we will wait a tad longer - they can take up to 3-4 weeks to germinate so they still have 1-2 weeks to surprise us!

Oh, the suspense! Happy gardening :-).

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Gardening companions

Clancy decided our garden needed a scarecrow. And he couldn't be happy, he had to be an angry scarecrow to scare the birds away!

The weather has been warm enough to give our seeds a cracking start too. The beetroots are already surfacing, as are the peas and beans planted at the same time. Its been barely a week!

Haven't seen the carrots yet. I have a feeling the seed was old. Will give them a week's grace.

Enjoying Autumn, happy gardening!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Autumn plantings

Clancy and I planted some Autumn vegie seeds this week.

We started with seeds from our Okra plant. Clancy potted them by herself and we are hoping to see some green shoots in the next week or so! We are experimenting to see how/if the Okra grow well this time of year - they seem fast growing and produce lovely lady's fingers so hoping they will be a good quick Autumn crop amongst the longer term vegies.

Next we planted some dwarf peas together with turnips - good companions apparently. The peas have already surfaced - a sign that the warmth is still around! The turnip seeds are much like caulie seeds so we mixed them with some sand to spread them evenly in the bed (especially as it is a no-dig bed).



Then we planted out a line of baby beetroot. They too have sprung up quickly. The trick I've found with beetroot (and carrots too) is to keep the water on them in the early stages so they continue to mature at a consistent rate (as we noted back in October last year). We also put in two lines of baby carrots. Again we will see how they fair this time of year - they seem to handle the cool a bit as long as they get a bit of a warm start I reckon.

Now to the beans - we did in fact plant out some dwarf beans as we've done previously, so we haven't yet got the cubby concept going! May as well use what we have to start with! We planted out the beans into pots and put these around the garden bed and the sandpit for a bit of greenery. No doubt once they start producing the kids will be picking and eating them like nothing else! Just the ticket :o)

Now the weather is cooler, we've been refreshing our potted plants. I repotted a fig into a larger pot and topped up the herbs with a bit of fresh potting mix and blended manure.

Ah, Autumn, I just love this time of year!

Happy gardening!