Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Gardening with Kate

Sunday was to be a day in the garden with Kate....

In preparation we had bought leek and small white onion seedlings at Villereal market.

But Kate was staying here so first it was a breakfast of grilled tomato, with sautéed red kidney beans and mushrooms eaten with some of my homemade bread and a cup of good French café au lait.....or Flat White, as I gather it is called in Australia.

My vegetable plot is not large, so the first decision was where to plant about 100 leek and another 100 onion seedlings. The Chinese Cabbage leaves are still being eaten as fast as I can mix up and use my insecticide, the red Cabbages are now very nearly ready to be harvested, half a dozen frisée lettuce have been picked and picked and picked and now there are just a few leaves left growing and then there is the volunteer pumpkin which has grown to about 10metres long (35ft) and has only a couple of tiny fruits on it...

After a lot of discussion, a fair amount of poking and prodding and a good deal of giggling Kate decided to sacrifice the pumpkin and the lettuces...who am I to argue??? so we set about pulling out those plants that had lost the right to live.

After removing the plants and the weeds we set about breaking up the soil to prepare the bed before making trenches, laying the seedlings in and then simply pushing the earth back over the roots and firming.   The whole thing took us about 3 hours including the discussion on what to do!!!!  I think this is the most productive way of planting out seedlings I have ever come across!!  A big thanks Kate.

All this activity during the morning meant that Kate had worked up quite an appetite and as it was now something past 1 in the afternoon we stopped for lunch.   Kate had already decided to cook a risotto for dinner that evening so lunch was destined to be a light affair... fortunately, we had some chicken in the fridge so everything was ok.

After lunch, it was back out into the garden to plant out some broccoli and fennel seedlings which I had raised from seed...  Yes...from seed!!!!   I had sown the seed about a month ago and all 24 plants had been hardened off and were ready to be planted out.   All the spare space was filled wit the seedlings until there were just a few broccoli left.

Next we discussed the 25,000 other things I wanted to grow... and decided that we had better extend the bed.

My vegetable bed is slightly raised and is contained with some wooden border fences.    It was a relatively short job to define the new bed size by moving fences and once that had been done we soaked the grass that the bed was now going to cover for about an hour....Next we smothered the grass with newspaper using the thickness of about half a newspaper, and then soaked that for another hour.  While that was soaking we collected a trailerful of compost from the compost area at the bottom of the garden.

We then added about 150mm of compost and soaked it all again.  Finally we spread a bog of commercial compost across the top before leaving the new area of bed to settle.

At the end of a long day we decided to  relax in the new pool for a few minutes before I dispatched her to make supper....

I had a great day, wonderfully relaxing and topped off with the best risotto I have ever tasted..

 

Thanks Kate.. Come again next year....

2 comments:

Kate said...

I had such fun in your garden it was wonderful. However it wasn't my idea to pull out the pumpkin - if you remember I went to a lot of trouble to trim it and re-lay it around the edges before you said....let's just rip it all out!!
I loved your limoncello...sad that it is all gone now!
C.L's husband (from Olives and Artichokes) has made some for my visit and we are going to start on that today!Maybe for breakfast!

Patrick said...

It sounds like you guys had a great time and really got a lot done! I'm looking forward to the pictures next year...