Friday, April 5, 2013

Going well on the melon block

Now that the melons are finished, my helper Ethan and I have nearly got half the melon block dug into 4m x 1m beds now ( most of the right hand side) and planted with the winter veggies. As the paddock is covered with a running grass that is difficult to control we spend a bit of time on our hands and knees pulling out every bit of root so it doesn't grow back. The roots are stacked on the sides of the beds and when they are harvested and the roots are all dead, they are raked back onto the beds.

Then the beds have a mix of sheep poo and old straw dug in. The soil on this block is much better than on my others and not infested with root knot nematode so I am expecting a great harvest through the winter.

I think I will get about 70 or so beds on this block and I have talked to the lady who owns the block next door about growing my fruit trees on there. I have asked her to think about it over the weekend and I will catch up with her next week about it.

We started these beds a week ago and some of the seedlings are coming up already. Here is a picture of some 'Purple Peacock' broccoli.
Purple Peacock is one of my favourite vegetables to grow for sale as it is so versatile. It is a stabilised, open-pollinated cross between broccoli and Siberian kale. You can eat the leaves, the broccoli heads and the opening flowers which are all tender and delicious - then after it goes to seed, it starts sprouting and producing all over again making it perennial. I love it.

Part of my amaranth seed patch.

I have been waiting for about 6 weeks for my amaranth to flower - it is getting like it never will. The flower heads have been formed for ages but the tiny pink flowers just won't open. I think I will stop watering them and see if that forces the issue.

Vegetable amaranth is such a delicious vegetable that I want to gather as much seed as I can.

Things are developing so fast in the blocks now that I will probably be back to daily posts soon.

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