In the cold and dark of night.

Lying awake at 3.30AM this morning, I thought I’d write down the plan of attack I was mulling over. Just as well, because I probably wouldn’t have remembered it in the morning.

1. See if I can borrow a ph kit from school. Surely the Science dept would have a few kicking around? Must ask Karen.

2. As soon as I get home tonight, up-end the pots with the pumpkins, jerusalem artichokes and the ginger and fortify the soil with some potting mix, home-grown compost and manure. Can’t hurt and it might help…

3. Do I suspend operations in the wicking beds and plant everything else in pots and in the ground? Do I concentrate on building up the soil, maybe with green manure crops, and try to save what I’ve already planted?

4. Or do I keep planting, just adding a couple of handfuls of manure/compost etc and hope for the best? Yesterday I planted a couple of tomatoes in a wicking bed in the driveway. I rebelled against fate and threw them in with gay abandon. I even sang a rollicking show tune. (Well… not really…) They looked so little and defenceless… still, they have to toughen up if they’re going to make it at my place. Just what I tell the boys! I just hope I haven’t condemned them to a lingering death. The beetroot plants in the wicking beds look as if they’ve been tortured and starved…

5. Do I get more worms from somewhere and really load up the beds? Top dress the beds with compost, coffee grounds and manure and then leave them to percolate slowly away, with the worms doing their thing as the compost breaks down? I’m a patient, saintly type of woman. I can wait.

6. Do I add what compost is left into my regular compost and let all of the good stuff juice it up? Or will it muck up what I’m making?  I’m now getting lots of little mushrooms popping up in the wicking beds so my mighty intellect surmises that mushroom compost is an integral part of the Useless Compost I Bought. A few years ago I tried to grow potatoes in mushroom compost and nothing happened. The next year I got heaps of potatoes from that patch of garden and they’re still popping up today. Should I leave the pile of Useless Compost I Bought till next year, or should I just add a bit at a time to the compost bins and let Mother Nature sort it out?

7. I need more worm wee. I need to learn how to make worm tea. We visited Shane’s garden yesterday and his garden is going berserk. He aerates it and adds molasses and Lord knows what else. I need to ask Mick if he’s up to taking my old freezer and converting it to a worm farm. He said he would but he’s been making a pond at his place. (Not a bad job, too.) I have a feeling that worm wee will be playing an integral part of rehabilitating these wicking beds.

8. Something is eating my 4″ high lemon tree. Do I simply buy another one or persevere with the one I’ve got? (When they said it was a dwarf variety, they weren’t kidding. I think it’s shrinking.)

Thanks to everyone who commented yesterday. Keep the suggestions coming!!!

Please…!

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5 Responses to In the cold and dark of night.

  1. Keryn says:

    Try liquid blood and bone, or liquid Dynamic Lifter, or Urea for lots of instantly available nitrogen. The problem with pee is that your garden ends up smelling like a toilet. Dynamic Lifter pongs a bit the first day, but that wears off. If your plants are struggling now they need liquid forms of nitrogen for a quick fix.

    All that pine mulch in your front yard may also rob the ground of nutrients. A dose of blood and bone (under the mulch) will help fix that too.
    This place has heaps of good info
    http://www.weekendgardener.net/garden-plants/mulch-060806.htm

  2. Barb. says:

    I’m no expert but! Don’t ya love that but bit.

    I believe in feeding the soil, little and often with as much different stuff that I can. Sometimes I water with mollasses. Sometimes weeds that have been soaking in water, sometimes cow manure that I have had soaking…I mulch every couple of weeks with grass clippings and old hay from the chookpens. I just keep adding different stuff all the time. Some things grow. Jerusalem Artichokes still haven’t poked their head above the ground!

    A lot doesn’t make it.

    Good luck with whatever you try but do keep trying. It’s fun!!

    Barb.

  3. Bev says:

    If you have a science dept at your disposal, they might even have a pH meter, which will give a really accurate reading.

    Also see if your science dept can do a salt test on the compost. I’ve heard that some mushroom composts can have a high salt content. That’s salt as in sodium chloride.

    Sounds like you need a good general liquid fertiliser for a quick fix. Maxicrop? Thrive?

  4. persiflage says:

    You must have had rural forebears. You are so far ahead of the stick it in the ground and hope for the best stage.
    I suppose hardware stores or nurseries have ph kits – I remember having one years ago, and it lasted a long long time.

  5. river says:

    Mushroom compost? Yuk, that is the cheap and nasty stuff. Dose everything with dynamic lifter tea for a quick fix, upend the pots and do the mix you wrote about. Dig channels in the wicking beds and add cow manure, then top off with dynamic lifter. Do your chooks have straw or hay in the chook run? When you rake that out add it to your compost heap, it’s good stuff, filled with nitrogen. Any of that cheap compost you have left, toss it in your compost heap/bin, it’s the only thing it’s good for. Add a small handful of good compost to the planting hole whenever you plant something.

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