Without any doctoring of these photos, here is the quality and intensity of the Australian sunlight that we’re dealing with at the moment. Look at how my wicking beds are standing up to it though.
This bed near the garage is primarily a strawberry bed, though in desperation I plonked in 5 tomato plants. So many seedlings! So little space!! Over winter time it was pretty bare and looked like a disgrace to gardening, but with a spot of warmer weather and lots of rain to fill the water reservoir in the bottom, the strawbs have taken off. I savoured the first ones this morning, but they’re still a few days off ripening, most of them. Then I’ll have hundreds. Well… at least tens.
This bed under the boys’ window has the scarlet runner beans, more tomatoes and a mass of self-seeded parsnips that should’ve come out a while ago. This is the third summer the scarlet runners have come up and with constant building up of organic matter in the soil, they’ve decided that this is their year. In the next photo you’ll see how they’ve pulled the trellis at the back down to form a tunnel over the tomatoes.
Not a lot of beans as yet but I sampled the first two pods this morning.
I have to feel sorry for the parsnip plants who optimistically tried to grow at the bottom of the wicking bed in a crack of the concrete.
Meanwhile, in the garden bed next to the chook tractor – look at the fine crop of peas that sprang up from the pea straw! I’ve grown more here than from the peas I deliberately grew in a wicking ed in the driveway. They taste lovely too; so sweet and tender.
Hidden underneath the pea foliage is the first yellow zucchini of the season.
Meanwhile, beside the house in the driveway is the wicking bed where I planted a dwarf peach tree and three scrawny strands of warrigal greens (native spinach) that I salvaged from the chook tractor bed before it was covered up with weed mat and pavers. Look at how the warrigal greens have come on. It’s reached the stage where I’m actively thinking of what dishes we can make with green in them, just so I can use it up before it overtakes the bed next to it. Magic stuff! I just love it. With this planted, you’ll never be without something to stuff into the mouths of your babies.
This tangle of growth is a couple of tomatoes, a capsicum, a bunch of spring onions and some dwarf beans around the back. The trombone zucchini is using the trellis at the back, before it winds back into the bed next door, where it’s planted. You can see the light glaring off the leaves, but look what happens when I push the camera underneath.
No wonder they’re growing well.
I water these maybe twice a week – a huge time saver when I’m teaching.
Thermomix recipe: Bec’s Super Simple Thermomix Salad.