Wednesday 3 August – Stephen plants more seeds

Tour of the farm

We all leapt out of bed early, talked vegetables over breakfast and then went down to the production garden to do our early morning chores. Stephen adores our laying hens. Talks endlessly to them as we fill up their food troughs, top up their water and collect and then grade the eggs.

Back at the house we had a look at the seedlings and then sat down for an intensive planning session around the topic of just what should we have ready for harvesting in late October.

Fast Growing Annuals

  • lettuces
  • endives
  • English spinach
  • rocket
  • baby pak choi
  • silverbeet
  • cima di rapa (edible turnip flowers)
  • spring onions
  • basil
  • coriander
  • baby fennel

Slower Growing Annuals

  • peas
  • broadbeans (already planted at Milkwood)
  • Fresh green garlic stems (already planted at Milkwood)
  • beetroot and beetroot greens
  • parsley


These need to be established at Milkwood if they are not already there and may take a few years to reach picking size

  • perennial herbs (rosemary, thyme, sage, marjoram, oregano, chives, garlic chives, bay . . . )
  • asparagus
  • globe artichokes
  • rhubarb

In future years this list will be supplemented by bottled tomatoes, saurkraut and various pickles and jams so extra plants of these vegetables have to be built into the garden plan for mid summer/autumn production

Seedling Work

After lunch we got to work making up potting mixes and soil blocks ready to start planting some of the vegetables listed above.

Here are the ingredients that we use in our propegation mixes:

  • Sieved compost – we buy in mushroom compost from the farm down the other end of our road if we don’t have enough of our own
  • worm castings – we have large worm bins that are used to process all the green waste from a café that we sell to plus all our own kitchen waste
  • sharp river sand  – paving sand can be substituted but avoid really fine sand
  • coco peat – a renewable resource with a neutral pH (you can expand the blocks very quickly if you use really hot water!)

Here are the ratios that we are using at the moment:

Potting Mix

2 parts mushroom compost, 1 part worm castings, 1 part coco peat, 1 part sand

Soil Blocking Mix

2 parts mushroom compost, 1 part worm castings, 2 part coco peat, 1 part sand

What we planted

  • 42 x 100 mm pots with asparagus
  • 143 blocks (one bread tray)  of English spinach
  • 143 blocks (one bread tray) of baby green stemmed pak choi

Stephen with a tray full of 100 mm pots planted with asparagus


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Filed under Garden Diary, Growing, Joyce Wilkie, Planting

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