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I ran away from teaching to the country to grow veggies. There are also some chooks and a pair of troublesome goats who were so much trouble they had to go! My simple green life isn't always as simple or as green as I'd like...but I keep trying!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Automatic vegetable gardening.

I recently prepared a 'no dig garden' so that I wouldn't have to dig, obviously.   I was, however planning on planting it out.  
But look!  It planted itself!  

A large part of it is full of potatoes that I obviously didn't dig up properly last year.  How about that for automatic gardening.  

This garden is inside a large netted cube and I really wanted to use it to plant veggies at risk of bird attack.  So, I did pull some potatoes out to make room for other things but then I mounded up some soil and lots of straw.  I hope they are productive so that they warrant the space they take up.  That gap in the middle is going to be a patch of sweet corn.  Apparently it goes well with tatties.

I have grown lots of tomatoes from seed this year but they are still small and may take a while to get going.  So I brought two larger seedlings.  Both are early fruiters.  This one is a 'Burke's Backyard, italian tomato'.  If you look closely you can see tiny basil and marigolds too.  Both are great companion plants for tomatoes.

I watered them in with Charlie Carp.  This is a liquid fertilizer made from European Carp which are an introduced pest in our waterways in Australia.  I like the idea of a pest becoming something useful.

If you are interested in finding out more about companion planting there is a link in my sidebar to a good site. 
Little baby carrots!

For the record

Today I planted:

  • 1 Burke's Backyard Italian Tomato
  • 6 Grosse Lisse tomatoes (grown from seed)
  • 6 Heirloom tomatoes (mixed - grown from Diggers seeds)
  • 6 Mortgage Buster tomatoes (grown from seed)
  • 6 Big Momma Capsicums (green/red)
  • 1 Chocolate Capsicum (Small fruit/Diggers)
  • 1 Perennial Basil (seedling - never heard of that one before)
  • 2 Black zucchini seedlings to replace 2 eaten by snails (grrr)
  • Basil and marigolds grown from seed.

This is a lot of tomatoes but I have the space.  I plan to do a lot of sauce making and I want to have a go at sun drying some.  If you cut them in quarters, drizzle with olive oil and cook them in the oven until they slump, they freeze well and make a good replacement for canned tomatoes.  And of course, I will be giving lots away to my neighbours and non-gardening relatives.


  1. Nice!!! I once saw Grosse Lisse referred to as Gross Lizzies which made me smile!

  2. Wow! I've gotta get me one of those automatic gardens :) I think you've got about the right number of tomato plants... got to have plenty for preserving! Hope your chooks are doing better after their bath too!

  3. Here you are going into spring and we are in for a nasty winter, well at least that is what the forecasters are saying. I don't have problems with birds, my problems come in the form of rabbits, so all my gardens, including the flower gardens are fenced. Although this past week a little black rabbit has discovered how to scale the fence around my front flower garden and has set up residence in there.Sighhhh!

  4. Hazel, are you going to leave some of the volunteer potatoes to grow on to maturity? The received wisdom is that they will be weaker and more disease-prone than "proper" seed potatoes (sourced at great expense from commercial vendors, no doubt!)It would be interesting to see if this is truth or myth.

  5. I wish you all the best with your automatic gardening, the potatoes should do just fine. I like the idea of a no dig garden but then I also like the exercise I get from having to dig!

  6. Von, from now on I will always call them Gross Lizzies!

    Ruth, the chooks have stopped scratching and Irene's back is healing with daily dressings.

    Kee Wee, I will call by through the winter to see how Black Jack is going.

    Mark, Thanks for all the comments. I have plenty of room so I can afford to leave some of the potatoes grow. I will certainly make sure I do a better job of digging them up at the end of the season. Then I will plant a green manure crop and think carefully what I put there next year.

    Hi Growing Veg! Only some of the veggie patch is 'no dig'...most of it is 'much dig'.


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