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Scratching in the dirt


Well the next stage of starting my garden got underway. Since starting on Monday the wind has been relentless, a strong southeaster that wipped all plants and tree into submission.
A starting point was to plant one of my favorite food plants, the humble tomatoe. This amazing plant has a varied history, at one stage being considered toxic due to the leaching of lead out of pewter plates resuting in death when tomatoes were first brought to Europe. Later, under a bet, over 5kg of fresh tomatoes were eating to prove to sceptics that they were indeed not toxic as countless generations of native Americans had consumed them.
I planted 4 plants directly into the ground and three in bags as a back up. Firstly we have Vervet Monkeys that raid the house almost every wednesday. Also there is a family of Bushbuck that forage at night and love to eat whatever plants and flowers they can sink their teeth into. So the back up in the bag will be kept safe and out of nature reach.
Here in the Southern Cape we are experiancing the worst drought in 130 years, so to assist the growth of the plants in the ground I dug 70cm down and lined the trench with compost and hay and placed a 2l plastic bottle with perferations up the side in the ground before filling in the trench, leaving the bottle neck peeking out.
The plants were a find at a compost heap – 20 to 30cm tall, which I planted extra deep so that a larger root mass will develop.
So far so good – no bushbuck have nibbled the plant yet.
Next project was to set up a border either side of the the farm entrance. As I mentioned, when you grow flowers commercially you don’t always wrry about landscaping. Now that the flower production has stopped I want a spalsh of colour around the place. My choice is the ever hardy and simple geranium. I an fortunate to have some of the original species of Pelargonium from a gorge called Meirings poort that were used to breed the diverse range of garden geranuims found around the world.
Once again I dug a trench either side of the entrance and placed a selection of cuttings of 5 varieties at 35cm spacing directly into the ground. From experiance I knew that they did not require any rooting agent, just a good drenching with a follow up in two days.

Well tommorow again a combination of veggies and borders.

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Thats an interesting blog - without a bet you may never have tasted tomatoes? Where does your daily water come from?

18 Nov, 2009


Our water comes from were the worlds water comes from - the sky in the form of rain. Living rural means we have to be self reliant and pump from the river and harvest rain from our roof. So we learn to ration every drop, use grey water from shower and kitchen etc

18 Nov, 2009


Can't wait for the next instalment~ we have had so much rain lately that all my water butts are full and overflowing~ wish we could send you some!

18 Nov, 2009


Even though we have had more of our fair share of rain this week,a lot of us are keen recyclers,and save our water like you,The difference being,that you HAVE to,so it must be very difficult for you and your thirsty plants.

18 Nov, 2009

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