This week, Wed 7th of March, we planted broccoli and cabbage seedlings in the bed we prepared last week. There were three of us working on this day, a volunteer from the Neighborhood Centre, a resident who just came along – he had been hoping for some time to see workers in the garden, so that he could join in with the activities; and myself
For each seedling we first dug a small hole – about 15cm deep – and mixed in a tablespoonful of fertiliser, then returning the soil into the hole. Brassicas need lots of minerals, particularly boron and calcium, to develop good heads. We then planted a seedling into the hole, so that the soil just covered the bottom two leaves of the little plant. It was then watered in with a solution of concentrated seaweed powder mixed with water. This provides both foliar feeding and soaks down to the roots to help with transplanting shock.
When all the seedlings were planted they got a good watering in, with the water soaking into the soil until well under the depth of the root system. We brushed a little of the straw mulch back around to the seedling to help prevent moisture loss.
The brassicas bed planted with cabbages and broccoli
In about 3-4 weeks’ time, we will plant out another area with brassicas so that we have a staggered harvest. The broccoli will provide a ‘double harvest’ anyway, as once the main head is picked, more heads will develop out of the little shoots that grow around the main head.
If all goes well there will be a lot of yummy, fresh broccoli and also cabbages available through the Uralla Food Pantry for quite a long period from late winter into spring
We noticed that there are a few different vegetables re-emerging in the trees area, where a variety of vegetables was planted in past years. The picture above shows what is probbaly pumpkin; although it could also be apple cucumbers …..Kale can also be seen in the picture, as well as cowpeas which were planted as a green manure crop some years ago. All surrounded by a pretty weed which is helping to keep the soil moist, and may well be acting as a kind of a companion plant for the vegetables, as they are looking very healthy indeed.
We also put a very thick layer of straw mulch around the strawberry bed, which will hopefully see them through winter and prevent the frosts from killing them.