Friday, April 10, 2009

Erratic Gardening

Over the past 2 months I seem to be having bad luck in the garden, or perhaps just not a lot of good luck is a better description. My seeds seems to have a very low germination rate and yet I know the seeds themselves are good because when I resow them in punnets they all germinate (and I mean all) but they are now taking their time to get any further.

Except for the radishes. They are just going nuts - like they are on plant steroids.

I have spent this week trying to really look after my seedlings. Making sure they don't dry out, stroking them whilst singing gently lullabies - you get the picture.

I have also taken a trip to the library and I think I have found my life saver.

The Permaculture Home Garden by Linda Woodrow.

Not only is this book about organic gardening but she also gives you a great garden design as well as ways to manage your garden. Her techniques re-use a lot of materials so it is very cost effective and has a very low impact on the environment.

The first technique I am going to adopt is keeping a garden diary. I have a notepad that I occasionally scribble things into but it really isn't very useful. Instead I am going to start a new blog over the long weekend so I can track what I plant when and what I harvest when, any problems I encounter and also any major successes I have.

Linda also suggests using lunar planting as a management tool as well as increasing the germination rate and success of the plants. I will head to the library to see if there are any books on the subject, but I am sure I can also find a wealth of information on the net too. She points out that by having set days when you sow certain seeds and do certain jobs, you can prevent that overwhelming feeling you sometimes get when think about all the things that need to be done in the garden.

The entire book is full of great ideas and I was inspired from start to finish. I am determined to get organised in the garden and improve our productive-ness. I am sure it won't happen in one season, the nature of gardening being slow and steady, but I think that is also part of the joy I get from gardening.

I will check in once my garden diary is up and running. If anyone has any suggestions though, I would really appreciate the help.


Kelly said...

I just read a copy of either Hobby Farm magazine, or the Hobby Homemagazine.... anyway.... there is an article in there that talks about how a younger adult watched his grandfather plant using the Farmer's almanac for that very reason. He/She said that they experimented around with it, and found some difference, not dramatic, but definitely better when they followed the almanac. I was actually thinking about checking it out, but thought I might be a little silly... maybe there is something to it though. Switched my garden blog over to with family stuff on the dawsondiaries if you're interested in following my growing season in the U.S.

Donna said...

HI Emma,
I have a garden diary, i think i blogged about it in one of my blogs. Fantasic to keep track of what you have planted and in which spot in the garden as some plants don't being planted after certain things and also for crop roatation. I draw diagrams of the garden as well and put a date on it and mark in which spot it something was planted and if it grows well in that spot. I have one particualr spot in the garden were lettuce thrives and one spot were i have never had any sucess with them. I never have to much luck with seeds either. HOwever i have manged to grow a few things and just planted a heap of beetroot today which were grown from seeds.. Fingers crossed they will go well.
Enjoy ur weekend gardening were off to the Easter show tomorrow. First time in years.

greenfumb said...

Hi Emma, I have had similar problems to you but have found that chucking the seeds directly into the soil seems to be more effective. I have all my brassica seeds in punnets on the deck but I need to water them constantly. We are up at Byron bay now so I fully expect to find them all dead when we return. Need to get a propagation box.

For moon planting try either Cosmic or Darren at Green Change (links are on my blog), they post different calendars, you just need to choose the one that suits you. I use Cosmic's and so far so good, actually have 3 rows of parsnips now.

have a great Easter

Daphne said...

I'm always wishing I would keep a more complete record of the garden. I've never been a good at keeping notes. This year I'm trying at least. I made a sheet of what needed to be planted when and it has slots to write in when things really were planted (because reality never meets expectations) and when they came up and when they were planted out in the garden. I'm missing a few dates that should have been filled in, but I'm not doing badly.

HappyEarth said...

We found Linda Woodrows book really inspiring and helpful too - it even made the cut into the very difficult choice of our top three eco books, we just blogged about on our site!

Love you site too - good luck with the gardening!


Ally and Rich

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