"Self-sufficiency does not mean 'going back' to the acceptance of a lower standard of living. On the contrary, it is the striving for a higher standard of living, for food that is organically grown and good, for the good life in pleasant surroundings... and for the satisfaction that comes from doing difficult and intricate jobs well and successfully." John Seymour ~ Self Sufficiency 2003

Wednesday 23 November 2011

Veggie patch progress

Due to the heat we experienced I didn't get to plant all my seedlings - and not even one lemon tree.  It wouldn't have been fair to the plants.  So we schlepped all the trees back with us...

And the balance of the unplanted seedlings have been left, under irrigation, in the far corner of the veggie hut, safely cocooned in the styrofoam boxes that RSon salvaged from his friend's restaurant.

But I did get to prepare, and plant up, the balance of the shadecloth veggie hut.  Well, me and my helper, John :)  Amazing what a bit of male strength can do!

I had started on the central portion on Friday afternoon, and continued with a bit more on Saturday morning, but by 9.30 a.m. it was too hot to continue working - even under the shade cloth.  Then we had our meeting at 10.00a.m. till 1.00p.m.  After the meeting RMan and I just platzed until about 3.00p.m. - it would've been dangerous to work in that 35oC heat!  From 3.00p.m. to 5.30p.m. we got busy on the patio - but that's another story...

Sunday morning we woke to overcast skies and drizzle.  Very welcome drizzle. And my helper arrived better-late-than-never at 8.30a.m. so the two of us got to work.  The entire area was picked and turned, and compost, bonemeal and Talborne Organics for Vegetables was added to the soil.

Drizzle turned into a downpour a couple of times - which resulted in everyone seeking shelter during the worst of it.  And, venturing outside again afterwards resulted in my Crocs getting heavier and heavier with the squishy, clinging muddy clay.  Eventually I ditched those too and just walked barefoot in the veggie patch area (not outside though, because of the devil thorns!)

But, we completed our task, and I got to plant some ginger, spinach, more tomatoes, peppers, parsley, lettuces and beans.  And scattered / sowed even more lettuce and raddish, mealies, popcorn and carrots.
The shadecloth veggie hut - picked, composted, fed
and planted.  And weedguard was laid as a path
to prevent grass / weeds from growing in the wet,
fertile environment that I have created
within the veggie hut.  I had to anchor it down with
the balance of our poles, as the wind still blows
through the shadecloth.
RMan, bless him, even after his own hectically busy day, managed to find the time (just before we departed at 7.00p.m.) to install the porous pipe irrigation.  And, boy, does that porous pipe work...

... this is the before picture - from the 8th November ...
Before - just after it was planted / seeded up
... and this is from the 20th November - 12 days!
12 days later - growth everywhere :)
All my seeds are popping themselves above ground - lettuce, rocket, carrots, marigolds (round the tomatoes) and beetroot - everyone of them :)  And I haven't lost one of the seedlings I planted due to lack of water.

And that is without anyone watering them, weeding them or keeping a watchful eye out for them.

Thank goodness for the shadecloth veggie hut and the pipe.  They are definitely the way to go!

If disgruntled means that you're discontented, angry and dissatisfied, then I reckon I'm very gruntled with my shadecloth veggie patch :)

Happy Thanksgiving for tomorrow to my American followers.  May the year ahead of you be a gruntled one.


  1. Dani, does the shade cloth block the light rain / drizzle from coming in?

    I must say things are looking outstanding. Nice to know that I can admire your garden while mine is sleeping.

  2. Love seeing the newly planted beds and am glad you are so gruntled about the porous pipe.

    "Gardening requires lots of water, most of it in the form of perspiration." - Lou Erickson

  3. Looking good! All I can do is just look at the seed catalogs that have started arriving in the mail, and think about it for another 6 months.
    thank you for the Happy Thanksgiving wishes. I will wish you a good day and hope that you have much to be thankful for and may God bless your garden that it will prosper through the growing season.

  4. Tami - It would "block" (gather on the outside and drip down the sides) very light drizzle, but everything else - no way. Even fog could find it's way in :)

    Jane- It's even better in reality :)

    Mr H - That is a quote to toast to - I agree COMPLETELY!

    John - Thank you!:)

  5. Dani that soil in your shade house looks yummy! If you need some comfrey and cant find, let me know and I will send you some.Btw monday is my big day. Good luck with your veggies.

  6. Dani that all looks amazing :) you guys have does a great job, it's gonna pay you back 100 time for all your effort!

  7. African Bliss - S'funny you mention that I can't find comfrey or alfalfa anywhere!

    Please ask Rae to let me know the outcome - don't want to huck her at a time like this. You're in my prayers.

    Astra - Oh, that would be a wonderful reward for the hard work ;)

  8. I am months away from a garden but am already planning what I want. For a tree I just want Key Lime. Your garden will be fabulous!

  9. Frann - The planning stage is very important and incredibly exciting. I'm sure you're going to enjoy making yours a reality :)


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