Walking around the garden this evening, I definitely had a smile on my face. It was a long day especially with cleaning and baking also squeezed in between jobs. The garden is now completely planted out. This includes Connor's garden for school.
After seeing a few people on here talking about their experiences with hugelkultur, I thought I would look into seeing how it could be applied to pots and grow bags as it could potentially solve a few things, mainly around the cost. While I was happy to accommodate Connor's wishes to have melons and pumpkins in the grow bags, I needed to also ensure that the costs didn't get out of hand as they can be costly to fill if you don't have access to your own compost and manure.
According to the research, it is actually possible but with a few amendments. Instead of the log at the base, you use small decomposing sticks, then layer the other materials as you would normally. The idea is that the sticks, organic waste, and manure will help retain the moisture as well as feeding it. Perfect for our grow bags that the pumpkins and melons were going in as I know they require a lot of water.
I knew our compost wasn't completely ready, but I knew I had a bit of cut-up twigs in there from my prunings. I took a gamble, and took off the top quarter of one, and underneath it was pretty good, just a few twigs partially rotten here and there. I thought this would be perfect for the hugelkultur, with the better compost, left for the top. I also layered in some lawn clippings, and the pile of garden waste that was being layered ontop of the kumara garden. There was also some of our rabbit cage cleaning already in a couple of the bags. I was gutted that I didn't remember to add my coffee grounds until it was too late as apparently this is great for helping to break things down. When I finally remembered, this ended up being added to the remaining compost that I put back into the four bins.
There was also enough good compost left over to dig into the two remaining beds; to add to the top of the kumara paddling pool; for the dahlias. I was stoked about that as I thought I was going to have to go and grab a few more bags.
After he got back from sailing, Connor popped in two water melons; one rock melon; two Queensland Blues, and one honey nut. We stuck to just one seedling per bag as we still need to be conscious of how much space we have for them to grow. He also planted his luffa and his remaining cherry tomatoes - including a white cherry tomato that was swapped with a friend of ours (for one of our bohemias).
In the two side gardens, I planted tomatoes with some marigolds and some spring onions. After reading Neil's post last week, I thought I would give the onions a go. I normally have basil and marigolds in there, but never onions. At the back, I have the gherkins. I actually directly sowed these. At this time of the year, we can normally get away with a bit of direct sowing up here. We decided to put clear plastic partially up two of the sides as we know there is some bad weather coming later in the weekend. This will provide some shelter, and we will enclose the front if we need too.
In the next bed, I have the capsicums (chocolate), against the neighbour's firewall. We have discovered over the past few years that they do really well there. In front, growing up the A frame, is some climbing butter beans. Underneath I have planted some lettuce seedlings. I still have a small strip between the side of the frame and the capsicums that I could plant something. I am actually thinking that it needs some flowers. I am thinking I might just grab some calendula seedlings from my mum's.
And finally, after dinner tonight, I managed to get the dahlias that I grew from seeds in. I still have about half a dozen tubers to come up, in the opposite garden. I have given them until next week to come up, and failing that, I will pop a few seedlings in their place. I am really looking forward to seeing this area in full bloom, as we have never had it completely full of flowers before.