Thursday, 20 September 2012

In the Vegetable Garden

The weather is taking on a lovely warmth to it daily now and everything is growing just beautifully. There is a lazy days of Spring and Summer sort of feeling all about Monarch Place at the moment. It is perfect for getting some work done in the garden before we get too far into the hot Summer months ahead.  It is also perfect to lazing around outside and reading a book or snoozing in a warm spot so I have to keep motivated to get the necessary things done around here.

I'm still browsing through my Pinterest boards and having a go at some of the things I have found on there.  After all there is not much point in pinning all those fabulous ideas if I'm just going to look at them and not give them a go so I put a couple into practice in the garden this week.  You can follow me on Pinterest by clicking on the link on the right.

These tomato seedlings have come up in another garden bed, from some compost but they were where I didn't really want them so I have transplanted them into the vegetable bed.  I followed the advice on the Organic Gardening  site about trench planting your tomato seedlings for a stronger root system.  Plants with a strong root system require less water and are much stronger.  With a tomato seeding all those little hairs down the stem will grow into roots if they are buried in soil.  A stronger healthier tomato plant means more tomatoes and plants that are more resistant to disease and who doesn't want that?

I don't have a lot of room for growing vegetables with only 2 garden beds at the moment so I was looking for ways to expand my area of growth.  If I grow 1 zucchini plant and 4 tomato bushes I already have one garden bed full so I needed to come up with another plan.

This mixed lettuce hanging basket was the perfect thing and seems to be working really well so far.  This idea came from where you can see how it looks once fully grown.  I have used Baby Cos and Red Coral lettuce seedlings.  I wanted to use lettuce that I can pick the leaves as they grow to have a continuous supply of mixed salad leaves right throughout Summer.

I used a large wire hanging basket and coco fiber liner and filled it with a really good potting mix and two punets of lettuce seedlings.  I found that using a sharp knife was the easiest way to make a hole in the basket liner and then carefully removed most of the soil from the roots of the lettuce so I could gently coax them into the hole with minimum damage.

Start at the bottom of the basket and backfill with your soil as you go.  Once the basket is completely finished top up with a little more soil and plant a few seedlings in the top. Give it a really good water until you can see water dripping from each of the holes where the lettuce seedlings have been planted so you know they have all had a good drink.

Wouldn't these make a great practical Christmas gift once they were full of leaves and ready to be picked and eaten?  You could make them from anything your gift recipient likes.  How about a mixed herb basket or one with 2 or 3 different types of chillies. The only thing to remember when mixed planting, whether it is in your garden or a basket, is to ensure that all plants like and need the same things.

Happy Gardening!


  1. oh wow that lettuce basket is going to look amazing once all the lettuces start growing.

  2. i love the lettuce like that...its great to go out and pick your own really fresh greens and there is no waste when you can pick just what you need...hanging basket is a great idea, must try that one


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