Archive | 9:25 am

If I can’t beat the weather…

13 Dec

I guess I’ll have to work with it.

It just won’t stop raining around here. I’ve had to plant out most of my tomatoes in the vague hope of saving them from their wet feet, and the slugs are going berserk.

So I’ve started thinking of jobs to do when you expect rain to set in for days.

1. Seed sowing

2. Transplanting

3. Mulching

4. Slug killing

Yesterday I took the rain as an opportunity to replenish my potted herb garden. This was a gift from some great friends when we moved into this house. The herbs are planted in a self-watering pot, about 75cm in length. It was given to me planted with rosemary, dill, oregano, parsley, chives, marjoram, tarragon, sage, thyme and basil. Most of these were really successful, but being a year later, some have died off (basil, chives, dill, parsley) while others have taken over (oregano).

It was time to replenish the soil, neaten up the plants and re-organise. So I dug out the different plants and disposed of the soil in the chook pen. The whole planter was extremely root-bound after just one year, and there was a rampant slug population thriving in the depths of the water reservoir. The chooks helped me out there. I then filled the planter with new potting mix and set to work neatening up.

I took out the plants one by one and cut back both the foliage and the root ball. I was harsh, but I think they will thank me for it in a few weeks. I was trying to cut back as much of the old, woody growth as possible, leaving the new shoots at the base. The rosemary was different – I approach that more like a hedge, just getting the shape right.

I replanted everything, along with one of the few successful basil seedlings I had lying around. The finished product is far neater, but I must admit I’m not completely sure the tarragon will survive the beating I gave it – do you think it needed leaves?

After that I mulched with some lucerne mulch I splashed out on the other day and gave a liberal sprinkling of multiguard (non-toxic) snail and slug pellets. I’ll need to add some chives and probably some curly parsley, but all in all – not a shabby effort really, and a perfect job for a week like this.