With 16 or so inches of rain in a matter of days, coupled with reasonably high winds, a lot of our edibles were left flattened and torn. The southern side of the veggie patch is unprotected (something we are trying to manage by planting a wind-break, which refuses to grow overnight) and obviously, you can’t stop the rain. We don’t see this as a set back, but the motivation to harvest a few things, put some new crops in and do some general tidying.
One specific issue that we found after the rain was that our onions were now laying over and were beginning to rot. When we planted the allium bed (onions, leeks and shallots) we didn’t mulch straight away. We were waiting for them all to stand up before we gave them their cosy blanket of beneficial goodness.
Mulch is one of the most important components of any garden! It helps to reduce moisture loss, adds nutrients to the soil, helps to keep weeds at bay and in this case, keeps the veg off the ground. The alliums have now been mulched and they are looking much happier. We put the mulch on about 50mm thick and didn’t crowd the stems of the plants. After application we watered the mulch so that it would really ‘hook in’.
We always use Waterpark Steamed Tea Tree Mulch. It is a local product and we think that you really get bang for your buck with this one. Most mulches (excluding inorganic ones, of course) take nitrogen from the soil before putting it back in. Waterpark mulch only puts nitrogen back in and doesn’t blow away like some other types of mulches. Beside these benefits, it looks good! They might only be veggies but they like to look spiffy like the rest of us.
The older turnips and beetroot have had to be harvested because of the damage they sustained. The beetroots are going to be pickled this week and the turnips have been stored in a jute bag, which should keep them fresh. The bag has been stored in a dark, dry place (cupboard in the laundry). Turnips are great in vegetable soup and stews (just in time for “Winter”). We have pickled them before, so they may go the same way as the beetroot.
We also made the executive decision to scrap most of our tomato plants, they sustained the most damage along with the basil. They will be replaced soon.
Here is an update on the potatoes. The bags are full and they’re looking healthy!