Temporary “Greenhouse”

basil "greenhouse"

This is NOT the time of year to be planting basil but the one basil plant I left in the ground is still going strong. It got me wondering if maybe those that say basil dies off in May in Sydney really know their stuff. So I decided to try planting some seeds in a mini-greenhouse of my own making. In the pot went dirt, a bit of cow manure, water crystals, fertiliser, 2 rows of seeds, 4 sticks and over it all went a plastic bag. We’ll see if the extra warmth and protection help my seeds turn into lovely basil plants.

Using the same optimism, yesterday Frank and I planted 2 types of radish seeds between the beet and kohlrabi rows. Who knows, they’ve not produced anywhere else so maybe now and here.

sprouting lettuce

The lettuce I planted on 7 June is sprouting nicely. It always does, but converting those sprouts to harvestable food has proven elusive. Maybe a plastic-bag-greenhouse would help?

ginger bed with garlic shoots

Last but not least, here’s the ginger bed with plenty of plants in the back half of the bed. I spent a bit of time pulling the oak leaves out of it. I don’t mind a few leaves but the ground was matted with them which is just too much of a good thing. They’re now in the compost making next spring’s soil. I replaced the kitty-deterrant twigs because nothing else stops my beds from becoming litter trays (grrrr).

Another major drawback of the beautiful oak tree (besides the heavy shade and massive leaf-dump) is the black scum that falls when the leaves are dying. Everything is covered in it including the ginger. I may go out and wash off the leaves. I don’t know if it hurts the plants but I’m positive it doesn’t help!

Towards the front of this bed are the new garlic sprouts. I planted the bulbs on April 19th and after a few re-digs necessitated by some critter excavating them, most of them are doing well. (The onions, spring onions and carrots planted on the same day are no-shows. A few of the radishes appeared, were topped by some bug or possum or … and are basically no more.)

Update 18 June: This morning on my garden walk I found heaps of evidence of my bandicoot hunting around in the newly cleaned ginger bed. He stayed well clear of both the ginger and the garlic (I’m sure they’re too pungent for him) but not much else was spared. I guess the grubs were near the surface and the soil was soft – a dinner table set in heaven 🙂


About Laura Rittenhouse

I'm an American-Australian author, gardener and traveller. Go to my writing website: www.laurarittenhouse.com for more. If you're trying to find my gardening blog, it's here.
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2 Responses to Temporary “Greenhouse”

  1. Lol regarding the kitty-deterrent twigs!

    I had the same problem, and discovered bougainvillia cuttings were fantastic, but a pain (literally) if I wanted to dig in the soil myself. The other really effective things was Eddy’s warhammer modelling plastic “Sprees” the plastic framework the bits of models came attached too. Wonderful!

    What are your kitty-deterrent twigs made of?

  2. My kitty-deterrent is made from anything I find in my garden. Some of the coastal red gum, some variegated pittostrum, some citrus. I did try rose cuttings whose thorns are meant to be a double deterrent but I found I pricked my own finger which seemed totally daft so I just stick to creating a maze and leave pain out of the equation.

    BTW, your plastic framework sounds like genius.

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