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Fruiting Planting in Late Winter

This weekend has been a bit dominated by the election.  I handed out how-to-vote for the Greens in my local polling booth, then  didn’t sleep very well from a mixture of  vexation, frustration, and over-tiredness.

It is one of the reasons I use a lunar planting calendar though: in the hurly burly of arbitary fixed deadlines, it reminds me to make time for the more elastic but more real deadlines of the seasons. And then, by doing so I create real wealth – good food, health, beauty, integity, freedom.

And that, in turn, allows me to cast my own vote in line with beliefs about what is really important, rather than, as I saw so many people do yesterday, vote on the basis of fear of losing things that are short-term and in the scheme of things, of little value.

So today I am trying to regain some equilibrium by planting.  Getting out amongst living things, making, nurturing, imagining future harvests – it’s such a nice way to get back a sense of perspective.

I’m planting

  • Seeds of tomatoes into my seed raising boxes – Brandywine large tomatoes and Camp Joy cherry tomatoes this time.  Brandywine is my favourite of the large tomatoes – a big, solid, gorgeously flavoured fruit. But fruit flies are arriving earlier and earlier these days, and in larger numbers.  The Brandywine are hopeful; the cherry tomatoes are the ones I actually plan to harvest.
  • Seeds of corn, in little planting tubes, probably the ones I invented last week, that seem to be working well.  Corn takes up a lot of room for its yield. It needs to be planted in blocks, not a row or as isolated plants (which is the way I plant almost everything else), so that the pollen from the flowers can blow onto the silks of neighbouring plants. I can’t decrease the amount of space it takes up in my precious netted garden beds, but I can reduce the time it occupies them for.  By planting in tubes, my corn will happily spend the first six weeks or so of its life in the shadehouse while I harvest cauliflowers and broad beans from the area it will go into.
  • Seeds of cucumbers and zucchini – just a couple of each, also planted into tubes for the same reason.  I swear that this year I will be ruthless and cull to just one of each in each planting break!
  • I’m also selecting seedlings from the eggplants and capsicums and basils I planted in seed raising boxes (wow, a month ago already!) to pot on into individual tubes full of compost and creek sand, where they will grow for another month till it is time to plant them out into the garden.

By the time I have the shadehouse full and have done a bit of pottering and moving things around and harvesting in the garden, I shall hopefully be back to myself!

{ 4 comments… add one }
  • fiona August 23, 2010, 7:50 am

    yep, after a dispiriting night watching the election results, i spent the day in the garden creating and nurturing things of real value. Love your site and posts, so thankyou. Your tips on corn are spot on! I’ve been wondering why our corn grows so tall, green and healthy with big cobs but no corn! Now i know it’s because i need to plant in clumps so they can pollinate – not in the spread out 2’s and 3’s i’ve been scattering through the garden. One of the things i love about gardening, constant learning and some good always emerges.

  • Celia @ Fig Jam and Lime Cordial August 23, 2010, 2:15 pm

    Corn seedlings are all growing up, first lot of potatoes has just gone in (late, I know!), as have the tomatoes and capsicums. Our Linda-inspired plan is coming together – this is the third bed of six being planted out! 🙂

  • Anna Johnston August 23, 2010, 4:34 pm

    Such a good thing to do when your dispirited about ‘stuff’ is getting your hands & feet in a bit of dirt, very grounding. I spent the weekend in Sydney but managed a wonderful afternoon on the beach which blew lots of cobwebs out, sort of freshens up how you look at the world huh.

  • inky August 26, 2010, 9:50 am

    It astounds me also how many people complain about the very Government they vote for, a lack of integrity all round. You don’t hear Greens voters bad mouthing their pollies. Why would you with Bob Brown as leader? 🙂 Anyway, thanks for your posts, you’ve been helping me out heaps with my garden ventures. 🙂

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