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Leafy Planting Days in Late Winter – Basil Time

*&*%$# bandicoots!!

Tiny little hole in my fence – it took me an hour to find it – and they’ve dug up every single thing I’ve planted in that bed for the last month.  Where’s the snake when you need it!

And the bower birds have got into the shadehouse too. It’s slightly tragic for the leafy greens, because it’s change of season time. I have a few advanced seedlings of lettuces, raddicchio, spinach, silver beet, celery, parsley, coriander, and leeks to put in, but I didn’t raise many seed of them last month because it was already then into risky time and I didn’t think I’d have anywhere to plant them.  And the bower birds have taken the tops off all the baby broccoli, kale, chinese cabbages, and rocket in the shadehouse.

I won’t bother replanting seed of most of them now.  By the time they are ready to plant out, the days will be lengthening so fast they will just bolt to seed, and the cabbage moths will start to get active anyway.  So there will be a little spot in early November when I’ll curse the bandicoots and bower birds again for the early end to the leafy greens season.

In my seed raising trays, I’m planting seed of heat hardy lettuces this time – purple and green oakleaf varieties.  I’ll go for aragula (wild rocket) rather than rocket – it will survive the heat better and won’t tend to bolt to seed so fast.  Amaranth has self-seeded all over my garden this year so I won’t bother with seed of it.  No more coriander – I’ll rely on the perennial culantro (or Mexican coriander) from now on. But it’s quite exciting to be planting the first basil for the year – sweet basil, lemon basil, lime basil, Thai basil. I am already starting to imagine pesto!

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{ 6 comments… add one }
  • Leanne August 6, 2011, 11:46 am

    OOh I feel for you! ((HUGS!))
    We have real issues with Pukekos here in New Zealand. I don’t mind sharing a few things from the garden but they pull out a plant, take one bite out it, toss it down and go for the next plant. Thankfully we can shoot them during duck season.

    Love Leanne

  • Joy August 7, 2011, 8:00 am

    I too feel for you….. my challenge lately has been chookies that I like to give a couple of hours free ranging at least but they have recently discovered the gardens around the house. Doesn’t take long to scratch up those newly planted bromelliads, not to mention all the freshly laid mulch around the beds. I have lots of gardens and have gathered much dried grass for mulch, but I can only try and scare them away if I’m nearby and I do love them (most of the time). Annoying thing is there are so many other places, including the compost piles that I encourage them to visit….. If anyone can make the best of a bad situation I think you will.

  • kim August 7, 2011, 9:24 am

    Oh you poor thing, there is nothing more frustrating than having your garden attacked. When my goats did the fruit tree blossoms, I could have cried. It is always great to look at what you are planting…you are always a bit ahead of me with my climate in the Hunter , so it is a wonderful reminder of what i should be planting next. Can’t wait for basil!!

  • Linda August 7, 2011, 1:58 pm

    Amazing how chooks can pick exactly the spot you don’t want them to scratch! I’ve given up on free ranging mine. Quite apart from the damage to the garden, they were just too vulnerable, mostly to goannas but I’ve also fed a wedge tailed eagle a chicken dinner.

  • Celia @ Fig Jam and Lime Cordial August 8, 2011, 6:27 am

    How annoying for you! And I can’t believe it’s basil planting time already – our last season’s plant is still hanging in there (barely), which means it was almost an all year crop this year!

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