Like I said in my last post, everything has been late and disorganised this spring. However, I'm trying to get some stuff planted juuuusssssttttt under the wire for December, and hopefully they'll have time to grow before things cool down in the new year. Last year I was pretty amazed how long things lasted, to be honest; I had chilli peppers still kicking around through most of the winter, for example, albeit mostly just because I'd been too busy/lazy to pull them out. Still, I think I can rely on decent weather at least up through April, which is to say 4 full months.
So in keeping with that optimistic theory, I planted out butternut squash (or butternut pumpkin as we call it here) and potimarron (which is a smallish squash with a chestnut flavour), with a frame for the potimarron to climb up as they seemed to like that last year and it looks nice to have a bit of something vertical going on. I chucked a bunch of sunflower seeds in the gaps between them, along with some nasturtium and some cosmos, because the more bees/pollinators in the general vicinity of my squashes the happier I am. I just tossed a heaps and heap of seeds all over the place really, and I'm planning on thinning them if lots come up. I've come to realise that a packet of seeds only really lasts two years so there's no point in planting less than half a packet in any given year, and that if it's the last year you may as well plant them all. Right? (I mean, apart from those I swap and so forth.)
I pulled out all the arugula that's gone to seed; to be honest it came and went so quickly and I was travelling so much in the spring that I hardly ate any! Oh well. Any pods that were dry, I popped open and saved the seed (it's sitting on a plate on the back porch for a few days to dry fully before I bag it), and any that weren't quite dry I left on the stalks then tossed the stalks into parts of the garden where I wouldn't mind some chance-sown arugula next year.
Yesterday S from the local permaculture guild dropped off a little pot of purslane that had come up unintentionally in her greenhouse. There was a hilarious thread on the guild's facebook page with half the people going "ick, weed!" and the others going "yum! food!" I was on the "yum, food!" side, as it's great in summer salads and has a really nice lemony taste. We used to have purslane growing all over the place in Thornbury (where I lived before moving to Ballarat) but it doesn't seem to be common here. On the other hand there is lots of nettle at my current place which I would have loved in Thornbury but never saw a single one. Anyway, the purslane... I'm not sure where to plant it as I've never actually grown it. The internet suggests it's pretty hard to go wrong with it, but those are exactly the plants I tend to kill! Oh well, we shall see I suppose. Maybe I'll plant it under the clothesline; that area's mostly chickweed in winter but it really dies back in summer, while purslane's more of a summer thing, so maybe they can work in shifts. I guess I'll try it and see how it goes!
Meanwhile, in Growstuff-the-project news...
- tygriffin has done some sterling work upgrading our platform to Rails 4, which now needs testing if anyone's got some time to spare
- I'm still working on the notifications system, updating it to handle multiple types of notifications (such as "X is now following you") which will come in the new year
- I posted a bit about the project's season arc for 2015 i.e. what we should be focusing on at different times of the year
- Also I'm looking for suggestions of what people would like to see on the Growstuff blog next year
Off to Melbourne for Friendsmas tomorrow; I hadn't originally planned to do anything, but I realised I needed people and would just be mopey if I stayed home alone. I hope those who are celebrating have a delicious one full of home-grown and home-made food!