Project 2: Choosing Plants to Grow
We discovered that there is so much to consider when planning which vegetables to grow and of course we want to grow companion plants along with our vegie patch to avoid using chemicals.
What is Companion Planting?
For this topic we needed some help to explain companion planting as we are still learning.
"So what is companion planting? Essentially, it’s a method of growing plants together, with the idea that they will assist each other in some way, like deterring pests, improving growth, enhancing flavour, attracting beneficial insects, fixing nitrogen, disrupting “patterns” and trap cropping. But, just as we have good neighbours, there are bad neighbours as well. Some plants really dislike each other, and shouldn’t be planted in close quarters, lest one of them struggle or meet its untimely demise". (source: SGA Sustainable Gardening Australia)
The challenge here was to make sure not to be overwhelmed with the massive amount of choices before us.
We sat down and made a list of all of the vegetables and fruit that we enjoy eating and eat often. It was quite a large list! Well it was quite a long list.
Seeds vs Seedlings
Being total novices we really didn't know how to start. We had to decide whether to start from seeds or buy seedlings (small plants).
The most cost effective way was to buy seeds...you get heaps in a pack for a couple of dollars!
We found many websites to purchase seeds from. The one that we decided to place an order with was The Seed Collection. The reason for this is because their seeds are "heirloom, open pollinated, non-hybrid and non GMO seeds with no chemical treatments"
It was only a small order to start with which included beetroot (a watermelon variety), rainbow carrots, parsnips, rainbow chard, a variety of onions, a variety of radishes, red cabbage, broad beans, chamomile, strawberries...and a few more!
The Seed Collection has a great gardening guide, but Yianni needed something adapted for him. He wanted a chart to be very specific and indicate which week he would have to sow the seeds, how deep to plant them, where to plant them eg full sun, shade and when to harvest.
Hooray!! Look what arrived today in our mailbox!!
Geek Alert: The organiser in me was very excited to set up the spreadsheet for Yianni. It's even colour coded into seasons and of course can be sorted!!
For now, we will keep planning because we are way off starting to plant anything until we do some more work on setting up the raised garden beds.
The next thing we are working on is...
PROJECT 3: TO BEE OR NOT TO BEE
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