Diary of a Novice Gardener- Part 2

I’m not pretending to be anything close to an expert. Gardening is something I’m very new at (so if you’re reading this and you more experienced, I welcome any tips!). I just thought as I went, I’d shared my ups and downs and perhaps something I discover or find out along the way might help someone else who’s starting out too.

I have sprouts!! I was so excited this morning when I went out to water my garden and found that some of my veggies have started sprouting. I have been watering daily (unless we have rain) and on hot days (today was 32 degrees Celsius) I have been watering morning and evening. It’s not all smooth sailing. My cucumber is definitely dying. It wasn’t a seed but a small plant when I got it. It along with my tomatoes was planted a couple of weeks before everything else. I noticed that some of the leaves were starting to turn a yellow colour and some underneath were brown. I googled this and found that it could be bugs. I checked for bugs and couldn’t see any but resprayed with my bug spray (essential oils) anyway. I also read that it could be nitrogen and that grass clippings can help, so I added some grass clippings to the pot. Nevertheless, I think it’s going to die. Also, I planted 3 tomato plants at the same time. 2 are doing amazing and have just started flowering. The other never grew, it was a spindly little twig in the dirt and yesterday I came out and it had snapped off. I have broken it off and hopefully it might regenerate. Even the marigolds in that pot aren’t growing like the others and I can’t figure out why. But despite my struggles I am still so excited to have sprouts on my Kale, Beetroot, Pumpkin and Zucchini! And I have little green strawberries which I’m hoping will redden up!

I didn’t talk about my awesome potato bags last time. Everything else is on pots but my potatoes are in bags which have a little window in it for digging them out. That way you don’t disturb the newer potatoes which may be growing on top to get to the ones lower down.

The last 3 nights Melbourne has experienced some severe storms. I have been worried about the battering my poor new baby plants are getting. Everything seems to have survived pretty well. Except one of my strawberry pots. There are no drainage holes on those pots, there’s like rivets at the bottom so I guess they are supposed make the water sit away from the plant for something. Anyway, the top pot in the tier was completely drowned. I was trying to move the pot to drain the water, but the water made it too heavy for the stand and it slipped out of its slot and broke. I was so sad, not to mention covered in mud just as I was leaving to go to work. The plants still contained in the pot but it wont sit on the frame anymore. I’ll have to see if I can get a replacement. On the plus side I haven’t had to water at all. My cucumber leaves look like they might have a little more green in them, still not healthy looking but more green. And I sprouted some tiny baby carrot tops. Does it make me a total nerd to get so darn excited but the little sprouts? I can’t help it.

Help! So the mint I covered over with weed mat is now coming out of the sides of the garden bed and growing along the concrete joins. I hate mint! I really, really don’t want to have to poison it. I’ve been reading that vinegar can help so I’ll start spraying it with vinegar every couple of days tomorrow. Because we had so much rain last week I have only watered a couple of times since and only a spray really. I have now sprouted cos lettuce. I’m still waiting for anything to happen with the leek, 1 of the tomatoes and potatoes. But the sprouts are so cute on everything else. 2 of my tomato plants look amazing and my little zucchini plants look adorable. I have researched a little more about growing zucchini in pots (probably should’ve done that before I planted). I think I’m going to need to get a few more pots and transplant some of the ones from the pot they are in.

Even though my cucumber plant still looks quite unwell it’s started flowering. I feel like that’s promising that there is still some life in it. I’m a bit disappointed the rain appears to have affected some of my strawberries with them rotting before they turn red. There’s not enough drainage in those pots. I’m thinking of drilling some holes in the bottom of the pot to assist with that. It’s nice looking at everything get a little bigger each day or sprout a new leaf. I can’t wait until I start being able to eat from my garden!

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