The day didn’t look promising at first, with some rain in the morning. It didn’t really bother me, as I spent some time inside taking more pumpkin seeds off the heat pad, potting them up into individual pots and sowing some butternut pumpkins. We absolutely love butternuts and I’m growing several different kinds this summer: “Butternut” from the organic line of Yates Seeds, as well as “Honeynut”, “Big Chief Butternut” and “Butternut Chieftain F1” from Kings Seeds. Last summer, we didn’t have a good season for butternuts but had plenty of other pumpkin varieties to keep us going through the winter, including the wonderful “Blue Hubbard” from Egmont Seeds, which Collette introduced me to via the travelling seed box and “Musquee de Provence”, a lovely soup pumpkin from Kings Seeds.
In order to have a really good pumpkin harvest this season, I’m going to use some of my Yates Thrive Tomato Liquid Plant Food on my plants every week. While formulated for tomatoes, this fertiliser is suitable to use on other fruiting plants, including capsicum, chillies, eggplants, zucchini, cucumbers and melons. I think pumpkins can be one of those crops that people often tend to take for granted will grow well. Some years, we’ve had great harvests, other years were somewhat disappointing. Hopefully with a little pampering, my pumpkins will do even better than previous seasons. I’ve also learnt that pumpkins need full sun in order to thrive and are gross feeders, so be sure to mix in plenty of compost, sheep pellets and fertiliser at the time of planting.
In the late morning, I had to take a break from the garden and go to the physio. My neck has been playing up lately. It’s a common injury which resurfaces around once a year. It hurts to turn my neck and the top part of my back, just below the neck, gets incredibly tight. I had a terrible sleep last night and was in so much pain no matter which way I turned! I feel Carol’s pain and hope her back gets better soon. While I hate anything that takes me away from the garden, I have to factor physio sessions into my days going forwards. I certainly don’t want to end up not being able to do any gardening because of the injury, not the YMCA 10k summer series in the Auckland Domain, which starts next Thursday and which I really hope to participate in. Collette, you would really enjoy these runs and it’s a shame you don’t live here!
In the afternoon, I continued to pot up seedlings. I transplanted more lettuce seedlings from punnets into trays. In the picture, you can see some of the cut-and-come-again lettuce sown on the 3rd of August, which has grown a lot in the trays they’re in. I will plant them into containers soon. I probably won’t sow any more lettuce this season as we have more than enough seedlings and I find our lettuce starts going to seed in December when the weather warms up. Don’t forget that you can sow some varieties of lettuce direct, in fact it may even be better to do it this way. I find rocket and miners lettuce does very well sown direct, as well as lamb’s lettuce. The Yates rocket seeds which I sowed direct on the 1st of September germinated awhile ago and the seedlings look very healthy. It’s a good idea to liquid feed lettuce weekly to keep plants looking and tasting good. I have been using Yates Thrive Natural Fish and Seaweed liquid fertiliser on our lettuce and highly recommend this product.
I repotted my largest tomatoes (Sweet 100, purchased as seedlings from Kings Plant Barn) into even larger pots and secured them to their stakes with some more string as they have grown even taller in the past week. I also repotted some more chillies and capsicums into larger pots.
What did you get up to in the garden today?