I sit here with an aching back and a happy smile. It’s been a good day in the garden today. It started off when I went to look for some wooden boxes at a company that buys and sells pallets and the like. I thought if I can’t get ready made boxes I’ll buy some lumber and prevail upon son or hubby to help me make them up. They had great boxes for just R80! They’re the boxes that car parts come in and once they are discarded they are sold off. I was really happy to find such a bargain. But then came the hard part. How to get them home? I don’t have access to a trailer and neither do I have a tow hitch so a trailer is no good to me. One of the helpers came over and after making the back seats of my little hatchback lie absolutely flat we discovered that by removing two slats from the base of the box we could just get it over the lip of the back door. Quite a squeeze but it worked.
Even the guys were impressed with the price of the ready made box – I think they are grateful to be spared the task of making it up. Once home I lined the box with black plastic and made some holes in it for drainage. Next came the task of filling the box. This is where the sore back comes in. The box is deeper than it needs to be so I had to use a lot of organic stuff as the first layer. Leaves, branches, sticks – all the stuff that goes on the first stage composting pile. As this matter breaks down and sinks I will have to top up the soil but it’s better than using rocks.
Once the box was full of a mixture of soil, manure and compost we were ready to plant. I have some of my lettuce seeds ready for planting out so they are the first to go in. I have used recycled bottles to cover them for the first few day to help them get established. The bottles also keep off the chill at night.
I will be using the box for quick growing leafy vegetables for now. The joy of it is I don’t have to bend over or crouch, both of which cause my left knee to lock and I struggle to straighten up again. I will certainly be investing in more of these boxes. I’m not sure how long the wood will last but for now they serve the purpose.
We are between crops at the moment. The baby tomato vines have died off and I’m waiting for the new plants to grow and bear fruit. We do have turnips, some lettuce, spinach, carrots, a cauliflower and brinjals ready. Everything else needs a few more weeks. We do have lots of herbs like rosemary, parsley, basel and lemon grass which are a great for flavour in the cooking.
The other exciting event today was that I was able to tap off about 1.4 litres of “worm wee” from our worm farm. This is the first time and I am delighted that the whole system is working. Once again, well done hubby. So after a frustrating time doing battle with aphids and cutworm I am feeling more upbeat and encouraged.