A week ago, I planted a selection of tree seeds – five different species of wattle (Acacia spp.), poinciana (Delonix regia), jacaranda (Jacaranda mimosifolia) and honey locust (Gleditsia triacanthos). Today I noticed that some of them (notably the wattles and poinciana) are germinating already. In spite of torrential rain, the tiny, delicate seedling heads are poking up through the soil, seed cases still covering their baby seed leaves. I’m so pleased 🙂 I know it’s silly, but I love seeing baby plants emerge, especially baby trees. It also means I did pick the right time of year to plant them, just intot he beginning of the wet but before the weather cools down. Not that Perth gets that cold, even out in the hills.
Today I started the next phase of the seed planting plans: the vegetable seeds. I haven’t managed to plant them all; there are way too many for that. I went on a bit of a seed-buying spree a while ago, so I now have many packets of seeds, many varieties of each thing, all heading towards the end of their “best before” (i.e. easily germinates if planted before) date. This afternoon, so far, I’ve planted the eggplants (Mini Purple Oblong, Green Oblong, Rosa Bianca, Pea Eggplant, Udamalapet, and Small White), capsicum (Alma Paprika and Sweet Chocolate), chilli (Chilli Fatalii), and tomatoes (Roman Speckled, Reisetomate, Costuleto Genovese, Red Fig, Jaune Flamme, and the seeds I saved from my mum’s garden last summer, for some sort of delicious cherry tomatoes). So, all the nightshades, really.
All my vegetable seeds are grouped according to their place in the planting rotation, so all the nightshades are together. Standard rotation puts leafy greens together, root vegetables together (which one is beetroot??? leafy or root?), and legumes together, and there’s generally a ‘green manure’ or fallow rotation to build the soil back up. My rotation groups are:
- Nightshades (eggplant, chilli, tomato, capicum)
- Root Vegetables (radish, beetroot, onions, carrots, salsify)
- Legumes (beans, peas, cowpeas, lentils)
- Squash & Corn (sweetcorn & maize, sunflowers, summer squash, winter squash, cucumbers)
- Brassicas & Leafy Greens (lettuce, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, turnips, swedes)
- Green Manure (barley, roselle, alyssum, cosmos, basil, dandelion, purslane)
So.. yeah. I still have a lot of planting to do, even just planting the autumn and winter varieties (and a few of the ones which recommend spring sowing, but which I think should be sown in autumn – like tomatoes). But it’s a good feeling watching the seeds sprout. And it should mean I have a beautiful productive kitchen garden this spring & summer.