Today is Melbourne Cup Day. Australia’s biggest horse race. It’s been dubbed “the race that stops the nation” because everyone stops whatever they’re doing to watch it on telly and it’s so “important” that if you’re lucky enough to live in greater metropolitan Melbourne…well it’s a public holiday. But if you garden and live in southern Australia, Melbourne Cup Day and the weekend that precedes it have an altogether different meaning. It’s the weekend to STOP whatever you’re doing and get your tomato seedlings INTO THE GROUND. Or Else!
Now this year I had a little conundrum. For the first time this year, I’ve been planning to grow everything from seed and not buy any punnets of seedlings. But there was a mix up with my seed order and they took over a month to get to me instead of less than a week. So my seeds went in rather late and my tomato seedlings currently look like this:
That is, no way could I stop whatever I was doing and get my wee baby tomato seedlings into the ground. Also, I, um thought I could put my little tomato and lettuce seedlings outside on a balmy 20°C day and I, um, confessions, killed one of my tomato varieties (Tigerella) and my lettuce seedlings. So however noble my lofty ambitions might be, I am a pragmatist at heart. And under no circumstances was I missing THE weekend to plant tomatoes. I took myself off to the nursery and bought some tomato (Rouge de Marmande) and lettuce seedlings.
I ripped out silver beet, radishes and lettuce that were going to seed and the peas that were pretty much past it. I prepared the beds with compost, blood and bone, and lime. And I planted out seeds of carrots, spring onions, radishes, amaranth, silver beet, beet root and rocket/arugula.
Then I made Mr Bee come outside with me and admire our glorious vegie garden 😉