Saturday, September 6, 2014

and the winner is...

Irrelevant to the photos, and today's title, I've somehow won a couple of flower carpet roses  from a local nursery. I 'll be off to collect them on Monday once the weekend crowds are gone. No skill was required. 

Today's topic for my own amusement and interest,  is  the 'Potato in a Bucket' comps and my bid to get closer to the dais and the crown.  The big unveiling in December is the opposite of a Weight Watcher's meeting; everybody is hoping for the biggest gain, heaviest weight, or the subsidiary prize of  most potatoes. 

Back to those potatoes in a minute, here's the tunnel house getting the seaweed treatment. 
I'm trenching it in, with a layer of compost getting ready for Spring planting. I could put these things on top, but away from the hydrations of our consistent rainfall, the seaweed dries out before it breaks down and you are digging around dry seaweed sticks for months. 
This way it disappears.
I'm going to plant only a few grafted tomatoes this year and then use the extra space for beans, courgettes, basil which struggled outside last year and failed to reach their full potential. No disrespect to a budding summer, but I haven't recent cause to rely on it to meet all their needs. 

The bucket mix for the aforementioned potatoes comprises basic potting mix, chopped seaweed, a scoop or two of rock dust, wood ash, and a few handfuls of rotted manure. I have wrapped
 the buckets in bubble wrap with Microclima cloth over the top and they can cosily reside in the tunnel house until they are well on their way. 
For seed raising and seedling mix, I use that old dishwashing rack to sieve the potting mix, add a bit of rock dust and manure. This advice is courtesy of Carol at Garden Club.  So far so good. 

Now  the buckets are on their way to the tunnel house. Come along you two  (note to viewer, the new steps and railing, Bill's  triumph of re-engineered scrap metal parts). 
May the best potato win.


  1. Admiring the steps up to the garden but also that beautiful view across the harbour. I'm sure with such tender loving care your buckets will runneth over with spuds. Polish the tiara and iron the sash in preparation for being "Mrs Potato Bucket Dunedin 2014"!

  2. Oh you do flatter me and I accept it all. I must work on my speech. I've planted my first tomato and a courgette today which was exciting. I may need to do a night time torch check that there are no slugs waiting to pounce on fresh fodder. You drop them in boiling water, which beats flushing them down the toilet. Unless there are slug zombies out there, they don't come back.

  3. Were people pushing the boundaries again this this year over what constitutes a "bucket"? I recall there was some controversy over that last year. I have finally got a raised bed this year - courtesy of Dad's handyman skills - and have become quite obsessed to the point where I am thnking of digging up the lawn as I have run out of growing space. Be prepared for me to pick your brain relentlessly for the next decade as I try and become a competent gardener. So, with slugs etc, you don't shove some sort of product all over them? I'm off to visit two gardnes this weekend to get some tips. I can't believe I haven't become addicted before now. Someone told me you have to be
    an optimist to be a good gardener - that probably explains why. Love Maryx