RTBG Thursday 8th October 2020

I need to listen to my own inner voice. On the Wednesday I was in my garden when my neighbour commented on the very wet day to be expected the next day. Later I checked the weather forecast and could see major storms with extreme warnings were lining up, but we have all seen bad weather forecasts that then, at the local level, turn out to deliver a fine day. So I shrugged off the thought that volunteering in the Food Garden of the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens (RTBG) on Thursday would be a wash out.

When a fellow volunteer texted me to ask what we do if it is raining, I responded that going to the RTBG was a personal decision. Then Coordinator Adam sent a text telling us some indoor work for the nursery potting tomatoes would be a job if the normal weeding and planting wasn’t possible. Next morning by 8am there was not even a drop of drizzle nor black clouds in the distance, but when more texts arrived from others volunteers telling me they weren’t going I began to think they all knew something about the weather that I didn’t. I decided not to go. The thought of taking two buses and walking for 25 minutes each way in torrential rain did not appeal. But I was uneasy; still no rain appeared. By 9.30am I had walked to and from a nearby shopping mall and collected necessities. I arrived home and one heavy shower came and passed and the skies were no longer threatening. Ahhh. I sighed. Then for the next couple of hours or more I knew I would have been wonderfully comfortable at the RTBG helping harvest produce, weeding and/or planting. I regretted not going; not believing in my own decision making.

During my deliberations, I texted Sandra and asked if she could take photos and let me know what was learnt and achieved during the time she was present. I am so very grateful for her efforts; it keeps the blog connection with the RTBG solid. She said:

We missed you at the gardens yesterday. There were only 4 of us and the morning was filled with harvesting and light weeding before we headed into the glasshouse after lunch to help setting up for the tomato plant sale next week. There are around 90 varieties of tomatoes this year. Only a fraction of the 500 plus seeds the garden has in its seed bank. You should find all plants on offer on the RTBG Facebook page.

Here are only a couple of snapshots from the garden yesterday. The bountiful morning harvest with healthy greens chard/silverbeet, kale, broccoli, beetroot, beetroot leaves and not to forget the herbs. Continental and flat leaf parsley as well as coriander.

I rescued some tiny mustard seedlings (on the left below) and the old time favourite borage seedlings (on the right below) that were bound for the compost, to make room for the soon-to-come tomato plants.

Luckily, apart from a drizzle, the rain held off until we were able to retreat to the glasshouse. All in all another fabulous day in the gardens’.

Thanks Sandra for your contribution to this blog; much appreciated. From your photos I can see the glasshouses will be chock-a-block with potted tomatoes by next Thursday.

If you live in the Greater Hobart Area don’t forget to look at the RTBG Facebook site to see the variety of tomato plants on sale, should you be interested to buy some. Last year I grew a Hurma Ukrainian which turned out to be a plump large yellow tomato with a delicious flavour.

I practised seed saving earlier this year (read that blog story here). Recently (probably a little late) I added a square of paper, cut from the sheets as shown in the seed saving blog story, with a seed into a number of pots. I am delighted they were showing within a week and are now growing strongly.

To me these plants are a testament to a healthy original plant from the RTBG nursery, my luck in saving seed seemingly appropriately, and then the health of the seeds and their willingness to germinate.

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