Tuesday, 17 February 2015

February Week 2...Temperatures are rising...

Even with temperatures getting up around 40C this week the shade tunnel plants are growing berserk!

Notes from my garden diary...Feb 2015

Sunday 8th Feb
Temperature Min 15.4C Max 35.9C
Returned from Adelaide. Stopped off to buy a new small shed on the way. Later we put the shed up!

Monday 9th Feb
Temperature Min 14.4C Max 34.5C
Built a wooden deck over a disused well hole out the back to make it safe.
Had to start by clearing of the temporary cover and attacking a few tree roots that were in the way (the tree is dead). Doc reinforced the bottom of the old cover (yes it is a re-used trampoline frame) then set about fixing the decking planks to the frame.
When finished it is now fully safe and also gives me more room to put more places for plants!!

Tuesday 10th Feb
Temperature Min 13.5C Max 34.8C
Using the space on the deck to put 2 smaller greenhouses for starting seedlings off. One moved from under the pergola. Doc assembled the other while I was at the Community Garden. These will be covered with shade cloth and I won't be using the plastic covers that came with them.
When we took the plant table away from behind the well/deck I found a seedling Avocado growing happily. With it's shade now gone I had to cover it with some shadecloth...while I had the shadecloth out I also covered the Banana behind the greenhouse that wasn't enjoying the hot weather.

Wednesday 11th Feb
Temperature Min 15.6C Max 36.9C
Turnip Purple Top seeds direct sown in Shade Tunnel, Butter Swede seeds in garden
Into punnets I sowed Beetroot Chioggia, Heirloom Mix and Cylindra; Celeriac Verona and Blue Flax
Found a shade arch on one of the old beds which fitted over the Deck just perfect even included pre-hemmed 50% white shade cloth.

Thursday 12th Feb
Temperature Min 17.4C Max 35.5C
Found another shelf from the old green house to put in the deck shade area. Sorted through pots (pruning and re-potting).
The propagation area is taking shape!
When we cleared out the dog enclosure we found this old vegetable shelf holder thingy...and now it is a vertical strawberry bed!!!

Friday 13th Feb
Temperature Min 17.9C Max 37.9C
With higher temps now I put extra shadecloth on the end of the deck shade.
Started to clear Back pergola...trimmed low growing Grapevines and Blackberries and moving pots to wherever I could find some room.

Saturday 14th Feb
Temperature Min 21.7C Max 37.8C
Cleared Back Pergola
We had guests arriving!!!

This week I have been harvesting...
Volunteer Amaranth
Chives Onion and Garlic
Cucumbers Green and Mini White ones
Baby Kale as micro greens
Spring Onions by slicing close to the base so they will regrow
Apples windfalls were cooked up

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

February Week 1...A Garden Visit

On the weekend we travelled to Adelaide to visit an unusual kind of Community Garden.
Joe's Connected Garden in Elizabeth is a shared urban garden with over 400 varieties of fruit trees mostly hot weather tolerant. Four suburban gardens linked together for food production. Three of the gardens are covered with an amazing anti-bird net. Joe also grows sub-tropical fruit plants, many in pots and sheltered in the front garden and also maintains an extensive nursery with plants for sale to help finance the gardens. This is an interesting way to allow suburban gardeners have access to more land for food production, they are involving the local community as well with many people volunteering their time on Saturday mornings to help with many of the larger projects and general upkeep of the garden.

Notes from my garden diary...Feb 2015

Sunday 1st Feb
Temperature Min ?C Max 28C
Mulched around the garden...the temperatures will rise soon now it's February! Put shade over newly sown beans. Began the long task of emptying out the old storage caravan.

Monday 2nd Feb
Temperature Min 8.5C Max 26.4C
Potted on cuttings of Winter Savoury, Blue Daisy Felicia amelloides variegata, White Flowering Thyme.

Tuesday 3rd Feb
Temperature Min 11.2C Max 28.7C
First Community Garden Committee Meeting and Twilight Meet for 2015. It was great to see how everything has survived and grown with the rain last month (including the weeds of course). The winds have been causing damage that will need to be repaired and plans are under way for building the new shed and planting up large tank beds for shared Community garden plots where every one will pitch in and help grow food for all. With the AGM next month we are setting things up ready for the withdrawal of all Government Health Department support.

Wednesday 4th Feb
Temperature Min 9.9C Max 26.9C
Took some signs up to the community garden. Doc has made and attached the "No Dogs Allowed" signs for the gates.
Made shade screen for back of Hippy Bus and fixed front sun screen cover.

Thursday 5th Feb
Temperature Min 10.7C Max 28.1C
Potted on Basil Blue Spice, Thai Lime, Thai and Sweet
Dianthus Fringed Pink
Made sure all pots were well watered and have some water in reserve as we are going away for a couple of days and the temps are rising.

Friday 6th Feb
Temperature Min 15C Max 34.7C
Travelled to Adelaide in the Hippy Bus.

Saturday 7th Feb
Temperature Min 17.4C Max 36.2C (was 38.6C where we were)
Visited Joe's Connected Garden. Photo above shows the extensive bird netting over three of the gardens.
Bought 2 Fig Trees, 2 Loquats and a Guava.

This week I have been harvesting...
Volunteer Amaranth micro greens
Cucumbers Green and Mini White ones
Kale Baby as micro greens
Spring Onions by slicing close to the base so they will regrow

Sunday, 1 February 2015

End of January...Greenhouse.

End of January...Green House!!
Busy end to January to make the most of the glorious weather we have had. Lot's of jobs completed...the To Do List is getting shorter!!

Notes from my garden diary...

Jan 2015
22nd Jan
Temperature Min 13.3C Max 35.4C
Made the shade cloth cover over the new Lemon tree...sewed hems on the ends to thread the hosepipe through.
Weeded around the tree - mainly Tagasaste and Amaranth...since the rain seedlings are coming up everywhere!!!

23rd Jan
Temperature Min 17.5C Max 30.4C
We started to build the Green House! We finished it! Glad the temperature wasn't higher because it was hot work!

24th Jan
Temperature Min 10.6C Max 27C
Sewed the end hems on some 50% white shade cloth while Doc found some star pickets and poly hose pipe to fit over them. These are now forming a shade structure over the green house which will hopefully help to protect it from the worst of the weather...heat, cold, wind, hail...

25th Jan
Temperature Min 10.9C Max 23.5C
Went to the beach...the Grandies were staying there so we went for a visit! While we were there we got some new pots for the shade tunnel and some fun windmills just coz!

26th Jan
Temperature Min 6C Max 23.4C
Sorted out the hoses to go into the green house and still allow me to water the plant tables and the rest of the garden. Doc dug a trench to bury and cover the hose once it was all sorted.
Doc rescued a stainless steel sink from the old dog enclosure out the back and then proceeded to dismantle the structure.
We have reused some trellising that is no longer needed out the front...it has been put along the south side of the greenhouse to give it even more protection from winds.

27th Jan
Temperature Min 9.5C Max 24.7C
Attached more hose to run down the side of the Green house for a small planting in behind it. Attached drippers and dripper hose then planted out the Dwarf Red Dacca Banana I bought last year...it should be a protected, warm spot for it. Also planted out some of the Comfrey root cuttings I took last year and some potted Valerian and Lucerne too. These can be cut for mulch and brewed into plant teas.
We attached some PVC tubing on Green House Shade Cover to keep the hoops aligned and anchor the shade cloth. Tidying up around the garden...more pots to sort through...
Soaked bean seeds for sowing tomorrow.


28th Jan
Temperature Min 9.3C Max 25.9C
Sowed Beans Frost and Flageolet Flagrano  
Planted Spiky Cucumbers
Emptied and moved small greenhouse stand ready for some Autumn seed sowing.
Reused another piece of trellis from the front to block one corner of my little pot store shed...planted a couple Japanese Yams in the soil at the base.

29th Jan
Temperature Min 11C Max 27C
Sowed seeds of :-
Brassicas - Broccoli Mediterranean Sprouting & Albert, Brussels Sprouts Long Island & Ruby, Cabbage Red Choi, Red Drumhead & Portugal Summer (Couve Tronchuda), Cauliflower 60 Days,  Asian Greens Mix (Pak Choy, Tatsoi, Tokyo Bekama, Vitamin Green and Coriander), Mizuna Red and Lime Streaks
Herbs - Coriander, Mitsuba and Chinese (soup) Celery
Lettuces - Australian Yellow Leaf, Cos, Freckles Bunte, Red & Green Salad & Tennis Ball.
A tray Peas for Pea Shoots
Potted up White Rock Rose cuttings 
Potted up a purchased punnet of Silver Beet Rainbow Mix that were very crowded in the punnet.

30th Jan
Temperature Min 11.4C Max 29.3C
We were hoping to be able to remove the galv iron behind the trellis out the back without disturbing the plants too much. What should have been a 10 minute job took a bit longer than that when a star picket found the main water supply pipe (plastic pipe). Luckily we keep a supply of joiner fittings and Doc was able to fix it. But we had to dismantle the whole trellis to dig down to get to the pipe in behind the bed. All fixed now and looking much better...I'm sure the plants will recover!
Took cuttings from the Sweet Appleberry that was one of the disturbed plants...just in case it doesn't recover.

31st Jan
Temperature Min 11.5C Max 27C
Planted 3 Saffron Crocus bulbs in a pot.
Harvested some Amaranth self sown micro greens and cooked them up along with some tomatoes, parsley, silverbeet and tromboncino zoodles with a few of the girls eggs thrown in. Yum.
Doc built a new stand for the sink...a coat of paint on the wood and it was put into place. Now I have somewhere to wash out pots and veg from the garden that is a comfortable height to work at!

This week I have been harvesting...
Volunteer Amaranth micro greens
Cucumbers Green and Mini White ones
Spring Onions by slicing close to the base so they will regrow

Saturday, 24 January 2015

January Week 3...Old Chook House Revamp

The Old Chook House was nearly falling down...so Doc pulled it all apart and rebuilt a cute little shelter and pot storage area.

15th Jan
Temperature Min 8.8C Max 23C Sunny with little wind.
Scuffled some of the million odd weeds that have started to germinate after the rain!!
Mulched beds with Organic Sugarcane mulch
Tied strings to Tomatoes (Roma) at rear of the bed in the shade tunnel. This will allow me to give the strings a quick tap every so often for pollination of the tomato flowers as there won't be any bees inside the shade tunnel.

16th Jan
 Temperature Min ??C Max 29.6C Warming up slowly
Put some potatoes from my previous crop into an egg carton for "chitting" - hope to get these planted this month for a late crop to harvest before the frosts hit!
Out in the garden I weeded, fed, tied up and pruned tomatoes then mulch the beds with sugarcane mulch.

17th Jan
Temperature Min 10C Max 28C Beautiful weather!!
Emptied and tided garden shed - lots had been stashed away in there for the storms. Doc made new shelves on my work table as the wooden ones went mouldy after they got wet when the roof leaked. These wire grills off the back of old fridges will be perfect and not stay wet when the roof leaks again!
Covered the new zucchini and pumpkin seedlings with lightweight shade cloth as they were being scorched by the sun.
Planted 3 Silverbeet seedlings

18th Jan
 Temperature Min 10.6C Max 28C Could get very used to this weather!!
Emptied out the old chook house and dismantled it...it will get a new roof and side. This will be a storage area for my empty pots.

19th Jan
Temperature Min 11.5C Max 29.4C Starting to warm up weather-wise
Doc continued to rebuild the Old Chook House while I gave one of the new chook houses a thorough clean out. I scrubbed the nest boxes and re-lined them with sawdust, DE, herbs - wormwood, fennel, oregano and lemon balm...this mixture was also spread on the floor as it was covered with fresh straw.
Out in the garden the beans and amaranth are just poking their heads up!

20th Jan
Temperature Min 16.3C Max 31.5C horribly windy today...stayed inside and cooked soup and stock!!!
Noticed most of the beans are up

21st Jan 
Temperature Min 14.8C Max 29C
Doc finished off the new shelter.
Potted up seedlings of Lacinato/Tuscan Kale, the only 2 Brussels Sprouts and 3 Lettuce seedlings that survived being drowned in the rain!
Put them with the other lot of Kale seedlings in the shade tunnel where they will get more sun and still be protected from bugs
Potted on Roma Tomato and Rockmelon seedlings and some Lucerne out of their loo rolls (they are too dry this time of the year).
Made a hoop arch for the new Lemon tree for shade cloth.
In the evening I attached a connection for a curly hose in the shade tunnel and then tidied and pruned in the orchard beds.

This week I have been harvesting...
Kale that is still growing from last year
Parsley which has taken off since the rain
Thyme & Bay Leaves went into the soup/stock pot

Thursday, 15 January 2015

January Week 2...Rain!!!

Things might still be a bit of a mess in this back corner of the block but things are starting to grow!
A great week with cooler temperatures and a decent drop of rain at last! Very humid conditions so I had to keep an eye out for any mildew attacks.  The cooler weather meant the chance to spend some time in Adelaide and go shopping!

Notes from my garden diary...

Jan 2015

8th Jan
Temperature Min 21.5C Max 33.5C
Still waiting for the rain to start, swept concrete areas and continued to tidy...
Added gravel mulch (fine) to native seedling transplants
Potted up 3 trays of Kale seedlings and put them on the potting table (70% shade cloth) and covered them with vege net - should stop them being damaged by any heavy rain that might come...
Planted 4 tiny Tuscan Kale seedlings into the shade house beds.
Potted up 5 Lilly Pilly cuttings using the native potting mixture.

9th Jan
Temperature Min 18.7C Max 21.7C 5mm Rain
Much cooler with light rain falling after lunch.
Potted up Basils - Blue Spice, Thai Lime, Thai Siam Queen and Sweet.
Potted up Dianthus Fringed Pink.
Dead headed any spent flower heads and removed dead leaves on plants. We are on a downy mildew alert so shade covers were removed from beds especially cucurbits which are prone to mildew attack in humid weather. This will allow more air movement to dry the leaves of these plants. 

10th Jan
Temperature Min 13.3C Max  18C 27mm Rain o/night
Cool with drizzle falling...
Emptied trays that the pots are in - keeping some water at the base of a pot is one thing but being drowned is another matter.
Planted Lemon (Lemonade) tree, Lucerne seedlings, Lavender, Pigeon pea seedlings and a couple of Strawberry Guava seeds  around the base of the tree.
Seedlings of Radish and Kohl Rabi emerging in the shadehouse.

11th Jan

Temperature Min 13.2C Max 20.6C
Foggy and drizzly all day so spent the day cooking in the kitchen...lots of meals now in the freezer.

12th Jan

Temperature Min 15C Max 23.5C 2mm Rain
Took advantage of the cooler weather to hop in the Hippy Bus (campervan) and pop down to Adelaide for some retail therapy...lots of shopping...

13th Jan

Temperature Min 17.5C Max 20.6C 48mm Rain
A very windy return trip home from Adelaide to find a very wet garden and house!!! More rain!!!

14th Jan
Temperature Min 11C Max 23.6C
The sun was out making it very pleasant to be in the garden. The soil was lovely and damp so I took the chance to shape some beds up and plant some seedlings.
Zucchini Black Jack, Cucumber Long Green, Pumpkin Golden Nugget, Nasturtiums and Rock Melon Petit Gris De Rennes.
Direct sown seeds of Marigold Red Marietta, Amaranth Autumn Palette, Aztec Amaranth Rajeera, Black Cumin, Bean Italian Romano and Violet Queen Bush Bean.
In the shade house the Carrots are germinating!

This week I have been harvesting...


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