Tuesday, 30 September 2008

It's Cherry Blossom Time!

Garden Log 28 Sep 08:

The Stella Cherry is flowering!

Temperatures this week:
Lowest Min -1.4C
Lowest Max 15.6C
Highest Max 32.8C
No Rainfall Recorded

With temperatures rising
many of the plants in the garden are beginning to go to seed.

Many of the greens in this tub are sending up flowering stems.

The Corn Salad (Valerianella locusta) plants are flowering.

The Strawberries in their tank bed...

The Grapes on the back pergola...

and my favourite little Johnny Jump Ups
or Heartsease (Viola tricolor)

Last week I finally managed to plant out
this Lillypilly (Syzygium sp) tree.
It has been living in the shadehouse for many years.
I hope it will be happy out in the garden.

These Five Colour Silverbeets in their pots are growing well.

And volunteer Sunflowers are popping up
around the new wicking beds already!

Speaking of Sunflowers,
Doc wanted to have a go at planting some seeds this year!
I gave him a box and some Giant Sunflower seeds.
Look they have just about all germinated!
Clever Doc!

Tuesday, 23 September 2008

Blooming Gazanias

Gazania linearis

These cheery plants have just about weed status here but they brighten up the garden and grow easily without extra water. They are welcome volunteers in the garden.

Sunday, 21 September 2008

Blooming Spring

Garden Log 21 Sep 08

Arctotis cultivar the African Daisy
and Acacia acinacea the Gold Dust Wattle
in full bloom in the garden today!

Temperatures this week:
Lowest Min -0.6C
Lowest Max 13.8C
Highest Max 27C
Rain 1.5mm

Lots of new fruit forming...Almonds


and even a baby Plum.

The very first Cherry flower burst open today!

Out the back the Pathside Edge Bed has had a tidy
and I found right at the end...
one last cauliflower and guess what...

...it's a purple one! eek

Earlier in the week I put this patch of Nettles into a plastic rubbish bin to brew up some more Plant tea for using later in the season.

The first planting of Potatoes are showing their heads and I've just planted a double row of Blue Sapphire potatoes. Well protected under their Bread Crate covers. Doc moved some loam into the chook run for hilling-up the potatoes as they grow. Thank you Doc!

Speaking of being protected...
... the Queensland Blue Pumpkins
are doing well inside their safety prison.

This is a shot of a Wicking Tub that was planted earlier in the year with volunteer seedlings...some Perpetual Spinach, Dill and Coriander that have grown well...the spinach was tasty for lunch today! I love the freebies the garden gives. mrgreen

Please click on those photos for a bigger view wink

Thursday, 18 September 2008

Hot House Question!

Samantha left a comment this morning and my reply was a bit long for the comment box...

I'm building a 'hot house, with wood and plastic, to extend the seasons, somewhere in January probably. I'm not sure it will work, but I can try.'I'm just not sure about one thing, and thought maybe you knew. The plastic covers the front and all sides, but the sides will be 'flaps' which I can open when it gets too hot. However, I can choose to leave about 5 centimetres at the bottom free, so it all has room to breath. But will that take out all the heat? Do I need to close it up completely for it to work, or can there be a small gap at the bottom?

Samantha (who's a bit confused on this area (airflow or loose of warmth???))

Hi Samantha just a few points first:
That hot house we made recently was only temporary and not for a full season of growing.
If you intend to use one to grow food (or anything else) over winter you might need to heat it in some way.
It would probably be best to make it seal at night to keep any heat in. The flap idea sounds good for warm days...keep a thermometer inside (a min/max type is good) to see just how hot it is getting inside.
I keep containers of water in the hot house to hold some of the heat at night as I don't use any extra heating in it/them.
Your area would probably get colder than mine so heating and sealing it at night would be important.
I'll include some links you might find helpful to you and others who live in the North (world wink).

The first is to the It's Not Easy Being Green forum discussion about a "heat sink" to use in a green house. UK.
This link has a lot of links about green house management in general that could be of help to you.
The University of Alaska links page...they should know a bit about Hot Houses up there!

I hope those links will help answer your questions! smile

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

Temporary Hot House

With lots of seedlings germinating in their punnets and frosts still lingering I needed somewhere to house a few little babies before they can go out in the garden.

We had a spare space between the shade house and the little hothouse so:
  • more poly pipe went up
  • attached to star pickets and the shade house frame
  • a sheet of plastic that I'd used over the potatoes this winter (Doc had had enough by then lol )
  • a tarp across the south end to keep the frosty breeze out.
This weeks strong winds have given it a battering but fingers crossed it's still standing!
As soon as the seedlings are out we'll take the plastic off and put up some shade cloth for another shaded area...something I can always use during summer!

There's a more permanent design over here on Doc's blog

Sunday, 14 September 2008

Windy Weather

Garden Log 14 Sept 08:

"Who has seen the wind?
Neither you nor I:
But when the trees bow down their heads,
The wind is passing by."
~ Christina Georgina Rossetti ~

The weather is really warming up
as you can see by the temps...
...everything is coming to life.
Like these grape vine cuttings,
the ones in the garden are getting new leaves.

Temperatures this week:
Lowest Min -0.2C
Lowest Max 17.6C
Highest Max 26.1C
Rain 3.5mm

Planting List:
Potted up seedlings of:
Tomatoes - Ida Gold, Pink Ponderosa, Roma, Sunrise, Tigerella,
Tromboncino Zucchini,
Qld Blue Pumpkins,
Apple Cucumbers

Planted seeds of:
Pumpkins - Jumbo Pink Banana (C), Kakai (Ph), Golden Nugget (Ph), Sampson (Butternut),
Zucchini - Black (Ph), Romanesco (Ph),
Gourds - Giant Bottle (C), Home saved gourds, Luffa (Ph)
Cucumbers - Lebanese Mini (D)
Bush Beans - Windsor Long Pod (GP/Thank you Tully), Blue Lake (GH)
Climbing Beans - Snake (ES)
Tomatoes - Black Cherry (H/S) "Celestequest" Cherry (Swap Buddy ALS),
Corn - Honey Select (Butternut), Red (LSN), Golden Bantam (Ph)

C = Corucopia Seeds
Ph = Phoenix Seeds
D = Diggers Seeds
ES = Eden Seeds
GP = Greenpatch Seeds
GH = Green Harvest
LSN = Local Seed Network

Swapped Seeds from:
Butternut who is a blog visitor living in Adelaide
ALS Swap Buddy lives in the Adelaide Hills
Tully (from ALS) lives up in the desert in NT
H/S means home saved!

I've even been brave enough to try an early planting of the Queensland Blue seedlings into the ground in the chook run. I've had to barricade them up so the chooks don't scratch them out and I'll need to cover them if frost is forecast but we'll see how they go! eek
I have some spares if they don't make it. wink

I've been covering the bath tub water bed at night and was pleased to see that the Water Chestnuts are coming up...the Duck Potatoes are up too. The water you can see in the photo is now gone...an indication that our evaporation rates are increasing with the temperature. When this windy weather settles I shall put the shade cloth cover over the frame of the little house they are living in.

In the Main Veg Garden the beds are sitting waiting for planting and after putting the watering system in, I'm looking at getting the pond side areas planted up with flowers and herbs to attract beneficial creatures this year.

This corner has a mound of tyres surrounded by wood with a water dish in the middle. The dish has a rock and a stick in it so lizards will be able to get out if they happen to fall in. lol The bees appreciate a drink on hot days too.

Saturday, 13 September 2008

Watering Setup

Spring is warming up here (today's top was 26C) so I've spent the last couple of days finalising the watering system in the veg garden.
With most of the beds now wicking beds I had lots of joiners, drippers, hose and taps left over.

With the original lines coming from the mains supply still in-situ, where each bed had an in-line tap to regulate flow, I was able to join on lengths of salvaged 13mm poly hose and go from there.

First I connected some hose to the old Bed 1 tap. One end of this went up the side of the Tank Bed f where the salad greens are growing.
At the other end of the bed is Tank Bed e where I have Strawberries and Josatberry growing with Garlic and some herbs. I then joined in some of the 6mm in-line dripper hose spaced at either 15 (on bed f) or 30 (on bed e) cms. These were arranged in a spiral formation to even out the watering.

This photo shows the bed (non-wicking) where I've used the in-line dripper hose again for the Carrots and a line with adjustable drippers attached for Jerusalem Artichokes (when they come up) the hose at the rear is taking the water to Tank bed e and will also have adjustable drippers put in for some Luffas later.

That same line also has a length of Pope in-line dripper tape connected to water the bottom of the fence line where I've planted Grape vines and Elderberries and have many herbs and flowers for insect attraction.

Around the pond I've put more spaghetti line again for herbs and flowery insect attractors.

On the Bush Food Bed I've placed some 13mm poly hose ready to attach adjustable drippers.

As each of the wicking bed sit approximately where the old beds where I was able to line up the watering hose pipe with the old taps. I've extended the hose on each of the rectangular beds so that the hose can feed water into the wicking areas. I also attached similar setups to each of the tank wicking beds.

Now I can connect the hose from the new rainwater tank into the veg garden watering system by blocking off the mains supply with an in-line tap and plugging in the hose. I can then water each wicking bed by just turning on each tap. The insect attracting areas will be watered with mains water on our allocated days or (preferably) with rainwater if we have enough.

See the (soon to be updated yet again rolleyes ) Garden Layout Here.
You'll find that update Here wink


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