Monday, 30 March 2009

Back On Track

Scarecrow's Log: 29:03:2009:

Temperatures this week:
Lowest Min 6C
Highest Max 31C

Rain 0.5mm

Bed 2: Beetroot, Swedes, Turnips and Peas.

Bed 3: Brassicas

What's happening in the garden?
The Costata Romanesco Zucchini has been removed from Bed 1 as the humid weather the storms brought last week saw it succumb to powdery mildew. As it was at the end of it's season removal was the easiest treatment.
The bed has been topped up with some mushroom compost with a dose of Dolomite and Fecondo slow release fertilizer, which is produced locally.
This will give me room to plant the last of the Green Goliath Broccoli and as the Rockmelons ripen these too will go and I will plant some Broad Beans in the center of the bed.

Net curtains over hose hoops now cover all three beds
to keep the bad bugs out!

In the Dog Pen Garden I've cleared a new 'in-ground' bed. Shaped it into a keyhole bed, added compost and mulched it. This weekend I built curtain covers over it because I have some brassicas to go into it. This area has many tiny grasshoppers that devastate most of the greens I plant there.

While I was stirring the mulch up I noticed a few slaters and bugs so I employed old Blackie to help...her payment was some fresh juicy Dandelion leaves she found in the herb patch!
I don't mind her rates of pay!
mrgreen

Propagation:
Potting up and Planting out:

Snow Peas - Roi de Carouby have been planted by the back gate to climb the trellis there. I added mushroom compost and mulched the with organic sugar cane mulch.
Potted up cuttings of Santolina, Rosemary and Pigfaces.

Cuttings/Division:
I'm busily taking cuttings and dividing plants up before winter sets in.
Mints - Ginger, Apple and Curled leaf
Pink Violets Viola odorata rosea
Spiderplants Chlorophytum comosum
Dusty Miller Centaurea gymnocarpa

Pink Violets Viola odorata rosea are very popular at the markets.

Dusty Miller Centaurea gymnocarpa
This drought hardy plant, useful to brighten a dark corner,
is also popular at the markets.

New in the Garden This week:

Doc recently bought me one of those cute little hot house shelf thingys...I wasn't too sure about how useful it would be but I've noticed them popping up on other blogs (like Peggy's over at Organic Growing Pains) and they do look useful.
After we assembled it (without the plastic as yet) I must admit it looks sturdier than I thought and should become very useful for some seed raising I'm about to start!
So thank you Doc!
smile


Weekly Harvest Tally:
Doesn't include Greens fed to the chooks or herbs picked for use in the kitchen for cooking or tea making.

Carrot Atomic Red***56g
Cucumber Lemon***871g
*Greens Stirfry Mix***111g
Pumpkin Jumbo Pink Banana***5kg
Rockmelon***1670g
Tomato Ida Gold***56g
Zucchini Costata Romanesco***1970g
Zucchini Black***931g
Zucchini Tromboncino***1562g
Pears William***375g

Total to Date (since Dec 01 08)***117.4Kg

Further grazing on Grapes (and a bag frozen) and Red Fuji Apples.

Plus a yummy mix of greens for salads...Lettuce, Watercress, Lebanese Watercress, Chives, Parsley, Gotu Kola.
*The Greens Stirfry Mix included Red Kale, Beetroot leaves, Radicchio, Kang Kong, Lebanese Watercress, Celpar, Purple Basil and Garlic Chives.

Plus 14 Eggs from the girls.

***For those interested in Moon Planting the Cosmic Gardener has posted an Australian April Moon Guide on her blog Here
And check out the Gardenate site for what to plant in April...be sure to set your zone (Aust,NZ or UK) at the top of the page!

Thursday, 26 March 2009

Stop The World...

I want to catch up...after a very busy week!

Scarecrow's Log: 22:03:2009:

Temperatures this week:
Lowest Min 2.9C
Highest Max 32.9C
No Recorded Rainfall


Thursday's Garden Group Visit

During this last week we have had two groups of garden minded folk visit our garden. All were impressed by the Wicking Worm Beds.

With a Saturday market in between the visits we have been very busy but as a result I have sold most of my excess seedlings.

Thank you to all who visited it was a pleasure to show you around our productive garden.


Planting:
Two lots of seeds from Edens with their catalogue descriptions:
Onion Ailsa Craig...
"Huge round mild tasting bulb, straw yellow coloured sometimes near 1kg, sweet Spanish type, long keeper, perfect for exhibition."
Garden Sorrel (Rumex acetosa)
"Perennial. Leaves used for making soup and flavouring salads, or cooked as a vegetable. Said to contain vitamin C and copper. Sow autumn and spring."
I've potted on the Cabbage - 'Purple Flowered Choy' and 'Red Choi' seedlings that were up and ready.


Spotted in the Garden This week:

This tiny "moth" sized bird. (Anyone know it's name?)

A nest of Preying Mantis eggs on the Cherry tree.


Weekly Harvest Tally:
Doesn't include Greens fed to the chooks or herbs picked for use in the kitchen for cooking or tea making.
Cucumber Lemon***128g
Tomato Tigerella***53g
Zucchini Costata Romanesco***2364g
Zucchini Black***342g

No fruit weighed this week just further grazing on Grapes and Red Fuji Apples.

Plus a yummy mix of greens for salads...Kale, Lettuce, Watercress, Lebanese Watercress, Chives, Parsley, Gotu Kola.

Plus 14 Eggs from the girls.

All this along with trying to fathom out a new computer system...and the arrival of 5 new study modules in the mail.

I do really need to catch up with life!

Please remember Earth Hour this coming weekend...turn off your lights for 1 hour!


Monday, 16 March 2009

Autumn Storms

Scarecrow's Log: 15:03:2009:

Luckydog decided to harvest 'her' bunch of grapes this week!
Each year she 'saves' a bunch just for herself.

Temperatures this week:
Lowest Min 6.9C
Highest Max 30.1C
Rain 7.5mm



During Thursday the clouds were building up
...by evening thunder was rumbling
and it had started to rain.
We woke next morning to find
7.5mm in our rain gauge. mrgreenmrgreenmrgreen

Planting:
Angela's Blue Climbing Pea described in the Eden Seed catalogue as:
"Attractive purple bi-colour flower, purple podded climbing pea for shelling."

Potted up many punnets of Red Onions from those home saved seeds I sowed at the end of February.
Potted up cuttings taken earlier in the season:
Perennial Chamomile Chamaemelum nobile
Curry Bush Helichrysum italicum
Pink Correa

Potted on more of the Brassica seedlings.

The Roi de Carouby Snow Peas are up and growing...

...as are those Blue Bantam Dwarf Peas out on Bed 2.

The Brassica seedlings on Bed 3
are powering away, getting some good growth on
before our cold weather hits.
From the front you can see:
Sugarloaf Cabbage then Romanesco Broccoli,
Violet Sicilian Cauliflower.
The Mini Cauliflower and Red Drumhead Cabbage
are in the distance at the back.


Weekly Harvest Tally:
Doesn't include Greens fed to the chooks or herbs picked for use in the kitchen for cooking or tea making.
Cucumber Lemon***236g
Zucchini Costata Romanesco***1787g
Zucchini Black***330g

No fruit weighed this week just further grazing on Grapes and Blackberries and a couple of test tastes of the Red Fuji Apples. eek

Plus a yummy mix of greens for salads...Kale, Lettuce, Watercress, Lebanese Watercress, Chives, Parsley, Gotu Kola.

Plus 9 Eggs from the girls.

Monday, 9 March 2009

Planting

Scarecrow's Log: 08:03:2009:

Temperatures this week:
Lowest Min 10C
Highest Max 29.9C
Rain 5mm

The Native Violets Viola hederacea are flowering in the Shadehouse.

Planting
:
I've potted up several punnets of Beetroot...the seeds in the wicking bed have germinated well so I'll be able to sell these at the market soon.
Transplanted some Celery - Kintsai (soup Celery) into 'growing-on' containers.



Seeds were sown in the shadehouse of:
Kohlrabi - Super Schmeltz Brassica oleracea Gongylodes Group (Phoenix)
Cabbage - 'Purple Flowered Choy' Brassica rapa var. purpurea (Green Harvest)
Cabbage - 'Red Choi' F1 Brassica rapa var. chinensis (Green Harvest)
Corn Salad - Valerianella locusta (Phoenix)
Coriander - Coriandrum sativum (Greenpatch)
Kale - 'Squire' Brassica oleracea Acephala Group (Green Harvest)




Snow Peas - Roi de Carouby from my home saved seeds.



On Friday evening over in the Main Vegetable Garden:
Peas - Blue Bantam Dwarf (DT Brown I'd rather not use this brand, from the UK, but the name intrigued me wink) were planted along the edges of Bed 2 .



Into Bed 3 I've planted (seedlings) 4 each of:
Broccoli - Romanesco
Cabbage - Sugarloaf
Cabbage - Red Drumhead
Cauliflower - Mini
Cauliflower - Violet Sicilian

These have been covered with net curtains draped over poly arches...using up some of the left over 1.5 inch pipe...it fits easily over tomato stakes driven into the ground on the outside edge of the wicking beds. This will keep those Cabbage White Butterflies off and also helps keep off aphids, birds and grasshoppers.

We've been very busy tidying up the garden ready for the Garden Group visit in a couple of weeks. This is a great incentive to clear all the pathways and make everything safe. It's also making us get stuck into the tasks that we could only think about during the heat of February.

The Herb Spiral has been replanted
and I've topped up the pond again.

The Bushfood Bed has had some attention too
...although production on this bed has been very disappointing.

The Spudzinabin have been topped up already and mulched.


Weekly Harvest Tally: Harvest is slowing as Autumn planting begins...
Doesn't include Greens fed to the chooks or herbs picked for use in the kitchen for cooking or tea making.

Carrots Atomic Red***80g
Zucchini Costata Romanesco***1329g
Zucchini Black***2327g
2 Buckets full of Basil leaves for drying.

Plus a yummy mix of greens for salads...young Kale, Lettuce, Watercress, Lebanese Watercress, Chives, Parsley, Gotu Kola.

Plus 6 Eggs from the girls.

Watercress and Alyssum

a member of the Brassica family,
along with cabbages, broccoli and kale, is in flower.
eek
Now I see the resemblance to Alyssum in the flowers...
...Alyssum is also a member of the Brassica family.

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Spudzinabin

I've just checked on my experimental spudz
in a wicking bin and found that they have sprouted.

Earlier last month I found an old rubbish bin that was too split to be very useful. Rather that drill holes in the base I decided to make it into a wicking pot. The plastic lined base has some sandy gravel mix in it and for watering I found a left over section of 2 inch ag pipe that is long enough to get the water down to the base.

I planted some Red Star potatoes that were dug up from the chook run and had put into a container ready to plant. They had sprouted well and needed to be planted.

The soil is moist under the mulch layer so it looks as though the wicking process is working. As I increase the layers it will be interesting to see how the wicking process goes...and how the potatoes grow. cool

More info:
Wicking Worm Bed Basics
Wicking Boxes
Wicking Bed posts
Waterright site

Monday, 2 March 2009

Autumn?

Scarecrow's Log: 01:03:2009:

When to pick a Rockmelon?
When it falls off the vine in your hand.
Yum! mrgreen

Temperatures this week:
Lowest Min 9.2C
Highest Max 38C
No Recorded Rainfall (But there is some on the way)

Wow the first of March already...
Summer is gone...well it's supposed to be. rolleyes
That must be why the chickens are starting to moult.
Best they get it done before the cold weather starts
...poor things.

Planting:

Lettuce Butternut and Radicchio - rossa di Treviso seedlings into Bed 4 Wicking Bed in the Main Vegetable Garden.
Perpetual Spinach (home saved seeds) into the old Chicken Run bed where the last of the Purple Sapphire Potatoes were harvested.

I've begun taming the Kitchen Garden Jungle...
I've tidied the Pathside Edge Bed
and found another crop of grapes growing
on the outside of the pergola!

Weekly Harvest Tally:
Doesn't include Greens fed to the chooks or herbs picked for use in the kitchen for cooking or tea making.
Carrot***48g
Potato Purple Sapphire***1237g
Onion Brown***55g
Shallots Golden***137g
Tomato Ponderosa Pink***91g
Zucchini Costata Romanesco***1757g
Zucchini Black***1775g

Rockmelon***1137g
Nashi***4Kg

Plus a yummy mix of greens for salads...young Kale, Lettuce, Watercress, Lebanese Watercress, Chives, Parsley, Gotu Kola.

Plus 11 Eggs from the girls.

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