Monday, 31 May 2010

Winter Has Arrived Early!

Scarecrow's Garden Log: 29:05:2010:

So soggy!
And to think I swept up all the leaves before the wind!

Temperatures this week:
Lowest Min -2C
Lowest Max 11.2C
Highest Max 17.1C
53mm Rain Yes!!!!
The farmers were right!

What's the weather been like in the garden?
It rained on Sunday, Monday, Friday and Saturday this week!
A sneaky frost on Thursday of -2C came unannounced but caused no harm in the garden that is all set for winter now.

During this cold, wet weather we've had the wood heater on all day. We make the most of the heat source using it to heat our water (via the kettle) and cooking stock, soups and stews. That makes the whole house smell great!

Broad Beans - Early Long Pod
Peas - Bush Young's Wonder
Peas - Climbing Angela's Blue

Planting out:
Celery volunteers

Lemon Verbena

In the Garden This week:

A sad, soggy look at the Main Vegetable Garden
at the end of Autumn 2010

I took the chance for a last planting of Peas and Broad Beans before the rain set in. The beans and bush peas went into the Kitchen Garden and the climbing peas on the edge of Bed 3 in the Main Veg Garden.

I rescued a few Celery volunteers out of some potted Xanthorrhoea. Two of the larger celery plants were planted into the Dog Pen wicking beds!

While I was checking those beds I noticed a bit of leaf damage on the Cauliflowers there. No sign of any caterpillars but I found a few earwigs so I've put the hose traps back out.
The soil must be warmer in the wicking beds because the earwigs aren't usually active at this time of the year. Oh well at least it means the chookies get some extra 'earwig protein' on these colder days.

The Broad (Fava) Beans in Bed 2 have been flowering for a while now and are setting fruit despite the frosty mornings we've had.

Those Beet family greens keep on coming, they loved the rain!

As did the Peas and Garlic
Because the Peas are in a separate Wicking Bed they are at less risk of the bad Companion planting effects of the garlic. They are in different soil so the anti bacterial effect of the garlic won't harm the bacteria in the soil which the peas depend on to fix nitrogen from the air for their use.

Ooops! I leave some of the seedling punnets in cat litter trays to help keep them moist...I usually take them out before it rains, guess I forgot these! eek

Weekly Harvest Tally:
Doesn't include Greens fed to the chooks on a daily basis or herbs picked for use in the kitchen for cooking or tea making.
Parsnip Hollow Crown***155g
Peas Sugar Snap***57g
It's been a bit too wet to harvest much out in the main garden and I've just been sneaking some Parcel, Sea Celery and Onion tops from under the pergola to add to our breakfast scrambled eggs.

17 From the Farmyard Ferals
17 From the Barnevelders
20 From the Faverolles

Even though Doc and I have added more sheets of iron for shelter in their run the chooks don't seem to know that they should stay out of the rain.
So I've been giving warm mash each morning. For a special treat they have enjoyed cooked rice with a couple of cans of sardines mixed through with the addition of a few cloves (crushed) of garlic to ward off any ill effects of the cold!

Maybe it is sinking in slowly. These three Faverolles thought it was too cold to venture outside into the rain and decided to stay in bed!

To see how the various Garden areas fit on our half acre block check out the newest map of our place HERE

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Late Autumn Harvest

Scarecrow's Garden Log: 22:05:2010:

Wednesday's Late Autumn Harvest
Greens -Mangel-wurzel Leaves, Mixed Kale,
Golden Beet and Parsley,
Lima Beans, Sugarsnap Peas,
Capsicums - King of the North
and Hungarian Yellow Wax,
also some Red Fuji Apples.

Temperatures this week:
Lowest Min -1C
Lowest Max 16C
Highest Max 19.6C
.5mm Rainfall

What's the weather been like in the garden?
Chilly mornings with a few light frosts, warming up to beautiful sunny days with little wind.
All set to change this weekend with some wild, wintry and hopefully wet weather!
The local farmers have been out seeding their crops so it must mean rain!
Winter is very close now!


Coriander from Mr Fothergill's Organic Seeds
Mesclun Mix from Eden Seeds
Red Choi from Green Harvest
Rocket from DT Brown Organic Seeds
Tatsoi from Diggers Seeds
Larkspur from Mr Fothergill's Seeds
Viola from Mr Fothergill's Seeds
Set to germinate in the hothouse (...already happening!).

Potting up:
Thornless Blackberry
Basil Mint

Garden Sorrel
Lettuce Red & Green Mix
Lettuce Miners
NZ Spinach Cuttings
Parsley Curled

Planting out:
Bulbs -
Egyptian/Tree Onions
Garlic Russian

Seedlings -
Lettuce Red and Green Mix
Onions Creamgold (into Bed1 in the Main Veg Garden)
Parsley Curled
Spinach Bloomsdale Long Standing

Basil Mint
Divided a pot of Hyssop.

In the Garden This week:
I have tidied the shade house and potting benches, emptying out old pots and recycling the better potting mix by using it to fill the big pots that now live under the pergola.
After ensuring the mixture was damp I added a bucket of coir (which had fish emulsion and seaweed extract added to the soaking water) and mixed it well.

Once the pots were filled I planted out some tiny seedlings of Coriander, Lettuces, Spinach and Parsley. Each pot had a small clump of either Tree Onions or Shallots planted into them. I'll cut the green leaves off these for salads as they grow.

Most of the Trees For Life plants are doing really well, some of the acacias are having problems with the potting mixture this year. The Eucalypts are ready for planting.
The landholder I'm growing these for is waiting for "about an inch of rain" so that he can "rip" the ground to enable the planting holes to be dug.
I think that might just happen this week with any luck! mrgreen

The plants at the bottom of the photo are some of the Saltbush seedlings I am growing for the Community Garden windbreak. These plants have been pruned to encourage side growth and should be planted in the coming weeks.
The Health Team has been successful in getting some funding to allow us to purchase the necessary irrigation supplies, without which it would be pointless planting anything at the site.

The Radish seedlings in the Wicking Boxes are growing fast.

Cheeky little Nasturtiums
are volunteering in the Kitchen Garden...
I wonder if they will survive this years winter question

Weekly Harvest Tally:
Doesn't include Greens fed to the chooks on a daily basis or herbs picked for use in the kitchen for cooking or tea making.
Mangel-wurzel Leaves***600g
Mixed Kale***161g
Golden Beet***87g
Celery Soup/Chinese***40g
Lima Beans***280g
Sugarsnap Peas***107g
Capsicum King of the North***138g
Capsicum Hungarian Yellow Wax***160g (Rescued from the frost)

Apples Golden Delicious***769g
Apples Red Fuji***757g

13 From the Farmyard Ferals
12 From the Barnevelders
11 From the Faverolles

To see how the various Garden areas fit on our half acre block check out the newest Map of our place HERE

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

First Frosts

Scarecrow's Garden Log: 15:05:2010:

They survived unscathed -2C on Wednesday
and -2.1C on Thursday morning...

...but -3C on Friday was just to much
for the leaves of the Sweet Potato
that were out of the cover.
The ones undercover are fine.

Temperatures this week:
Lowest Min -3C

Lowest Max 15.1C

Highest Max 22.5C

No Recorded Rainfall

What's the weather been like in the garden?

We are getting our first frosts of the year! The first being Wednesday 12 May a low of -2C.
Considering that was the same as our lowest minimum for all of 2009 I think we are back to normal for our winters after last years very mild winter.

Friday morning's low of -3C was 7 degrees below normal for this time of year!!!

It is interesting to note that our Northworld neighbours had some nasty frosts this week too. Poor Matron had damage to her 'hardening off' tomato plants.
While over in Skippy's Garden they also had a nippy night and are hoping they have seen the last of the frosts for 2010.

Planting out:
Lettuce Red Velvet
Endive Salad King
Radish (seeds)Cherry Belle

Potting up/on:
Endive Salad King
Horseradish Armoracia rusticana, syn. Cochlearia armoracia
Sweet Appleberry Billardera cymosa

'Rusty Sage' Salvia africana lutea 'aurea'
'Silver Posy' Thyme Thymus vulgaris argenteus
Lemon Thyme Thymus x citriodorus
Orange Scented Pelargonium
Lemon Scented Pelargonium Lemon Supreme 'Marble Grey'
Jotaberry Ribes x culverwellii
Tansy Tanacetum vulgare
Variegated Elderberry Sambucus nigra variegata
Yellow Daisy Euryops pectinatus
More Sweet Potato cuttings just before the frosts came

I dug up some Duck Potatoes Sagittaria sagittifolia syn. Sagittaria sinensis. I didn't think they had survived the summer this year but there were quite a few tubers (although tiny). I have put them into a couple of buckets with soil and water in the hot house for winter.
Read more about growing these curious water plants here.
I have also rescued some Waterchestnuts to replant next spring.

In the Garden This week:

Lots of cuttings have been taken. Some from plants that are at risk of becoming frost damaged. Some of the cuttings have been placed in the hothouse for winter now that the frosts have arrived!

On Monday I tidied the Sweet Potato patch, added a couple of large containers of water (to retain some warmth) and covered the main growing parts with fleece.

From That To Do List:

Back Pergola:
Planted the 3 Wicking Boxes with green salad plants. Tidied the Native (Sea) Parsley Apium prostratum and Parcel that were already in the boxes.

Dog Pen Garden:
Prune back the Sweet Potato that is threatening to take over the whole garden!! The frosts are helping with this one! See above for frost protection methods.

Almond Area:
Replace tyres around Tangelo for a winter sun trap. The black tyres catch heat during the day and slowly release it at night providing a little frost protection, along with the rocks at the base of the tree.

Weekly Harvest Tally:
Doesn't include Greens fed to the chooks on a daily basis or herbs picked for use in the kitchen for cooking or tea making.
Beetroot Golden***212g
Kale Mixed***275g
Mangel-Wurzel Leaves***850g
Peas Sugarsnap***71g

Apples Red Fuji***1081g

14 From the Farmyard Ferals
14 From the Barnevelders
9 From the Faverolles

To see how the various Garden areas fit on our half acre block check out the newest Map of our place HERE

Sunday, 9 May 2010

Autumn Gold

Scarecrow's Garden Log: 08:05:2010:

Golden stems on the Rainbow Mixed Silverbeet

Temperatures this week:

Lowest Min 1.5C brrrrr!
Lowest Max 14C
Highest Max 25C
0.8mm Rain

What's the weather been like in the garden?
It was so windy on Tuesday that the promised rain was blown away sad
Frosts are forecast this week so some preparation is needed.

Planting out:

Mixed Kale seedlings into the Kitchen Garden with Lovage and Valerian. Sheltered from earwigs and slaters by cut down pots. The edges of the pots help to keep the dripper fed water right where the seedlings need it.

In the Garden This week:
After the very busy week last week little was done in the garden this week. With meetings and outings taking priority. But it will be back to that list next week...I hope.

Spiny Cheeked Honeyeaters (Acanthagenys rufogularis)
have been visiting the garden lately.
Check out the Fact sheet about them Here

They are eating the fruits off the
Enchylaena tomentosa, a native saltbush.

On the Beet Bed (bed5) the greens just keep coming.

The Golden Beetroots are bulbing up,
soon to be picked.

The early planted Broad Beans are flowering

and attracting Ladybirds.

The peas in the Fence Wicking Bed have emerged
you may need to click on the photo to see them!

The Garlic is growing well
and behind it you'll see the wire racks
I have put over the peas to stop the birds getting them.

The Parsley has taken off in Bed 4 ,
the bunch at the front went to make
a great Tabouli Salad on the weekend.

Weekly Harvest Tally:
Doesn't include Greens fed to the chooks on a daily basis or herbs picked for use in the kitchen for cooking or tea making.
Kale Mixed leaves***180g
Mangelwurzel leaves***409g

Apple- Golden Delicious***673g

11 From the Farmyard Ferals
8 From the Barnevelders
5 From the Faverolles

The Farmyard Ferals are beginning to moult...
...neck first eek

To see how the various Garden areas fit on our half acre block check out the newest Map of our place HERE

biggrinbiggrinbiggrinbiggrin Happy Mother's Day biggrinbiggrinbiggrinbiggrin

Sunday, 2 May 2010

A Busy Week!

Scarecrow's Garden Log: 01:05:2010:

The poor Cherry Tree is really confused...'s flowering in May!
Just one month out of winter. eekcryeek

Temperatures this week:
Lowest Min 2C
Lowest Max 17C
Highest Max 24C
2mm Rain

What's the weather been like in the garden?
Beautiful warm days for working in the garden. Chilly mornings just letting us know that winter is coming.

Peas -
Bush Youngs Wonder replacements in Tank Bed f
Snow Roi de Carouby in the Fence Wicking Bed in the Main Veg Garden
Radish Cherry Belle in a salad Wicking Box

Potting up:

Broccoli - Romanesco and Nutri bud
Celery Pink
Onions -
Mini Purplette
Tree (Egyptian or Walking)
Silverbeet Rainbow Mixed

Planting out:

Seaside/Mexican Daisy Erigeron karvinskianus
Ageratum Ageratum mexicana
Sweet William Dianthus barbatus
These went into the Birdbath Garden out the front

Grandfather Sage Salvia apiana
Golden Sage Salvia officinalis variegata
Purple Sage Salvia officinalis 'Purpurea'
Pennyroyal Mentha pulegium
Alpine Strawberries Fragaria vesca
Lemon Balm Melissa officinalis
Into the Heb Spiral

Onion - Red and Stuttgart into Dog Pen Garden Wicking Bed 2

Red Shallots into the Kitchen Garden


Purple Sage Salvia officinalis 'Purpurea'
Garlic Chives
From the Kitchen Garden tidy up wink

In the Garden This week:
Well posting that To Do List worked! I managed to get so much done in the garden this week.
Breaking the work down into sections like that was so much easier than wandering around and thinking "there is just too much to do". I'm well on the way through that list already!
So far I've completed the:

Front Garden - planting as per the above list
and mulching with sugar cane
after checking the watering system.

Herb Spiral - planted as per above list,
mulched and watering system adjusted.

Bed1 - Eggplants removed and soil made ready
for a later planting of Creamgold Onions.

Fence Bed - Gourds picked and debris removed from fence,
Zinnias removed and soil prepared
and Snow Peas Roi de Carouby planted.

Kitchen Garden - before and after photos of the Rosemary hedge...

...and the fence that has been removed
to reveal the Dog Pen Garden beds
which will now become an extension of the Kitchen Garden.
The Berry Bed has been tidied and the shade removed.
The old stems have been cut down
and Red Shallots divided and planted.

and I have set up 3 wicking boxes
under the Back Pergola!

Weekly Harvest Tally:
Doesn't include Greens fed to the chooks on a daily basis or herbs picked for use in the kitchen for cooking or tea making.
Beetroot Heirloom Mixture***60g
Kale Mixed leaves***250g
Mangelwurzel leaves***158g
Parsnip- Hollow Crown***77g

Apple- Golden Delicious***1304g

17 From the Farmyard Ferals
10 From the Barnevelders
6 From the Faverolles

Barnie has decided that this tyre
makes a nice warm nesting spot!

To see how the various Garden areas fit on our half acre block check out the newest Map of our place HERE

Check out the Autumn/Winter planting plan for 2010 HERE


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