Sunday, 31 January 2010

Ya! Some Rain!!!!

Scarecrow's Garden Log: 30:01:2010:

Raindrops on Ceylon Spinach

Let the rain kiss you.
Let the rain beat upon your head with silver liquid drops.
Let the rain sing you a lullaby.
~Langston Hughes~

Temperatures this week:
Lowest Min 12.8C

Lowest Max 29.9C

Highest Max 36.6C

14mm Rain


What's the weather been like in the garden?
We had some RAIN!!! Thunderstorm RAIN!!!
Then the weather turned very humid!
There is more rain on the seven day forecast, we shall see if it comes!

According to these ants we could be in for some rain!
They are building up the sides of their nest holes.

Propagation:

Seeds:
Kale - Thousand Headed Brassica oleracea var. acephala from The Lost Seed
Kale - Lacinato Brassica oleracea from The Lost Seed
Broccoli - Nutri-Bud Brassica oleracea from The Lost Seed
Cauliflower - Self Blanche Brassica oleracea var. botryis from The Lost Seed
Chervil - Curled Anthriscus cerefolium from The Lost Seed
Celery - Tendercrisp Apium graveolens var. dulce from The Lost Seed
Dandelion - Red Ribbed Cichorium intybus from The Lost Seed
Peas Pisum sativum (trial early crop)
Climbing Pea Angela's Blue from Eden Seeds
Bush Youngs Wonder from The Lost Seed
Snow Peas Roi de Carouby home saved seed
Sugarsnap Climbing from Diggers

Last weeks seeds are up and growing!

Potting up and Planting out:
Potted on Golden Beetroot
Tidied and potted up pots and seedlings for a second market this month!

Cuttings/Division:
Loganberry

New in the Garden This week:

I checked on the worm farm
to see how it was coping with the heat
and found lots of healthy worms!

The shade house is full to the brim
and I'm searching for more shade!

Plum tree No1 has been harvested and the plums turned into my favourite Plum Sauce!
Plum tree No2 has fruit getting bigger by the minute, safe from birds under it's netting.
Plum tree No3 has no fruit on it because the birds stole every last one! crycrycry
Only fair I guess! rolleyes

I found this little volunteer tomato (Ida Gold I suspect)
growing at the base of Tank bed 1
and I see it's beginning to fruit.

The Thornless Blackberries are ripening!

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.
Carrots Chantenay Red-cored***146g
Parsnip Hollow Crown***88g
Potatoes Kennebec***771g
Plums***5819g

Eggs
14 from the Farmyard Ferals

New Chookie Update!


The Barnevelders turned 20 weeks old this weekend
and one managed a cackle the other day
...but no eggs just yet!

The Faverolles are a mixed bunch,
they should all look like the one on the right in this photo.
You can see the one at the rear has decided to shave her legs.

And this one would rather shave her fluffy beard!


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

Monday, 25 January 2010

Rockmelons and a Broody Chook!

Scarecrow's Garden Log: 23:01:2010:

Rockmelons
The bees are pollinating the flowers
and the fruits are setting!
This small variety of melon of locally saved seed
(just big enough for the two of us)
seems to be enjoying growing up the fence!

Temperatures this week:
Lowest Min 6.5C

Lowest Max 22.7C

Highest Max 39.5C

No Recorded Rainfall


What's the weather been like in the garden?
After the cool start to the week the temperature climbed over 35C for three days before another cool change on Friday night made conditions bearable again!
Still no sign of any rain!

Propagation:
Seeds:
Autumn Planting.
See full Listing Here

Cuttings/Division:
Egyptian (Tree or Walking) Onions

New in the Garden This week:

I've re-built the small display box for the Wicking Bed System.
We've used a small plastic aquarium from the cheapo shop.
It has a full sized drain pipe in to replicate the in ground beds (where all this is hidden from view).
As the poly pipe tube is filled with water you can see the lower section fill and then see the water slowly 'wick' up to the growing area above.
This growing area is made up of good potting mix with coir and a good helping of worm filled castings from the worm farm.
Planted up with greens then mulched with straw from the chook run!
This simply explains the process of the Wicking Sytem to people on tours to the garden.



The tray of Brassica seedling punnets has been added to some growing Kale seedlings on a bench over which I have made a net curtain cage/cover. The Cabbage White Butterflies will lay their eggs on the tiny seedlings and their larvae can destroy the emerging seedlings quickly. This net keeps them out and allows the seedlings to grow free from attack!

The Solanums are slowly producing fruit
here the Eggplants - Casper and Long Purple
are fruiting on Bed 1
and I'm slowly picking Romas from Bed 2

In the Farmyard Feral chook run Ms Blackie
is in the Broody Cage again
and is not a happy chookie about it either!

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.
Carrots ***198g
Silverbeet***241g
Tomato Roma***27g

Eggs
12 from the Farmyard Ferals
Old Blackie and the 2 Ginger Girls have gone into summer holiday mode and are not laying at the moment! rolleyes

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

Autumn Seed Planting 2010

We may still have a couple of heatwaves to get through this summer but I've started on my Autumn seed sowing for winter! There are a lot of varieties on the list but I've only planted 1 punnet (or pot) of each...and don't forget my excesses are sold at the local markets. I have a few more Brassica seeds on their way in a seed order but they will go in as they arrive!

Greens/Brassicas:
Broccoli Brassica oleracea var. italica
- Romanesco from Cornucopia seeds
- Purple Sprouting from 4Seasons Seeds
- Nutri-Bud Brassica oleracea from The Lost Seed
Cabbage
- Red Choi Brassica rapa var. chinensis from Green Harvest
- Purple Flowered Choy Brassica rapa var. purpurea from Green Harvest
- Ethiopian from Seed Savers Network and listed as Brassica oleracea
Cauliflower Brassica oleracea var. botrytis
- Violet Sicilian from Green Harvest
- Mini from Diggers
- Self Blanche from The Lost Seed
Celery
-Soup Kintsai Apium graveolens var. dulce from New Gippsland Seeds & Bulbs
-Tendercrisp Apium graveolens var. dulce from The Lost Seed
Celtuce Lactuca sativa from 4seasons Seeds
Corn Salad Valerianella locusta from Phoenix Seeds
Dandelion Red Ribbed Chicorium intybus from The Lost Seed
Kale
-Thousand Headed Brassica oleracea var. acephala from The Lost Seed
-Lacinato Brassica oleracea from The Lost Seed
Lettuce Lactuca sativa
- Marvel of 4 Seasons from Green Harvest
- Rouge D Hiver from Diggers
- Red Velvet from Diggers
Rocket Eruca sativa from DT Brown
Silverbeet Rainbow Mix Beta vulgaris from 4Seasons Seeds
Tatsoi Brassica navinosa from Diggers

Herbs:
Caraway Carum carvi from Eden Seeds
Chamomile Dyers Anthemis tinctoria from Cornucopia seeds
Chervil Curled Anthriscus cerefolium from The Lost Seed
Echinacea Echinacea purpurea from Cornucopia seeds
Fennel Florence Foeniculum dulce from Greenpatch
Fennel Bronze Foeniculum vulgare nigra from Eden Seeds
Mitsuba Cryptotaenia japonica from 4Seasons Seeds
Parsley Curled Petroselinum sativum from DT Brown
Parsley Italian Petroselinum sativum from Eden Seeds

Flowers for the edge beds:
Ageratum Ageratum mexicana from DT Brown
Alyssum Pastal Carpet Mixed Lobularia maritima from DT Brown
Alyssum white Lobularia maritima from DT Brown
Hollyhocks mixed Alcea rosea Local seeds from markets
Phacelia Phacelia tanacetifolia from Phoenix Seeds
Poppies (unknown type except that they are 'pink') Local seeds from markets
Sweet William Dianthus barbatus Local seeds from markets

Edited on 26 Jan 2010 to add seeds sown from The Lost Seed order.

Wicking Bed Shade

Please click on the photo for a full size view!

Under the supervision of the Black Ninja Cat (who managed to keep well out of my way for a change! wink ) I prepared the Chookhouse Wicking Bed for growing greens this year.
Aged manure and soaked coir has been added with blood and bone and rock minerals Fecondo.

While this mixture sits and the worms do their thing I've mulched it well with straw that the chooks have cleaned of seeds and broken down.

With the temperature still up around 35-40C and the bed in full sun it was time to cover it with a simple Shadecloth structure.

We still have some 1.5 inch poly hose left over.
Tomato stakes are hammered into the ground at each corner (after Doc cut them to size)
This sized pipe slips easily over the stakes to form two hoops at each end of the bed.

Using small tech screws and pieces of cut 19mm hose as washers I attached a scrap piece of 50% shade cloth as a temporary shade.

Later, as the brassica seedlings are planted into the bed the shade cloth will be replaced with net curtains to fully enclose it and keep the Cabbage White Butterfly out.
It also keeps Aphids out too! eek

Saturday, 23 January 2010

Who are you calling Hairy Legs??

In the cool of this morning I watered the pots on the propagation table.
When I thought I saw something move...

Bravely Doc kept it talking while I dashed in to get the camera! cool

Here it is!

A bit closer for you eekeekeek

Brave Doc moved it out to the garden...
...on the end of a broom stick! wink

Where it sat in the sun for a moment or two...

And I got a closer look at those very hairy legs!
eekeekeek

Then it moved on it's way
and waved goodbye!
lollollol

Monday, 18 January 2010

Time For A Cool Change

Scarecrow's Garden Log: 16:01:2010:

Burdock Arctium lappa in flower.
The plants have struggled against grasshopper attack
but now in their second season have decided to flower.

Temperatures this week:
Lowest Min 10.2C
Lowest Max 26C
Highest Max 40.3C

1.5mm Rain

What's the Weather been like in the Garden?
Sunday and Monday saw us cooking with temperatures of 40C but during Tuesday the cool change crept in, slowly lowering the temperature to just 20C by 3pm!
The skies were dark but the promised thunderstorms didn't arrive and we ended up with a mere 1.5mm of rain! cry

During Tuesday I removed the extra shade around the garden and uncovered some of the beds to allow the "rain" in. These were left off for a day or so but by Thursday the temp was around 30C and the covers went back over.

Propagation:
Planting out:

Leaf Amaranth
Cucumber Green Gem
Shallots
Into Tank Bed 1 in the Main Veg Garden The steel mesh is to allow the cucumbers to climb and also to allow shadecloth to be put in place during extreme heat.

Potting up:

Basil Lettuce Leaf and Genovese
Kale Mixed Morton
Silverbeet
Parcel
Leaf Amaranth
Cucumber Green Gem
Other pots were tidied and cleaned ready for the market stall.

Cuttings/Division:
NZ Spinach Tetragonia tetragonoides (request from the markets)
Egyptian Tree Onions (Walking or Topset Onion) Allium proliferum
Golden Shallots Allium cepa var. aggregatum that were dug up from the edge of the Tank Bed 1.

The curious bulbils that grow on the top
of the flower stalks of the Egyptian Tree Onions
(Walking or Topset Onion) Allium proliferum.
If left in place they will bend to the ground and take root.

What's around the Garden This week:

We harvested over 5kgs of Red Onions (some of which are destined to be dried).
The Wicking Bed they were in at the rear of the Kitchen Garden will now be cleared and topped up with 'chook run' compost/soil.
This bed will be covered with net curtaining once this years brassica planting (mainly Kale) goes in.

The Silverbeet and Lettuces in the Wicking Boxes are be ready for picking, the chookies have already had some of the trimmings.

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.
Onions Red***5500g
Potatoes Kennebec***389g

Eggs
9 from the Farmyard Ferals
5 from the Ginger Girls (only 2 left now)
0 from Blackie

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

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