Sunday, 28 March 2010

Goodbye Luckydog.

Scarecrow's Garden Log: 27:03:2010:

The Leaf Amaranth is flowering.

Temperatures this week:
Lowest Min 6.8C
Lowest Max 29.8C
Highest Max 34.3C
No Recorded Rainfall

What's the weather been like in the garden?
Very warm and dry!

Propagation:
Seeds:
Coriander
Silverbeet Rainbow Mixed

Planting out:
Replanted the Purple Sprouting Broccoli, Soup Celery and added some Parcel to the wicking bed in the Almond Area after Gingey Chook found her way into it and ate the first lot.

Cuttings/Division:
Pelargonium 'Madame Salleron'

In the Garden This week:

I emptied the new chooks' house
and used the bedding mix to build up a new compost heap.
See basics of compost making HERE

In the Edge Bed in the Kitchen Garden the Yarrow,
Garlic Chives, Sage and Greek Oregano
were all trimmed.
The Tree Onions and Shallots dug up
and divided for planting elsewhere.

The 2 old Chooks, Blackie and Gingey, have finally accepted each other and now live in the same run! That was after Gingey had decimated the wicking bed in the Almond Area! Just as well I had some backup stock of seedlings for replacements.

We said goodbye to Old Luckydog on Saturday. See Here sadsadsad

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.
Zucchini- Golden***767g
Zucchini- Black***419g

Apple- Golden Delicious***2695g
Apple- Jonathon***257g

Eggs
10 from the Farmyard Ferals
5 from the Barnie Chook!

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

Goodbye Luckydog

Luckydog died in her sleep
on Saturday 27th March 2010.
She was aged 16 years.
We will miss you Lucky.
sadsadsad

Thursday, 25 March 2010

Autumn/Winter Planting 2010

Please click on the map to read it

Main Vegetable Garden Update for Autumn/Winter growing.
Those marked Old were grown over summer and still remain as of late March.
New indicates autumn plantings in now or very soon.

Bed 1 Wicking Bed
Old - Eggplant; Casper, Long Purple
Capsicum Hungarian Yellow Wax
New - Garlic Monaro Purple
Onions; Ailsa Craig, Creamgold
Silverbeet Rainbow Mix x 4
Cabbage Ethiopian x 2
Mixed greens Spinach x 6
Celery x 8

Bed 2 Wicking Bed
New - Broad Beans Peruvian Emerald
Broad Beans Aquadulce

Bed3 Wicking Bed
Old - Carrots Chantenay Red-cored
Parsnips Hollow Crown
New - Salad Greens filling in the gaps

Bed4 Wicking Bed
Old - Pumpkin
Parsley x 4
New - Broccoli Nutri Bud x
Cauliflower Mini x 3
Parcel x 7
Coriander x 1

Bed5 Wicking Bed
New - Mangelwurzel
Beetroot Golden Detroit
Silverbeet Rainbow Mixed

Tank Wicking Bed a
Old - Beans Red Lima
New - Kale Thousand Headed (3 plants)

Tank Wicking Bed b
Old - Capsicum King of the North (from 08 planting)
New - Cauliflower Sicilian Violet (3 plants)

Tank Wicking Bed c
New - Broccoli Romanesco (3 plants)

Tank d
Native Pear
Dianella revoluta

Tank e
Strawberries
Jostaberry
Catmint

Tank f
Old - Amaranth Leaf
Cucumber Green Gem
New - Peas Bush Youngs Wonder

Fence Bed Wicking Bed
Old - Gourds; Speckled Swan, Spoon, Spinning Top
Rockmelons
Zinnias
New - Peas Snow Roi de Carouby
In ground at bottom edge - Garlic Monaro Purple

Australian Bushfood area:
Acacia victoriae
Midyim Berry Austromyrtus dulcis
Muntries Kunzea pomifera
Native Lemongrass Cymbopogon ambiguus
Dianella revoluta
Native Rosella Hibiscus heterophyllus
Kangaroo Apples Solanum aviculare (to be removed)

Other areas:
Chookhouse Wicking Bed
New - Kale Mixed - Lacinato, Squire, Morton's mix
Beetroot Golden Detroit
Peas Climbing Sugarsnap
In ground at bottom edge -
Red Ribbed Dandelion Cichorium intybus

Dogpen Wicking Beds
Bed 1:
Old - Zucchini Golden and Black
Garden Sorrel x 2
New - Cauliflower Mixed - Sicilian Violet, Mini x 6
Celery Tendercrisp x 6
Peas Bush Youngs Wonder

Bed 2:
Old - Watermelon Sugarbaby
Garden Sorrel
New - Onions Stuttgart

Almond Area Wicking Bed
New - Broccoli Purple Sprouting x 6
Celery Soup (Chinese) x 2
Parcel x 5
In ground at bottom edge -
Seeds of Coriander, Calendula, NZ Spinach

The Kitchen Garden is still in planning stage...

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

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Mangel-Wurzel

Photo from the Cornucopia Seeds & Plants site
(where my seeds came from)

In response to Katja's comment on this weeks garden log:
"Mangelwhats!!
Sounds fascinating but what on earth is it!?"
Here's some info and links:

Mangelwurzel
Botanical Name: Beta vulgaris
Family: Chenopodiaceae

Its large white, yellow or orange-yellow swollen roots were developed in the 1700s for feeding livestock. The roots can grow to 24.72kgs (heaviest on record).

Jerry Colby Williams on Gardening Australia had a segment last year (see links below) on this curious vegetable. It has been grown for years as fodder for cows in Europe but he is promoting as an hardy edible.

It shares it's botanical name with Beetroot and Silverbeet Beta vulgaris so I guess that is a clue to it's growth habits and uses. The other two plants of the family thrive here so I thought I'd give these a go too!

Grown well, that is with added compost and sufficient water, it is supposed to produce eating quality leaves and roots. So at worst I'm hopeful of greens for the chooks and maybe some young roots for juicing.

In Jerry's article from Gardening Australia Magazine (here) he says that the seedlings don't readily transplant (ooops eek) but mine seem to have taken well and have put on new growth.

There are some interesting 'trivia' in this link under 'In popular culture' lol

It's one of the unusual plants I am trialling, not one you will see in your local 'stupidmarket'. We have to start looking 'outside the norm' for foods that will grow easily in our backyards or local neighbourhoods.

You can read the transcript of the episode of Gardening Australia which featured Jerry's segment on Mangel-Wurzels HERE

Sunday, 21 March 2010

We Have a Barnie Egg!!!!

Scarecrow's Garden Log: 20:03:2010:

The first egg from the new chookies !

Temperatures this week:
Lowest Min 14.4C

Lowest Max 29.3C

Highest Max 34C

No Recorded Rainfall


What's the weather been like in the garden?
Summer returned this week with temps a bit too warm for Autumn!

Propagation:
Potting up:
Parcel
Silverbeet
Brocolli Nutri Bud
Violets Blue

In the Garden This week:
That first egg!!!

The new chicks were all interested...

...but it was one of the Barnevelders that owned up!

Update on those Sweet Potato cuttings:

The cuttings in the bucket of water have lots of roots...

...the ones in the pot are growing well.
I think I will need to pot them all up into largish pots
to get them through winter! rolleyes

Covered up the Broad Beans on Bed 2
to keep the locusts off.

The curtain over the greens on Bed 3

is keeping most of the locusts off
but probably needs something more permanent

The Kale and Peas in the chookhouse wicking bed
are safe from bugs behind their curtain

So far the beet trio in Bed 5,
Golden Beetroot, Silverbeet and Mangelwurzels,
have been left alone and have settled in well!

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.
Capsicum- Hungarian Yellow Wax***121g
Eggplant- Casper***143g
Eggplant- Long Purple***182g
Zucchini- Golden***511g
Zucchini- Black***433g

Apple- Cox's Orange Pippin***2695g
Apple- Jonathon***80g
Peaches***1352g
Rockmelon***281g

Eggs
13 from the Farmyard Ferals
1 from the new chicks mrgreenmrgreenmrgreen

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

Sunday, 14 March 2010

Red Sky in the Morning...

Scarecrow's Garden Log: 13:03:2010:

Last Sunday morning's fiery sky
bought a welcome 7 mm of rain! mrgreen

Temperatures this week:

Lowest Min 4.9C
Lowest Max 17C
Highest Max 28C
7mm Rain

What's the weather been like in the garden?
Sunday not only brought rain but also an almost wintry blast with a top of only 17C. Cooler days during the week with chilly mornings down to 4.9C Brr!!


Propagation:
Potting up:



Strawberry Guava that were started from seed in Spring.
Tidied up the hot house and getting ready for some more winter experiments.



Seedlings of Tomato Silvery Fir Tree and Burnley Bounty
Eggplants Casper and Long Purple

Into punnets:
Kale Lacinato
Kale Thousand Headed
Poppies

Planting out:

In the Main Vegetable Garden
Kale Thousand Headed in Tank Wicking Bed a
Cauliflower Violet Sicilian in Tank Wicking Bed b
Broccoli Romanesco in Tank Wicking Bed c
Into Bed 5 (re-built wicking bed):
Beetroot Golden Detroit
Mangelwurzel
Silverbeet Rainbow Mix
Mitsuba Cryptotaenia japonica

Cuttings:

Midyim Berry Austromyrtus dulcis
Muntries Kunzea pomifera
Native Pear (Cynanchum floribundum ? I won't know for sure until it flowers)

Division:


Dug up a few pieces off the Native Lemongrass Cymbopogon ambiguus for propagation. This died back last winter so I've put them in the hot house.

In the Garden This week:




Re-built Wicking Bed 5 in the Main Vegetable Garden.
I was planning on just putting a higher edge of galvanised iron around the bed but I found that one side had a star picket driven through the plastic! No wonder it had never worked very well as a wicking bed.
When I removed the slotted drainage pipe at the base of the bed I found that it was not clogged at all.
I used new builders plastic to line the base put the drainage hose back and filled the base with a gravelly sand mix.
We chose to edge this bed with iron as the bed next to this one has shadecloth over mesh sides and I have noticed that the bed dries out far too quickly in summer whereas the other beds with iron edging don't.

Something that isn't a good sign...
3 of these little terrors (Locusts) where seen
hanging around the veg garden. evil
Fortunately they took off into the chook run!!
mrgreenmrgreenmrgreen

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***85g
Capsicum- Hungarian Yellow Wax***15g
Tomato- Ida Gold***85g
Zucchini- Black***730g
Zucchini- Golden***507g
Strawberries***28g

Eggs
17 from the Farmyard Ferals


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

Sunday, 7 March 2010

Summer Seems to be Over.

Scarecrow's Garden Log: 06:03:2010:

Broad Bean seedlings emerging
on Wicking Bed 2 in the Main Vegetable Garden

Temperatures this week:
Lowest Min 8.8C

Lowest Max 23.3C

Highest Max 30.3C

No Recorded Rainfall


What's the weather been like in the garden?
Much cooler and quite windy! Just like autumn should be! biggrin
A good time to get out in the garden and get busy ready for the coming winter.

Propagation:
Seeds:


Celery- Pink from Eden Seeds
Endive- Salad King from Eden Seeds
Fennel- Bronze from Eden Seeds
Lovage from Cornucopia Seeds
Sage- Grandfather from Cornucopia Seeds
Spinach- Bloomsdale Long Standing from Eden Seeds


Planting out:
Beetroot- Golden Detroit
Broccoli- Purple Sprouting
Celery- Chinese (Soup)
Dandelion Red Ribbed (Chicory)
Kale- Squire
Kale- Mixed Moreton
Kale- Lacinato
Mixed Greens including Red Choi, Goldrush Lettuce, Tatsoi, Curled Parsley, Chervil
Peas- Bush Youngs Wonder

Cuttings/Division:
Sweet Potato for experimental over wintering in the hot house.

In the Garden This week:


I dug up the last of the Potatoes, before Gingey (the last remaining Ginger Girl) demolished the lot! Including the worms in the wicking bed. eek
I moved aside the mulch, loosened the soil added some chopped Comfrey leaves to feed the worms.
Later in the week I planted out Purple Sprouting Broccoli seedlings with some Chinese Celery as companion plants.
These were covered with bread crates and the whole bed has a curtain over some pipe hoops to keep off Cabbage White Butterflies, Aphids and the possibility of Locusts oh! and Gingey. wink

please click to enlarge photo

Another curtain has been added to the Wicking Bed by the Old Chook House after removing the shadecloth cover.
A mix of Kales has been planted here...some Squire, Lacinato and Moreton Mix which appear to be mainly Russian Reds.

On one side (Eastern) I have planted out some of the Golden Detroit Beetroot seedlings.

At the bottom front edge in the soil I trenched the soil up as this is where the overflow from the wicking bed drains.
In this little patch I planted several Red Ribbed Dandelion/Chicory.

please click to enlarge photo

Over in the Main Vegetable Garden in Wicking Bed 3 I had a spare corner now that some of the Parsnips and Carrots have been harvested.
I moved the mulch off the surface and scratched the soil.
I added a bucket of moistened coir along with a bucket of worm castings/compost as well as the worms that were in it.
Into this moist, rich mix I planted a mixture of greens for salads and stirfries.
These included Red Choi, Goldrush Lettuce, Tatsoi, Curled Parsley, Chervil and were covered with a loose curtain to stop the blackbirds scratching them up!

In the Dog Pen Garden Keyhole Bed the Sweet Potatoes
have just about taken over.
I have snipped a few of the ends off (in an effort to contain the beasts!) and taken cuttings of about 30cm in length.

Some of these are in a large pot
and some I've left in a bucket of water.
I'm experimenting with these to see if I can overwinter them in the hot house! This would allow me to get the plants off to a very early start next season and maybe get some tuber growth happening!

The Trees For Life boxes need to be in full sun now for their final 2 months of growing. Doc and I scrounged around and made this temporary stand out of a large wooden pallet and old stool frames. The boxes fit on top and are at a very good height to work at for final thinning, grading and checking.
Yes The Black Ninja was there to help!


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.
Amaranth- Leaf***20g
Capsicum- King of the North***126g
Carrots- Chantenay Red-cored***71g
Cucumber- Marketmore***39g
Parsnip- Hollow Crown***112g
Potatoes- Kennebec***975g
Silverbeet- Rainbow Mix***78g
Tomato- Ida Gold***46g
Tomato- Grosse Lisse***174g
Zucchini- Black***285g
Apple- Cox's Orange Pippin***369g
Apple- Jonathon***372g
Figs***550g
Nashi***797g

Eggs

14 from the Farmyard Ferals


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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