Sunday, 28 November 2010

Changeable Weather

Scarecrow's Garden Log: 27:11:2010:

Peanut Cactus Echinopsis chamaecereuds is in Flower.

Temperatures this week:
Lowest Min 10.2C
Lowest Max 19.9C
Highest Max 32.2C
7mm Rain

What's the weather been like in the garden?


Warm to hot conditions early in the week meant the 50% shade cloth covers went up. Only to have the weather change to cloudy, humid and stormy. Oh well the covers will protect the beds from any heavy rain or even hail. Like the storm in this post from 2 years ago.

Propagation:
Seeds:
Carrot Early Nantes DT Brown Organic
Carrot Lunar White New Gippsland Seeds
Carrot Purple Dragon Home Saved Seeds
Carrot Solar Yellow New Gippsland Seeds
Radish Long Scarlett DT Brown
Radish Saxa 2 Mr Fothergills Organic
Black Wattle Acacia decurrens Cornucopia Seeds
Pink Silk Tree Albizia julibrissin Cornucopia Seeds
Mulga Acacia aneura Chris from Under the Chestnut Tree

First of the Trees For Life seeds:
Hakea Wattle Acacia hakeoides
Umbrella Wattle Acacia oswaldii
Prickly-leaved Wattle Acacia nyssophylla
Hard-leaved Wattle Acacia sclerophylla
Dryland Tea Tree Melaleuca lanceolata

Potting up/on:
Watermelon Blacktail Mountain
Watermelon Golden Midget
Watermelon Sugarbaby

Planting out:
Tomato Black Russian
Tomato Green Zebra
Tomato Tommy Toe Yellow

In the Garden This week:
The original planting of Carrots in the Dog Pen Bed has failed. The earwigs ate every one of the newly germinated seedlings!!! I know better than to try and plant carrot seed into a bed that has not been completely cleared of all other plant growth and mulch.
A cleared bed has no hiding places for these little beasts.

So I cleared all growth (except a few straggly onions) from Bed 1 in the Main Veg Garden and carefully checked to rid it of any buglife. Satisfied that most of the bugs were gone I've sown more carrots and some radishes. The carrot seed was covered with moist coir and a plank of wood to help retain some moisture. I move the planks each time I pass the bed and remove any slaters and millipedes I find hiding there. So far I haven't found any earwigs.

Bed 3 the Delicata Squash and White Wonder Cucumbers are growing well. The Purple King Beans have germinated...let's hope the slaters and millipedes let a few survive. rolleyes
I have added a mesh trellis to the hoop-arch to allow 1 Potimarron Pumpkin to grow over.

Bed 5 The Mangelwurzels were removed. The remaining greens went to the chooks and compost. Meanwhile we are considering just what we will do with the massive roots! All 18.95kg of them. eek
Tomatoes were planted here after adding some organic fertilizer and lots of worms and their castings.

Near Bed 7 (the Fence Edge Wicking bed) the Garlic (in the ground) is ready to harvest but some have flowered and I will let these go to see how the flower heads develop.

On Bed 6 the Squashes and Tomatoes are enjoying their shade while in the Bushfood Bed the Native Lemongrass is beginning to flower.


Out the back the Loganberries are nearly ripe
and the Thornless Blackberries are flowering!


The Black Sultana Grapevine over the pergola is in flower.
We check the vine daily for these Vine Moth Caterpillars
and squish them as we find them!

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.
Broad Beans Early Long Pod***3132g
Mangelwurzel roots***18955g
Peas Sugar Snap***145g
Strawberries***650g

Eggs
16 From the 5 Farmyard Ferals
16 From the 4 Barnevelders
20 From the 5 Faverolles

The Faverolles and Barnevelders went for day without laying one egg (yes I did search all their favourite hiding places) the next day there was a queue for the nest boxes. These 3 Barnies couldn't wait!

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

The Main Vegetable Garden layout for 2010 can be found HERE

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Busy at the Community Garden

Scarecrow's Garden Log: 20:11:2010:

A yellow Water Iris is flowering in one of the front ponds.

Temperatures this week:
Lowest Min 5C
Lowest Max 21.3C
Highest Max 30C
No Recorded Rainfall

What's the weather been like in the garden?
The temperature continues to climb into the 30Cs...soon it will be time to put the shade covers up!

Propagation:
Seeds:
Tomato Red Cherry DT Brown
Tomato Black Cherry Home Saved Seeds
Tomato Kotlas The Lost Seed
Zucchini Cocozelle The Lost Seed
Rockmelon Hales Best DT Brown
Beans Winged Eden Seeds
Dill Grower's Pride
Beans Climbing Purple King DT Brown

Potting up:
Strawberry Chandler
Basil Sweet
More:
Cucumber Green Gem
Cucumber Lebanese
Cucumber Marketmore
Lettuce Goldrush
Lettuce Purple Oakleaf
Pumpkin Butternut Hercules
Shungiku (Edible Chrysanthemum)
Tomato Ida Gold
Watermelon Moon and Stars
Watermelon Sugar Baby

In the Garden This week:

During the week everything had a good drink of worm brew.
See here for how I make it.

Purple King Climbing Beans planted in Bed 3
on a lightweight, homegrown bamboo tripod.

I am hopeful of tasting some Sweet Appleberries Billardiera cymosa
later this season with the plant flowering right now.
info link

I have stopped picking young Broad Beans
to allow them to get bigger.
They will then be podded before freezing
for adding to casseroles and soups.

Speaking of pods...the Carob has pods!

Those Strawberries keep on coming!

At The Community Garden

Trees For Life Distribution Depot
Doc and a helper filled 150 boxes with growing mix while I was busy 'managing' the depot!!
All ran smoothly as most of the growers collected their boxes (and other supplies) on the day with 3 more who arranged to pick up Monday morning at 10am.
We were closely watched by the resident Bearded Dragon (now named Ralph) once again. This time from within the garden on our mulch heap and then he went to check out the manure heap!

This Noisy Miner Bird (Manorina melanocephala) was just outside the fence catching locusts thank you!
It was taking the food to it's nest where 3 hungry mouths awaited!

On Tuesday the Project Manager was allowed to borrow the hospital's little tractor and moved most of the manure in position next to each of the growing tank beds and filled the tank beds which are not going to be made into wicking beds.

On Friday a very pleasant day was spent weeding the windbreak, whipper snipping (brushcutting) the edges, collecting rocks, flattening the ramps to the shed and shadehouse and fixing a few other jobs before we shared a couple of homemade pizzas and coffee.

While we were working Ralph the Bearded Dragon crossed through the garden to the pony paddock for some hunting while Mrs Ralph stayed on their rock mound and kept a close eye on him!

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***369g
Celery Tendercrisp***244g
Broad Beans Early Long Pod***430g
Parsley***50g
Shallots Greens***50g
Strawberries***480g

Eggs
13 From the 5 Farmyard Ferals
23 From the 4 Barnevelders
25 From the 5 Faverolles

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

Sunday, 14 November 2010

It's Strawberry Time

Scarecrow's Garden Log: 13:11:2010:

Strawberry harvest this week...
...despite attack by earwigs and millipedes!!!

Temperatures this week:
Lowest Min 5.8C
Lowest Max 16.5C
Highest Max 34.5C
12.5mm Rain

What's the weather been like in the garden?
We've had the max temperature rise past the 30C mark (34.5C, 94.1F) but the cool change that followed brought temps down and some rain!! mrgreen

Local weather folklore says that when the Bottlebrushes (Calistemon) bloom vibrantly it is a sign of rain! This is happening this year and this week we've had more rain. eek

Propagation:
Potting up:
Cucumber Green Gem
Cucumber Lebanese
Cucumber Marketmore
Lettuce Goldrush
Lettuce Purple Oakleaf
Pumpkin Butternut Hercules
Shungiku (Edible Chrysanthemum)
Squash Sweet Meat
Sunflower Dwarf
Sunflower White Italian
Watermelon Moon and Stars
Watermelon Sugar Baby

Potting on:
California Poppies Eschscholzia californica
Lavender Lavendula angustifolia
Lemon Balm Melissa officinalis
Pelargonium Lemon Pelargonium crispum variegatum
Pelargonium Peppermint Pelargonium tomentosum
Pelargonium Pot Pourri
Rosemary Pink
Thyme Thymus vulgaris
Thyme Lemon Golden Thymus citriodorus aures

Planting out:

Basil Mrs Burns Lemon
Basil Large Sweet Italian
Bean 7 Year
Capsicum California Wonder

Cuttings/Division:
Chamomile
Correa White Correa alba
Lime Balm Melissa officinalis 'Lime'
Pelargonium Lemon Pelargonium crispum variegatum
Pelagonium Pot Pourri
Plumbago Plumbago auriculata

In the Garden This week:

In the Main Veg Garden

Bed 6 The Golden Zucchini and Sweet Meat Squash have recovered from their frost burn (and snail attack!) and have taken off! I added some Sweet Basil near the Tomatoes.

Out the back in the Kitchen Garden the rain this year
has created another jungle! wink

In the Wicking Bed
I replaced one Capsicum and one of the 7 year Beans that had for whatever reason decided not to grow! I mulched this bed with sugarcane mulch between the rain showers.

I noticed the Tomatillos were growing well and one is flowering!

In the Old Chook Run

I've planted some Mrs Burns Lemon Basil next to these Tomatoes as Companion Plants.
The Kotlas Tomatoes are setting fruit but none are at the stage of the ones at Sunny Corner Farm. See the photo here

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.
Lettuce Green and Red mix***70g
Parsley***50g
Strawberries***338g mrgreen

Eggs
16 From the 5 Farmyard Ferals
19 From the 4 Barnevelders
20 From the 5 Faverolles

I've been so busy this past week I shall add the Garden Log for 6 Nov 10 here.

Scarecrow's Garden Log: 06:11:2010:

The California Poppies Eschscholzia californica
are blooming in the Main Veg Garden!

Temperatures this week:
Lowest Min -1.2C
Lowest Max 13.4C
Highest Max 27C
No Recorded Rainfall

What's the weather been like in the garden?
A chilly start to the week saw a frost on Monday but after that the weather warmed up slowly to a beautiful day at the community garden on Friday!

Propagation:
None this week!

In the Garden This week:

In Bed 6 not only did this Sweet Meat Squash plant have to contend with frost burns but I noticed snail slime on the leaves!!

I got the snail so no more problems...razz

I harvested some celery
some went straight into some quiches to freeze...

...while the leaves were put in a jar of water
to keep them fresh overnight as they were destined
for our veg juice the next morning.

I'm allowing a couple of the Pathway Lettuce plants to go to seed. These plants have had little additional water and have shown remarkable snail and earwig resistance so are worth saving seeds from.

At The Community Garden:

A busy day Friday has left the place really looking like a garden!
All the new Tank garden beds are in place ready to be turned into wicking beds!!!!
Three truck loads of well rotted horse manure from the meatworks have been delivered so we are raring to go.

A quick photo update!
click on the photo to see it better!

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.
Asparagus***360g
Broad Beans Early Long Pod***217g
Celery Tendercrisp***320g
Lettuce Green and Red mix***70g
Parsley***50g

Eggs
18 From the 5 Farmyard Ferals
19 From the 4 Barnevelders
23 From the 5 Faverolles

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

The Main Vegetable Garden layout for 2010 can be found HERE

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

November Frost

Argh!!! 1st November minimum temperature -1.2C

Yes I knew it was coming
Yes I moved the tender young seedlings back into the hothouse
Yes I covered things in the garden as best I could.

The Tomatoes didn't even notice

The Broad Beans only suffered minor marking.

It was the Cucurbits that copped it!

I doubt if this Cucumber will survive,
it's three neighbours had no damage at all!

The Squash suffered minor burns
that they should recover from.


In fact the Zucchinis are already showing fresh new growth.

But really, frost in November. eekconfusedeek
This time last year we were at the beginning of a record breaking heatwave. rolleyes
See here

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