Monday, 28 February 2011

Last Summer Log.

Scarecrow's Garden Log: Fortnight 15:01:2011 to 27:02:2011

Carob pods drying on the tree!

Temperatures this week:
Lowest Min 8.2C
Lowest Max 21.7C
Highest Max 35C
5mm Rain

What's the weather been like in the garden?
Mild days, cool nights, a little rain then temperatures rising to mid 30's at the end of the fortnight.

Propagation:
Seeds:
Broad Beans Early Long Pod DT Brown
Wallflowers (seeds from garden)

Potting up:

Alyssum White
Fennel Florence
Hollyhocks
Perpetual Spinach
Sweet Peas

Volunteers:
Hollyhocks
Red Kale
Warrigal Greens

Cuttings/Division:
Chives Allium schoenoprasum
Ginger Mint Mentha arvensis syn. M. gentilis
Oregano variegated Oreganum vulgare 'Variegata'
Pineapple top
Society Garlic Tulbaghia violacea
Tarragon French Artemisia dracunculus sativa
Thyme Russian Thymus nitidus
Yarrow White Achillea millefolium

In the Garden This week:

We spent some time in Adelaide with Doc's Mum last week so I prepared all the seedlings for a few days without water.
Cat trays come in handy to hold seedling trays and small pots and allow you to leave just enough water to keep the moisture level up without drowning young seedlings.

Lining other trays with plastic helps with larger pots.
That is as long as it doesn't rain in which case you wouldn't need the trays. wink
I relied on our trusty 7 day weather forecast which was for once correct in predicting no rain and fortunately no high temperatures either. eek

Recently we purchased a pineapple with a leafy top! Seems rare these days most of them have their tops chopped off. I cut the top off with approx 2.5cms attached and left it to dry in a sheltered spot. This week I potted it up. It will live in the shadehouse with three others I've planted this summer. They will move to the hot house for winter. Pineapples are not a locally grown food so I'm attempting to grow some here. Might work, Might not!


I dug up a small clump of Society Garlic,
divided the plants and potted them up.

At The Community Garden

The Sunflower seeds I sowed around the base of the tank bed are starting to grow and so far seem to be surviving Locust/Snail attack!

As we walked to the garden on the 16th we could barely see it from the road due to thick fog!
We harvested (and ate on the walk home) the first Yellow Baby Pear Tomatoes...yum!

Fortnight 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.
Or veg grown in the Community Garden bed.
Beetroot Greens***86g
Kohlrabi Purple Vienna***50g
Shallots Red***56g
Silverbeet Rainbow Mixed***380g
Sweet Potato Leaves***50g
Tomato Kotlas***405g
Tomato Red Cherry***54g
Tomato Yellow Tommy Toe***170g
Zucchini (?)***2892g
Zucchini Cocozelle***3011g

Apples Cox's Orange Pippin***6157g
Apples Golden Delicious***11742g windfalls for drying and cooking!
Blackberry Thornless***242g
Grapes Black Sultana***5204g
We have also been grazing (eating outside without weighing!) on:
more Grapes, Ida Gold Tomatoes, Figs, Plums... razz

Eggs
13 From the 5 Farmyard Ferals
0 From the 3 Barnevelders
9 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


As I seem to have trouble keeping up with weekly log postings lately I will now post a monthly journal update and try to post a few interesting items and photos in between as things happen. cool

Monday, 14 February 2011

Growth from the Rain

Scarecrow's Garden Log: 14:02:2011:

Leaf Amaranth in flower.

Temperatures this week:
Lowest Min 10.6C
Lowest Max 16.2C
Highest Max 36C
21mm Rain

What's the weather been like in the garden?

The temperature was much milder this week but the humidity levels are high for this time of the year. More rain on Friday night and all day Saturday. These conditions after our heatwave has put an end to many summer crops but the rain will help in the preparation for autumn plantings!

Propagation:

Seeds:
Senna artemisiodes from seed collected at the community garden for planting there.

Potting up:
Beetroot Detroit Red Globe
Beetroot Forono
Beetroot Golden Detroit
Broccoli Nutri Bud
Broccoli Royal Dome
Cabbage Early Jersey Wakefield
Cabbage Verona Purple Savoy
Celeriac
Celery Pink
Coriander
Endive
Gotu Kola
Kale Lacinato
Kale Tuscan Black
Kale Vates Blue Curled
Kholrabi Super Schmeltz
Lettuce Drunken Woman
Lettuce Miners
Mustard Asian
Spinach Bloomsdale Long Standing
Tatsoi

Potting on:
Silverbeet
Rocket
Parcel

Planting out:
Lettuce Drunken Woman in the salad pots out the back.

Cuttings/Division:

Strawberry Runners from the plants I purchased last year.

In the Garden This week:

With lots of seedlings to pot up and on I had to scrub a mountain of pots and punnets first. Once clean these get dipped in a mild household bleach solution to make sure no diseases are carried on the pots to the young seedlings.
I have had to make netted shelters for the brassica seedlings as the butterflies are still lurking!

The rain has resulted in many split tomatoes...
...the chooks enjoy these as treats!!!

I was doubtful of having anything to harvest from the Tomatillo Bed but I recently found these and others growing! Not to sure what to do with these fellows though...questionconfusedquestion

While I was at that bed I noticed that the Seven Year Bean has taken off...over and into the old chook house!!! It is amazing as all that growth has come from just one surviving plant!

I took a chance and planted out some good sized, late season seedlings of Grain Amaranth. The rain has encouraged it's growth since planting!

The rain fell lightly on Saturday and there was little wind...a recipe for fungal attack! Between the showers I removed the shade cloth cover from the Zucchini Bed. Sunday was windy, sunny and cool so the large leaves had a chance to dry completely.

With the recent rain the Garden Mint at the backdoor has sprung to life! Just in time for a local lamb roast!
Mint sauce: Two teaspoons of chopped mint, two teaspoons of sugar, two teaspoons of boiling water and one and a half teaspoons of cider vinegar! You can increase the amounts, just keep the ratio the same (ish).

Those babies in the Gotu Kola tub were being smothered by the mother plant's vigorous growth (it liked the rain too) so I've potted them up.

In The Community Garden
Two withered (cooked in the heat!) Lettuces were replaced by two new Silverbeet seedlings!!

It is interesting to note that anything planted in the soil at the base of the tank beds has been eaten by Locust/Grasshoppers but little damage has occurred up in the beds themselves.

I harvested a big armful of Leaf Amaranth and cooked it up in a quiche to share at our committee meeting last week! No, I didn't weigh that harvest! wink

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.
Potatoes Pink Fir Apple***1154g
Potatoes Dutch Cream***2577g
Zucchini Cocozelle***823g
Kohlrabi Purple Vienna***235g
Silverbeet Rainbow Mixed***228g
Jerusalem Artichoke***120g
Grapes Black Sultana***500g (we've also been grazing on grapes!)

Eggs
13 From the 5 Farmyard Ferals
0 From the 3 Barnevelders (who don't like this weather!)
1 From the 5 Faverolles (who had a fright on the weekend!)

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

Thursday, 10 February 2011

Cocozelle Zucchini

A late December planting of Zucchini provides vigorous growing plants by the end of January and the heatwaves of February.

While the Golden Zucchini has withered away in the heat these new plants (Cocozelle) are growing strongly and producing curious but delicious zucchinis!

Planted under 50% shadecloth their flowers have been hand pollinated as not many bees will venture under the cloth. The shadecloth is set low over this bed to protect the plants from the hot western sun of the afternoon.


The mottling on the leaves is not mildew
but just the silvery pattern they produce.

Any leaf that strays out of the cover is scorched by the sun.

Seed from The Lost Seed where it is described as:
"Italian heirloom. Bush. Pale green, long, cylindrical fruit with dark green stripes."

Monday, 7 February 2011

Heat and Flooding Rain!

Scarecrow's Garden Log: Fortnight 24:01:2011 to 07:02:11

After the heat came rain...
...a lot of rain!
It filled the birdbath!

Temperatures:
Lowest Min 10.4C
Lowest Max 18C
Highest Max 43C
125mm Rain
(that is not a typo!!!!)

What's the weather been like in the garden?
Monday 32.7C, Tuesday 43C, Wednesday 36.1C, Thursday 35.4C, Friday 36.3C, Saturday 38.8C, Sunday 42.5C.
Monday 41C, Tuesday 39C, Wednesday 40C, Thursday 37C, Friday 34.5C, Saturday 21.1C, Sunday 18C
(37.8C=100F)
The heat ended on Friday with torrential rain from moisture fed from Ex-Tropical Cyclone Yasi!

Propagation:
Seeds:
Beetroot Detroit Red Globe Beta vulgaris DT Brown
Beetroot Forono Beta vulgaris DT Brown
Beetroot Golden Detroit Beta vulgaris 4 Seasons Seeds
Broccoli Purple Sprouting Brassica oleracea 4Seasons Seeds
Broccoli Romanesco Brassica oleracea Cornucopia Seeds
Cabbage Early Jersey Wakefield Brassica oleracea

Cabbage Red Choi Brassica rapa var. chinensis Green Harvest
Cabbage Purple Flowered Choy Brassica rapa var. purpuree Green Harvest
Cabbage Verona Purple Savoy Brassica oleracea The Lost Seed
Cauliflower Self Blanche Brassica oleracea var. botryis The Lost Seed
Cauliflower Violet Sicilian Brassica oleracea Green Harvest
Coriander Coriandrum sativum Mr Fothergill
Corn Salad Valerianella locusta Phoenix Seeds
Cumin Black Nigella sativa The Lost Seed
Florence Fennel Foeniculum vulgare var. azoricum Phoenix Seeds
Lettuce Crispmint Lactuca sativa Diggers
Perpetual Spinach Beta vulgaris Phoenix Seed
Radicchio Rossa di Treviso 2 Cichorium intybus Franchi Seeds (from a swap)
Red Clover Trifolium pratense Phoenix Seeds
Rocket Eruca sativa DT Brown
Spinach English Medania Spinacea oleracea DT Brown
Spinach Bloomsdale Long Standing Spinacea oleracea Eden Seeds

Felica amelliodes Home saved seed
Hollyhock Pink Alcea rosea Friends seed
Larkspur Giant Imperial Consolida ambigua Mr Fothergill's
Sweet Pea Dwarf Bijou Lathyrus odoratus Home Saved seed
Sweet William Mixed Dianthus barbatus Friends seed
Viola Large Flowered Mixed Viola cornuta Mr Fothergill's

In the Garden This Fortnight:

Watering to keep things alive,
shading to keep the sun off
and netting the fruit trees
to keep the birds off.



Gotu Kola thriving in it's Wicking Box
and even has some seedlings popping up.

Sweet Potatoes growing at the base of a wicking bed
to catch the (deliberate at times) overflow.

The heat has accelerated the ripening of the grapes
outside the backdoor.

Monday of the second week we had a visit
from our son and his growing family!

Then anxious times as our daughter and son-in-law spent a terrifying night in the "bunker" beneath their house in Far North Queensland while cyclone Yasi raged outside!!!! Fortunately their damage was minor compared to those further north but the water supply has been slow to come back as has the power!

Friday's weather radar (from this site) showing how far the remnants of Cyclone Yasi had moved to the centre of Australia and fed moisture down to us in SA.

A lot of moisture!!!
(our driveway!)

Of course the Black Ninja was not amused...
...she doesn't like rain!

At The Community Garden:

The rain caused only minor puddling
and all drained well soon after!

Weekly Harvest Tally: Figures for the fortnight!
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.
Squash Winter Delicata***244g
Squash Sweet Meat***5500g
Tomato Golden Sunrise***1781g
Tomato Kotlas***4119g
Tomato Silvery Fir Tree***1683g
Tomato Yellow Tommy Toe***29g
Tomato Red Cherry***214g
Zucchini Gold***294g
Zucchini Cocozelle***1020g
Strawberries***96g
Blackberries***751g

Eggs
19 From the 5 Farmyard Ferals
4 From the 3 Barnevelders
21 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

You will need to click on the photos to view them.

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