Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Flower Salads???

Update Nov 2011 Week 4:

Hollyhock flowers - this seems to be the colour that likes growing in my garden...no matter which seeds I actually plant!!
Did you know that Hollyhock flowers are edible??
I haven't tasted them yet but they are said to be bland.
This link has a list of edible flowers that would brighten up a salad.

Weather highlights:
We started the week in jumpers and trackpants, we had windy, cool weather (Friday's temp crawled to 16C with rain!) we ended this week with temps predicted up to 35C with horrible north winds!!

Propagation:
Seeds:
Alyssum Gold Dust Aurinia saxatilis Goodman Seeds
Basil Lemon Mrs. Burns Ocimum basilicum/americanum The Lost Seed
Cabbage Tokyo Bekana Brassica rapa var. chinensis Green Harvest
Celery Tendercrisp Apium graveolens var. dulce The Lost Seed
Cosmos Yellow Cosmos bipinnatus Home Saved Seed
Lettuce Butternut Lactuca sativa Home Saved Seeds
Miners Lettuce Montia perfoliata Phoenix Seeds
Mitsuba Cryptotaenia japonica 4 Seasons Seeds
Parcel Apium graveolens var. Secalinum - Home Saved Seeds
Salvia Blaze of Fire Salvia splendens Mr Fothergill's Seeds
Scuplit Silene inflata The Italian Gardener
Silverbeet Rainbow Mixed Beta vulgaris 4 Seasons Seeds
Vietnamese Balm Elsholtzia ciliata Green Harvest

Potting on/up:
Basil All Seasons cuttings
Celery Tendercrisp I'm sowing seeds of celery each month to see when they grow best!
Cucumber Suyo Long and Bushy
Broad Leaf Guinea Flower Hibbertia obtusifolia
Sage Pineapple Salvia elegans syn S. rutilans
Herb Robert Geranium robertianum

Cuttings:
Double Pink Marguerite Daisy Argyranthemum sp
Sage Pineapple Salvia elegans syn S. rutilans

Planting out:
The last of the Large Mixed Gourd seedlings as I have now removed all the Broad Beans growing in Bed 7
Basil All Seasons cuttings into Bed 3 and Bed4/5 edge planting

First female flowers on the Whangaparaoa Crown Pumpkins
have been hand pollinated. See how on this link.

These Yellow Scallop Squash are looking yummy.

We only have fruit on one of the Apricot trees this year and they are showing signs of rain and hail damage but they are getting bigger and slowly beginning to colour up...

The Tigger Melons in Bed 6 are being trained up the wire cage that supported the tomatoes last year. A couple of volunteer squash/pumpkins have popped up out of the compost (?) and will be encouraged to grow outside of the cage...they are free to sprawl over the sides of the bed if they so desire...

This Golden Coreopsis was planted in the edge bed of Beds4/5
to encourage bees to go in under the shade
to pollinate the zucchini and melons growing in the beds!

While we are still picking Loganberries
and watching the Black Mulberries slowly ripen
the Thornless Blackberries are flowering
ready for fruiting later in the season!!

This Month's Winner

OK it's past noon here at Scarecrow's Garden in SA.

The Winner for the latest Gardening Australia Magazine is:

Debbie
from Simply Me blog

Please Email Me with your address so I can get your details to the people at Morey Media who will send out your magazine ASAP!

Thank you to everyone who went in the draw, sorry you couldn't all win.

Saturday, 26 November 2011

What's Growing Where Spring 2011

Here is the full list of what is planted in each of the productive areas around the garden.
I've broken the garden into separate areas now and each Wicking Bed now has a number (all 20 of them!)

The Kitchen Garden in it's now expanded form Link Here

The Almond Area Garden Link Here

The Main Vegetable Garden Link Here

The Orchard (Faverolles chook run) Garden Link Here

The Old Chook Run Garden Link Here

You'll find them all on one page by clicking This Link

Friday, 25 November 2011

December Gardening Australia Magazine

The December issue of Gardening Australia has been labelled the Edible Issue!

Tino Carnevale has a delightful article on growing Edible Plants as ornamentals and actually growing them in the ornamental garden! This is something I fully agree with him about.

Maggie Beer has written about growing Cumquats - not a fruit I have ever considered growing, considering my lack of success with citrus in general but Maggie's recipes sound delicious as usual.

There is a fascinating story from England (with a strong Australian influence) about a Cafe, that's actually in a Greenhouse, which is part of a Nursery. To me that sounds like heaven...

Josh Byrne has an article which delves into all the details of his Water Wise Garden over in Western Australia.

Last (but by no means least!) there is the cover story of how Indira Naidoo has filled her inner-city Balcony with Edible Plants and enjoyed the process so much that she has written a book on the subject. Just goes to show you don't need to have a huge garden to eat well from it. Check out Indira's Blog for more great photos here on this link.

Thanks to the people at Morey Media, who do the PR for Gardening Australia, for sending me a freebie copy of this latest magazine so that I could review it here for you.

I have ONE copy of the December Gardening Australia Magazine to Giveaway to one of my Blog Readers!

As long as you live in Australia (sorry) you can go in the draw!

So make sure you mention the magazine in a comment below for your chance to win a copy! Or you can leave a comment on the wall of Scarecrow's Garden Facebook Page.

Be quick because we will draw ONE winner's name
out of a hat on
Wednesday 30th November at noon!

Don't forget to check out the Gardening Australia website here

or go to the Gardening Australia Facebook page here

Thursday, 24 November 2011

My Diary


Katrina asked how I keep track of all the seed sowing, potting on and planting out around the garden. I wrote about keeping records in the Beginner's Guides (Part 5 here) but thought I'd add a bit more information.

I find it very helpful to know important dates in my garden. Things like:
  • first and last frost dates...although these can vary widely
  • when to expect rain...even if it doesn't come
  • experimental plantings...some work, some don't
  • when I order seeds and from where
  • seed saving notes
  • daily harvests of fruit, veg and eggs...I'm even training Doc to help here!!!
  • moon planting information...this helps break down the sowing into groups - fruiting, leafy and roots/perennials
  • including noting days when we have been away from home
Basically there is no way I could remember all those details without writing them down.

This year I have used a cheap diary that shows one week to an opening (double page). The cheap shops sell them and 'student diaries' are a similar layout.

As you can see in the photo above I try to write everything down as I do it. Yes, things still get missed but there is usually enough information to jog my memory for what else I did that day. That week in the photo was a busy week, sometimes there is very little written on the pages!

I use the websites mentioned in the beginners guide to keep track of weather conditions but I do keep my own rain totals as these seem to vary.

Writing it all up in this blog each week (in busy times) or month really helps to make sense of it all but that little diary is a 'hard copy' of my garden activities. It is interesting to go back through old 'journals' to our early days here (18 years ago) and see how the garden has developed. Even through years of drought!

As I ended in the beginners guide...
...I hope this has been helpful to you. Just remember to keep as much or as little information as you’re comfortable with.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Mixed Weather

November 2011 Week 3:

Weather highlights:
With day temperatures reaching 35C and above the shade covers have proved their worth already this season. A cool change on the weekend brought some welcome rain and the cooler weather following meant a chance to get some more seedlings planted out. I am beginning to get some spare room on my propagation tables. Just as well because my Trees For Life supplies have been collected and I will be planting the first seeds very soon!

Propagation:
Seeds:
Nasturtium Jewel Mixed
Sunflower Sun King
Red Clover
Direct sown in the Old Chook Run Garden

Potting on:
Cucumber Bushy from seeds sown 10/11/11;
Cucumber Suyo Long from seeds sown 10/11/11;
Celery from seeds sown 29/10/11;

Planting out: clearing some of my leftover 'backup' seedlings.
Tomato - Black Cherry Seedlings from seeds sown 11/08/11;
Silverbeet - Green Organic from seeds sown 4/08/11;
Were planted into the Kitchen Garden area 4
Coriander - Seedlings from seeds sown 29/10/11;
Lettuce - Goldrush Seedlings from seeds sown 29/10/11;
Amaranth Leaf - Seedlings from seeds sown 29/10/11;
Went into the Greens Wicking Tank

In the Old Chook Run Garden:
Tomato Money Maker and Big Rainbow Seedlings from seeds sown 10/07/11;
Silverbeet Green Organic Seedlings from seeds sown 4/08/11;
A mix match of Companion Plants: again helping to clear the propagation benches!
Basil Genovase, Large Leaf Italian Ocimum basilicum
False Balm of Gilead Cedronella triphylla
Golden Daisy Bush Euryops pectinatus
Lavender Lavandula officinalis
Marguerite Daisy Double White Argyranthemum frutescens
Marigold Crackerjack Tagetes erecta
Marigold Oranges and Lemons Tagetes patula
Nasturtiums Tropaeolum majus Tall Mixed
Parsley Curled Petroselinum sativum
Rosemary Rosmarinus officinalis
Society Garlic Tulbaghia violacea
Strawberry Guava Psidium littorale var. longipes
Tansy Tanacetum vulgare
Thyme common Thymus vulgaris
Willow Herb Epilobium parviflorum

In Tank Wicking Bed 8 MVG
Luffa
Gourd Spinning Top
Cucumber Bushy
Marigold companions

At the end of October these (see them here) newly planted Trombone and Pumpkin seedlings were being attacked big time!!!
The latest photo taken earlier this week shows how they have recovered. They had been covered up each night out of the reach of the minibeasties. Now that they are growing too large to be covered they seem to be fighting off the attackers by themselves!
The hoops were for shade covers when the seedlings were tiny. They remain to enable emergency covers to be thrown over for protection when we are on "hail alerts".
These plants are growing in the old chook run and the nearby Tagasaste trees will provide cooling shade in summer.

With the heat the Loganberries ripen rapidly...we eat as many as we can fresh then the rest go into the freezer for cold treats on hot days or additions to the fruit salads Doc and I take with us to markets for our breakfast!
After the rain all ripe fruit was harvested before any chance that mould could develop (none did) and the pickings were made into some yummy jam.

During this week I will be posting the updated What's Growing Where? on this link.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

First Zucchini, First Tomatoes.

November 2011 Week 2:

It's great having Lavender
growing under the clothes line...
...but it needs to be kept pruned
so we can hang the clothes out!!!

Weather highlights:
Cooler, calmer days after the storms time to get out and plant and weed...before the next lot of weeds grow up.
By the weekend the temperature was 35C with strong, hot northerly winds blowing...more heat is forecast so it's time to get the shadecloth up.

Propagation: Seeds:
Cucumber Cucumis sativus -
Bushy The Lost Seed
Italian Non Acid Cornucopia Seeds
Suyo Long The Lost Seed
Direct sown Squash Acorn Table Queen in bed 3 MVG
Beans Dwarf Tongues of Fire in Bed 7 MVG Replacing some the slugs ate!
Beans Runner Scarlet Emperor into Bed 9 MVG additional to the seedlings as they are not growing well.

Seedlings potted up from seeds sown 29/10/11:
Amaranth Leaf
Basil Purple
Basil Large Sweet Italian
Black Cumin
Borage
Californian Poppy
Coriander
Lettuce Gloria
Lettuce Goldrush
Phacelia
Sorrel Garden

Potting on Plants/Cuttings:
Tansy Tanacetum vulgare
Thyme Pizza Thymus nummularius
Thyme Silver Posy Thymus vulgaris argenteus
Blue Ginger Alpinia caerulea
Ginger Zingiber officinale

Planting out:

Tamarillo Tree Cyphomandra betacea

Planted into the Old Chook Run Garden:
Washington Naval Orange Tree
Tamarillo Tree (Tree Tomato) Cyphomandra betacea

Squash Acorn Table Queen x 2 seedlings from seeds 29/08/11 planted into MVG Bed 3
Tansy cuttings into the edge beds in MVG (Main Vegetable Garden)
Gourd Large Mixed Seedlings from seed sown 28/08/11 planted into Bed 7 MVG

It sure feels like summer is here already!!

With day time temperatures rising
the cherries are starting to colour up
so it's time to get a net over them to keep the birds off.

Some of the large Tomatoes are flowering

Ida Gold are ripening and first ones have been picked!

First Rondo De Nice Zucchini weighed in at 330g!

Grapes are flowering
and we are winning the battle with
the Grapevine Moth caterpillar Phalaenoides glycinae
by picking them off daily.

After the rain the Faverolles enjoyed
a dustbath in the cool soil.

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Compare The Triambles

In case anyone still needs proof
of the sheer 'grow-ability' of Wicking Beds
Check the growth comparison of
these Triamble Pumpkins.

Both seeds started 29/08/11
Both seedlings planted 18/10/11
One in the ground (top)
One in a wicking bed (bottom)

The bottle used for comparison
is a 2 litre drink container
with
it's bottom cut off!

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Thunderstorm Season?

Update November Week 1:

In Flower Now:
Silver Lace Bush Tanacetum ptarmiciflorum.
Not only attracting Bees but there are at least
3 Ladybirds on those flowers!

Weather highlights:
Temperatures are starting to rise and the hot winds are blowing in...time for some shade over tender seedlings. On Tuesday morning a thunderstorm dropped over 20mm of rain! Overnight 2 more storms dropped a further 35mm that included hail!!

Propagation:
Seeds:
Around Bed 4 MVG:
Sunflower Pardo Red Helianthus annuus
Into the edge bed of MVG and in the Old Chook Run Garden:
Sunflower Sun King Helianthus annuus
Into the New Wicking Tank (no 20):
Nasturtium Tall Mixed Tropaeolum majus
Scattered around the garden after the rain, seeds of:
Alfalfa Medicago sativa
Buckwheat Fagopyrum esculentum
Purslane Portulaca oleracea
Red Clover Trifolium pratense var. sativum

Planting out:

Into Bed 4 (remade wicking bed):
Rockmelon Hearts of Gold Seedlings from seed sown 4/8/11
Peanut Virginia Arachis hypogaea a lone survivor from last year
Nasturtiums Milkmaid Tropaeolum majus Seedlings from seeds sown 29/9/11
On the edge of beds 4&5:
Coreopsis Coreopsis grandiflora
Lemon Balm Melissa officinalis
Annual Chamomile Matricaria chamomilla
Perennial Chamomile Chamaemelum nobile
Black Cumin Nigella sativa
False Balm of Gilead Cedronella triphylla
Statice Limonium sinuata
Portulaca Gold Portulaca grandiflora
Summer Savory Satureja hortensis
Winter Savory Satureja montana
Coriander Coriandrum sativum
Variegated Oregano Oreganum vulgare 'Variegata'
Pink Evening Primrose Oenothera speciosa
Thyme Pink Carpet Thymus serphyllum coccineurs
Thyme White Carpet Thymus serphyllum alba

Into a new Wicking Tank (no 20):
Watermelon Golden Midget Seedlings from seeds sown16/9/11
Watermelon Moon and Stars Seedlings from seeds sown16/9/11
Purple Orach Atriplex hortensis var. purpurea (bought at the Hospital Fete).

Nasturtiums Alaska Seedlings from seeds sown 29/09/11 planted as Companion Plants to the Melons in Beds 6 and 10

Cucumbers Bushy, into the Almond Area Wicking Bed,
they are replacements for the ones the earwigs destroyed
when I forgot to cover the plants for just ONE night.

Potted on:
Watermelon Golden Midget
Watermelon Moon and Stars

Divided and Potted up:
Purple Leaved Wood Violet Viola labradorica

Pumpkin Beetle, Aulacophora hilaris
has been nibbling away at this pumpkin leaf!!
These beetles are removed by hand when found.

Saturday, 5 November 2011

Garlic Harvest 2011

According to this article it was time to harvest the Garlic from Bed 3.

1313g of Purple Monaro Garlic
1389g of SA White Garlic

It is now drying in the sun for couple of days then it will be moved to a shaded airy place to complete the curing process.

The biggest bulb of each type will be saved for next planting next March.

This was an early planting experiment that saw the cloves (from 2 bulbs of garlic) planted into a Wicking Bed back on March 21st 2011.

The Monaro Purple cloves came from a huge bulb that my friend grew from the ones I bought from Eden Seeds in 2010. I gave her some to plant in case mine didn't grow well!
The SA White Bulb came from an organic market. It was the biggest of the ones I bought.

The early planting allowed them time to put on growth before the cold winter weather set in and now they have been harvested before the heat arrives!
It worked in my climate.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Scarecrow's Garden Journal Notes: October 2011

The Loganberries are loaded
as are the Strawberries in the Berry Wicking Bed
Read more about Growing Berries in a Wicking Bed on my Outback Edge Harvest blog where I have also added a new Plant List Page to list the Beneficial Insect Attracting Plants in and around the garden.

Temperatures this month:
Lowest Min 0.4C
Highest Min 19.2C
Lowest Max 14.7C
Highest Max 33.5C
26.5mm Rain

Rain comparison with other years average is 29mm:
2011 26.5mm
2010 57.5mm
2009 58mm
2008 3mm
2007 15.5mm

Propagation: see more for month here and here
Seeds:
Amaranth Leaf Amaranthus gangeticus - Eden Seeds
Basil Purple Ocimum basilicum cv purpurascens - Phoenix Seeds
Basil Large Sweet Italian Ocimum basilicum - The Lost Seed
Black Cumin Nigella sativa - The Lost Seed
Borage Borago officinalis - Home Saved Seeds
Californian Poppy Eschscholzia californica - DT Brown
Celery Tendercrisp Apium graveolens - The Lost Seed
Coriander Coriandrum sativum - Mr Fothergill's Organic Seeds
Korean Mint Agastache rugosa - Eden Seeds
Lettuce Black Seeded Simpson Lactuca sativa - The Lost Seed
Lettuce Gloria Lactuca sativa - Select Organic
Lettuce Goldrush Lactuca sativa - Home Saved Seeds
Phacelia Phacelia tanacetifolia - Phoenix Seeds
Sorrel Garden Rumex acetosa - Eden Seeds

Direct sown into the Wicking Bed in the Old Chook Run Garden:
Pumpkin Australian Butter - seeds from Gringo in Victoria
Pumpkin Wrinkled Butternut - seeds from Seedsaver J in NSW
Pumpkin Blue Ballet - seeds from Seedsaver J in NSW
Pumpkin JAP - seeds from Seedsaver J in NSW
Squash Golden - seeds from Gringo in Victoria
Direct sown into the ground in the Old Chook Run Garden:
Possibly Styrian Hulless Seed Pumpkin - seeds from Seedsaver J in NSW

Potting up/on:
Mushroom Plant Rungia klossii cuttings taken 22/09/11

Seedlings planted out:
Melon Tigger x 6 Seedlings from seeds sown 4/08/11 into Bed 6 (in the cage) MVG
Melon Early Hanover x 4 Seedlings from seeds sown 4/08/11 into bed 10 MVG
Beans Tongues of Fire Seedlings from seeds sown 29/09/11 into bed 1 and 7 MVG
Beans Gourmet Delight Seedlings from seeds sown 29/09/11 into bed 10 MVG
Capsicum California Wonder x 6 Seedlings from seeds sown 10/07/11
Capsicum Hungarian Yellow Wax x 4 Seedlings from seeds sown 10/07/11
Cossack Pineapple x 2 Seedlings from seeds sown 10/07/11
Eggplant Casper x 1 Seedling from seeds sown 10/07/11
Eggplant Long Purple x 1 Seedling from seeds sown 10/07/11
The last 5 went into a Wicking Bed in the Kitchen Garden

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 145g
Broad Beans Scarlet Cambridge 80g
Cauliflower Violet Sicilian 860g
Celery American Stringless 1560g
Kale Red Bor 80g
Lettuces - Goldrush, Drunken Woman, Red Coral 560g
Radish French Breakfast 210g
Strawberries the first few for tasting

Eggs:
116 From the 5 Farmyard Ferals
38 From the 2 Barnevelders
89 From the 4 Faverolles one died mysteriously

At The Community Garden:
All but 4 of my surplus Tomato seedlings were sold at the local hospital fete to raise money for the Community Garden. Others have been shared with the "Plotters" up there.
During the school holidays I ran Kids Planting sessions.

Week 1 we planted Sunflower and Nasturtium seeds around the base of the Kids Beds. It didn't take long for them to come up!!

Week 2 it was Seedlings and Herbs in the beds.
Tomatoes "Black Russian", "Big Rainbow" and "Ida Gold"
Lettuces "Black Seeded Simpson" and "Red Coral"
Cucumber "Bushy"
Zucchini "Rondo De Nice"
Squash "Yellow Button Scalloped" and "Acorn Table Queen"
Curly Parsley
Lemon Balm
Chives
Coriander
Thyme
Marigolds "Oranges and Lemons"

Meanwhile the Kids Strawberry Bed has taken off. With the bird netting in place it's first in, first for the Strawberries when the Kids arrive at the garden! Those Lettuces will provide a yummy salad for a family too!
There was an interesting post on Emma Cooper's Blog recently about growing plants with kids.

October of Previous Years:
2010
2009
2008
2007

To see how the various Garden areas fit on our half acre block check out the newest Map of our place (soon to be updated) HERE

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