Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Update: Week 3 of October 2012

Hopefully the weather will sort itself out this week...I have many seedlings needing to be planted out. Last week it was hail and freezing winds, this week has seen the temperature rise but now the wind is hot, dry and dusty. I have started putting the shadecovers up already!!

Temperatures this week:
Lowest Min 3.5C
Highest Max 30.3C
0.5mm Rain (if you could call it rain!!)


Basil Greek  Ocimum obovatum from Local seed group
Kale Brassica oleracea Lacinato From The Lost Seed
Kale Brassica oleracea var.acephala Vates Blue Curled From The Lost Seed
Lettuce Lactuca sativa Red Coral From Eden Seeds
Lettuce Lactuca sativa Butternut From Home Saved seeds
Spinach Egyptian Corchorus olitoius From Cornucopia Seeds  (last try to get these to germinate!!!)
Spinach Mountain  Atriplex hortensis Yellow Orach From Cornucopia Seeds (ditto)

Potting up/on:
Amaranth Mekong Red
Basil Purple
Silverbeet Erbette
Warrigal Greens Tetragonia tetragoniodes
Lemon Balm Melissa officinalis
Strawberry seedlings (???I think that's what they are)
These were from the Strawberry Tank Bed e

Seedlings planted out:
Amaranth Mekong Red into Bed 5
Chives into Bed 12 as Companion Plants for the Carrots growing there.
Cucumber Bushy into a new Fridge Wicking Bed FRWB1
Cucumber Suyo Long Into Bed 6
Lettuce Canasta into FRWB2
Lettuce Darwin into FRWB2 and Bed 5
Scuplit (Silene inflata) into FRWB2
Tomato Ida Gold into FRWB1
Tomato Roma into Bed 4 (a replacement for one the earwigs stole!)

Bugle Ajuga reptans
Divided Valerian Valerian officinalis
Yarrow White Achillea millefolium

Volunteers rescued from Strawberry Tank Bed e - NZ Spinach (Warrigal Greens), Lemon Balm and what looks like it could be some Strawberry seedlings???

After topping up those Fridge Wicking Beds with extra Compost, soaked Coir and Worm Castings (full of worms) I planted out seedling Cucumber (Bushy) and Tomatoes (Ida Gold) in one bed and Lettuce (Darwin and a couple of Canasta) and Scuplit in the other. After planting the beds were covered with a good layer of Organic Sugar Cane Mulch. They have been covered with netting to stop the birds scratching through the mulch and getting all the worms!!

So far the Carrots and Hamburg Parsley in Bed 2 have germinated well...now all I have to do is keep the earwigs off the tiny seedlings...

To see how the various Garden areas fit on our half acre block check out the newest Map of our place HERE This is updated as planting/changes occur.

 I found this useful resource through facebook the other day...It has some great photos for identifying good and bad bugs! Download the PDF

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Update: Week 2 of October 2012

 The Loganberry is flowering, it won't be long before the fruit is ready...yum!

Temperatures this week:
Lowest Min -0.9C
Lowest Max 12.8C
Highest Max 27.4C
10mm Rain

We missed the snow (thankfully), got some rain and light hail but had a frost during last week's Antarctic Blast of cold weather. Higher farms surrounding town reported snow (for a short while) and many townships in our state reported heavier falls. The weather continued over into the Eastern states where heavy snowfalls were recorded. This has to be Spring Downunder!!! According to local Weather Lore (from garden club members) if we get snow here it means it won't rain for six weeks and we are in need of some decent rain before Christmas. Up to the end of September our 'rain to date' total was 216mm (av 258mm) so we have a bit of catching up to do to even get an average rainfall total this year.

No Propagation this week so I thought I'd list some recent plant purchases:
Pink Jasmine Jasminum polyanthum
Pincushion Flower Mauve Scabiosa caucasica
Pink Daisy the label read "a pretty daisy that needs a home"
Native Hibiscus Alyogyne huegeliiSucculant (??)
Grevillea bipinnatifida hybrid Mason's Hybrid
Correa backhousiana x reflexa Marian's Marvel
Callistemon citrinus Purple Cloud
Eremophila maculata Compact Form
Eremophila racemosa Showy
Strawberry Plants Alinta (PBR) Day Neutral (which had big strawberries already on them!!!!)
French Sorrel Rumex scutatus
Basil Red Ocimum var.
These have been bought from local plant store sales, market stalls and a plant stall at a Fundraising Garden Stroll Doc took me to on the weekend.

I just couldn't go past these Strawberry plants...look at that fruit!

The Roma Tomato seedlings survived the frost hidden among the Garlic and safe under a mesh cover!

The Potatoes are all growing through now...the Blue Sapphires are ready for their first hill-up of soil. The Pea Beans in this bed will need their trellis attached asap! These too were covered during the cold snap.

But the beans in Bed 3 don't look very happy but they have healthier looking new growth so might benefit from a dose of liquid feed about now.
The eagerly awaited Asparagus is now just emerging...
...maybe it knew that cold snap was coming!!
I'm harvesting Broad Beans from Bed 10 in the Main Vegetable Garden

To see how the various Garden areas fit on our half acre block check out the newest Map of our place HERE This is updated as planting/changes occur.

Monday, 8 October 2012

Update: Week 1 October 2012

I have struggled to grow Echinacea successfully over the years, it usually gets eaten by something before it has a chance to grow! I noticed this plant was growing back very early this year and thought it would be best to cover it from the frosts...this has also protected it from being eaten so it is growing well right now!

Temperatures this week:
Lowest Min 1.4C
Highest Max 30C
0.5 mm Rain


Carrot Daucas carota
  • Purple from Goodman Seeds into Bed 2
  • Purple Dragon from The Lost Seed into Bed2
  • Harlequin F1 from Mr Fothergill's into Bed 2
  • Chantenay Red Cored from The Lost Seed into Bed 12
Parsley Root Petroselinum crispum Hamburg Atika from Johnson's Seeds into Bed 2
Parsnip Gladiator F1 Pastinaca sativa top up on Bed 12 (they are either slow to come up or the earwigs may have had a nibble!!!)

Planted out: in Main Vegetable Garden unless stated. I have started some frost tender planting in sheltered beds.
Beans Pea Climbing seedlings started in loo rolls planted into Bed 11 in the Kitchen Garden
Beans Zagreb Soldier seedlings started in Loo Rolls planted into Bed 6 (these had a very low germination rate so more seeds will be sown directly into the bed later this month)
Leeks Elephant seedlings into Bed 12 in the Kitchen Garden
Lettuce Darwin seedlings into bed 15 in the Kitchen Garden
Mountain Spinach/Purple Orach (recovered volunteer seedlings) into Bed 15 in the Kitchen Garden
Spring Onion seedlings into Bed 2
Tomato Roma seedlings into Bed 4

We have made a couple of new Wicking Beds (FRWB1&2 on the Main Veg Garden Map Here) this year in the Main Vegetable Garden. These are housed in old fridge shells that came out of Doc's workshop where they had been utilised as storage cupboards for many years. As they are  sealed on the bottom they only needed a couple of side drain holes drilled through and lined with a pvc offcuts so they let the excess water escape.
As an experiment I have filled the bottom with large offcuts of old wood from mainly Tagasaste and Wattle trees. Having read (and trialled) of the water holding capacity of wood when used in Hugelkultur I am curious to see how this will work within the wicking bed system!
The beds will be topped up before planting with a rich mixture of well rotted horse manure, compost and worm castings to offset any nitrogen deficiency caused by the wood breaking down. The fridges make the growing bed a convenient height to work at.
For some useful information on Hugelkultur go Here

These Strawberries are nearly ripe!!! I seem to have Strawberry plants growing everywhere this year hopefully some will escape bug attack!!

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

Monday, 1 October 2012

The End of September

Update: Week  4 of September 2012 

The Strawberries in tank bed have taken off and are flowering and setting fruit...it pays to get in early and tidy them up and give them a feed!!
Weather highlights:
Lowest Min -0.2C
Highest Max32.1C
1.5mm Rain

September's Weather:
This weeks maximum temperature of 32.1C was the highest for the month, the lowest maximum temperature was 12.5C. The lowest minimum temperature for September was -1.4C while the highest minimum temp was 11.9C.
With the Spring (Vernal)  Equinox occurring on the 23rd we have had a week of quite strong winds...the frosts still linger but day temps are on the rise!
The rainfall total of 10.5mm was way below the September average of 33.1mm.

Potting on/up:

Basil Genovese
Basil Lettuce Leaf
Basil Mrs Burns Lemon
Beetroot Cylindra
Californian Poppy Purple
Capsicum California Wonder
Chilli - Chilli Shake

Kiwiberry Issai Actinidia arguta 'Issai'

Mushroom Plant
Petunia - an experiment from a plant that has survived winter

Planting out:
Beans Climbing Purple King in Bed 3 - an early experiment
Black Wattle in the Orchard area
Fig tree from cutting in the Orchard Area
Kiwiberry Issai Actinidia arguta 'Issai' (info here ) on the chook fence in the main veg 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. For Salads, Daily Juice and Stirfries:  I have been picking Lettuce, Watercress, Lebanese Watercress, Kale, Silverbeet,  Gotu Kola, Parcel, Parsley, Shallot and Beetroot Leaves which are not always weighed.
Carrots mixed 662g
Celery 467g
Parsley 100g
Silverbeet 125g
Snow Peas 372g
This brings the September Harvest total to 5.5Kgs all vegetables, no fruit.

Eggs: Total for the week 45
0 from the lone Barnevelder
 24 from the 5 Farmyard Ferals
 21 from the 4 Faverolles

Total Eggs for September 142
9 from the lone Barnevelder
59 from the 5 Farmyard Ferals
74 from the 4 Faverolles

September of Previous Years:

Kitchen Garden Wicking Bed 15:
I have cleared the Longanberry of all old growth and tied up the new growth that is emerging rapidly at this time of the year! I took the chance to clear the old Strawberry plants from the bed...I can't compete with all the pests that invade the bed! The strawberry plants have been divided to be planted in a new bed and around the garden.

So far so good with the early bean planting in Bed3, although I have covered them when frost is even a slight risk.

To see how the various Garden areas fit on our half acre block check out the newest Planting Plan for Spring HERE  This is updated as planting/changes occur.


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