Monday, 31 December 2012

Scarecrow's Garden Journal Notes: December Totals:



Over 8 Kilos of Brown Onions were harvested, allowed to dry in the sun for a few days and are now stored in the shed for future use.

Temperature Range for December:
Lowest Min 5.5C
Highest Min 21.2C
Lowest Max  20.5C
Highest Max 40.5C
24.5mm Rain

Rain comparison with other years: December average is 25.7 mm:
2012 24.5mm
2011 68.5mm
2010 43.5mm
2009   4mm
2008 44.9mm
2007 26mm
2006 19mm

Harvest Tally for December:
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, Juice and Stirfries  I have been picking Silverbeet, Gotu Kola, Lettuces, Beetroot Leaves which are not always weighed.
Beans Green 103g
Beetroot 1129g
Cucumber Bushy 423g
Garlic Russian 152g
Onions 8352g
Squash Button 319g
Tomato Oregon Spring 276g
Tomato Roma 63g (first ones picked today!)
Zucchini Early 2569g
Zucchini Golden 643g
Total Veg Harvest for December 14Kgs

Apricots 11961g
Figs 346g
Loganberries 542g
Strawberries 335g
Total Fruit Harvest for December 13Kg

Total Eggs for December : 151
77  from the 5 Farmyard Ferals (They are still taking turns at  going broody)
18  from the lone Barnevelder

56 from the 4 Faverolles

December of Previous Years:
2011
2010
2009
2008
2007
2006
 

I'm harvesting lots of Zucchinis...this year I have a new gadget to make Zucchini Pasta! It's a Spiral Vegetable Cutter and it turns zucchini and other veg into noodles! It's a great way to cut down on our wheat intake.


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

Come on over to Scarecrow's Garden Facebook page and say Hi!

Check out my Pinterest Board

Update: Last 2 Weeks of December 2012

I'm really looking forward to a decent crop of corn this year...haven't had much success in the last few years but we can just about hear this crop growing and it's reaching for the sky! It is really enjoying the soil in the Old Chook Run Garden.

Temperatures:
Lowest Min 9C
Highest Max 40.5C
No Recorded Rainfall

Propagation:
Seeds:

Mizuna Purple Brassica rapa Japonica Group
Cabbage Red Express Brassica oleracea Capitata Group
Broccoli Romaesco Brassica oleracea Botrytis Group
Brussels Sprouts Ruby Brassica oleracea Gemmifera Group
Potting up/on:
Bugle Ajuga reptans from cuttings

Planting Out:
Lettuce Butternut replacements in Bed 23 (The Faveroles decided to rid this bed of earwigs...taking the new seedlings as a reward...Argh!!)
Sweet Potato cuttings - Hawaiian Sunshine and Beauregard into a new Wicking Bed in The Old Chook Run.

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.

Thursday, 27 December 2012

2013 Sowing Dates


I have bought a new Thomas Zimmer Chart so I sat down and drew up some possible dates for sowing seeds in 2013...as I've already started on this I thought I'd post this and update the Sowing Date Page too.

Note:
This is a planting schedule for a garden in South Australia where frequent winter frosts occur.

These dates are for my garden in my climate...they may not be right for your garden please use a planting guide like this or this or go by the seed packet information!
Some of these are trial dates for experimental plantings!

Dates may change with seasonal (or unseasonal) conditions and other seeds may be added later as often happens.

Notes from 2012:
More frequent, smaller sowings of Lettuce, Spinach and other annual greens
In the Almond Area Trial Potato cages with tyres around for warmth for early start (July) see if 30 litre water containers fit inside tyres. Plastic over top for winter. Get spudz early as possible
Work at reducing earwig numbers by:-
-allowing chooks to clean the beds where carrots are going
-clearing pathways between beds
-using hose lengths (30cm) to catch earwigs - empty each morning - feed to chooks
-tins filled with water/oil mix if not able to empty other traps each day
Net fruit trees early in season

Dec 2012: 

Broccoli Romanesco
Brussels Sprouts Ruby

Cabbage Red Express
Mizuna
Sow into punnets 18/19 Dec under shade/netting to protect from cabbage moth/snails/birds
Plant out late Zucchini and Cucumber seedlings

Jan 2013:
Silverbeet
Cauliflower Mini

Cauliflower Violet Sicilian
Broccoli
Cabbage
Lettuce
Sow into punnets under shade/netting  15/16th Jan

Feb 2013:
Lettuce/Spinach
Cabbage
Spinach
Sow direct if possible (NOT during heatwave conditions) on 11th or 16/17th Feb
Plant out early Greens seedlings if weather is cool enough

Mar 2013:
Lettuce/Spinach 16/17th March
Peas Sow in loo rolls (under shade) for planting out soon after germination on 21st/22nd March
Garlic  Plant cloves 1st-3rd Mar
Early Onions Sow in punnets on 1st-3rd Mar
Plant out Greens seedlings

Apr 2013:
Onions Sow in punnets on 27th or 30th Apr

May 2013:
Ensure all beds that require it have already been planted with Green Manure seeds.

Jun 2013:
Broad Beans
Peas
Sow in loo rolls in hothouse on 18th/21st Jun

Jul 2013:
Capsicum - Sow into punnets in the heated propagation tray on 21st/22nd July
Leeks - Sow into punnets in the heated propagation tray on 15th July
Peas - Sow in loo rolls in hothouse on 17/18th and/or 21st/22nd31st July
Brown Onion seedlings plant out 25th to 28th July

Aug 2013:
Tomatoes Sow into punnets in the heated propagation tray on 18th/19th  Aug
Lettuce, Basil and other  annual herbs
Sow into punnets in the heated propagation tray on 11th to 14th Aug
Carrots & Parsnips Sow direct into ground on 22nd Aug
Potato Tubers plant in ground/tubs on 22nd Aug (protect from frost)
Cucumbers
Pumpkins
Squash
Zucchini
Sow in the hothouse. A small number of seeds of each into containers that will allow minimal disturbance of roots at planting time 18th/19th Aug
Beans start under cover in Loo Rolls 18th/19th  Aug

Sept 2013:
Lettuce Sow in punnets 7th to 11th Sept
Beans
Cucumbers
Melons Rock and Watermelon
Pumpkins
Squash
Zucchini
Sow in the hothouse. A small number of seeds of each into containers that will allow minimal disturbance of roots at planting out time  14th /15th Sept. These will act as "back-up" to early plantings
Carrot/Parsnip "top up as" needed 22nd to 25th Sept

Potato Tubers plant in ground/tubs on 22nd to 25th Sept

Oct 2013:
Begin planting out summer veg in ground (be prepared to protect from frost)
Beans sow direct in ground/transplanted 15/16th Oct
Carrot/Parsnip top up as needed 20th/21st and/or 25th/26th Oct
Lettuce/Greens Sow in punnets 7th/8th and/or 11th/13th Oct

Nov 2013:
Sweet Potato
Plant 4/5th as shoots become available
Plant out Watermelons
Sow late Zucchini and Cucumber seeds16/17th Nov
Beans sow direct in ground 12/13th and/or 16/17th Nov
Carrot/Parsnip top up as needed 20th/21st Nov
Lettuce/Greens Sow in punnets 4th and/or 7/8th Nov

Dec 2013:
Lettuce/Greens Sow in punnets 5/6th Dec
Early Brassicas for Autumn 2014
Sow in punnets 5/6th Dec
Beans direct in ground 13th to 15th Dec


You can purchase the 2013 Thomas Zimmer Astrological Calendar and Moon Planting Guide HERE or HERE.

Saturday, 22 December 2012

Summer Solstice 2012

As the world didn't end yesterday it seems we can now safely celebrate 
the Summer Solstice and Christmas/New Year.

This Daylily decided to bloom this morning. 

For those who celebrate Christmas...
At our last market for this year Doc became Santa for an hour or so...
...I hope you all have a good Christmas Season this year.
May all your plans for 2013 work well 
and your garden be productive.

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Update: Week 2 of December 2012

 The fruit on the trees, waiting to ripen...giving us a chance to get some nets up before the birds invade again!

Temperatures:
Lowest Min 8.1C
Highest Max39C
9.5 mm Rain

Propagation:
Potting up/on:

Seedlings:
Zucchini Climbing
Cucumber Revel
Cuttings:
Blue Daisy - Felicia amelloides variegata

Cuttings Taken:
Sage Pineapple - Salvia elegans

Planting Out:
Beetroot Cylindra into FRWB 2
Beans Tepary Brown into Bed 20
Lettuce Gloria and Butternut went into Bed 23 in the Kitchen Garden


The Apricots are ripening quickly so the net went up and included the plum tree next to it...I can walk through this area and pick fruit as it ripens. Use caution with fruit tree netting if you share your garden with fruit bats...there are no fruit bats over here.
In the photo you can see the other beds in the Main Vegetable Garden are also covered with lightweight shadecloth (50%) or mesh/nets. This is to deter the birds from digging out the worms in the wicking beds and also protects from the worst of the heat and strong winds.


In Bed 20 in the Kitchen Garden the Black Sweetcorn has taken off along with the Cucumbers. The addition of some Tepary Bean seedlings will boost the nitrogen content in the soil. This whole bed has been wrapped in Vege Net as there are grasshoppers lurking and they love young sweetcorn! The cover will be removed by the time the Cucumbers are  flowering to let the bees in by which time the sweetcorn should be large enough to cope with some grasshopper attack!

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.

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Update: First Week of December 2012

 The back pergola...with the Grapevine tidied ready for netting... the table has been moved to allow for some tubs and boxes of greens to be grown close to the Kitchen door for easy salad picking!

Temperatures:
Lowest Min 5.5C
Highest Max 33.3C
15 mm Rain

A chance to start again...The heatwave ended with some stormy rain and the air cooled somewhat! Extra covers were removed from the beds to let the plants get some sun that wasn't going to frizzle their leaves. With the markets finished for the year we will now have a chance to get out and tidy the garden. Top priority is to get the nets up over the fruit trees...as we are now a cat free household the local bird population has exploded and while we do enjoy most of the birds visiting there is a limit to friendships where our fruit trees are concerned!!

Propagation:
Seeds:

Sweetcorn Black Zea mays from Inspirations Seeds sown into Bed 20
Coriander Coriandrum sativum Home saved seeds scattered around the edge-beds

Alexanders Smyrnium olusatrum Home saved seeds scattered around the edge-beds 

Potting up/on:
Tomato Roma
Tomato Black Russian
Beans Tepary Brown
Cucumber Revel
Zucchini Climbing

During a wander through the garden last week amid the chaos of preparation for our final double market weekend for this year I found...  


  
The Appleberries have set fruit...I might get to taste some this year! 


I have little Carrot forests growing, thanks mainly to the chickens for clearing the beds before planting.













The Bushy Cucumbers love the Fridge Wicking Beds...they are setting some fruit already.


Being busy has meant I haven't been able to empty the Earwig Hose traps regularly so I used the old tuna tin filled with oil and water type of trap...it worked well.



 



 


We are enjoying the delicious fruit of the Loganberries with some away in the freezer for jam making when time permits.

 








 Tomatoes don't set fruit during heatwaves so the cooler weather has given them a chance to produce the first little fruits...now to ripen them!


 




 
Turmeric and Sweet Potatoes don't re-sprout until December up here so they need to be started or grown in containers if we are to have any harvest.





 


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.

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Scarecrow's Garden Journal Notes: November Totals:

Sweetcorn November 2012

Temperature Range for November:
Lowest Min 3.1C
Highest Min 22.8C
Lowest Max 20.6C
Highest Max 39.5C
5mm Rain

Rain comparison with other years: November average is 25.7 mm:
2012 5mm
2011 79.5mm
2010 19.5mm
2009 55mm
2008 55mm
2007 60mm
2006 19.6mm

Harvest Tally for November:
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, Juice and Stirfries  I have been picking Silverbeet, Gotu Kola, Lettuces, Beetroot Leaves which are not always weighed.
Asparagus 156g
Beans Green 162g
Beetroot 286g
Peas 219g
Garlic 2245g
Garlic Russian 67g
Onions 256g
Zucchini 962g
Total Veg Harvest for November 4.3Kgs

Apricots 507g
Loganberries 513g
Strawberries 505g
Total Fruit Harvest for November 1.5Kg

Total Eggs for November: 129 eggs.

52  from the 5 Farmyard Ferals (They are still taking turns at going broody)
19  from the lone Barnevelder
58 from the 4 Faverolles

November of Previous Years:

2011
2010
2009
2008
2007 
2006 This month marked 6 years of blogging!

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

Come on over to Scarecrow's Garden Facebook page and say Hi!

Check out my Pinterest Boards

Update: End of November 2012

Bull's Blood Beetroot ready for harvesting daily...it is added to our morning veg juice.

OK let's skip to the End of November.
Just looking at my garden "note diary" I find that at one stage this month we were at home for only 3 days in a  fortnight. We had a trip to visit the Grandkids and another double market weekend down in Adelaide. We returned home to the first heat wave for this year (and it isn't even summer yet!!!) with temperatures up over 35C for 5 days. We have been really busy with markets lately...I guess Christmas time is responsible for that!

Temperatures:
Lowest Min 3.1C
Highest Max 39.5C
5 mm Rain

Propagation:
Seeds:

Beans Bush Zagreb Soldier Phaseolus nanus from The Lost Seed Sown into Bed 5 in the Main Veg Garden - top up of earlier planting
Beans Climbing Purple King Phaseolus vulgaris from DT Brown Sown into the Trellis Bed in the Old Chook Run Garden
Beans Tepary Brown Seeded Phaseolus acutifolius from Inspirations Seeds Sown into a punnet
Cucumber Giant Russian Cucumis sativus from Cornucopia Seeds Sown into a punnet
Cucumber Revel Cucumis sativus from New Gippsland Seeds Sown into a punnet
Cucumber Suyo Long Cucumis sativus from The Lost Seed Sown into Bed 20 in the Kitchen Garden
Zucchini Climbing Cucurbita pepo from Home Saved seed Sown into punnets to be planted out in the Old Chook Run to replace the seedlings the earwigs ate while we were away!!!

Potting up/on:

Kale Lacinato
American Upland Cress
Florence Fennel

Preparation for leaving the garden included installing timers on the taps. I think I'll leave these attached as they make watering the garden much less time consuming...although I do like to wander around the garden on a daily basis to check for insect damage.

I left larger pots sitting in trays and containers of water in the 70% shade of the propagation benches

Any plants that wouldn't tolerate sitting in water, like native plants and very young seedlings, were put into the shadehouse where the misting sprays were set to come on early each morning. The watering worked well in the shadehouse but the birds found their way in and dug in the moist soil...fortunately they didn't destroy many plants. Some net curtain was placed over the doorway and any gaps in the shadecloth sealed to block their entry.

The biggest disappointment was the fact that we had neither the time nor energy to net the Cherry tree before leaving...the fruit was a month off ripening but the blackbirds decided they like their cherries on the green side. We came home to find every cherry gone!!!!  We can buy more Cherries but we can't replace time spent with our Grandchildren!  They are growing up so quickly...

...Micro-man, at 7 months, is wearing the "hand-me-down" clothes his brother wore to his first birthday party.
Cherries will taste the same next year but the Grandkids will never be this age again!

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.

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