Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Mid January/Summer

Update: Mid January 2013  

Due to a combination of a drier than average year (only 258mm last year) and the intense heat we have been experiencing this summer the grapevine out the back has been stressed. There is a lot of fruit on it but the grapes are small, ripening prematurely and they contain SEEDS!!! These are seedless sultana grapes but every few years the vine gets stressed enough to through a crop of seeded grapes. The birds are already attacking the fruit so I have bagged a few bunches that we shall use in juice.

Temperatures:
Lowest Min 8.5C
Highest Max 41.3C
No Recorded Rainfall

It's the middle of January and I have had enough of summer already! We are only half way through what seems to have been the hottest (and one of the driest) summers I've known. While some of the beds have just had their water turned off others are slowly being prepared for Autumn/Winter crops which will be planted out at Summer's end.

Propagation:
Seeds:

Alfalfa Medicago sativa Phoenix seeds
Broccoli Nutri Bud Brassica oleracea Botrytis Group The Lost Seed
Broccoli Royal Dome Brassica oleracea Botrytis Group Growers Pride
Brussels Sprouts Ruby Brassica oleracea Gemmifera Group Diggers Seeds
Cabbage Red Express Brassica oleracea Capitata Group Southern Harvest
Greek Basil Ocimum obovatum Local Seed
Kale Red Bor F1 Brassica oleracea var acephala Diggers Seeds
Kale Vates Blue Curled Brassica oleracea var acephala The Lost Seed
Lettuce Canasta Lactuca sativa The Lost Seed
Lettuce Gloria Lactuca sativa Select Organic
Red Clover  Trifolium pratense var sativum Phoenix Seeds
Silverbeet White Silver
Beta vulgaris cicla Mr Fothergills Organic

Potting on:
Brussels Sprouts Ruby
Cucumber Giant Russian
Cucumber Revel
Mizuna Purple



 




Many of these seeds have germinated surprisingly well in the heat unlike the earlier sowing of which only a few Brussels Sprouts and some Minzuna seedlings survived. The Cucumbers will hopefully replace the ones in the garden that have frizzled up in the heatwaves.
The might even end up in containers like This Link describes
 






 One area that has just kept on growing is the Old Chook Run Garden at the back of the block. There are loads of  Tomatoes ripening daily, the Corn if almost ready and there is a Zucchini and a Pumpkin vine in there somewhere too!  The Tamarillo and Yacon are loving life under the Tagasaste Trees. The Sweet Potatoes appreciate some extra shade and are covered to keep the birds from digging through the mulch layer to the wormies below. BTW the worms in the worm farms are all surviving well.


Another bed that is doing remarkably well considering it is in a very hot area of the garden is the small tank Wicking Bed (number 20). In this bed I have planted Sweetcorn (a black variety) Cucumbers and some Tepary beans which kind of suggests a Three Sisters type of arrangement (See This Link) I have cucumbers instead of squash as I doubt that this bed is big enough to grow squash and corn in at the same time! 


The crazy chooks are doing well too although I wouldn't say that this has been the best month for egg numbers. Two of the Faverolles have gone into full moult which would make them feel cooler no doubt. But those silly Farmyard Ferals are still taking it in turns to go broody...and boy do they get ANGRY!
Meanwhile Barney the Lone Barnevelder is enjoying life under the Mulberry Tree (and also enjoys the fruit that falls from the tree) it must be the coolest area in the whole garden.
I have been Sprouting Wheat for the chooks and giving them a few handfulls each day with their feed mix. This is the link to Doc's blog post about making the Bucket Sprouter we are still using.  


Find my preferred Seed Suppliers Links - Here

Thursday, 10 January 2013

Update: January week 1

The Sweetcorn is loving the heat

Temperatures:
Lowest Min 10.9C
Highest Max42.6C
No Recorded Rainfall
  
There has been no propagation at all this week it's been way too hot!!!
There seems to be some respite from the heat approaching during this week 
but the heat will return by the weekend.
For those in the path of these heatwaves that seem never ending this link is to the ABC's Plan for Emergency:Heatwave page with some things to remember.

Just about all plant life is covered with shade cloth
I think the main thing for gardens is to keep watering, 
mulch the soil (make sure the water is getting through any mulch layer) 
and shade...I have grabbed any piece of shadecloth I could find. 

Extra shade (90%) attached for cooling in the chookrun!
The chooks need plenty of clean water during the heat, 
lots of shade and damp soil for dust baths. 
Instead of hosing them down during the day 
(which only makes them run about!!!) 
I hose the bushes and shadecloth around their runs
this helps to cool the air which cools the chooks.


The Zucchini in Bed 1 is rocketing along
 and seems to love the heat it's pumping out zucchinis everyday!!

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Happy New Year 2013

I'm busy picking Apricots and drying them.

We are starting the New Year with a heatwave  :(

Tues 37C
Wed 37C
Thurs 41C
Fri 43C (109.4F)
Sat 38C
Sun 42C
Mon 42C

I hope some of the garden will survive while we try to stay cool!
I do hope it is cooler where you are!

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