Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Update: Sept 1 - 15, 2013

The new Cherry Lapin has produced a couple of flowers already!!

Weather Highlights:
Lowest Min -0.9C
Highest Min 12.4C
Lowest Max 15.3C
Highest Max 29C
9mm Rain

With the day temperatures creeping up to nearly 30C I have cautiously started seeds and sweet potato slips out in the garden beds. However frosts can still threaten so I have to be ready to cover them up at night.

Propagation:
Seeds:

Corn Sweet Kelvedon Glory F1 Zea mays DT Brown
Cucumber Cucumis sativus:
Bushy The Lost Seed
Crystal Apple Mr Fothergill's
Mini White 4Season Seeds
Honeydew Melon Tigger Cucumis melo The Lost Seed
Marigold Safari Mix Tagetes patula Yates
Marigold Tagetes patula Oranges and Lemons Growers Pride Seeds
Marigold Crackerjack Tagetes erecta DT Brown
Mouse Melon (Mexican Sour Gherkin) Melothria scabra 4Seasons Seeds
Mustard White Brassica hirta Eden Seeds
Nasturtium Alaska Tropaeolum majus Growers Pride
The Cucumber and Mouse Melon seeds were sown in the green house the rest were sown direct outside in Beds 10 & 12
Mr Fothergill's Carrot Early Nantes Seed Tape by the Grandtwins into their  Special Wicking Bed

Potting On/Up:
Basil Lettuce Leaf
Basil Large Italian
Lettuce Drunken Woman
Lettuce Darwin
Lettuce Gloria
Pinks
Dandelion Red Ribbed
Tomatoes:
Black Krim
Kotlas
Moneymaker
Red Colossus
Roma
Tommy Toe
Yellow Baby
Bendigo Drop F6
Capri Showstopper F3


Things are getting busy in the greenhouse! The potted up Tomato seedlings are put outside most days when the weather is good.

Planting out:
Pansies
Lettuce
Into the Grandtwins+1 Special Wicking Bed
Sweet Potato White, Orange and Purple slips into Bed 17 in the Old Chook Run Garden
Sticky Wattle Acacia howittii in the Orchard

Cuttings:
Pincushion Flower Mauve Scabiosa caucasica


The Sweet Potato cuttings (slips) I took at the beginning of winter have survived well. I have planted one of each variety Orange, White and Purple into their position except that the bed isn't empty yet. The plants that are still growing in the bed will provide some shelter to the new slips and by the time the Sweet Potatoes take off the other plants (beetroot and onions) should have been harvested!

Thursday, 12 September 2013

The Hills Self Watering Garden Bed

Remember Hills the people that brought the Hills Clothesline to every backyard way back in 1946??? Well just look at what they have developed now...it is an amazing little Wicking Bed Kit. You can get these at your local Mitre 10 or Masters store, starting from $199.

When this kit arrived the weather had just turned wintry and stayed that way until recently.
I decided that I would build it and let the Grandtwins +1 plant into it. Earlier this month we heard that the kids were coming to visit so I thought I'd would get this bed built and let them plant it up while they were here.

The best thing about this bed is that it is a Wicking Bed in a box. All you need to add is the sand in the "pool" area and good growing media in the top for some plants.
You get a stand for the whole lot to sit upon. In fact these beds can even go indoors!! We really don't have the room for plants inside and we have so much room outside. So this bed is situated under the Back Pergola.
The first thing to do was to study the box it came in, open it up and find the instruction book. Then check that all the items listed were present. and of course carefully read through the instruction book!! 

I found the instructions very easy to follow even with a stuffy head cold!!! Everything is in the box including a nifty hex key and multi spanner for tightening the bolts. Soon I had the frame all put together.

It even includes a moisture/pH probe so you can check the soil whenever you want and see if it needs watering or adjusting.

Next I unfolded the liner and located the drain hole. Put the liner inside the frame and secured it with the clips provided.

Then the edge caps slotted in just right and were secured with the nuts, washers and bolts provided. After I connected the base plate together with a click, I found a level (ish) spot on the not very level concrete. I used Doc's levelling thingy and found a piece of foam matting was just enough to make it perfectly level.

Now comes the interesting bit. The water-hose is covered in a fabric to stop any sand entering and it is all neatly coiled up and secured with ties. The end pipe just needed to be twisted the right way round so that the drainage hole poked through the hole in the side of the unit ready to be secured with the overflow nut. The funnel, for filling, clips neatly under the top corner frame and we were all set!

A layer of sand was added to cover the hose...

Then I needed the help of three very willing Grandies, complete with gardening gloves and hats as the weather was warm that day. They helped fill the box with a mixture of Coir, Mushroom Compost and Potting mix.
When it was full I had to find something to plant in it!! We found some Lettuce seedlings and a Pansy or two for colour. When asked what they would like to plant in their garden box the overwhelming response was CARROTS of course! Luckily I found a strip of Mr Fothergill's Carrot Early Nantes carrots on tape left over from last year so they were easy to plant.
 



All that was left to do was firm down the potting mix over the carrots and give them a drink...Nanny went off to get a watering can.
 "Better get two" said little Miss. So I did. Luckily seeds in tape can survive a vigorous watering by two three year olds!!

 








I'll include this video below that gives a professional look at the assembly of these units. I think this would make the ideal gift for someone new to gardening especially someone wanting to try using the wicking system.



See more videos about  Hills Garden Products Here


View the Garden Bed on the Hill's website Here

Saturday, 7 September 2013

Scarecrow's Garden Journal Notes: August 2013:

August Growth:
Sugarsnap Peas were just showing through at the start of the month. By the end they were out enjoying the warmer weather!

Temperatures this month:
Lowest Min -3.1C
Highest Min 11.7C
Lowest Max 9.9
Highest Max 22.9C
4 mm Rain

Rain: Year To Date: 301mm (Average YTD: 222.6mm)
Comparison with other years:
August Average is 37mm:
2013   4mm
2012 20mm
2011 36mm
2010 49.3mm
2009 19.6mm
2008 27mm
2007   7mm

Weather Highlights?
Things have dried out this month as the rain has only been misty. Day temps are on the rise and it really feels like spring. We still had 11 potential frost days with the lowest of -3C halfway through the month.

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, Juice and Stirfries I have been picking Silverbeet, Chinese Broccoli, Celery, Coriander, Cress, Gotu Kola, Lettuce, Kale, Parsley, Beetroot  Leaves and Lebanese, Upland and Water-Cress which are not always weighed. The winter harvest is much lower than other months but we continue to eat out of  our stored food supply.
See side bar for details --->>>
Beetroot 645g
Broccoli Chinese 123g
Broccoli 349g
Carrots 2382g
Cauliflower  1972g
Celery 538g
Parsley 59g
Silverbeet 476g
Turmeric 386g

Total Veg Harvest for August 6.9Kg

Lemons 850g
Tangelo 241g
Total Fruit Harvest for August 1.1Kg

Total Eggs for August: 23eggs.
16 From the 1 Farmyard Feral
7 From the 3 Faverolles

August of Previous Years:
2012
2011
2010
2009
2008
2007


We have flowers on those Blueberries and new growth on the cuttings!

To see What is planted Where in the Garden for Spring 2013 check out the newest Map of our place HERE

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

Check out my Pinterest Boards

Thursday, 5 September 2013

Update: Aug 16 - 31, 2013

Almond Blossom a sign that Spring is near!

Weather Highlights:
Lowest Min -1.6C
Highest Max 22.9C
1 mm Rain

Propagation:
Seeds:

Carrot Purple Dragon Daucas carota var. sativus The Lost Seed into Bed12 

Cabbage Red  Brassica oleracea
Kale Pink Brassica oleracea
Pea Morgan Pisum sativum
From Mr Fothergill's Microgreens Range
Tomato Solanum lycopersicum syn Lycopersicon lycopersicum, L. esculentum
Black Krim Johnsons Seeds
Kotlas The Lost Seed
Moneymaker The Lost Seed
Red Colossus Select Organic
Roma Inspiration Seeds
Tommy Toe Mr Fothergill's Seeds
Yellow Baby New Gippsland Seeds
From the Dwarf Tomato Project
Bendigo Drop F6
Capri Showstopper F3
Beetroot Beta vulgaris circla
Bull's Blood
Detroit Red Globe

Potting On/Up:
Basil Purple
Capsicum Sweet Paprika
Chilli Shake
Eggplant Casper
Eggplant Long Purple
False Balm of Gilead Cedronella triphylla Volunteer
Kang Kong
Turmeric rhizomes Re-potted for the coming season

Cuttings:
Geranium Madame Saleron Pelargonium hortatum 'Madame Saleron'
Clary Sage Salvia sclarea

 
The Microgreens were sown into a seedling tray and placed under the back pergola. These will be a quick and welcome addition to salads.

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