Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Cooler for a while...

                                  It's Tomato picking time...this one weighing in at 500g is the biggest yet!

The heat finally gave way too a cool change last weekend but not before many bush fires burnt out more than 445,000 hectares (some are still burning) in SA alone with more in Victoria and NSW. Later in the week rain fell on our heat battered garden, as we head yet again into another heatwave to end the month.

Jan 22nd and 23rd:
Seeds Sown:
Beetroot Beta vulgaris
Detroit 2 from Mr Fothergills Organic Range
Egyptian from Eden Seeds
Carrot Daucas carota var. sativus
Red Cored Chantenay from The Lost Seed
Purple Dragon from The Lost Seed
Radish Raphanus sativus
Mila from Country Value Seeds
Marigold Tagetes erecta Crackerjack home saved seeds
Were direct sown into Beds 10 and 11

Planting out:
Marigold purchased seedlings
Dandelion Red Ribbed
Silverbeet Bright Lights
Planted into Bed 10

The next lot of propagation won't be until February 1st to 3rd when seeds of Leafy Green crops may be sown. I shall be sowing some more Lettuce into punnets and maybe try some Asian Greens if the weather isn't too hot. I could also look at adding some more seeds of brassicas (faster growing ones like Mini Cauliflowers or Cabbage) and annual herbs as well.

While we are thinking of things Lunar...the New Moon on the 30th January will be a Black Moon as it will be the second New Moon in the month...and it is said to be a Supermoon as well so the tides will be higher than usual.

General Seed Raising Here on this link

I didn't get around to soaking the beetroot seeds before it was time to sow them so I made sure the soil was very damp when I put them in. I have covered them with a layer of damp (pre-soaked) Coir to help retain moisture. 
Friday's 9mm of rain was welcome but we are expecting the temperatures to rise over 40C again next week so I have covered the beds with shade cloth and the rows of carrots with wood (removed as soon as the seeds germinate) to retain moisture.

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Having a Heatwave...

The garden is in "shroud" mode this week due to the seemingly endless heatwave. I like to use white 50% shadecloth but in this weather anything will do the job!!!  
The garden struggles on...the gardener is melting!

Out early this morning hosing down the choook runs, watering pots and newly planted/sown plants and covering even more garden, I came inside and saw the in/out thermometer. The outside sensor is situated under the cool back pergola so is very shaded and is already (before 10am) showing 41.1C (nearly 106F)! Argh!!

The newly planted out Rockmelon seedlings have survived so far in their wicking bed and those Apple Cucumbers have put on amazing growth.

Jan 9th:
Seeds Sown: Direct in garden
Bean Climbing Black Seeded Snake Beans Vigna unguiculata subsp. sesquipedaris - Eden Seeds

Planting out:
Rockmelon and Cucumber seedlings
Cucumber Suyo Long seedlings

The next lot of propagation will be for seeds of Root Bearing crops  which can be sown from the 22th Jan up to and including the 23rd Jan. When I shall be sowing some (pre-soaked) Beetroot seed directly into the soil and also into punnets. I could also look at sowing some seeds of carrot, parsnip, turnip or swede as well if I could find some room!!
It is also a good time to sow the seeds of perennial plants so maybe some herb seeds can go in.

General Seed Raising see this link

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Seed Sowing for Autumn Planting

Some before and after shots of areas being cleared and just generally sorted!
We have been busily clearing and tidying the garden during the holiday break but that doesn't mean I can put off sowing the Autumn Green Seeds. They need to be started now so they are big enough to go into the garden by March/April (weather permitting). That will mean they will be well grown to withstand the frosts of winter...

Jan 2nd
Broccoli Brassica oleracea var. italica
Romanesco - Franchi (The Italian Gardener)
Albert - Greenpatch Organic Seeds

Cabbage Verona Purple Savoy Brassica oleracea var. capitata - The Lost Seed
Cabbage Portugal Summer Couve Tronchuda Brassica oleracea tronchuda - Eden Seeds

Cauliflower Brassica oleracea var. botrytis
Cauliflower 'Sixty Days' - Green Harvest
Cauliflower 'Violet Sicilian' syn. Cavolfiore di Sicilia Violetto - Green Harvest

Collards Champion Brassica oleracea var. accphala -  Eden Seeds

Kale Brassica oleracea var. acephala
Tuscan Black - Diggers Seeds
Red Russian - Eden Seeds
Vates Blue Curled - The Lost Seed

Nasturtium Empress of India Tropaeolum majus - Johnsons Seeds
Sunflower Helianthus annus - Greenpatch Organic Seeds
Sunflower Sun King Helianthus annus - DT Brown direct sown in ground

Jan 5th
Lettuce Brown Romaine Lactuca sativa - Greenpatch organic seeds
Lettuce Gold Rush Lactuca sativa - Home Saved Seeds
Lettuce Red and Green Salad Mix Lactuca sativa - DT Brown

Silverbeet Erbette Beta vulgaris - Select Organic Seeds
Silverbeet Bright Lights Beta vulgaris - Eden Seeds

Planting out:
Parsley Petroselinum crispum purchased seedlings
Spring Onions Allium fistulosum purchased seedlings
Society Garlic Variegated Tulbaghia violacea
Planted into the Pathside Edge Bed in the Kitchen Garden that has been neglected for a while so I dug in some compost and worm castings and watered the soil with a "soil wetting agent" before planting out. See this link for info about commercial soil wetters and a recipe to make your own from agar agar.

The next lot of propagation will be Fruiting Seeds which can be sown from 1pm (ACDT) on the 9th Jan up to and including the 11th Jan. When I shall be sowing some Snake Bean seed directly into the soil. Also transplanting some Rockmelon and Cucumber seedlings...I shall have to keep them shaded as we are due more very hot weather next week!

See how to start Greens seeds off. Here on this link
General Seed Raising Here on this link

Thursday, 2 January 2014

Scarecrow's Garden Journal Notes: December 2013:

In the Garden This Month:
Ripe tomatoes for Christmas
Tomatoes growing
Sweetcorn nearly ready
Beans and Tomatoes...Beds 2&3

A measly excuse for a Sunflower...the earwigs ate the rest
Lowest Min 7.4C
Highest Min 28.1C
Lowest Max 20.4C
Highest Max 42.4C
29.5 mm Rain

Rain: Year To Date: 376.5mm (Average YTD: 311.6mm)
Comparison with other years: December average is 25.7 mm:
2013 29.5mm
2012 24.5mm
2011 68.5mm
2010 43.5mm
2009   4mm
2008 44.9mm
2007 26mm
2006 19mm

Weather Highlights?
With several days of 40C plus heat where we have had UV Alerts between 9.am and  5.30pm with the UV index reaching 13 (Extreme), any gardening has to be done before or after those times as it's much too hot outside!

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, Gotu Kola, Lettuce, Kale, Spring Onion Greens and Lebanese Cress which are not always weighed.
Beans 182g
Kale 785g
Onions 205g
Shallots 75
Tomatoes 197g
Zucchini Black 225g
Zucchini Cocozelle 339g
Zucchini Golden 1321g

Total Veg Harvest for December 3.3Kg

Apricots 2419g
Cherries 1405g
Figs 160g
Plums 2571g

Total Fruit Harvest for December 6.2Kg

Total Eggs for December:
  46 eggs.
20 From the 1 Farmyard Feral
26 From the 3 Faverolles

December of Previous Years:

To see What is planted Where in the Garden 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

Update: Dec 8 - 31, 2013

The Trombone Grammas have taken off in the Compost filled Tank (bed 19) in the Old Chook Run Garden. They are watered via a clay pot in buried in the middle of the bed.

Weather Highlights:
Lowest Min 8.1C
Highest Min 28.1C
Lowest Max 23.5C
Highest Max 42.4C
17.5 mm Rain

I have put shade cloth covers (mostly 50% shadecloth) over most of the beds on the extremely hot days and also over the 3 new trees that were planted last winter...cherry, apple and pear. 

Potting On/Up:

Rockmelon (Cantaloupe) Purchased seedlings
Some sprouting Ginger root pieces into pots until I find somewhere to plant them...

Planting out:
Silverbeet bright Lights Home Grown Seedlings and Egyptian Spinach HG Seedlings planted into a recycling tub planter under the back Pergola
Thyme, Parsley, Pineapple Sage, Chives and Lemon Thyme planted into pots under the back Pergola
Mouse Melon (Cucamelons) HG seedlings and Nasturtium HG seedlings planted into a wicking tub under the back Pergola

Rosemary Pink
Ivy Pelargonium Red
Roma Tomato

The Turmeric Curcuma longa has finally started to sprout even though it has been in the greenhouse all winter.

After an Earwig attack these (direct sown) Apple Cucumbers have recovered and are now flowering.

These Bushy Cucumbers where sown into small pots in the greenhouse and are now beginning to set fruit.

More great growth on these Pumpkins that were started in the Greenhouse. Everything seems to catch up at this time of the year. There is some Sorghum growing in that bed somewhere!


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