Discussion in 'Members' Systems' started by sun burn, Jun 4, 2010.
Garden Progress Tour
I had no excuse today but i still struggled to get out and work in the garden. It had rained a bit last night (a lovely storm) and remained overcast for most of today. However, i did manage to do some work on the chicken house. There is more to do but the rate at which i am working, it will take a while. One thing i did was prune of some low hanging branches - I don't want to make it easy for any snakes to get to the top of the chicken house and then find a way in.
On the inside, i have decided I am going to put in a room divider to keep the ducklings separated from the drake and other ducks. One had bit marks on its little wings this morning. They are quite nasty the big ducks. What is with them, i wonder that they have to pick on these helpless little creatures. Mum while not being abusive herself is not doing much, if anything, to defend them.
Our rooster is magnificent but i think his crowing upsets me more than anyone else. Its a pity there aren't more chook families around so that we could rotate our roosters ( and drakes) and get a better gene pool and avoid incest.
Tomatoes - i picked some of the thai pink eggs this morning. They were quite nice. Really quite salty. I've realised that i probably should be growing my tomatoes in raised beds if i want more of them from now on. Well my first lot was in a raised dinghy which is close enough. But i think the soil mix could have been better and more mulch applied. I've got a lot to learn as a vegie gardener.
Pinto peanut, coffee, pepper, jakfruit, etc
Today i did a lot of little jobs.
On a whim, i thought it would be a good idea to take some cuttings and try to get the pinto peanut to become my lawn and to take over. I will be able to rely less on sweet potatoes this way too. But i do need to get them innoculated and I will send away for some.
I'm trying a new seeding method with the lablab. I've mixed up some with the innoculant and some soil. I will wait a day or two till it just starts to germinate and then sow it over some ground - not too thinly ( i've got so much i can afford to be quite liberal iwth it) and hten i will cover as much of the seed as i can with some mill mud by chucking htat around too. I've noticed that the bit i did this way the other day have come up and seem to be doing ok.
I repotted the jakfruit and the coffee seedlings which came up. I put some pepper in a seed tray. I will set that growing up lots of trees. Pepper is expensive so it will be nice to have a lot of it around and besides its a lovely vine.
I still haven't figured out where to put my vanilla plant.
I put in the duck divider today. I think the ducklings are happy with this. The bigger ducks look a bit pissed off but that's because they've got a small area. It shouldn't matter though as though don't usually use much space at night. The chickens were a bit confused at first. I put three eggs under the sitting duck today. I will continue doing this for a few more days i guess. The three who laid this morning were very good about it. Two even sharing the nest at the same time. So we are finally getting this egglaying matter sorted. It hasn't half taken long. The sitting duck came all the way up to the chicken house for an afternoon bath. And then went back to her nest.
In the vegie garden, i picked the okra which i had let dry out to get the seeds. I sowed a few and kept the rest for later. There are a lot of cottony mealy bug things on the dead bushes. They are quite squashy. i planted some winged bean seeds in a tray that M. gave me today too. I wasn't sure how to plant them so i haven't put them in the right spot yet. I am not sure if i need a trellis.
I noticed a watermelon to be pollinated today. I missed one a day or so ago. I think the first watermelon might be ready for picking but it seems a bit too soon. It has a yellow bottom. Maybe i will wait until its properly white. There are some big pumpkins in the garden too.
I think i will go and get some more pinto peanut cuttings off Joe in the near future. I want to be about to write an article about it in the paper so it would help if i had some experience with it. I phoned the paper today. They may be interested as they revamping the paper.
Ah i also spread some more grass killing mat out today. Its a dam good system that. I only wish i had more plastic around. Actually i have some old blinds that i am using. They are good as they have weights in the ends already.
I also spoke to an engineer about my house plans today. He knows nothing about this type of construction but he was recommended by his ex boss as a nice guy and so on. I am probably not going to bother with council approval as they don't allow houses without walls to be built. I could get it approved as a carport though that begs the question of how a car is going to get up the steps.
Basically I am not one for breaking the law but the law is an ass sometimes and that's when it should be broken.
That cracks me up!!!! :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:
Thanks for enjoying my joke.
Lots of lovely rain
Its now our turn for days on end of rain so this is good for planting. Actually i realised that this is the right time for me to be "sowing" my lablab seed. Those i had put in the lawn are doing pretty well so i've decided to continue with this approach though i won't wait for it to germinate. I think today I will try to sow at least half of what i've got left. Mixing it up with some mill mud should be good for keeping the bacteria alive longer than a day and getting it down into the soil. I should also go around iwht my garden fork first or soon after sowing to loosen the soil a bit so that the roots penerate more easily. There's an enormous difference between the growth of those in the mill mud Hugelkulture bed and those in other more compacted parts of the garden. Mind you the mill mud is very nutritious also.
The ducks and ducklings are doing well in their new situation. I got four eggs this morning. They still haven't tried out my new wheelbarrow pond. It probably needs to be put in the ground for maximum appeal. I just don't know quite where i want to put it yet. I think somewhere near the chook pen is a good idea though.
Vanilla - I chopped up the big plant into about 10 smaller plants. I've got them sitting in water to sprout roots as directed by this site https://www.vanillaplantations.com/cultivation.htm which i think is a local one. Then i will plant them in quinkin gravel. I'll get the coconut husks and stuff later one.
There's lots of little watermelons on the vine now but i think with all the rain we will have they will only be good for the chooks - but that's not a bad thing either. I picked my first watermelon yesterday and it should be ok i think.
My new year's resolution is going to be to not buy any vegetables for cooking at home in 2011. That might mean no potatos all year. It will be hard not having many tomatoes to eat but there's a chance that this resolution will give me incentive to try very hard. I actually don't eat a lot of vegetables a lot of the time so its not going to be too tragic. At least we've got lots of pumpkins and greens though so i should be fine. And there's plenty of lemons on the trees though i am not ruling out buying fruit.
I had forgotten to mention earlier that i've finally got paw paw seedlings coming up in my Hugelkulture bed. So hopefully i will have fruit by the end of next year.
Neighbours are starting to congratulate me on how good the place is looking. I'm going "What!" To me its almost looking worse since all the rain has made the grass grow beserk. However my little shrubs are coming along and the vinca are flowering quite profusely now.
I ate some soursop off one of our trees the other day. Its the first we've ever had on them. I think its because of all the rain so it goes to show all it takes is a bit of water.
Some neighbours are going to lop off all their mango branches to reduce the size of the tree. This is what i want to do with the lychees and to see if it will cure them of their malaise. I can't wait for dad to get better but he is improving at least so he should be able to get that chainsaw out fairly soon i think. But there is much much chainsaw work to be done and i will have to be on his back a bit not to give up early.
Ok I'm green with envy.
I cant grow coffee or pawpaws and would love to be able to.
You're so lucky.
On the carport.....why the hell not, its not breaking any law is call loopholes.
hehe you could wind up with carports strategically placed all over a dining room here, living room there, tree here vine there,trellis over here.
I would imagine in the tropics you would really need good air flow.
Maybe instead at looking at 'normal' houses you could look at what 'native' people traditionally build in similar climates to yours.
Could be alot of fun and if it doesnt work out then you could add afew extra walls when nobody is looking.
With vine covered trellises tho they may not even notice.
Mischief i don't think you need to be jealous about our coffee growing capacity. Friends brewed some home grown coffee up on the tablelands and said it tasted like dishwater. Even though we can produce hte beans here, it is still not the ideal locality. It prefers some altitude i believe. And then there's a the business of treating and brewing it right so it tastes good. If mine ends up tasting like dishwater after reasonable effort to get a good roast happening, i will pull them all out.
Native houses do tend to have walls. I suspect that a sliding panel might be good enough but i am not sure.
Anyway i have decided not to bother with the council. I don't think i really need to. I think it will just cost me more money for no gain. I am just going the best and most beautiful house i damn well can.
Ah, its always a good idea to pay at least token respect to councils.
What they do here is fly overs every now and then and if you get photoed with an unpermitted building its big trouble.
So if there is any chance of them doing that to you then you would be better off showing a legit roof even if it is only supposed to be a carport.
I really like the idea of sliding doors...Japanese shoji screen type lets the light in.
Might be able to get them in white perspex rather than Rice paper or glass.
The Samoan Fale,has woven roll up walls
On the coffee, I wouldnt pull them out straight away, I dont know very much about them cos theres no point in me even trying them, but could they need to mature as plants alittle longer... the deeper their roots the better the plant?
Alot of taste seems to be in how they are also dried and then roasted.
Sometimes other people with their 'fresh eyes', show us how well we are doing.
We dont see it due to being there all the time, so for them to notice it, then that effort you have put in so far has produced results worth commenting on.
I know it must seem as if i've been talking about lablab for months now. That's probably true but now the big moment of truth has come. Will it work. Yesterday I put 9kg of innoculated seed in the wheelbarrow and mixed it up with mill mud. As expected it rained a lot last night. this morning almost all the seeds have germinated. Only those at the bottom didn't but i guess they will tonight. I've just gone and spread them all over the place and i hope it will rain again tonight. Its been muggy enough. Anyway i need it to stay overcast tomorrow. Their little feet have to find the ground and tuck in. I think its going to work.
Its christmas day. DAd and I had a yummy lunch of prawns, smoked salmon and smoked ham (even though I usually avoid ham i ate it today). With it we had a lot of fruits and a little vegetable salads. DAd thought i was getting the lettuce. I told him it was his job. Anyhow it was yummy. After we had christmas pudding with custard. Before lunch we'd had a fruit mince pie with cream. We had champagne and mango wine. So it was all very nice. It didn't rain so we could sit out under my fig tree and enjoy the food.
I've decided on the theory of those that are long are males, that i've got one duck and three drakes in my batch of ducklings. I am glad i let the other duck have another sitting and put some eggs under her. Perhaps i will wish i'd put more if there's not many girls in her lot either. It seems that there are more boys in duckling batches then girls.
It'll probably be a lukewarm shower tonight only. Without sun our water doesn't get very warm. At least its hot enough here not to matter.
you sruviving the wet? bit rough up your way i hear
Not rough yet. No flooding where i live. Its not even raining today. I even saw the sun a little while ago. We are north of the worst of it. Dad says our turn is still to come. Usually its January February March that are the wettest months. The forecast is for rain so fingers crossed it will come again tonight.
Floor of sand - cheap and fabulous
Ok this might need more thought and development but i've just got a new inspiration about floors for my house.
For ages now i've wanted to make a spot in the garden with a sandy ground. It was ideally going to be in my coconut grove that i've yet to grow. I wanted to have an outdoor table there. A nice place to sit and have an afternoon drink.
Now its just occurred to me that i can have a floor like this inside too ... I think.
In my forest, i could build up the floor level with say rock and gravel and make a frame around it to hold it all in place. Then add sand. I'd probably have to put in some dirt so it would get hard enough.
Because this is the low lying area of the block, the ground will get wet so that's why i need to build it up. I would like it up about 2 feet above ground level.
Now i suppose the tree roots will try to come through the ground but i wonder how much of a bother they will be.
I wonder if water will rise that much and create a damp floor. I guess i could put in damp course - but is that going to just undermine the original need to raise the floor anyway? I will need to ask the arborist about that too.
The other thing is, will this mean more insects? I'm thinking sand flies.
Anyway, a floor like this could be good in quite a few parts of my little house and i could leave the ferrocement floor only to the odd room where i felt it mattered.
There's another unpleasant possibility. The cat might stop going outside to use the toilet.
I can try this idea out in my dressing room - the first building i want to build and that will show me whether its a great idea or not. It will also save me the trouble of pouring a concrete slab which is more appropriate for this building but not going to be done on the main house.
Oh i must say i am very excited about this possiblity. It could save me a lot of money and work. And it might be good enough to make me feel good in my home.
A yellow-belly black snake just sidled up to our door. Lucky i turned up. He quickly about faced and continued slithering on past the chickens and the ducks.
I think these are poisonous but luckily they don't eat poultry.
Honey, bamboo, bangkok roses, duck pool
I've been wasting a lot of time on the net lately. So i need to pull my finger out today and get lots of things planted. The cool overcast weather is perfect for it. So after i finish here and my coffee, I'ts back to the garden.
I've already been out there today though. I showed one duck the fabulous duck pool i made her and although she jumped out, later i noticed that all the little ones were wet and later still another big duck was having a wash, so evidently word got around.
With my cassia fistula trees - my yellow shower flower power trees - that i have planted down the front corner of the block, I have just put in some cuttings for bangkok roses. Helga told me they take two months to take so i will put some in pots as well to see how they go. She also told me that dipping cuttings in raw honey is as good as rooting powder. Dad was given some by our neighbour a few days ago so i took a bit for the garden.
A friend is giving me some bamboo cuttings. We have yet to dig them out. But they are japanese and have long thing culms. They are amazing because although not large they are almost solid wood. Only a pencil sized hole is in the middle. These are good structural bamboos and i am going to have some of those in my house for sure. So i've decided to grow some down the front corner of the block and put some in my forest as well. Unfortunately she doesn't have an enormous amount to give me but whatever she can spare me will be fabulous. I need to find out what it is called though. I also think i would like some black bamboo. The japanese ones are a lovely dark green. I like that sort. I wonder if its worth getting black for building though as they probalby wouldn't stay black after cutting would they?
The rest of the day i am going to go planting planting planting. Jakfruit, my one mulberry that took, coleus, granadilla, potting up the orchids, frangipannis and whatever i can fit in.
Have i mentioned that the shrubs on the main road that i though i might have killed have recovered and are growing well now. Still small of course but good signs of life are there. Also my ixora cuttings that i took last time and put in pots have taken. I am not sure about the ones i put in the ground. Oh and i found another white ixora the other day. I think it was near the IGA supermarket. (in case i need more soon). (i keep spelling it with an e but its actually correct with an i).
Further... about vanilla, agati, glricidia, ...
I forgot to mention earlier that my agati didn't come up. These seeds must have gone off while waiting for me to plant them i guess. Anyhow, where i was going to put hte agati forest for timber now i am going to put the bamboo.
I potted up the vanilla i have had sitting about in buckets. I don't know if that was a good thing to do but i was following instructions from this site.... https://www.vanillaplantations.com/cultivation.htm whichi think is an australian vanilla outfit.
I also found this site which has wonderful images and ideas of growing vanilla ... https://www.orchidsasia.com/vanil02.htm There i read about gliridia. I am not sure quite how they use it yet. If they cut the stems and use the ungrowing stick as the support or if the vanilla grows up the tree. Info on gliricidia on this site.
So I put my cuttings in a mix of quinkin gravel and potting mix today. I didn't follow the instructions exactly. I put a large mesh fence around a shade tree in the mandala garden and put all the pots at the base for the vanilla to lean on while i figure out how to set up the area where I will grow all my vanilla. I just hope the bottoms of the plants don't rot in the pots. I noticed when having the cuttings sitting in the water that the leaves will rot if left lying on the ground. However the plants are quite hardy and don't show any indication of being ready to die as yet.
The site above in asia has some lovely ideas about growing vanilla. I might give some of those ideas a chance.
I didn't actually get to planting the granadilla and the coleus' today but i noticed that some coleus seed i planted yonks ago is finally showing life. I had all but given up on it. I can't wait to see what else pops up.
Some of my frangipanni cuttings are starting to die. I think they are rotting because of all the rain. Cuttings need to be allowed to dry out thoroughly in the pot between watering.
I've got lablab seedilngs popping up all over the place. this was from an earlier seed casting - one that i had probalby given up on. The ones i planted a couple of days ago are not up yet but i am feeling confident about them.
I am feeling pretty confident about everything at the moment. My house building included.
i did some more writing on my articles today. I hope i don't blow that chance. I'm really looking forward to it.
I went on a fishing trip today. First off i went to farmer Joe's. I had wanted to get some birds nests but the track was wet and i would have got bogged. So i just went up to the house to ask for some pinto peanut cuttings. I had been in the town and asked about innoculant which it seems there is some trouble getting but i figured maybe its a good idea to just get the stuff growing and then innoculate down the track whenever it becomes avaiable. So I got a chook food bag full of cuttings. Back home, I just put them on the ground and covered iwth a bit of mill mud as the easiest way to "plant" them. I only got through about a third of the cuttings. Tomorrow I will finish the job.
Also from Joe I got a wonderful native orchid that has thick bobbly leaves. And a large bunch of yellow-green mother in law's tongues. These i am going to grow in front of what i think is a type of hibiscus but i don't know what it's called. It is a large shrub and has a dark purple=green leaves with yellow flowers. I've been admiring it for some time and now i think i've got just the thing for it.
I've changed my mind about the bangkok roses. I think they are not gong to be suitable for under the cassia fistula. Too big basically. And if i do the other thing, i won't need these.
I got some more mother in laws tongue, the green variety. I'm not sure exactly where i am going to put them. Maybe just thicken up the walk way planting i've done already perhaps as I can its going to take a long time before it gets thick.
I spoke to a guy who had a large bamboo stand. He said i could take what i want. He'd even chainsaw me some pieces. I am not sure of the species or what exactly i need to do with it but its great to know that i can get some useful bamboo when i need it. Its not the bambusa vulgaris variety. Its got green culms and each node has shoots coming out of it. It is of course very large. The leaves are large too. He didn't know what it was. The wood is about 1cm thick or a bit less perhaps.
We have just completed a Cob Storm Shelter. It is above ground and doubles as a living quarters when the tornadoes aren't blowing. The rain (which can be substantial) is harvested and directed into a swale around which Structural Banboo, Yucca, Daylillies, and Gopherpurge begin the guild. The system is proving to be excellent. The Bamboo is thriving. The runoff is not wasted. The swale is full of water most of the year and provides habitat. It is even growing us some food and building materials.
Thanks for that. Have you got a picture somewhere. It sounds attractive.
Gopherpurge. I have no idea what it is but I like the name! Is that because it keeps the gophers away?
Separate names with a comma.