mischief at large

Discussion in 'General chat' started by mischief, Dec 4, 2009.

  1. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

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    You'll know I'm close to death when that happens!
     
  2. mischief

    mischief Senior Member

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    You gotta wonder at some people...
    We had someone helping us on the house reno's and they mentioned that they were pretty broke at the moment so we said here we've got a veg garden, would you like some vegies??
    I got a butternut, some huge gorgeous beetroot, a cabbage and cauliflower and as we bought a bag of onions, some of those as well.
    They didnt take them.
    I found them on the back porch looking all sad and neglected.
    The beetroot was fantastic even tho I didnt cook I them for three days.
    My grandmother used to say that they were best if left that long as the colour and flavour sets rather than leaks out when they are cooked.
    These were black red and sweet with their earthy beetrootyness, hard to discribe really.

    I need to grow more Chinese Cabbage, I only have two jars of Kim Chi left in the Fridge.
    The last two I let go to seed decided that they would just fall over instead.
    In the past when I have tried to grow these, they always shot off to seed and now that I want them to, they arent!!

    Our friendly rooster comes to visit and I still havent got around to talking to the neighbour to find out exactly who he belongs to.
    I expected him to wake us up on Sunday but he was late and didnt crow till 8am, well after sunrise.
    Our reno's helper wasnt all that sure that roosters should be inside and was alittle put out when he walzed in to see what was going on.
    I'm pretty sure he's just a young wee thing as he hasnt really shown that much interest in the girls,I am still hoping to get him into the dome again so we can get some fertile eggs to hatch out.

    Before I could move the dome this weekend I had to harvest the 2 onions that finally decided to grow and quite afew capsicums that hadnt fallen over from the frosts we've had.
    Actually I got quite alot out of this bed, more than I realised was there, the last few turnips, half doz capsicums, an eggplant,beans.
    This bed also has alot of lucerne growing in the back section and rocket that I resowed in the front.
    Tonight when I went to check on things, I found that they again had not eaten all their pellets, which has to mean that they are getting enough to eat from whats on the ground.

    I finally got to eat a pepino.
    It didnt have that melon like flavour I remember, the last time I had one tho was quite afew years ago so perhaps my memory is playing tricks on me.
    The skin was really tough like plastic and it tasted as someone mentioned earlier...like a sweet cucmber.
    I was disappointed.
    The next one tasted alittle better but not by much.
    I'm wondering if this is due to the cold nights we have been having over summer.

    I ate the Black turtle beans that I grew as a trial in the third bed.
    They didnt take very long to cook compared to the shop bought ones and were really tasty.
    I kept some of the larger beans for seed for next year and will use some of the earlier seed as well.

    I have been forbidden to bring anymore grass clippings home as my partner feels that this is the cause of the flies we get in the house.
    I havent had the heart to tell him that we have flies whether there it grass clippings or not...due to living in the country I guess.
    Still this leaves me with a small prolblem or two.
    I now have to take the clippings to the dump which I get to pay for; and I still need mulch for the garden which I now get to pay for.
    Still with winter coming I should be able to sneak the odd days worth in and it will be too cold for flies soon, till late spring at least so it shopudl be okay for alittle while yet till I can work out a solution.

    There are afew surprises in the garden, an eggplant that just refuses to be killed off by the frost is still doing well, if not flowering, the fruit are still getting bigger each week.
    I am keeping these for seed for next year.

    There is a pepper that I was sure was a capsicum but turned out to be a caynne type pepper, this is still trying to flower.
    I must get a bag of potting mix and pot these little babies up to see if we can over winter them inside the porch.

    The Purple King beans are still going strong and have flowers ans well as beans compared to the green beans which are looking alittle brown now.

    The Ginger plant is completely unfazed by the cooler weather and shows no sigh yet of slowing down.
    I will be planting alot more of this, I cant cook without fresh Ginger.
    I would love to be able to get some Tumeric to grow too but havent found any yet.

    I have a Florence fennel thats almost big enough to eat.This will be my first as all the others just bolted to seed.
     
  3. mischief

    mischief Senior Member

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    I used my polystyrene seed raising box for the first time this month.
    I sowed my onions in it.(Pukekohe Long keepers).
    Afew days later it was supposed to be a frost so I put the lid on it and promptly forgot about itl
    I was talking about the onions with my mother; when I remembered that the lid was still on; we ran over to the box expecting to see.. well nothing and were surprised to see that the seed had sprouted and the seedlings were afew inches tall.
    I have alternated between leaving the lid off and covering with a small sheet of white perspex but for some reason the seedlings havent grown that great since then.
    I was going to plant them out this weekend when I did the first lot of garlic but decided to put them off til they grew alittle taller.

    The garlic cloves I planted was from bulbs bought from the supermarket that had dried up roots on them.
    I thought if they still had roots they might sprout and grow.
    These have been put in a compost section of the mandala rather than a dome section as I'm pretty sure the chooks will go back on that area before the garlic has matured.

    In the past when I have grown garlic, it has been planted in spring and as a result the bulbs have been quite small but very potent.I still have a jar of pickled garlic in the fridge I did from this summers harvest.
    Garlic does not last long in this house,I need to grow more of it.

    I decided to move the chooks on friday instead of waiting til sunday this time.
    I thought the soil looked alittle sad and battered.
    Probably due to the fact that it has been raining quite abit, and it was starting to smell of chook poo.
    The sole remaining capsicum plant is still standing.
    Usually the hens dig them out and leave them lying around.
    This time tho, they defoliated the poor thing by jumping up and pecking the leaves all off.
    Quite funny to watch.

    Its starting to get cold at night and we are getting alot more rain now.
    As a result the egg numbers are slowly going down although the hens havent gone into moult.
    I thought they might when I started seeing feathers lying on the ground.
    I wouldnt want to be denuded at this time of year either.

    I only had a small tarp which was way to small to keep the rain off them so instead have used up the last roll of weed mat I had in the garden shed.
    I held onto the end and tossed it over the top of the dome and tied it on in strategic places.
    It makes the area alittle dark but I think they prefer that to being cold and wet.
    The last gap was covered using the small tarp.
    When we first moved down here from Auckland and got our first lot of chooks,I made them a rain shelter which they never used, prefering to sleep in the old lemon tree.
    I'm still not sure whether they really Need the dome covered completely or not.
    The other hens did have more shelter from the wind tho which they do seem to dislike as much as I do.
    Hopefully this next spring/summer, we will be able to erect a brambles trellis around the nor-norwest side of the garden that will give them some protection from the rainy winds that blow this time of year.

    I will have to resow the broad beans in the bed that got decimated, only two seeds have come up out of almost a whole packet.
    I have done alittle more research on beans including broad beans and am alittle more willing to see them as a food crop rather than a cover crop and cant wait to try them out at the different stages of their growth.(fresh pods, shelled beans and then dried)

    I havent spent that much time in the garden in the last month mainly due to the fact that I have been working longer hours but to be truthful, its also because its wet and cold and just not nice to be outside.
    I still get to see the odd wonder like my favourite Okra plant.
    It has lost all its leaves and looks alittle silly with its knobbly stalk and at the very top its very last flower that it was determined to grow.
    The tenacity of nature,that flower will never produce any fruit yet still it grows,bold and stark.
    Seeing things like this make me feel very philosophical.

    One of the Cauliflowers grew two heads.I didnt notice til they were quite big and did check to see if it was actually two plants, but no.
    It may be the wrong time of year to let them go to seed but I think I will, just becasue I got two heads fromt that one plant, who knows the seed might all grow two headed caulis.
     
  4. Grahame

    Grahame Senior Member

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    Must be a Tasmanian Cauliflower ;)
     
  5. purplepear

    purplepear Junior Member

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    The onions will do a fair bit of sitting over the winter but this allows for development of many small rings in the onion and leads to better storage qualities. I like to plant them out quite young as they seem to get over the shock of bare rooting quicker and they grow massive root systems quickly which can get damaged in the bigger plants.

    I love what you are getting up to and would love to see some pictures so I can get a better sense of place. Perhaps you could post them in Mandala town?
     
  6. mischief

    mischief Senior Member

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    I am getting conflicting information on when to plant onions for storage, some say they are better planted in winter and recently I was told spring planted onions store better.

    In the past, I havent really done much in the garden this time of year and have just done the summer thing and havent really gotten up to speed with winter gardening.
    I mainly just had silverbeet and loose leaf lettuces going.
    With my kids I needed a couple of dozen silverbeet just to keep up with them and the loose leaf lettuce never seemed to get affected by frosts. These went on their school lunches.
    Year later I learnt that they used to sell their lunches.

    I feel alittle guilty about having so much space lying unproductive and have been trying to get whatever I have to hand that will grow as a cover crop.

    We did have a hot spell when some of the rock melon seed, I had tossed around, thought it was spring and sprouted but they have since learnt they were wrong.
    There are alot of self sown things sprouting, amongst them are tomatoes which obviously wont be lasting too much longer.
    The only things I am religiously pulling out, are the black nightshade(Grew a fantastic crop of these this year!!) and Dock which is best pulled out as little plants before the roots get too deep.

    The cauliflowers are heading towards flowering but the problem I see looming is that they are growing in the bed that the chooks will be on in a months time and I'm not sure that they will get to flower and set seed before that happens.
    Unless I put some sort of protection around them so the cant be devoured.

    The garlic looked like some had fallen over but when I checked, they had grown roots which seemed to have pushed them out of the ground.

    The garden doesnt look that great at the moment, there are alot of bare spots that I need to fill in with anything that will grow this time of year.
    I'm treating the beds as though they are there to grow chook food at the moment.

    The girls werent looking that happy when I went to feed them tonight and started pecking at the pellets.
    I decided that while I was there I may as well start pulling out the stalks of the left over plants, this got them all revitalised and they started madly scratching and worm hunting again.
    When I looked in just before heading indoors for the night, they were still scratching and hadnt finished their pellets so we'll have to see whats left in the morning.
    It maybe that I need to clear abit of plant matter so they can get clear access to the ground and can cut back on their pellets.
    They seem to mainly scratch the ground around the perimetre which I find odd.
    I like them doing this cos it moves the soil into the middle of the bed.
    This also leaves me a definite edge of where the path ends and the bed begins which is helpful.

    We have alot of potatoes and pumpkins to eat, along with beetroot, cauliflowers all of which have done really well.
    So in someways we havent done too badly in this years efforts, so I shouldnt be feeling so bad about all the gaps, I suppose.
    We have a 900g MILO tin each of both types of popcorn and have only been buying carrots and onions.
    The popcorn is fantastic and is probably my favourite treat.
    The supermarket one still leaves alot of unpopped in the botttom of the pot but I am told that is because I put too much at a time.
    A couple of days ago it was cold so I made soup, cooked ontop of the freestanding firebox.
    Nothing nicer than vegie soup ( I did put a pork bone in this one) and just before I served it up, put half a jar of Kim Chi in, let it warm thru... absolutely delicious.

    The strawberries are starting to send out little runners which I will be moving to strategic places along the entrance pathway.
    The peas are starting to grow up thru their bed of leaves and are looking quite promising.

    I now wish I hadnt put off posting the pictures we had ready to go that we took in spring and summer.
    I was alittle nervous about putting them where everyone could see but they showed the garden looking much nicer than it does at the moment.

    Unfortunately we lost the lot as we had transferred them onto the computer from the camara and when we went to turn the computer on one day nothing happened.
    We had to take it to a friend who is a computer freak to get it fixed.
    He said there was absolutely nothing in/on our hard drive and had to redo everything, so we lost everything including our pics.
    Upside is that I dont like having everything just on the computer so we didnt lose anything important.

    I get to have a couple of days off this weekend so I am going down to the local parks and/or high school and am going to raid the fallen leaves for all its worth.
     
  7. Grahame

    Grahame Senior Member

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    Perhaps I could post a few photos of our garden mischief to make you feel more at ease - it is currently a weed infested quagmire. Following the incident with the channel gate, the paths had just dried out so that my feet didn't disappear into mud, and yesterday we had 30mm of rain. Back to half way up the gumboots slipping and sliding around.

    Maybe the anti-permaculturists sent you an EMP to wipe your computer clean ;)
     
  8. mischief

    mischief Senior Member

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    HAHA yeah why not.
    I do wish we had kept the spring pics on the camara they looked quite good.
    We've lost the camara again.I should just get one of my own, have to save up my Flybuys points.
    The driveway looks great.... we just did a major re levelling of that this last year.
    The rain used to run off it so fast it would scour out the gravel onto the foot path and now it doesnt.
    Being able to back a trailer up to the back yard is an absolute bonus.

    Yesss, I learnt not to turn off the auto updates of the anti-virus thingy.
     
  9. mischief

    mischief Senior Member

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    Had a short day at work so I got out and got afew things done around the garden.

    On Sunday I got a call from one of my lawn clients- my absolute favourite who feeds me homemade biscuits and coffee when I've finished-she wanted me to do abit of gardening for.
    Normally I just say no after having a couple of people I've gardened for say 'What, is that all you've done in all that time?'.
    Anyway, she's home so she gets to see just how much gets done and how fast it does get done.
    I was more than happy when I discovered that most of it was to rake up the Magnolia tree leaves that had fallen since my last visit.
    I spent more time chatting on the porch eating lovely cake than I did work.
    Being 80 plus she is also a great source of 'this is what we used to do', type info, and for my area as well.

    After an hour and a half chatting, I collected my mum and we had some bonding time raking up leaves that had fallen along the roadside of the local high school.
    I bet those neighbours were really please cos it means those leaves wont be going onto their front yard now.
    We filled 7 wool packs up which filled the back of the Ute.
    When we got them back home these covered the paths of the second mandala.
    I really thought they would cover more but thats a good start.
    They should suppress the weeds that were starting to grow in the unmulched paths of the garden.

    Yesterday I got the strawberry pups transplanted.I thought there were more of them but thats okay.
    These, including the parent plants got transplanted along the entrance path to the garden.
    This area gets shaded from the sun in summer by the Fig tree so I'm hoping they will do well.
    I noticed that the wild strawberries that I thought I had killed off thru lack of water, were again growing in their pot.
    These plants have been in this same pot for 10 years, sitting under the fig tree, never watered and always gave lovely(little) berries.
    I decided to finally liberate them and planted them at the start of the steps up to the the garden.
    My calendar says this is a good time to plant root crops, well I wasnt ready to put the onions out yet so I'm hoping its a good time to plant strawberries instead.

    Today, I decided that the hens were not getting enough worms, so today I have moved the dome back abit and over towards the last place they were on where I have sheet mulched.
    This is technically in the tree's section but the only tree there right now is the poor Olive that did not survive transplanting.
    This had to go to make way for the living and last I looked the hens were industriously clearing this new section.

    With this cold wet weather,we are getting between 3-5 eggs a day =, usually 4.
    I cant help wondering if I should be setting out a suspected nonlayer (to make sure its her) and have the man of the house practise his manly skills.
    We are not supposed to be keeping any that are not producing.
    As they are exbattery hens, they are already 2-3 years old now.
    Before anyone gets hot under the collar about letting them have a good old age, let me tell you there is nothing good about seeing a hen suffer from what I suspect was being egg bound or worse having an egg break inside her.
    The eggshells are getting quite soft even with being fed back their shells and dolomite to help improve this and I would rather celebrate her life a l'orange than a l'adrenaline.

    Things I notice today...
    The sound of the rain falling on the leaves I put down, was really loud.
    The vegetables seems so brightly green in comparison to these.
    The thyme cutting are growing well but I think in future I will make sure they are alittle larger.These are only two inches tall and I'm not sure they will do me any good in spring when I will want to plant them out along the path edges.
    All the strawberry plants are standing perky and look good so I must have done okay with them.
    The cauliflowers that are set to flower are getting 'grainy' and I havent seen any mould etc.. so they may be okay.
     
  10. mischief

    mischief Senior Member

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    :party:Weelll its been quite a while since I posted anything.
    I've been working and not really had the time or energy to do much more than feed the chooks, eat and sleep.

    The leaves mum and I put around the paths seem to being doing a good job of keeping the weeds from springing up on the paths.They look really good too, really colourful, I love walking on them they sort of crunch and crackle as you walk
    on them and sound great when its raining.

    I did manage to plant out the onion seedlings all 100 of them... good thing there were that many too what with the cat deciding that the onion bed was a great place for his contribution to our sustainablilty and our visitor who didnt realise there were plants there and walked all over them.
    I swear these poor seedlings have shrunk since I planted them out.
    They look shorter than when I planted them not just the numbers diminishing, so I'm not yet convinced that winter sowing of onions is going to work out, I'm just going to have to wait and see how it all turns out.

    I have since done another sowing and yeah even managed to do so on a root sowing day according to my calendar...completely by accident.
    I love onions and have now got Pukekohe long keepers (I think this is the same as an Aussie one something creamygold cant remember the name now and I've gotten out of the habit of jotting down these tidbits.) and some Boretana from the last sowing, these are for my jars of pickled onions come summer.

    On the other hand , the garlic i planted is doing really well, especially now that they have grown securely in the ground and the dratted wild birds havent dug them out again.
    Normally I plant these in spring but the last lot were really tiny so I decided to give the winter planted a go.
    I've got a couple of dozen planted in the 'compost' zone of the mandala cos I wasnt sure with our growing season if it was wise to put them in a normal chook dome/ garden bed.
    I really need to plant out more tho cos we go thru alot of garlic.
    I'm almost out of our lactofermented garlic and have been hoarding the last few trying to stretch them out but its not going to work cos its a long way til summer and I'm going to run out... good thing my daughter visited and bought garlic with her even better that she forgot to take it when she left.

    I did plant some leeks in summer I was sure I planted them at the right time so they would do well over winter but they look so puny.
    The last time I grew winter leeks they were lovely and fat so Im not sure what I did wrong this time, did I give those ones a dressing of blood and bone?
    That would have made a difference.

    A couple of weeks ago i was starting to wonder if one of the chooks had gone senile, I started to find eggs in strange places... on top of the nest box not in it and worst of all in amongst the leaves of the plants under their roost! No on top of the leaves not under or in them!
    Did she drop them in her sleep?
    I thought they would go off the lay over winter but we have been getting usually 2-4 eggs a day sometimes there is only one but often three or four.
    Only one hen is looking alittle bedraggled and thats only under her chin which sort of tells me somebody else is pecking her feathers so maybe I need to up the protein levels again.
    The pellets are supposed to have all the dietary requirements they need but I dont think thats true.
    When I only feed them the pellets the egg count goes down and when I give them some leftover meat from our dinner we get 4 eggs again.


    We have been having creamy butternut soup for tea, this is so good with buttery toast on cold winter nights.
    Ease to eat/drink warm, beautiful to look at, gorgeous flavour and I grew them!!
    I have always grown 'normal' pumpkins before but I really do think these are better.
    They are easier to cut up,easier to peel, easier to portion out equally-especially good if you have kids and have a small seed cavity compared to regular round pumpkins.

    I think next year I might move the chooks every week in winter rather than every other week.
    Nothing seems to really grow witht eh exception of the beetroot, even the leeks are the same size they were a month or so ago.
    The hens dont seem to dig out the root crops from what I've seen in the last couple of months.
    I've had the odd turnip or beetroot and black/spanish radish in the dome and they had eaten the leaves off them but not dug them up.
    They definitely appreciate the extra protein I've been giving them in the form of leftovers from our dinners.

    I took cuttings or the red currant plant I got last year, managed to get 6 reasonable sized cutting off that and have them planted between two stakes so I dont lose them- they really just look like so many sticks at the moment.
    I havent done the white or black current yet, nor the gooseberry which strangely enough still has its leaves.
    I thought these were desiduous, but maybe its just they strange weather cos the lemon verbena still hs all its leaves too and I Know that is desiduous.

    On the cauliflower I let go to flower... the frost turned it to mush so I may as well have given it away to a complete stranger.So , now I know if one looks like going to flower in winter to eat it cos I wont get any seed from that one.

    Our reno's helper turned up the other day, things are abit tough and his sister sent him down to ask if they could have some silverbeet please... actually, I had pulled up alot of those because we werent keeping up with them so I didnt have much to give them, but...Did they want some eggs and some butternut and beetroot that I still have plenty of.
    He said he would come and help me dig over the garden in spring and then remembered that I had already tiold him that the chooks do all that for me so we will work out something later on when it warms up.

    I actually managed to mow some lawns over winter so far which gave me enough clipping to mulch some of the beds.
    So these now have a layer of magnolia leaves and now a layer of clippings which should keep my worms happy and at home for a little while.
    These leaves I got from my fav client who unfortunately past away last week so there will be no more tea and bikkies and no more chat afterwards.
    It feel strange cos I thought I would be more upset when this happened but I dont and I think its because she had such a good, long life, that I dont begrudge her passing.
    I think people come back at some point and dont just cease to exist which I think helps too.
     
  11. purplepear

    purplepear Junior Member

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    I think you are content Mischief and I am glad - thanks for the update.
     
  12. Grahame

    Grahame Senior Member

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    Beautiful post mischief
     
  13. mischief

    mischief Senior Member

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    Well, its now around mid winter and I did say that I would sit down and contemplate the new year coming(spring).
    I didnt actually have much of a choice as the weekend before last I severely strained muscles in my forearm and it swelled up like a sausage from fingers to elbow.
    I went to the doctor cos I was so worried about it, I cant be sick off work thats just not an option, so along with antibiotics for a little cut on my finger and anti inflamatories, I was sent to bed where I did accapressure and used my mums bioptrin light along with the Rest, Ice Compress and Elevate for the whole week.
    The doctor told me it could take up to 6 weeks to get full use of my arm which again wasnt an option, I had to be back at work again by friday.
    And I was, arm strapped up and on painkillers and antinflamatories, the weekend went well with my arm only slightly inflamed again today.

    So, there I was I finally got a chance to sit down and dribble over my Kings Seeds catelogue in bed, waited on hand and foot and you know what,...
    I hated it.
    I kept getting caught at posting on the computer or outside in the garden and got sent back to bed again.

    So apart from walking around thinking about what needed doing better(my usual new years resolution was to do better than the year before),where was I going to move this or that, I had plenty of time to work out what seeds I was going to get for the next garden year.

    The idea of turning over the whole backyard to vege garden and chooks, to begin with was to
    1. Provided us with year round vegies and herbs, some fruit and most of the year in eggs.
    I'd say we achieved that, might not be quite as we would have liked it eg. no onions at all and only afew carrots and parsnips.
    The only herb I havent had all year has been the chives which died down there for awhile but are now starting to regrow again.
    We have had some fruit but not nearly enough so this is an area we wuill have to improve on for sure, ANd finally we have had eggs all year round so far even with some really hard frosts, might not be 6 everyday but always at least one.

    2. Make use of a system that worked with the nature and requirements of the chooks so they did the digging and weeding for me.
    This seems to be working really well more beneficial to me than the chooks sometimes tho so it needs alittle tweaking so they have lots of lovely mulch full of bugs to keep them happy for the time they are on anyone patch, or I have to move them earlier.

    3.Lets me use the lawn clippings that I get from the few yards I mow rather than taking them to the dump.
    Yep. Big fight coming up soon.
    I started to wonder if putting the clippings on fresh might be putting too much nitrogen on the beds, still not really sure so I thought what I might do this next season is scrape all the mulch on the paths, over to the beds.
    If I use the fresh lawn clippings to mulch the paths, this will cook any weeds on the paths and hopefully keep them at bay all summer(from past experience it does unless you get a really wet rainy summer when it breaks down to fast)
    After 2 to 3 thick layers dampened and trod down, it forms quite a nice soft felt like cover.

    So the next years resolution is still to:
    1. do better than the year before but specifically to improve my seed sowing/growing skills and get better timing in so I always have seedlings at least 6 inches high going into each bed as soon as the chooks move off.
    2.get alittle better at knowing when to put the mulch on the beds and when is it better to put together a compost heap.
    I have learnt that here in spring its better to clear the mulch off the bed so the sun can get to it and warm it up abit more,then put the mulch around the plants to keep the moisture in and supress the weeds then alittle thicker to conserve moisture.It has been suggested that I try a top layer of larger particles like large hard leaves and broken twigs ontop of the finer mulch of compost and clippings (if I used them on the beds).
    We are going to be adding compost piles to the work load rather than sheet mulching the back half of the section as we did last year(okay I did)
    3. Get a better ratio of plants being planted out -better balance,no more gluts of rocket and radish and no lettuce etc... I will be trying to make sure we have just enough of everything we like to eat and not too much of any one thing, unless its on purpose for preserving/pickling.
    4.Improving my timing of when to plant different types of plants,trying to melons and capsicums to grow in early spring is just asking for them to sulk all summer, for example.
    So rather than sowing too early and having plants sulk all summer I need to make sure I have boned up on when is the better part of the year for them.
    Along with this,I want to improve my calendar skills too- getting used to looking at the calendar to see how to work in and around gardening by the moon.

    I think thats enough to start with.

    I did finally get let out into the garden today and was even allowed to use the spade!
    I have moved most of the herbs out of the central bed in the first mandala and replanted them infront of the tools shed by the entrance path.
    I still have allyssum growing here but some of them got frost burnt so I thought thyme and co. would do better there.
    I managed to get 6 cuttings each of Black currents and gooseberries.
    I hope I'm not too late doing this as the black current seems to be sprouting already.
    I planted the currents along where the 'fruit walk' will be and the gooseberries along the back fence cos I think the neighbours kids have been getting over the fence again.

    The Avocadoes all seem to be starting to flower except onewhich got alittle frost burnt .(it now has a veil of choko vines with leaves still attached, draped over it as added coverand it has since grown abit so all is looking better).

    The peas I sowed have not done very well, one lot has definitely been eaten by slugs or snails and the second lot...I can see the tendrils and leaves and they seem to be all there but they havent grown any taller than they were a month ago.

    I have been trying to work out where the best place for a greenhouse would be and have come to the comnclusion that next to the tool shed, perhaps with a little gap so I can still get to the hedge behind them.
    This is bed number three in the first mandala, the one that had the case of the disappearing beans.
    I think if I move the clothes line out of the central bed and use this for a chook dome/garden bed, I will still be able to get the dome around the mandala.
    Putting it there shouldnt interfere with watering the garden and may even be able to make use of the reflected light off the shed in winter, and it will be on the entrance path so its closer to the house too.

    Between the hedge and where the greenhouse will go, is a Kowhai tree that I planted.
    This is supposed to flower in mid spring with lovely yellow pea shaped flowers.
    Traditionally you planted out your kumara out when these flowers had all come out.
    I'm hoping that even with the greenhouse in front of it, that it will still do okay.

    I promise to take photos this weekend and post them on sunday at the latest.
    The only reason I wont will be because hubby is still working up in AK or he lost the camara which is in his truck.
     
  14. mischief

    mischief Senior Member

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    Okay I'm having technical problems so I'm going to try and do one pic to see if I can get my post in before I get kicked off again.
    This is the steps to the garden path.
     

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  15. mischief

    mischief Senior Member

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    This next one is shows the path alonsgside of the shed.
    I have just recently transplanted some herbs along here.
    I figured that I may as well have them as close to the kitchen as I can and they will be better than the weeds that insist on growing here.

    Today we cut down most of the fig tree that was here.
    It was full of borer and I noticed that there was a new trunk growing up alongside of it that doesnt block the path so much so we have left that one to continue to grow,(cant actually see it in this pic but its there).
    The seat ias going to have to be moved cos its in the way of the (soon to be ) fruit walk.
     

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  16. mischief

    mischief Senior Member

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    The fruit walk is going to be a Trellis along the west-souwest side of the garden that we will grow berries and/or grapes on.
    At the moment its pretty bare with just the grapefruit tree that I trnasplanted last year(it has 3 grapefruit on the other side of the tree,under this is the pineapple sage, redcurrent motherplant(there are 6 cuttings from this onthe otherside of the path.
    I still have some digging to do which will remove the flax bush and plants behind it.
    I will need to really think about what to grow on the bank so it doesnt become weed infested.
    The seat wont be there leaving a triangle sort of bed that I'm not to sure of at this point what I will leave/put there.
     

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  17. mischief

    mischief Senior Member

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    This is a shot of the first mandala from a point higher up and looking towards the hedge (southward).
    In the corner next to the shed is where I think the best place would be for the greenhouse to ge(I REALLY NEED A GREENHOUSE).
    I worked out that I can do this if I take the clothes line out and use this for a chook station/garden reather than the corner one where the greenhouse will go that way i can still get around the whole mandala without any major problems.

    I am hoping that I will get the benefit from the reflected light and heat from the shed and with the hedge on the south side to keep the sotherlies at bay.

    There is only one tree along this side as it is really close to the hedge I thought the Kowhai will do okay, even if it is behind the greenhouse.
    I have raised the ground along the hdge as it sloped down quite abit, the land of the otherside of the hedge is alot higher.
    Doing this has made it easier to keep the hedge trimmed to.

    I cant wait to get somesort of permanent edging along the path side of the garden beds,it will make it look interesting in winter when nothing much is happening.
    I think you can only have so much brown at once.
     

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  18. mischief

    mischief Senior Member

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    This next one is from the same spot looking down the second mandala.
    This isnt a circle due to me not wanting to move the Satsuma tree which has done really well since we cut back the feijoa tree behind it.
    There are three beds on the north side, the chooks dome is on the third of these at the moment, in the middle lot there are two beds with a gap that I thought the greenhouse might go on til I realised that it was too small and behind those along the hedge are the last three.
    There is the remnant of a fence I built that was to be the boundary wall of the original chook pen til the neighbour built their dogs a platform behind their carport.
    I discovered this in time when I happened to notice their dog resting his chin on the top of the fence watching me.
    I then decided that hens would be way to tempting for them especially for their little foxie which I didnt trust not to dig under the fence.(hasnt so far).

    In this area I havent laid down permanent paths til I work out exactly what is going where, so moving things around wont be traumatic.
     

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  19. mischief

    mischief Senior Member

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    I'm going to try two pics of the chooks dome.
    These are rather yurt shaped cos the pvc piping kept breaking on us when we built it and we have a roost going across the middle of the dome which I find helpful in lifting it to move.

    Five of the hens roost on their perch with one still insisting on sleeping in the nestbox.
    I've given up trying to get her to join the others.

    Its behind this spot that the L shaped bed of Avocadoes is.
    I have planted a bit of fig branch that I found with roots on, in the hopes that this will help provide the Avocadoes with annual mulch and maybe simulate abit more of a forest feel for them..
     

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  20. mischief

    mischief Senior Member

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    Here is my lttle bed of garlic.

    The next pic is of a plant I found at the nursery I have been working at in one of their fallowed areas.
    At first I thought it was lambs ear but it is different.Its really soft to touch and actually feels like a woolen blanket.
    I need to find out what it is cos I thought it might be useful when we get the rabbits for their bedding but have to make sure its not toxic to them.
     

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