Discussion in 'Members' Systems' started by mischief, Sep 1, 2010.
no harm done pippi.
I wound up up ending the pot of sand I had the kumara tubers in to find out if they were actually sprouting or not and found that none of them sprouted and in fact were all busy rotting.
I thought theywould have been okay sitting in their pot outside right next to the tin garden shed where it was lovely and warm but obviously not.
Will be buying rooted cuttings this year.
The blackbirds and I seem to have a disagreement on just how much mulch the potatoes actually need.
I hill them up and they dig it all off them...well not quite all but not far off either.
I had alittle feel under some of the plants and found some baby tubers, which was exciting.(funny how simple things make your day).
The peas and lupins we let continue to grow are now about 2-3 feet high.
The lupins seem to help the peas stay upright and they are both starting to flower.
Looks really pretty with the pink and magenta flowers of the peas alongside the blue spikes of the lupins.
I left some brassicas and beetroot to go the seed in these two beds as well.
The beetroot looks quite majestic and the brassicas aredoing a good job of providing for the bees.
We actually have quite afew different plants around the garden flowering at the moment or about to.
Some of them are for seed but also to provide for the bees.
I finally managed to fill the first compost bin full of STUFF.
Its shocking just how much STUFF it takes to fill up a bin thats 3-4 feetwide by 3 feet deep by 3 feet high.
Mostly grass clipping but also the old horse manure, bits of twigs and weeds.
I cut up abit of the old carpet to fit across the top to stop and weeds at the top from sprouting and to make sure it stays moist and have now started on the next pile.
Already the first one has shrunk quite alot and I was going to top it up but decided not to.
We wound up cutting the orange tree back abit more.
May not have been enough though.
The bottom three branches have leaves that are all really green but the top ones had gone all yellow,hardly surprising.
This has been mulched again with clippings and fed alittle watered wee.
The soil under the mulch is nice and cool and moist so I hope it will be alright.
Was thinking maybe we should put a loose cover over it to cut out some of the heat from the sun, but then would it need the light to regenerate..... or should I just put another tree in its place and forget about this one?
I tidied up the 'courtyard' yesterday and realised that I could string the clothes line from one side of the porch to the plum tree thats still at the other side of the courtyard and then back across to the other side of the porch giving us 2 lines.
So now we have a clothes line again.
I made it low enough that I could reach all the line which meant we needed to have 2 poles to raise the line to keep the clothes from brushing the ground and to keep hubby from throttling himself with it.
The first load of washing is gently waving in the breeze and it seems to working rather well.
I reused to line off the old rotating clothes line which took ages to get off and kept the bit that wasnt used this time so we will have it if and when we need to replace the line again.
At the moment the poles are 2 of the bamboo garden stakes, not a good idea really cos they still have the sharp bits on them which could catch and tear the clothes so something will have to be done about that.
Alot of the seedlings got fried while I was away, forgot to put a shade clothe over them so ....
This morning I check the box containing newish sowings, these are doing well as they are covered with a white perspex cover propped up at one corner to let air through.
I did notice however that something ate the stem of one of the melons.
I think it was ants.
I think the garlic may need feeding.
Im sure the stems are not supposed to be elongating like they are.
I hope they arent bolting to seed.
We still have some old horse manure I could put around them....should do that today.
I oiled the wooden handles of our tools.
I did mean to do this in Autumn but forgot til I got a splinter in my hand from one of them and realised that they all were looking rather dried out.
They probably need to be done again tho.
The sweet corn is showing.
I direct sowed these in their bed after soaking them for a couple of day( afew weeks ago)
There are some gaps where some of them havent come up but most of them have.
It looks as though the chamomile is self sowing which is great and we seem to have a cucumber and onion sow themselves as well.
The garlic got a dressing of olde horse manure and this got really well watered in the get it down to their roots quickly.
I had a look at the soil where the peas and lupins are growing and it really quite moist.
Makes me think that if I can just get the knack of sowing and planting things in a timely sequence then I may not have to water so often or maybe better still not at all sa they say they do in that buio dynamics book.
I must get that out of the library again too cos it has a really extensive section on companion planting which I want to start using.
The feijoa trees got mulched with lawn clippings.
I put this straight ontop of the wandering jewel weed which is rampant over at my neighbours yard and coming thru the fence.
I have decided to treat it as extra food for the trees as it will cook under a couple of layers of lawn clippings especially if I stand it all down after watering it a bit and then put another layer ontop in a few days time.
Wont stop it coming thru the fence tho but ne'mind.
Getting alittle depressed with the seed sowing bit and been feeling like I should just cheat and buy soime plants but I simply refuse.
I might just wind up getting a handful of herbs and flowers with what ever I happen to fancy at the time and broadcast it over the last bed.
Most of what got planted in their was little and got either eaten or fried.
But it is still afew days away before Im supposed to sow or plant above ground stuff anyway so maybe I'll have calmed down by then.
I had a beetroot and onion sandwich for lunch today.
These were ones we grew and I pickled the way my grandmother used to...sliced in alternate layers in a sweet vinegar/water mix.
I know for a fact that this duo will stay well in a sealed jar for years.
My brother and I once found a box of nannas pickles stashed a way for a rainy day once.
They were so old that when we opened them the beetroot and onions were brown and had to got out with a spoon cos they fell apart but they tasted fantastic.
Mine have been there for maybe 6 months so the could have been left alittle longer but ummm
great stuff Mischief - there is a lot of persistence required in gardening. I hope you find that , in time, self seeding will be a delight for you as it is for us. We leave celery, parsley. silverbeet and lettuce to go to seed and find it's own time and place to pop up. This complements our seedling planting after the chickens.
How did your garlic go? iIt was probably doing ok as it gets long and straggly before it needs harvesting. If it looks like bolting then just choke it. We have started harvesting the garlic at Purple Pear in the wake of the recent rains there is a chance that the corms will swell and split too much. We start platting the first lot today.
I love reading you stuff - keep up the great work.
Beetroot and onion sandwich sure sounds challenging. Don't get me wrong, I love beetroot on a burger or salad sandwich but raw or pickled onion i can only do in salad. Sounds as though you didn't cook the beetroot for pickling. I haven't seen that before.
Of course I cook the beetroot, you cant preserve uncooked beetroot,at least I dont think you can I never bothered to find out tho.
People somtimes say I'm stubborn, I tell them I prefer 'persistent'.(Makes me laugh cos our maori family name means stubborn).
I am definitely learning to be more persistent this year.
The last two beds have been planted out THREE times due to
1. me not being there and plants frying due to lack of water.
2. Birds and cats digging out the plants and
The last lot of seeds I sowed have mostly come up.
This time I mixed some of the compost with old rotten stable sweepings and they are a much better colour.
I have taken to making little teepees over the small plants that seem to get attacked and pulled out by the birds and this seems to be defending them quite wel.
That and putting their little pot over them for a few days till they setle in.(with something on top to stop the wind fromblowing them off)
Over the last two weeks when I have been home I have been weeding mainly.
There has been the odd sowing planting time where I have managed to get something planted.
Using the compost in the small individual pots hasnt worked, I really needed to be there to keep them moist.
I shifted the chook dome over on Sunday and had to dig around the edges to get the bottom level all the way around.
It was alittle late getting them moved but I really needed the turnip to get as many seed pods filled out as poss.
I dont like pulling plantsd out when they are doing so well but Im sure we have a lifetime supply of turnips now.
The garlic is still looking okay, I was abit worried that it was bolting but so far it hasnt.
I am so looking forward to decent sized heads this year.
The llam Hardy potatoes are now in full flower.
I thought the Swift type would be first as they are supposed to be alot faster growing than the others but they are just starting to flower now.
I have mulched them all with lawn clippings and every now and then check them to see how things are going underneath.
I did see 2 of the butternuts that I sowed in amongst them but now cant find any of them mainly due to the fact that the ground is now covered by potatoes greenery.
So now I dont know if I should resow them or not.
I think I might just to be on the safe side.
I finally managed to mow our lawn- not really a lawn but what we havent gravelled over yet for the parking area.So the back yard is not looking so grotty.
The spot setaside for the greenhouse has turned into a bee garden full of borage and something else I cant for the life of me remember its name, looks rather wild at the moment but never mind.
I dont weant to talk about the tomatoe plants cos 3 plantings later I cant find the plants... at all... again...
We have a final lot that are almost ready to go in so maybe third time lucky.
The first compost bin I filled right to the top has shrunk alarmingly to just over half as high already.
The sweet corn that I resowed to fill in the gaps have already come up and I think they may actually catch up with the original plants.
I had put 3 golden midget watermelons in here as well as NZ Spinach which have also come up.
We seem to have some self sown cucumber? and german chamomile too.
The oriental cucumber has a reinforcing mesh trellis put next to them as have the Runner Lima beans.
The trellis for these, we put tall compared to the cucumbers which we put long ways on the ground.
Some things that I thought had died like the Goji berries are sprouting now.
One did start afew weeks ago but had a bad snail attack and looked like it wouldnt grow again but it has.
The sunflowers that got planted on the roadside garden sat there for ages and are now taking off.I resowed where there were afew bare spots so hopefully they will catch up with the others
Garlic won't go to seed. I've never seen one set seed and I'm not sure they ever do. What you do get with 'hard-necked' varieties are scrapes, which are like flower heads but not a true flower. They set little bundles of bulbils, which you can plant but won't produce very big bulbs in the first year or so. You can pull the scrapes if you like before they start filling up and cook them in a little butter in a frying-pan. Delicious! I've seen scrapes selling in organic stores for gold-like prices. Or you can just leave the scrapes to develop and when you harvest they will dry off with the rest of it without causing any harm. As a rule of thumb, given decent growing conditions, the bigger the clove you plant the larger the bulb will be.
So thats the secret!
No more eating the big ones and planting out the small ones.
The tops look good.
I've been naughty again and carefully pulled the soil away from some of the bulbs to see whats going on underneath but they still look quite small down under.
In the past,if any looked like they were going to bolt then I would cut off the flower stalk as soon as I saw it.
I found some of our Asparagus this week.
When the Asparagus season came and went with no sigh of ours I thought that they had all died or been eaten.
One I did find pulled out but it was too dried out to put back.
So far I have found 5 plus mum somehow got a pot with 3 in it so she's given that back to me.
Some of the plants are not where I know I put them....I think maybe 2 of them, which are in the middle of a bed, might sort have got there when I threw the seedling punnet they were supposed to be in ...and werent, out onto the bed.
But that was mounths ago.
I have put a stick next to the ones in the bed so I can find them again when they die down for the winter.
The others I have planted outside the dome space near the grapefruit tree.
I thought that seeing as neither really like their roots being dug around and both like alot of mulch that they might like to grow together.
I also have the pineapple sage growing really well under the grapefruit tree as well, didnt get badly hit by the winter frosts at all.
I am sure ants steal seeds that get direct sown into the garden.
I have some spring onions seeding at the moment,(they bend their stalks over so their heads are away from their roots), anyway I sprinkled some of the seeds alittle futher away than the seed head was, as you do but the next day when I went checking up on everthing I found this area crawling with black ants and today they arent there.
They must have found my seeds taken them and moved on to somewhere else.
The next lot I just took the seed cases off and sprinkled those around, probably wont fool them.
All the dock plants have started to flower so I have taken my secaturs and decapitated them right down to the ground.
These have all gone onto the compost heaps except for the odd few which look like they have open flowers on them.I dont want them setting seed in the compost.
Actually the dock plants came in handy, they grew quite tall and I found that if I cut out the lower leaves then I could put my tender seed punnets underneath the plants and the upper leaves protected them from the sun whils they were sprouting.
The second compost bin is almost full already.
I have layered the last few layers of lawn clippings with weeds in the hopes that if they do happen to have set seed then the grass with cook them, then followed these with another layer of stale sweepings and the dock.It was all alittle dry so I poured a bucket of water all around to moisten things abit.
When I came home the other day I was just in time to see the neighbours dog disappear by the back fence, he's dug an enormous hole under the fence.
This has now been filled in with 3 very large bits of concrete rubble.
Unfortuantely it wasnt done early enough as he has had a lovely time wandering all through the peas and lupins bed-its covered in 'paths'.
Hopefully they have flowered enough to handle being squashed and will still set lots of seed for us.
I had to plant out some climber beans today,I know its not the right time of the month but when they are starting to climb out both ends of their pot , its passed time.
These are the Painted Lady beans for the archway at the start of the garden path.
The seeding turnips got tied up and hung over the clothesline as have the black winter radish and mustard lettuce.
I think I've got afew days before they start going brown and need to be put in a bag to catch the seeds- they are still Green.
I dont know why we didnt think of changing the clothes line ages ago, its much better than having a rotating one, especially with having long poles to put them up out of the way.
I still ahve to use a chair or bucket to put my basket on when I'm hanging the clothes out tho, cos my back doesnt like the long bend, bit of bitch being so tall.
This afternoon I collected some crimsom clover flowers to dry.
I forgot that you are supposed to pick them in the morning, still I suppose its better than not collecting any at all.
I did want to get the red clover which is supposed to be better but that was out of stock and modern me wanted them Now not later so crimsom clover we have.
This is still supposed to be a good blood purifyer.
I'll pick some more in the morning
Something funny is happening to our potatoes.
The 'swift' ones started out looking good quite early in the piece but the "Illam Hardy' have completely outstripped them.
The swift look like they are dying back already but they havent even flowered yet.
I pulled up two that had almost dried off and had 600g and 900g per plant, not bad sized spuds just not many of them.
Mum asked me how often I have been watering them and I truthfully told her I started watering them all when the Illam Hardy ones started to flower cos I was told they need watering at this point to help form up the tubers.
Her take on all this is that I have under watered them,,,,But the Illam hardy are green and tall and flowering.
Maybe thats the one I need to keep, on the other hand the potatoes I harvested on the roadside garden last year averaged 1kg per plant and that was after a long growing season whereas the swift have only been there a short time so maybe they are cost effective in that sense(have to look and see when exactly I did plant them).
They taste really good, nothing like new potatoes in butter with lotsa choice herb of the day which for me last night was chives.
I have decided not to worry too much about getting plants in the ground or sown according to the time of the moon, mainly cos I wont be here again next week when "Its time" and also because so many of my neglected babies did not do well even tho they were sown and planted at the right time.
(I know its because I wasnt here to look after them).
Popped in to visit the nursery down the road, new people bought the place last winter and reopened for business this spring, they had things I needed so I bought some plants -got given some chewed up chinese cabbage that may well not do any good but mine didnt come up so I am not losing by trying them.
My tricks to stop the Starling from digging everything up now includes the small sticks stuck everywhere rahter than just around little plants.
One of the loose leaf lettuces I bought from the nursery was pulled out in less than half and hour after I put it in, luckily its my sunday so I was pottering around the garden and spotted it, put it back, gave it a big drink and put a seedling pot over the top of it.
What is really annoying tho is that the lettuce plant "she" decided to pull out was tucked in under some stalks of a nearby mustard lettuce that has just given me its seedhead-didnt touch any of the other five sitting out in the open.
I have also trimmed back some of the Jerusalem Artichokes and laid these tallish stems inbetween the plants/rows in the case of the sweet corn.
I also trimmed back the watsonia leaves(its a bulb plant with strappy leaves and orange flowers that I used to love and dont so much any more),these are quite soft so I used them to mulch around the new plants as well.
Recently, I was had a meal with some sort of canned bean in it.
My step brother has discovered he loves to cook and cooked us a fantastic meal.
I was really surprised when he said the beans were canned broad beans, I didnt even know there was such a thing.
They tasted quite good.
Of all thebroad beans I sowed last winter/early spring, only one came up and not that long ago so understandably its not doing that great but it is producing beans.
I am going to save these and grow them again specifically for drying(sorry eco, I just hate fresh bb's).
I may have to buy some more to make a decent sized crop.
Some of the tomatoes I planted out today were quite tall-maybe a foot, so I dug their hole very deep so when planted their head were just sticking up out of the ground.
I figured that the deeper the roots were, the better off they would be especially when tomatoes will and do grow roots out from their trunks=more roots which should equal a better growing plant.
Basil have been planted in ad around the tomatoes and I got some wall flowers which I havent had for ages and put these in an alternate row with the chinese cabbages.
I am going to grow some of our own chillis but forgot to put them out last time so I also bought 2 chillis and 2 more capsicums.These are supposed to be the red ones, mum gave me a few banana capsicums that she grew from her saved seed.
I'm feeling alittle better about the garden now that it is looking like a garden and not a desert.
Originally I mulched the temp. paths quite heavily with fresh lawn clippings and now these have cooked down, this has been scrapped off and put onto the beds.
The paths are mostly bare soil for the time being, til they start to get weedy again and then I'll start the whole cycle over again.
I have to decide soon what to do about seed sowing mix.
I have run out of the bought compost mix that I wound up mixing witht the stable sweepings andI have a box full of seedlings that will need to be transplanted out of there before I leave.
In this lot I have got some Arch Angelica.
I have tried for ages to get these to grow and decided to give it one more go this year.
I didnt bother putting them in the fridge this year it didnt work last year.
So far I have 2 come up and it looks like there is at least 1 more.
I just went out to the garden to check something and wound up spending an enjoyable 15 minutes doing a war dance in the fruit walk.
(Sometimes I do wonder what my neigbours think when they could hear me doing things like this or growling at the starling or coo'ing over a little plant doing well.)
I didnt move the NZ Flax bush from this area and as a result have a hoard of snails to deal with, so its no wonder really that things are getting eaten.
So with the torch, there I was jumping and prancing and crunching whatever was under foot.
Mum says I should use Blittzum snail bait and be done with it,but I am not too keen on that.
I had to hoe the central path again of summer grass.
The shredded tree mulch did really well up til now but I think it has packed down so well that it is behaving like soil and the grass just loves taking root in it.
I started to seriously consider splashing out and buy some 'proper' bark mulch that I know doesnt pack down and takes ages to break down, unfortunately my wallet wont let me do that at least not just now.
Things are finally starting to take off and I havent seen anything that has been pulled out by the birds.
The 'Swift' potatoes are defintely dying off already and I have dug up another couple of plants but didnt weigh them before they got eaten tho but I would say there was maybe a 1 1/2 kgs and little.
The butternut that I sowed in the alternate rows have finally come up as well as the extras I sowed cos I couldnt find the first lot.
I was expecting them to be growing in amongst potatoes but it looks like they may have the place to themselves soon.
We have onions!!!! with proper bulbs, not many and not big just yet but they are definitely worth eating.
The Orange tree insists that it produce flowers and even managed to set some fruit while I was away.
It has heaps of new leaves coming along now which is a relief.
I am still picking off alot /most of the flowers tho just to make sure it doesnt stress out and exhaust itself.
I had my first boysenberry I found when I was digging out the choko vine for my neighbour.Sooo sweet and ....wheres the next one.(Its only just been planted this year so I should be patient).
I was talking to my neighbour over the back hedge and asked him if he minded if I cut this section down quite low as I thought the Avocadoes here werent getting enough sunlight; He was just about to ask me the same thing so he can get more light into his house in winter.
We have agreed to swop black raspberries of mine for red raspberries that he has, he gets the choko vine that I just didnt have time to put into chutnyes etcc... last year and dont want it growing where we have our boysenberies planted now.( I have since discovered anothe plant growing on the other fence line so maybe I should make time for them in autumn.
I was told to try pickling the fruit like I do with onions, when they are still quite small-maybe a couple of inches, and would like to try them.
So from this conversation the hedge got trimmed from the corner of the section to the tree.
I dont want it to be that low any further along or we will have no privacy at all.
His son topped it for us and took out alot of privet while he was at it.
We still need to trim back our side of the hedge or its going to get too thick again.
The prunings will be a good size to go on the compost of scartter between the vegies.
When I was in the supermarket the other day I took a trip down the tinned food aisle and couldnt see anything that looked like canned broad beans.
I did see canned butter beans and I'm now wondering if what I got fed by my step brother was actually tinned butterbeans.
The poor lonely broad bean plant has managed to produce 4 large pods with another starting.
I will definitely save these for seed if only because this plant has shown such tenacity and deserves to be ......whats the word I'm looking for?.....honoured?
Got our first lot of beetroot for the new season, some we'll have fresh and some I will pickle with sliced onion again.
I'm going to hide this away so I wont be tempted to eat it too early.
The rock melon that mum grew are looking more and more like the gherkins she thought she had planted at her place, which means she has my rock melons!!!!
The cannellini beans I resowed did not come up bar a couple and when I carefully pulled the soil away to see what was happening, I found that they had been again infested with these really tiny little white bugs and have rotted.
I havent seen this sort of thing before and was told it was nematodes and to plant marigolds along that row so the root secretions will kill them or stop them reporducing.
This is really annoying because I like this sort of bean.
Its the one that is traditionally used in Minestrone and holdds its form when its slwo cooked- doesnt mush down as quickly as other types.
To make matters worse, I left ALL my seeds up in Auckland when I was up there and have to wait for a whole week till they can be brought back down to me.
I took them up so my brother could have a look over and see what he wanted and never brough the back with me.
The cabbages are almost ready to turn into sauerkraut.
We are going to try some with just the white cabbage and some with a mix of the red and white.
At the moment they are looking really striking growing alongside the calendula and nasturtium.
I have been trimming the 8 feet of winter savory edging where I managed to get cuttings to take before the sun got too hot.
This is starting to look quite good.
I dried the prunings out on the bench and they are now in their little herby jar in the pantry.
I also pruned back the lemon thyme that was starting to block the patha as well as the purple sage.
These two, I tied into bundles and have hanging on the door knob of the spare room, actually the thyme is on the key (in the door).
There is quite a nice breeze blow through when we have the window of this room open which cos its on the north side is often.
I have discovered that I like vietnamese mint when I have it in equal smells with the parsley and applemint(dont know what happened to the garden mint. Its possible that I may be the first person who managed to kill this plant).
Yesterday we made sauerkraut from both the Red Express cabbages and the White Copenhagen market ones.
I decided to try something alittle different this time and added some Black radish,lemmon thyme, sage and parsley as well as some fennel seed and garlic.
We also used the outer leaves of some of the white cabbages which seemed to have a different texture to the heart when shredded.
Oh added some sliced onion as well.
One of the remaining white cabbages is looking stunning and I havent used that one because I want to let it go to seed.
The black radish we used had already gone to seed and didnt look like dying off at all in fact they seemed to be resprouting their leaves.
I pulled them up peeled the rough black skin of and removed a hard inner layer and the stem core.
What was left was the inner part of the radish which was still quite soft and crunchy.
It tasted alittle mellower than the ones we tried awhile ago.
The crock is now sitting in the kitchen in a nice warm spot and nobody is allowed to open it for 2 weeks while it ferments.
Thats supposed to stop any Kame yeast from forming ontop of the sauerkraut.( I think thats how you spell it).
Today I harvested the field peas we let go to seed.
This took some time as they had mostly fallen over and I had to sit down and pull the top most stalk towards me strip al the pods off into
a bucket and toss the stalk behind me.
Just as well I did do this cos alot of them were drying off even tho the top most pods were often still filling up.
Im sure there is a better way of doing this but it was the best I could come up with and got the job done.
I can see the need to use a trellis as they were over 6 foot tall.
Perhaps next year when the trellis around the north side of the garden is built, I can sneak them in before the Boysenberries wake up maybe.
Some were empty of seeds but not too many.
So now we have 2 20 litre buckest of peas to shell.
I dont know how that stacks up as a harvest but they were supposed to be dug in as green manure and have given us way more peas than anything else so far.
These will then get dried thoroughly and then..... I want to try something I read about how they get treated in India to make split peas.
Split peas are supposed to cook faster than the whole ones andI love pea and ham/bacon hock soup.
The zucchinnis we grew are looking really good.
When I have grown these before the male flowers came up really quickly and the fruits at the baseof the female flowers were quite small.
These Italian heirloom types have big fruit at the base of the flowers- they are already almost 3 inches long and the flower hasnt even opened up yet.
I just hope the male flowers hurry up and form up in time.
They look like they are lagging behind.
I definitely have mums gherkins and she is not happy with having all my melons.
The day lilly flower buds we have been harvesting are drying nicely.
Last year we picked them when they were almost ready to open and had trouble with them not drying properly.
This time they are tighter buds and I make sure they get brought in well before dusk just in case they start to reabsorb moisture.
The lemon Verbena seems to love being at the corner of the garden shed.
This got transplanted in winter along with the Italian Parsley.
The parsely has almost finished setting seed which is just in thime cos its taking up alot of room that the lemon verbena and pineapple sage needs now.
It did do a good job of protecting the pineapple sage from the frosts tho.
I have started harvesting the leaves of the lemon verbena too-- oh I love the smell of this.Its so refreshing.
Its funny how you can have a whole heap of things that have a type of smell but theres one that really stands out and for me its the lemon verbena.
The luffas got planted out along the old internal fence between the boysenberries and kiwifruit.
They should really have gone in maybe last week but they look okay so far.I dont mind if these take off like Eco's did...We'll let them go over the part of the yard behind the garden there.
Not getting enough time to sort that area out so I wouldnt mind abit of help smothering afew things over there.
I have been wondering what I should really be doing with the roadside garden.
This was going to be used for things that needed space to move so to speak, but hasnt really happened.
After reading about PP's survivalist list and someones elses nature strip, I'm thinking it could be a good spot to move those things that can be moved to let go to seed like the turnips, black radish,parsnips as well as letting afew uninspiring things grow there.
Like Salisfy.This does not look very impressive, in fact it sort of looks like ribleaf plantain.
The jury is still out on what trees to plant there.
There used to be the Lemon Tarata(lemonwood?) but that got way to tall and had to go being right next to the highway.
I would still like to put some things in to coppice like Hazel, and Chestnuts.
I dont see why we cant have some trees and vegies there.
Today I finally got to pruning our side of the hedge.
I'd like to be able to say that I did it with the hand shears (which I do do), but, it was left too long and the stems were too thick so I had to use the electric shears.
I have just walked the prunings over the walkway between the garden and the hedge as I have found that it packs down really well and smothers all the weeds that are growing there.
Not actually very many this time though, there is still alittle bit of the convovulus but it actually looks quite weak.
I think both the neighbours on this side of the fenceline are actively pulling it out on sight too which is a relief.
They are probably relieved that I've finally got the hedge done in time to look nice for Xmas.
I had to pull out some of the bracken fern that grows under the plum tree as it was starting to incroach on the path again.
I was intending on putting it in the compost but as I was walking along I was stripping off the ferny bits and dropping them on the beds without really thinking about it.
Then I stopped and actually looked at what I had done and what it looked like and had a "Eureka" moment!
Sooo the path got cleared back alittle more than I intended and the three beds that this sod keeps invading got mulched in wirey bracken ferns.
It also seems to dapple the light hitting the beds as well.
It seems to be working as I saw the starling fly down get tangled in some of this and fly off again, of course that could also be that the cat just happened to be nearby too.
I thought that I might also see how other different plants act as possible mulches so lay some bears breeches leaves around 2 of 3 melons growing in one bed. I chose the largest and the smallest leaving the middle one as a control.
I checked when I planted out the potatoes and those swift type have been in for around three months.
There was 1 row in particular that had definitely died back so I took out the kitchen scales and weighed each plant lot as I pulled them out.
There were a couple that only had 700 grams but most were around the 1 kg mark.
They are small to medium sized with only 2 plants that had mainly golfball sized.
So on one hand its not the 2 1/2 kgs I was hoping for per plant on the other hand they werent actually there for very long and were growing quite close to trees.
Three of the tubers were green so I have kept these to harden up abit and I will see if I can get them to sprout and replant them in the next available bed to see how they do there.
I spend alot of time wandering around just looking at how things are growing and what is going on pretty much everywhere.
For example today I spent alot of time picking up handfuls of soil etc off the beds and taking a look at what was in my hand.
I know this area started off just looking like dirt and so was quite surprised to find that it contained alot of bits of leaf, tiny twiggy bits, bits of insects afew seeds here and there.
Its still sandy- when I squeeze it in my hand (after checking for worms) and opening my hand again it just falls apart.
Its for the most part slightly moist rather than completely dry.
When I scratched away the top loose level and had alook underneath it it was (except for one part that was bone dry ) damp and dark coloured.
We did have rain quite heavily yesterday, I checked alot of places this afternoon- its been really hot and for the most part not much of a breeze.
I did this once quite awhile ago and remember being shocked that the soil was dry almost all over after a day of rain so I am quite pleased with what I found today.
I think today made me realise that although the main purpose of the garden is to produce food, it also has an equally important task of teaching me about how things grow here in relation to different parts of the garden and/or the different plants growing nearby.
I have been getting stressed out over the disappointments and failures and realised/ reaffirmed that the learning experience is just as important to be doing now as collecting food for the table.
If something doesn work out we wont starve so it isnt a disaster.
The main boysenberry plant finally got tied up to its post, it suddenly occurred to me that it was not going to climb up there by itself and would prefer to crawl along the ground instead.
The cutting thats alittle further along the trellis is still not very big but has a nice fat juicy looking berry growing on it-still very green.
I did a woo-woo thing with the comfrey tea.
I dont know if it has any nutrients in it as it has been sitting around for quite some time and I remembered something I read ages ago about stirring liquid manure to I think it adds oxygen but I think there was something else about it too.
Anyway stirring the tea with my Right hand which is supposed to be more energizing (hell why not I'm righthanded so its as good a reason as any),get it to a point where there is a definite vortex going on and then do a figure eight to crash the vortex and start all over again.
I found that by stirring around the middle of the bucket rather than around the edges, I got the vortex effect more quickly.
I didnt do it for the whole hour but probably did put in a good 1/2 hour.
When I went to dose the plants I thoguht it would be a good idea to dilute it quite abit so some of this tea got poured into an empty bucket and that was taken down to the outside house tap where it got more oxygen pushed thru it when the buclet filled up with water.
I gave all the plants in 3 beds a drink quantity depending on how big they were.
Is it going to work... I have no idea but it was fun and wont do any harm, will it?
Sorry to pick just this one thing mischief - I love you work and like that the garden has become more than just food production but ....
I suggest that a vortex established deep from the sides will be a more complete form with a deep centre and all the water rotating in unison
It will not do any harm - that's for sure.
Thats two things Mark - wake up to yourself.
Okay I'll try that tomorrow.
Well today I was going to tell you that I had decided to under plant the winter savory with the creeping spanish veil,took more cuttings of the winter savory and planted these on the other side of the path that runs diagonally between the 2 mandalas from the compost bin to the north to the park bench infront of the hedge.
Pulled out some creeping plant thats growing in the driveway and planted that in front of the park bench along the hedge;dug out white clover out of the lawn and planted that in a part of the garden that the chooks dome cant get too in order to trial Fukuokas method.
I was going to tell you how clever I thought I was getting my timing right by putting the melons in at a time that when they are starting to need space the beetroot was ready to come out and so too was the cabbage there; and that I had gone around and gave all the other plants a feed of comfrey tea and planted the marigolds along the top of the roadside rock wall;but..........
As I was walking down the Bears Breeches along the hedge to give the Avocadoes alittle more light I went to pull off a spindly bit of convovulus off one of them and found........
WE HAVE BABY AVOCADOES !!!!!!!!!
The plant I first found them on was the one that got a thrashing from the Bears Breeches when we that ferocious winds alittle while ago.
It lost all its leaves at the top and only had 6 right down low so I thought it wouldnt do very well this year.
But no it must have clicked into survival mode because it has fruited.
Just 2 little ones but Im happy with that.
I raced around checking the others and found another that has tiny little bobbles on it.
Somewhat disappointed that it was just the two of them I went down to check the ones growing under the Big existing tree in front of the garage.
No, they are looking very pretty and leafy but no fruit on any of those, oh well 6 avocadoes for us this year.
Then, I looked up.
My god the big tree is loaded with fruit.
I would have expected it to pollinate the smaller ones but somehow their pollen has got all the way up there and pollinated the big one.
I think I'm exhausted now from sheer Excitement!!
I re read an earlier post to see what I had intended to plant in amongst the potatoes.
When I read it was beans which are supposd to be a good companion for potatoes and nasturtiums, I laughed.
I cant see how I could plant anything in between them they have completely cover the whole area.(this is the Illam Hardy).
The butternut that was direct sown earlier, are looking good and I think are really appreciating the days of rain we have had, todays was quite heavy.
In some ways Im disappointed that it has rained and for so long cos I wanted to se how everything did after I gave them their drink of comfrey tea, but on the other hand I think plants do much better when they get natural rain as opposed to person-watered.
Still everything has shot away and looking happy and healthy.
I have seen the odd green shield bug and heaps of ants but they dont seem to be having an effect on the vegetables.
A couple of weeks ago I read some posts about the 28 spotted ladybirds which looked like what we have in our garden,I counted the spots on ours and it wasnt 28 but 11 and recently read that these were good guys.
Thats a relief because there were alot of them all over the place.They seemed to have moved on now tho.
The Parsnip finally produced seed that was fully formed so I stood down their stalks and moved the girls onto their next spot which thye absolutely loved.
It looks like it was not done on a root day tho-I never even thought to check that before I cut the umbells off to dry abit in the porch.
I wasnt sure that they would stand up to me moving the dome over them- as it turned out the stalks mainly snapped off at the ground and are just lying there for now.
My neighbour came over to ask what they should for their hens as they are laying really soft shells or jelly eggs.
I had been given some dolomite from a friend which fixed our problem so I told them about that and where they could get it in town but also asked them if they were giving them lots of leafy greens as well which they were.
We used to be able to get Oyster shell grit which is finer and small than the Mussel shell grit you buy now.I think this is not as good for the hens as the Oyster grit-I never had problems with soft shell or jelly eggs, but thats just not on the market anymore.
She was telling me that a friend of hers got her hens from the same egg farm in june and that her hens eat whatever they are given which ours dont.
The next lot of hens we will get will be from the June batch too so I can see for myself if there really is a difference, I cant see why there would be but you never know.
I dug over most of the bed the girls just moved off.
This has Apple mint growing in it which I was told was not invasive and would be okay to put at the edge of the bed....NOT.
Got about 3/4's done before the rain went from fine drizzle to full peltdown.
Had to stake one of the Italian Zucchinnis,it is so tall and the leaves and really big that it didnt seem to be handling the little bit of wind that came with the rain, so far its just the one but I'll have to keep an eye on these.
All three of them did produce a fruit (I guess you would call it that), with out any male flowers opening, not sure how or why they just didnt shrivel up.
I used to see pictures of Zucchinnis at markets complete with flower still on them and wondered if they grew like that in a different climate, now I'm thinking that this is just how This particular type grow.
The zucchinni is at least 2-3 inches long before the flower even opens up and by the time it has closed I have seen a decent meal and cut if off.
Now we just need to tomatoes to hurry up so we can have sauteed zucchinni, onions and tomatoes with alittle garlic and oregano.
Garlic! I had another sneaky look at ones base and so far its looking twice the size of last years heads, I cant wait for them to start dying back.
"but on the other hand I think plants do much better when they get natural rain as opposed to person-watered."
They do because rain contains nitrogen while water from the tap doesn't.
I thought i had read that soft shelled eggs are caused by lack of calcium in the diet which is why the dolomite works.
But i found this on a website...Soft-shelled eggshttps://www.blpbooks.co.uk/articles/egg_problems/egg_problems.php
I think its also called Old Age.
I am starting to wonder if our strawberry loving thief has learnt about 'sharing'.
I have been finding lovely sweet ripe strawberries with afew pecks taken out of them and then left for me.
Good thing they havent learnt how lovely the black raspberries are.
I discovered quite by chance that I have been picking these way too early.
I found one that was hidden and slipped off its stalk with barely a touch and so sweet.
Here I was telling people that they are alittle on the tart side and not really as sweet as the red ones.
So now I just touch them and if they dont start moving I leave them for next time.
I have dug up all the rest of the swift potatoes, I didnt bother to weigh them as they are pretty much what I have already taken out.
I'm taking these with me when I go visiting.
I have told everyone I know that Im not doing presents this year so dont do any for me, but I have to share our new potatoes cos they are so delicious.
Maybe I can encourage people to put in veg gardens.
I had another sneaky peak at the garlic and they are looking almost as big as the ones in the supermarket.
Some have started to fall over but they are still very green so I'm not sure what that is about unless they didnt like growing next to the apple mint either.
(Thats been cut right back and I will be pulling it out and potting it up).
I decided to pull up the onions.They were looking quite good last week and I worried that this lot of rain would ruin them.
Their stalks were bending over for the most part which made me think they had had enough and wanted to be harvested.
When we had a couple of dry days I thought it best to get them under the porch to dry out.
No.. Im not saying hiow many I got cos it is alot less than what I planted but it is over 1oo o/o better than I got last year so I really dont care.
I like to smell them... I realise that sounds odd even fetish-like but they smell real.
I can imagine what they are going to taste like when I cook them.
The Runner Lima beans have reached the top of their trellis so I have pinched the tips.
With so many seedlings demolished I went alittle overboard with the seed sowing and it looks like all but one came up.
I know that one didnt cos I found its head cut off quite early in the piece.
I was telling a friend about it and all the other things that had just been cut and left lying around and she said it was the Wetas.
Apparently spring is their mating season and the males get antsy and have to show off their strength, so they go around destroying the stems of my new seedlings.
We have carrots this year.
They seem to be coming up on in the path on the other side of the bed that I sowed them.
Perhaps that was the same day I sowed the Amaranth as that too has turned up all in the path rather than on any bed.
Dont sow seeds on windy days ...or do it reallly low to the ground so the seed goes where you want it to grow.
My little sowing of peanuts is producing results.
After doing alittle research, I may have sown them alittle closer to the edge than I should have but we'll just have to see how it goes.
I was sorting thru the seed packets and found some that were alttle on the old side so I put them altogether with some others that I had alot of and sprinkled them all over the roadside garden.
They may come up they may not.
It will be interesting to see what unfolds.
I havent been very good about getting this area planted out and thought I would see what happened with the self sowing.
As it turns out the marigolds did not self sow but alot of other things did, mainly daisies and dandelions.
From our front room, these look glorious.
I suppose it is looking alittle like the long acre now that the spring fest is over.
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