Terras Patch

Discussion in 'Members' Systems' started by Terra, Aug 23, 2012.

  1. altamira55

    altamira55 Junior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2013
    Messages:
    92
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    6
    My brother and I had difficult childhhods. Our mother used to regularly beat the crap out of us for unpredictable reasons, and our dad just sort of stayed out of things related to childrearing. There was no set of rules we could follow and know we'd be OK. My brother retreated into a shell of anxiety. I rebelled and did whatever I felt like. The more rules I could break, the better, my mother be damned. I probably got beaten up more often, but I think my way was healthier than my brother's in the long run. But yeah, getting a swollen leg and feeling a little ill from a snake bite was significantly better than being beaten up by my mother.
     
  2. helenlee

    helenlee Junior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2006
    Messages:
    1,519
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Aw Jez honey. No words, just big hugs (((
     
  3. Terra

    Terra Moderator

    Joined:
    May 16, 2007
    Messages:
    757
    Likes Received:
    23
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Long overdue whats happening at Terras The Mandala garden is producing , Rhubarb , Lettuce seedlings (Red Oak leaf self seeded) Roma Tomatoes , Golden Nugget Pumpkins , Zucs , Bush cucumbers are finished , Onions red white and brown are hanging in the shed Garlic is hanging as well they came from the raised beds , a few beetroot left to deal with and a few more onions to dig up . Late planted Tomatoes setting nice , I think sometimes theres not much in the garden but a wander around and its surprising how much we have .

    Melons are starting to take over , one bed was self seeded so im hoping they turn out ok , the chooks in the dome are the most contented chooks ive ever seen it certainly is a good life for them they are always busy busy


    View attachment 2318

    Aquaponic system has been churning out Tomatoes since before Christmas its almost impossible to grow them early here in the ground (soil Temperature) ive had them early in big black pots before Xmas . Getting Strawberries from a late variety my raised bed strawberries are finished now . =(

    The Corn out of the black system is amazing I only planted a few as they are big water users , strawberries in this system have just started suffering a nutrient deficiency I think ive fixed it doesn't matter really Seasol fixes most problems , most of these come out now they have been producing beautiful berries right through but I don't need them taking up space there will be plenty in the raised beds to replace them later on . I like having about 100 plants glad I don't have to buy them we are strawberry gluttons :p

    Need to be home more


    View attachment 2319

    View attachment 2320
     

    Attached Files:

  4. mouseinthehouse

    mouseinthehouse Junior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2012
    Messages:
    782
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Wow that lot looks impressive! :) You have very similar conditions to us. We seem to be growing the same stuff. I love the aquaponics set up. Had good intentions to get some going but haven't got around to it yet. Maybe this winter - the hardest thing I have found is getting the big IBCs that haven't had baddies in them. Our strawberries have done well this time too but the very hot weather this last few days has hit them (44C here today with bad northerlies, 42C yesterday). Already made a lot of jam, yum. We like to try lots of different vegies but are coming to the conclusion that with a short growing season and very hot summers and chances of late frost, we might have to just keep planting the staples that do ok. Like the beets, carrots, parsnips, pumpkins, zucs, eggplant, onions and garlic. Currently growing sugar beets to make a 'molasses' out of. Tomatoes are tricky. We have to plant really late, then they get fried when still little, now we have heaps on them but they don't want to ripen?
    Beans also do well here. Do you grow beans much Terra? Tried purple climbing beans - big failure - too hot for them. Dwarf green beans and kidney beans are good. Trying soy beans for the first time and they seem healthy but haven't flowered yet. Got snake beans in tubs. Lettuce I grow in late winter and spring. Is the aquaponics making a lot of growing of the tender or tricky stuff achievable? Now you got me fired up to get it up and running! Is that a chook dome in the pic? Love it whatever it is.
    Melons are touch and go here due to the short season. They just get going and then we run out of hot weather darn it. Usually just get a couple of rockmelons.
    I'm drying a lot vegies this year - mainly parsnips, carrots and zucchinis and chillies and hopefully eventually the tomatoes. I chop them up, put them on my electric dehydrator trays and put them on the back shelf of our black commodore and park in sun with windows part down. Fully dried in half a day! In fact days like today are too hot! Saves electricity that's for sure. Then I put them in zip lock bags and put in our dry store to use in soups etc in winter.
    One new thing for us has been Borage. Ok you can only eat the lovely little flowers but it grows like weeds here and it has just spread all over our vegie garden and the BEES - the bees go mad for it! It grows fast and when its about three feet or so high I chop and drop. Some of them I let go to seed before I chop and then next thing a few hundred new plants are coming up everywhere. It is a really good soil conditioner apparently.

    More pics please :)
     
  5. Terra

    Terra Moderator

    Joined:
    May 16, 2007
    Messages:
    757
    Likes Received:
    23
    Trophy Points:
    18
    View attachment 2321

    My Chook dome is two lengths of sheepyard weldmesh 1.1/4 inch blueline pipe bolted at the joins and wired to the weldmesh , secondhand Tuna net , a few cable ties , and an old shade sail thing , The chook palace is a old dog kennel covered with scraps of shed cladding and old golf cart wheels . I didn't make a nice light one as it would blow into next week here . Usually just get help to move it but its easy enough on my own , lock chooks in box by swinging up their ramp then flick dome on its side and roll it along .

    Aquaponics soon teach you how much water is soaking away in our ground gardens , I was looking for a way to extend the growing season for fruiting crops like tomatoes and cucumbers capsicums ect and its been great . So I built the little green house on a disused tank stand , I now have two systems running , water saving is a big plus I could run a very very large set up on one 22000L tank . My IBCs had locally made organic fish waste fertilizer in them so that was perfect , look for ones that have had things like honey or juices or acids , if you can get chemical ones for free and have a way of disposing of the liners the extra cages are real handy for growbed bases . Murray Hallam sells a very good food safe liner now and people are building with it grow beds and floating raft beds .

    The nitrogen cycle starts with an ammonia source (Fish , Urine , Urea ) then bacteria turn up and establish on the surface areas you provide (usually Gravel) and convert the Amm to nitrite both of these are toxic to fish , then another bacteria turns up and converts the nitrite to NITRATE then everybody is happy , providing you don't over feed . Don't wait to get started this process happens a lot faster in the warmer months when its freezing cold the bacteria slow down , I started with an old bath tub and a 50L container full of gravel and a few goldfish and a 5 watt pump ,then when I built by first 300L growbed I tipped the 50L of fully "Cycled" gravel in to Seed the system helped a lot it takes time to build up the nutrient base just like starting a garden on an old road for example .

    There is a Aquaponic thread somewhere if you want to crank it up or im happy to help here , there are forums of course (Backyard aquaponics) and (Practical Aquaponics) you will find Terra there as well , https://www.backyardaquaponics.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=18&t=12070 , must do an update there as well.

    I got my early tomatoes really going by raising my "Soil" temperature I diverted a bit of pump flow through a hundred metres of black poly laid on the ground and only ran it on the warmer part of the day , and managing the siphons , constant flood at night (conserves heat) and siphon during the day . I am doing the opposite at the moment (40 plus C) so im constant flood during the day (no hot air being drawn into the gravel) and siphoning at night to maximise cooling .

    Watermelons are ready here about the time its too cold to eat them , I do have some honey dews that look like they will make it , yep I think our energy is best spent growing what we can . I grow Bush butter beans the yellow ones they grow like weeds here if you keep the water up if your water is a bit salty beans don't like it .

    Still getting good Oakleaf lettuce out of the AP floating raft , this hot spell might stuff it (run to seed) but I have heaps more seedlings , Red lettuce is lots more heat tolerant . Im not all that happy with styrene foam on the water but it has to do for now until ive got some time to build a timber suspension thingy to hold the net pots . I have a piece of IBC cage with shadecloth on it that sits on top for wind / shade protection .

    View attachment 2323

    The greenhouse has polycarbonate on the roof that lets light in but reflects heat so the blurb says it can be 40 plus on the verandah and around 35 in the green house so that helps with extreme days a lot plus a bit of evaporative cooling effect from running water . My sister has infected me with borage I keep it around the pond in the centre circle of the mandala pattern , she also done me over with stinging nettles and big snails .

    I was going to do the car thing this year I wanted to try those Italian drying tomatoes but havnt got organised , I think the very early apple is (beauty of bath) I recon we could car dry them as well would be handy .

    So yes a AP system will help with the tender plants of course use Design in site selection , im happy with what ive learnt with my two little systems . I have water here for a ground garden however if I moved to a dry area I know enough now to build a very large energy efficient system and have success .
     

    Attached Files:

  6. mouseinthehouse

    mouseinthehouse Junior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2012
    Messages:
    782
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Terrific - thanks for all that info. So until I get a couple IBCs to get a start....I have one of our fish ponds that might do on a very small scale. It is a black poly round trough about a metre or less in diameter and currently has gold fish in and a pond lily. Is a nice little system, stabilised and seems in balance at the moment. I guess I could get some styrofoam (which I currently have a little of) and just put a couple of narrow rafts across with little pots in? So, basically, pots with net in bottom, small gravel or that expanded light stuff then plant into that. Set pots in the styrofoam cut outs? So talk me through how the pots and styrofoam work? Do the pots wick up water direct from the pond and how do you do this without them being flooded all the time? Set them a bit above the water with a wicking device into the water itself?
    The chook dome is awesome - recycled tuna net - GOLD!
     
  7. Terra

    Terra Moderator

    Joined:
    May 16, 2007
    Messages:
    757
    Likes Received:
    23
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Just checked the temperatures , 2.15 pm , 42c out the front in the shade and 36c in my Aquaponic greenhouse which is in full sun at the moment with a shade cloth curtain hanging down on the open northern side , so the heat reflection must be working . 8)
     
  8. mouseinthehouse

    mouseinthehouse Junior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2012
    Messages:
    782
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I just went out to check the chooks after the ABC site told me its 44.6C outside at the moment :/ Chooks fine under the house but the horrendous hot north winds are frying stuff in the vegie patch! The soil surface and subsoil are damp under all the mulch but of course the leaves of everything are just losing more moisture than what they can take up. Tomatoes, potatoes and even the parsnips are looking sad and the pumpkins...eish....they'll perk up later when the change comes but I it really messes them about all these extreme days. Really need more protection from those north winds but finding it so hard to establish trees/shrubs in that area as it's pure sand and little survives despite our best efforts. :( Might have to be some sort of structure.

    When we were in Namibia once we arrived at a place on a property in the north and experienced a day when the temperature was close to 50C. Not uncommon there in the build up to the 'rainy' season. A worker on the property had his own large vegie patch and it was entirely enclosed with shadecloth over a heavy waterpipe frame. His vegies looked great despite the very difficult soils, temps and need to conserve every drop of water.
     
  9. Terra

    Terra Moderator

    Joined:
    May 16, 2007
    Messages:
    757
    Likes Received:
    23
    Trophy Points:
    18
    First step get one of these https://www.apifishcare.com/product.php?id=580 available at most pet shops , so you can monitor the water specs.

    Net Pots mine are about 75 mm x 80mm , search hydroponic net pots or similar lots of different sizes im really happy with the ones I have . I just use small gravel in them , trialed nice tumbled pebbles from a garden store , grey gravel sifted out of the concrete gravel and iron stone pea gravel from out the front of the house (my soil in a lot of places) no difference , now they are all mixed up and get used over and over .

    Short term you can float your net pots on the pond , the fish will eat the roots :rofl: and the roots will collect gunk and suffer , the cleaner the water is (suspended solids) the better . Like the hydro lettuce in the supermarket have snow white roots or should have , fast growing lettuce will probably go ok now if you guard them underneath but work towards a purpose built filtered raft bed . If you look at my photo again the foam is 70mm thick and the pots stick out the bottom about a centimetre and yes the water wicks up through the gravel you can go deeper wont matter the key is having high oxygen levels in the water I have 4 airstones in my raft bed under the foam pinned to the bottom with rocks . So dont cover the pond much or you will cut the oxygen exchange at the surface .

    I would suggest getting something like a blue barrel we can get them here for $10 had apple stuff in them that they make baby food from , cut in half either way , length wise they will go out of shape without bracing . Fill one with gravel run it constant flood overflow into the second as your raft then overflow back to pond , you will only need a little pump say 5 to 10 watt this will give you nice clean water in the raft and surface area to grow the beneficial bacteria . Endless choices for a cheap recycled start , old fridges and a bit of fibreglass patchwork , a double stainless sink . Stay away from galv the zinc will kill your fish , you will have STUFF you can use . Photo is stolen from someone , any thing I like I tend to save . So clean any muck out of the pond and pump the water through the beds that will get you a start have about 50mm minimum Dry gravel on top to reduce evaporation , keep the pumping height to a minimum pond pumps don't like pushing water uphill . Use large gravel that has NO limestone in it say 15 to 20 mm , lime will put your ph through the roof and lock up nutrient , eventually get the system to stabilise around the 6.5 to 6.8 mark that's another rollercoaster.

    View attachment 2324

    Crash course its a bit like reading mollisons manual lots in there but you just have to work through it , with your pond and goldies test the water to see what you have , main trap for beginners is a NITRITE SPIKE toxic to fish , if you have a source of ammonia and start pumping through the gravel Nitrosomas bacteria turn up and convert it to nitrite (toxic to fish) . Two options remove your fish to a safe place just before this gets going while the cycle continues or salt at 3kg per 1000L to mitigate the effects then Nitrobactor turn up and use up the nitrite and convert to nitrate and all is well , spend some time in the ap forums and you will find this can be a rollercoaster for some this is where the test kit is essential .Because you have an old pond you should have a small colony of bacteria and if you keep your ammonia level LOW and don't over feed it will be ok .

    I had a nitrite spike in my first system I was aware of the danger but I had a build up in my tank of uneaten feed that I didn't see until it was too late , (surge in ammonia then a big nitrite hit ) in my second system I never saw a hint of nitrite (seeded with cycled water and some gravel) So we test regularly until we have a good nitrate reading then the cycle has completed .

    Then you will need enough wet gravel to handle the fish load you have that's for another time , along with Radial flow filters to get really clean plant roots , hope your not totally confused .
     

    Attached Files:

  10. mouseinthehouse

    mouseinthehouse Junior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2012
    Messages:
    782
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Wow, ok that is a lot to digest - will get SO to read through he's more the tech details guy. We have two half blue drums unused but probably already out of shape but know where I can get some more....also have a dead fridge and a dead chest freezer.....hmmmm. Will have to put thinking cap on and see what we can knock up. I need simple start cos I want everything yesterday. SO is the slow and steady one. lol.

    Thanks for all the ideas and info. :)
     
  11. Terra

    Terra Moderator

    Joined:
    May 16, 2007
    Messages:
    757
    Likes Received:
    23
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Mith have a look at "long stem planting" seen it on landline or somewhere tried it up the back on deep sand dug postholes with the digger to full depth I had some sugar gums that were a metre tall left over sad things in the shade house I stripped the leaves of leaving the top 3 or 4 dropped then in the holes and filled in . Never watered them the growth was incredible even though the spitting caterpillars hammered them . Mallee type trees don't like it I believe more the woody single trunk types apparently they sprout roots like tomatoes do .
    heaps of links like this https://www.bushcare-kba.org.au/index.php/bushnotes/long-stem-planting/
     
  12. mouseinthehouse

    mouseinthehouse Junior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2012
    Messages:
    782
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Gee that technique sounds promising - just read the link! Thanks so much. I reckon I could source quite a few overgrown gum seedlings in pots form here and there. Will definitely give this a try in Autumn and see how it goes, could be just the solution for that particular area. :)
     
  13. Terra

    Terra Moderator

    Joined:
    May 16, 2007
    Messages:
    757
    Likes Received:
    23
    Trophy Points:
    18
  14. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2009
    Messages:
    5,925
    Likes Received:
    8
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Geez Terra - I really want to buy a combi and sell everything and go on a tour of Aus and come visit you for a few months. It looks great!
    After your place I'll head West and see if I can find Kimbo…..
     
  15. Terra

    Terra Moderator

    Joined:
    May 16, 2007
    Messages:
    757
    Likes Received:
    23
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Eco Im close to traveling as well , if your going in a Combi you should buy some paint brushes do a couple of murals pick up Helen need a big trailer for her cows or ive got a few horses we could go droving with Helens cows .
     
  16. Terra

    Terra Moderator

    Joined:
    May 16, 2007
    Messages:
    757
    Likes Received:
    23
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Mith Ive got a couple of busy days working so if I go missing I will be back , have a look at the BYAP site lots of free downloads info ideas ect

    https://www.backyardaquaponics.com/

    Its a big subject you can read 500 hours and still make simple errors but that's ok .

    The beach was terrific
     
  17. helenlee

    helenlee Junior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2006
    Messages:
    1,519
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I ride ... & I have 4 working dogs ... & I would love to do a bit of droving. That would be just what my soul needs right now. Dunno about droving dairy cows though ... :)
    I'd love to learn to shear. Properly I mean :)
     
  18. Terra

    Terra Moderator

    Joined:
    May 16, 2007
    Messages:
    757
    Likes Received:
    23
    Trophy Points:
    18
    We could drove slowly it doesn't matter, don't need a fridge for our milk / butter.
     
  19. helenlee

    helenlee Junior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2006
    Messages:
    1,519
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Hehe ... just drinking my late night coffee made on all milk & about a quarter of it cream when I read that :) Mmmmmm YUM! Man that is good stuff :) It makes me sad there's such a huge anti-dairy sentiment these days, & don't even mention CREAM! Horror of horrors!!!

    I miss riding horseback after cattle. I miss campfires. I miss the sound & smell of horses grazing nearby in the pitch black when you're stretched out in your swag, staring at the blazing stars above. It's amazing how many falling stars you see when you're camped out. One night when we were camped at Pagans Flat I almost got scared enough to wake up my ex, who was sleeping in his swag a few feet from me. There were SO many falling stars - far, far more than I had ever witnessed on one occasion, that I started to get a bit weird about what was going on. I have no idea why I thought waking him up was going to be any help - he wasn't the type to have been useful in an "end-of-the-world" scenario. He probably would have decided the most sensible thing to do was to drink as much as possible of what was left in the esky before he died. sigh. I later stumbled across the information that it was during a period when there were was a lot of meteor shower activity. It was a spectacular night :)
    I've never seen the stars from the desert ... I'd like to do that one day :)
     
  20. songbird

    songbird Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2013
    Messages:
    1,780
    Likes Received:
    142
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Occupation:
    gardening, reading, etc
    Location:
    near St. Charles, MI, USoA
    Home Page:
    Climate:
    -15C-35C, 10cm rain/mo, clay, full sun, K-G Dfa=x=Dfb
    back in the days when i was running large salt water aquariums the common way to start them was to use black mollies (as they can tolerate both fresh and salt water) they would kick start the nitrogen cycle and then as the tank stabelized you could gradually increase the biological complexity. i also liked how they looked in contrast to some of the bright yellows and blues of the tropical fish.
     

Share This Page

-->