Wednesday, 31 October 2007

A Photo A Day - No. 302

Old Girl Chook Deenie
AKA Mrs Houdini
There's one in every flock.
No matter where she's living
she always manages to escape!

Tuesday, 30 October 2007

Tuesday Re-Use-Day - 9

Final Tuesday Re-Use-Day

On each Tuesday for the last few weeks I have been featuring photos of things that are re-used around Scarecrow's Garden.

Remember to click on any of the photos to enlarge them! smile

* The Re-used items are written in bold!

Odds and Sods

These old tyres have been used to build up a bird bath
they will be planted with water-wise succulents
to brighten up the front garden.
The water container is high enough above ground level
to keep the birds safe from The Black Ninja!
See here on Doc's Blog

When our new neighbours moved in across the road
they gave us all of their packaging boxes.
We split them open and lay them down on the pathways
under a thick layer of crusher dust.
See Here.

The cases from old computers make good 'white' boards
to write notes on in the kitchen.
Many white good appliance cases
can also be used in the same manner.

Newspapers can be re-used in many ways in the garden
but I found this useful last year.
I made a simple flour glue
and stuck seeds onto strips of newspaper.
The newspaper rots away after the seeds have germinated.
See Here

We make our own bread here
and our breadmix is purchased in calico sacks.
This year I cut a few sacks up
and re-used the fabric to make a pair of shorts for Doc!
He says they are very comfortable to wear in the garden!

Finally the ultimate re-use of garden waste
is of course making it into compost.
See here.

Over winter I used this underfelt,
a carpet underlay to keep the warmth in.
Just make sure you know the history of the underfelt
as it is sometimes contaminated with sprays for termites.

This is the final installment of Re-Use Tuesday but as I collect further re-use items I may add them to this list.

A Photo A Day - No. 301

Hot Chilli Peppers
I cheated and bought a potted seedling this year!
It's just ready for planting.
It's already got chillis setting on it!

Monday, 29 October 2007

Sunday, 28 October 2007

A Photo A Day - No. 299

Windy Weather
Strong winds again this weekend
This branch has fallen eek
Since it's in the garden, luckily... hasn't damaged anything.

Saturday, 27 October 2007

A Photo A Day - No. 298

CALLITRIS gracilis - Cypress Pine
Our native Pine trees
We're having thundery weather lately,
the seed capsules are opening
ready for the rain.
Fact sheet here

Friday, 26 October 2007

Food Gardening For Beginners - Part 10

Teas for Plants

Making Plant Based Liquid Fertilizers
Plant based teas, or brews, are made by half filling a bucket or larger container with the leaves of the chosen plants and filling it up with rainwater.

You then allow the mixture to 'brew' for a couple of weeks, stirring occasionally, until the plant materials have broken down. Be warned this process usually stinks (badly) so don't leave it too close to your (or your neighbours) house or windows.
A lid is a very good idea too!

When it is ready strain a small amount off, through an old stocking, and dilute with more rainwater to the colour of weak tea and water the plants with it.
A very weak (half strength again) solution should be used on young seedlings.
The plant residue can then be added to the soil, mulch or the compost heap.

Plants that are useful are:

Comfrey - Symphytum officinale
- provides calcium, nitrogen and potassium

Nettles - Urtica dioica
- provides calcium, copper, iron, nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium.

Dandelions -Taraxacum officinale
- provides calcium, manganese, phosphorus and potassium

Other deep rooted plants or weeds (don't include the seeds but these would probably drown anyway)
Some of these can include the leaves of greens from the veg garden like beetroot, brassicas, spinach and watercress.
Alfalfa - Medicago sativa (Lucerne to us Aussies), chickweed, fat hen and bracken.
Herbs like borage, chamomile, valerian and yarrow.
A mixture of any or all of the above.

There may be other useful plants in your area to use especially 'weeds' as these plants are often found growing on poor soils or problem areas. They actually are trying to help improve the soil by 'mining' up nutrients from deep in the soil, as their leaves die off the residues of these nutrients are left at soil level and help build the soil up naturally.

Compost tea from well made Compost is also useful.
As is a worm cast brew made by adding worm castings from composting worm farms to rainwater. Go here to see an excellent worm farm set up, step by step from Rhonda at Down to Earth.

I have said to use rainwater here because our tap supply is heavily treated with chemicals and some of these (like chlorine) can inhibit the breakdown process.

Liquid manures can be made in a similar way by tying some animal manure in a bag (hessian or shadecloth) and suspending it in a bucket or container of rainwater, leaving it to brew and then diluting the resulting liquid as above. Again this really stinks so positioning (and a lid) is important.
Liquid fertilizers can be purchased as a quick fix solution but it is easy to make your own and save your money.

Read more:
Comfrey Tea
Compost Tea
Brewing up Worm Castings

To read this series from the beginning go here: or follow the links on this page.

Part 11: Planting Bare Rooted Fruit Trees

A Photo A Day - No. 297

Daddy Long Leg Spider
Pholcus phalangioides
A very common spider in Aussie houses.
I think we have one in every room! eek
This one has a fly for her dinner!
Fact sheet here

Thursday, 25 October 2007

A Photo A Day - No. 296

Potting Mix Cat
With the beds all planted
and the compost used,
Ninja has to be content
with a bag of potting mix to
stretch out on!

Wednesday, 24 October 2007

A Photo A Day - No. 295

This fungus is growing on a log in the garden,
Looks like a piece of toast to me!

Tuesday, 23 October 2007

A Photo A Day- No. 294

Purple Asparagus
Last night's 6mm of thundery rain
Has brought up the purple Asparagus.
Yes we've had some rain at last!!

Tuesday Re-Use-Day - 8

On each Tuesday for the next few weeks I am be featuring photos of things that are re-used around Scarecrow's Garden.

Remember to click on any of the photos to enlarge them! smile

* The Re-used items are written in bold!

In the Garden

Doc made me a couple of items, out of old conduit pipe,
when I was ill a few years ago and bending was difficult.
More info on this seed planter and tap-turner
can be found on his blog here!

Just after we arrived here
Doc built me this handy little trolley out of an old milk crate,
a couple wheels off an old pram and a piece of metal
he got from a recycling centre.
It's so handy for moving pots and boxes of plants
around the garden at planting time.

More old milk crates this time plastic come in handy
for plant covers against birds and chooks!
Also, here, as stands for my watering containers.

Old T-shirts and scraps of stretch fabric
are cut up and make great plant ties.
They have just enough stretch in them
so they don't damage growing plants.

Isn't it annoying when the handle breaks
on your favourite hand tool.
It still has plenty of life left in it... Doc puts new handles on mine.
He makes these out of old broom handles.
Sometimes longer ones than the originals
for easier reaching in the garden beds.

These old sleepers were around the garden when we moved in,
being very old they make great edging in the veg garden.
Sometimes sleepers are treated with chemicals
so watch where you put them.
This bed is one of the new wicker water beds
and so is lined with plastic.

See here for more Tuesday Re-Use-Day posts.

Monday, 22 October 2007

A Photo A Day - No. 293

Peanut Cactus
Otherwise known as either
Echinopsis chamaecereus,
Lobivia silvestrii,
Chamaecereus sylvestrii
or even Cereus silvestrii.

Phew! No wonder I had trouble finding a name for it!!!
More info here!

Sunday, 21 October 2007

A Photo A Day - No. 292

Almost Summer
With temps up around 40C already
we've put the shades back up in the veg garden,
plus a new one...and planning more.

Yes it's almost summer!
Except that summer doesn't start for another 5 weeks!

Saturday, 20 October 2007

A Photo A Day - No. 291

Cool Ninja
If back in winter Ninja could find the warmest spot,
Like Here
with the days warming up fast
I can rely on her to find the coolest places.
Looks like the worm farm is still in a cool spot!



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