Sunday, 27 July 2008

Frosty All Week!!

Garden Log 27 Jul 08:

"All the panes are hung with frost
Wild wizard-work of silver lace.
- Thomas Bailey Aldrich

6 mornings below 0C this week
Highest max 13.5C
Lowest max 9C
2mm rain

Cold weather all week was good for getting out
and digging more holes for the new wicking beds.

These frosty mornings are a worry now that the Almond tree is in blossom but it was pleasing to see the bees were out on Friday.

The lower temps mean that growth slows down considerably at this time of the year so I've popped a light plastic cover over the Tank Bed Greens for warmth.

The Kohlrabi and Garlic are growing well.

I roughly broke the soil up for 2 rows in the chook run where I'll be planting Potatoes this season and made a manure hole in there too for planting some Queensland Blue Pumpkins...these areas have been covered with bread crates while the girls are still in this run. They will be moving out to their new run soon.

Doc managed to find me an old bath tub this week so this will go into the shadehouse on Bed 9 to grow some Aquatic food plants in summer. I have some Duck Potatoes (Sagittaria sagittifolia) on their way from Green Harvest. These will be planted along with a few Waterchestnuts (Eleocharis dulcis) that I got from Cornucopia Seeds. I'll also pop in some Kang Kong (Ipomoea aquatica) from Phoenix Seeds and Water Cress (Nasturtium officinale) also from Cornucopia Seeds.

Some of those lettuces planted last week are up already!

Wednesday, 23 July 2008

Frosty Morning

The weather guy on the radio said we had a low of -7C this morning...
I thought it was cold.

The ice on the Senposai...

and Oregano was a hint.

The Kale

and Corn Salad were frozen too.

The hose I'd left out in the sun to warm up yesterday... isn't very warm now!!

Even the Solar Lights had frost on them.

For the first time ever the Pond was covered with ice.

The chooks were happy to get their Hot Mash this morning...

...their sheltered water bucket had a layer of ice!

Tuesday, 22 July 2008

Blooming Wattle

Garden Log 20 Jul 08:

The Wattle tree by the front entrance of the house
is in full bloom...

Not warming up much yet!
Lowest min -2.2C
Lowest max 9C Brrrrr!
Highest max 13.8C
5mm rain

Planted this week:

Lemon Myrtle Backhousia citriodora *
Mountain Pepper Tasmannia lanceolata
Muntries Kunzea pomifera *
Nitre Bush Nitraria billardieri *
Aussie Bushfood plants seeds from Outback Chef

Onion: Creamgold (long keepers) ~ Digger's Seeds
Onion: Red Stem Welsh ~ Green Harvest
Lettuce: Rouge d'Hiver ~ Diggers Seed
Lettuce: Green Cos ~ DT Brown
Lettuce: Red Coral ~ Eded Seeds
Silverbeet: 5 Colour Mix ~ Diggers Seed
Silverbeet: Rhubarb Chard ~ Phoenix Seeds
Borage ~ Select Organic Seeds
Daisy: Everlasting Pink Helipterum roseum ~ Diggers Seed
Strawberry: Alpine Fragaria vesca ~ New Gippsland Seeds & Bulbs
Yam Bean Pachyrrhizus erosus ~ Eden Seeds*
Flinder's Range Wattle Acacia iteaphylla ~ Home Saved Seeds
Evening Primrose ~ Herb Society(? very old seeds but we shall see how they go!)
Those marked * are inside by the sunny window.
The rest are outside in the old hot house or shade house.

After cleaning out my seed box (yet again) I scattered flower seeds around the pond in the Main Veg Garden if these grow with coming rain they will provide habitat for beneficial insects in spring:
Nigella Persian Jewels ~ DT Brown
Nigella Miss Jekyll Blue ~ DT Brown
Alyssum Pastel Carpet Mixed ~ DT Brown
Californian Poppy Single Mixed ~ DT Brown
Phacelia Tanacetifoli ~ Diggers Seeds
DT Brown seed is sold at cheap/discount shops in SA and sometimes they have flower seed out at half price! eek

The down side is that these seeds come from UK...that's a long way for a packet of seed to travel...good reason to save my own seeds or source from local seed saving groups.

Thursday, 17 July 2008

Cold Week

Garden Log 13 July 08:

Lowest min temp 0.4C
Lowest max temp 8.2C
Highest max temp 12.1C
Rainfall 16mm

Cold this week almost too cold to venture outside...I did manage to build a compost heap and give it it's first turn...that warmed me up and gave The Black Ninja a place to sleep.

That new water tank is full so I've been watering the garden beds in an effort to get some moisture down into the very dry sub-soil.

I've ordered seeds waiting for 3 deliveries as well as some swaps! Thinking about where to germinate all these incoming seeds.

The room I have my laptop in has a beautiful North (sun) facing window. I had room near it so with a bit of re-arrangement we brought in PK's old student desk and I've built a seed box for raising early seeds. I'm intending to grow them on later in the old unused hatchback car out the back. It has lots of windows and warms up really well during the day. Instructions Here.

Dug out the ground for the first of three wicking tank beds.
The ground is very rocky!!

Sunday morning the sun was out so I got stuck into the new bed for the Aussie Bush Food Bed with Luckydog's help. See the full post here.

Sorry for the delay in posting this...we've had internet connection problems all week!

Saturday, 12 July 2008

Seed Starter Box

Simple Seed Starter Box

1. Find a sunny window and an old student desk.
2. Get a big box that will fit on the desk.
3. Cut the box in half to make 2 shapes the same.
4. Cover the boxes with aluminium foil.

5. Plant up your seedlings in punnets, pop them inside the box and make sure they don't get too hot in the sun!

The foil is used to give back light to your seeds and saves turning them around everyday or so to prevent them leaning towards the sun.

This idea comes from Emma Cooper's Alternative Kitchen Garden Podcast on Sowing Seeds (from UK) . Listen or download it here:

Check out info for starting seeds here Getting your seeds to grow.

Tuesday, 8 July 2008

Cool Days of July

Garden Log 6 July 08:

"People don't notice whether it's winter
or summer when they're happy."

- Anton Chekhov

Things are really cooling down now!
Lowest min temp -1.5C
Highest max 14C
3mm of rain.

It's been very windy this week
and the Rooster really got a work out but he survived!

Light rain fell early in the week. I took cuttings of Lavender for someone at Garden Club and Rosemary for our son, who has requested potted herbs for Xmas this year. He likes to use fresh herbs in his cooking but lives up north in the outback and supplies are not very fresh.

The new path has been dug and the Rosemary hedge trimmed back, I even moved 2 of the plants to allow entry to the pathway. More pathside edge beds to plant up. These will mostly wait until spring now.

Planted 3 Pink Ladyfinger Grapevines
(from last year's cuttings) along the new chookrun fenceline.

I went seeking seeds, found these
and soon had a handful of Calendula seeds.

This Ringneck Parrot has been scavenging
the last of this year's Almond crop...

...just as Doc noticed this year's first Almond blossom flower
and under the tree...
yes some volunteer Almond seedlings to pot up!

The Tagasastes are beginning to flower too!

I think I'll have hurry up and remove these volunteer Celpars to allow the French Tarragon to survive in it's pot (it hasn't died back yet this winter)

Rain is forecast for the coming week!!! mrgreenmrgreenmrgreen

Wednesday, 2 July 2008

Matron's Trugblog

Well it's the beginning of the middle month of winter here and when I read about Matron's 'Trugblog' post over at Down on the Allotment I thought I'd have to bow out of this one. cry

BUT When I went out to pick some veg for the lunch Doc's cooking up on the weekend I found all sorts of things growing out in the garden!!! We are having a mild winter with just enough rain to keep the garden growing. eek

Lots of greens with Kale, Silverbeet, Parsley, Celpar, Alexanders and Lettuce so I added some Calendula and Rosemary flowers to brighten it up. The bunch of mini Chillis are bright too.

A closer dig around and I found some Beetroot, Red Onions, Red and Purple Potatoes and a few little Carrots as well.

Topped it off with some more Herbs, the first Mini Cauliflower and one of the Broccoli heads. Of course I couldn't forget todays offering from the girls 3 lovely brown Eggs. wink

Thank you Matron for making have a good look at just what is growing in my garden! smile


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