Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Last Garden Log For 2010

Scarecrow's Garden Log :26:12:2010:

Summer temperatures are finally on the way up! That means time to cover-up in the garden. Lightweight long trousers and shirt sleeves, sturdy boots (in case of un-welcomed visitors in the garden), a floppy wide brimmed hat, sunglasses, gloves for all gardening jobs, sunscreen and bug repellent! Early morning starts in the garden to avoid the hottest times and keeping to the shade as much as possible.

Temperatures this week:
Lowest Min 5.2C

Lowest Max 16.8C

Highest Max 35C

No Recorded Rainfall

What's the weather been like in the garden?
Sunday started windy and drizzly, proceeded to a severe wind storm that saw our Market washed out! Back home it hadn't even rained but was very windy.
Temperatures rose all week until Saturday brought a cool change.

None this week

In the Garden This week:

The Onions have been harvested
and are drying out for storage.

I bandicooted** a few potatoes for a pink and white salad!
Cranberry Red (pink fleshed) and Bintji Potatoes.

Weekly Harvest Tally:
Doesn't include Greens fed to the chooks on a daily basis or herbs picked for use in the kitchen for cooking or tea making.
Onion Red***5439g
Onion Stuttgart***5809g
Potato Bintji***344g
Potato Cranberry Red***729g
Tomato Kotlas***50g
Zucchini (?)***990g
Zucchini Golden***254g

19 From the 5 Farmyard Ferals
12 From the 3 Barnevelders
23 From the 5 Faverolles

To see how the various Garden areas fit on our half acre block check out the newest Map of our place HERE

**"Probably from the perception of the bandicoot's burrowing habits, a new Australian verb to bandicoot arose towards the end of the nineteenth century. It means 'to remove potatoes from the ground, leaving the tops undisturbed'."
From ANU Index of Australian Words

Friday, 24 December 2010

Merry Christmas 2010

Our Grandtwins are 6 months old today!!!!

So remember...

Have a happy and safe New Year!

Monday, 20 December 2010

Red Morning Sky but No Rain!

Scarecrow's Garden Log: 18:12:2010:

Sunrise during a very early trip to Adelaide this week.

Temperatures this week:
Lowest Min 7C
Lowest Max 21C
Highest Max 31.8C
No Recorded Rainfall

What's the weather been like in the garden?
Quite cool for summer! A fiery red sky on Friday morning didn't result in any recordable rain!

Amaranth Grain Amaranthus hypochondriacus Eden Seed
Amaranth Leaf Amaranthus gangeticus Eden Seed
Basil Large Sweet Italian Ocimum basilicum The Lost Seed
Coriander Cilantro Coriandrum sativum Mr Fothergill's Organic Seed
Lettuce Crispmint Lactuca sativa Diggers Club
Lettuce Marvel of 4 Seasons Lactuca sativa Green Harvest
Marigold Oranges and Lemons Tagetes patula Grower's Pride
Nasturtiums Tropaeolum majus DT Brown
Pumpkin Lady Godiva Cucurbita pepo The Lost Seed
Rocket Eruca sativa DT Brown Organic
Silverbeet Green Silver Beta vulgaris DT Brown Organic
Silverbeet Rainbow Mix Beta vulgaris 4Seasons Seeds
Zucchini Cocozelle Cucurbita pepo The Lost Seed
Bullock Bush Heterodendrum oleifolium syn. Alectryon oleifolium

Trees For Life Seeds:
Wallowa Acacic calamifolia
Red Mallee Eucalyptus oleosa
Summer Red Mallee Eucalyptus socialis

Planting out:
California Poppies
Sage Purple
Sage Common
Thyme Common
Thyme Lemon
Thyme Russian
New Zealand Spinach
Around the base of my Tank Bed at the Community Garden

In the Garden This week:

First of the Tomatoes are ripening.
This is an Ida Gold bush cherry tomato!

The Locusts have arrived in greater numbers and bounce off the shade covers. Local birds are having a great feast but The Black Ninja has given up chasing them.

They have been attacking the new seedling Silverbeet so I've netted that bed using some Vege Net from Green Harvest.

I was sure I'd eliminated all ground based pests from the new carrot planting in Bed 1 but the new seedlings were slowly disappearing!! I suspected locusts were the culprits and after netting that bed I see I was right.

Safe from locust attack in the Water Garden Shade House
the Duck Potatoes, Water Chestnuts
and Golden Taro at the back.

The plants at the base of Bed 6 are flowering
and attracting loads of helpful bugs!!

At The Community Garden:
Everything has grown well. Another two tank beds have been planted and are awaiting their shade/wind protection.

On Tuesday evening I planted a few tough herbs around the base of the tank to make use of any overflow from the wicking system. The soil has been supplemented with manure, raised at the edges and the plants have been mulched with peastraw.

Weekly Harvest Tally:
Doesn't include Greens fed to the chooks on a daily basis or herbs picked for use in the kitchen for cooking or tea making.
Onions Red***294g
Onion Stuttgart***120g
Tomato Ida Gold***30g
Tomato Kotlas***198g The first tomatoes are ripening!!!

16 From the 5 Farmyard Ferals
12 From the 3 Barnevelders
17 From the 5 Faverolles

To see how the various Garden areas fit on our half acre block check out the newest Map of our place HERE

Monday, 13 December 2010

First Veg Planted at the Community Garden!!

Scarecrow's Garden Log: 11:12:2010:

30mm in the rain gauge on Wednesday morning. Great for the gardens but not for the farmers who on top of battling a locust plague now have soggy crops in the paddocks.

Temperatures this week:
Lowest Min 8.2C

Lowest Max 19.5C

Highest Max 33C

41mm Rain

What's the weather been like in the garden?
The rain started on Tuesday and continued through the night with a loud thunderstorm which resulted in us being without power for most of Wednesday! All of the roads south to Adelaide were flooded and blocked.
The rain was followed by much cooler, windy weather.

Potting up:
Tomato Red Cherry

Planting out:
Lettuce Red Oakleaf
Lettuce Goldrush
Tomato Yellow Pear
Ceylon Spinach
Amaranth Leaf
Cucumber Lebanese
Cucumber Green Gem
Cucumber Marketmore
the above were planted at Community Garden
Sweetcorn Extra Sweet
Watermelon Sugarbaby
Watermelon Golden Midget
Watermelon Moon and Stars
Watermelon Blacktail Mountain

In the Garden This week:
One or two of each of the Watermelons went into the Almond Area Wicking Bed along with a dozen Sweetcorn seedlings. The bed was covered with a net curtain because the locusts seem to be bad on the south side of the house and they love sweetcorn seedlings!!!

Of course the rain brought out every snail
from it's hiding place!

Fortunately at least one of the Golden Zucchinis
is true to type!!!

At The Community Garden:

The boys attached the water tank, with it's very clever guttering made from cut 40mm pvc pipe (so that the door will still open) just in time for the downpour!

Doc and I ran workshops for people interested in having a Wicking Tank Bed. As a result the first vegetables have been planted in the Community Garden!!!!!

Weekly Harvest Tally:
Doesn't include Greens fed to the chooks on a daily basis or herbs picked for use in the kitchen for cooking or tea making.
Zucchini Gold***706g
Zucchini (?)***555g

13 From the 5 Farmyard Ferals
13 From the 4 Barnevelders
20 From the 5 Faverolles

To see how the various Garden areas fit on our half acre block check out the newest Map of our place HERE

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Golden Zucchini...I Don't Think So.

Scarecrow's Garden Log: 04:12:2010 (Ooops running late again!!!)

The packet said Golden Zucchini
but this one doesn't look very golden.

The plant has taken a running form too.
This happens when Open Pollinated seeds
don't come true to type!!

Temperatures this week:
Lowest Min 8.5C
Lowest Max 19.5C

Highest Max 36.1C

2.5mm Rain

Scattered Sunflower seeds saved from last years crop around the garden.

Potting on:
Beetroot Forono
Kohlrabi Purple Vienna
Tomato Black Cherry
Tomato Kotlas
Zucchini Cocozelle

Planting out:
Kohlrabi Purple Vienna
Beetroot Forono
Silverbeet Rainbow Mixed
Dwarf Sunflowers
Leaf Amaranth
Basil Purple

Sweet Potato

In the Garden This week:

I cleared the Wicking Bed in the extended Kitchen Garden (formally Dog Pen) of all plant material except the French Sorrel.
The soil was a light dose of Blood and Bone.
Holes were made in the soil and half filled with worm filled worm casts and seedling Silverbeet, Kohlrabi and Beetroot were planted to replace the failed Carrot crop.
Plastic covers were popped on the seedlings to protect them from bug attack.

Following the complete failure of the Sweet Potato cuttings I bought this year I've taken slips (shoots twisted from the tuber) off a bought, organic Sweet Potato tuber and potted them up ready for planting soon.
Shoots from some regrown tubers in the ground were dug up and placed in water where they have quickly formed roots. These will be potted up soon.

The Purple Monaro Garlic heads this week!

In the ground near Bed 7 (next to those Garlic heads) Dwarf Sunflowers and Leaf Amaranth have been planted.

The Locusts have arrived but not in huge numbers yet.

Weekly Harvest Tally:
Doesn't include Greens fed to the chooks on a daily basis or herbs picked for use in the kitchen for cooking or tea making.
Zucchini (?)***354g

16 From the 5 Farmyard Ferals
15 From the 4 Barnevelders
21 From the 5 Faverolles

The 4 Barnevelders have been moved over to the Almond Area run and now live in Blackies old house and enjoyed the shade of the Mulberry tree during the recent hot days.

To see how the various Garden areas fit on our half acre block check out the newest Map of our place HERE

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Shade Supports

Jason left a comment recently and asked about our shade support hoops. I have also had a few emails on this topic. For larger views of the photos please click on them!

We use agricultural water pipe. This is available in many sizes and strengths (eg. high or low pressure). It should be available in hardware stores, it is out here in the country.

For our larger shades we have used 2" black low pressure pipe (no stripes) this one fits very well over star pickets (droppers) that are hammered into the ground as far as possible (we have rock layers under our soil).

When we first tried these arches we purchased some 1 1/2 " green striped hose that needed to be wired on to star pickets. This meant it was not easy to remove the hemmed shade cloth off the hoops at the change of season.

For the arches over the beds I found that this 1 1/2" pipe fitted well over a common tomato stake. It will also fit over recycled plastic stakes which by the way will last longer in soil (termites can't eat them) than the wooden ones.

It would be best to:
  • find out what is available in your area
  • choose what you will use to anchor the hoops in place
  • take these to the supplier/shop and make sure the hose/pipe will fit before you buy.
These photos give an idea of the sizes the hoops can cover.

Bed2 with size and a net curtain cover over.

Bed 3 with size and mesh trellis over.

Tank Bed b at 880mm is the smallest area we have to cover.

Some people have trouble buying the piping in small amounts. Here are a couple of ideas other people have sent to me...photos used with permission, thank you. Some of their hints are included I may have edited the content slightly.

This one from JK in Queensland using PVC tubing over raised tank beds with 50% white shade cloth over green leafy veg the tubing is fitted over star pickets again.

"Note that I did use star droppers in these. They are down 600mm and the ground is mostly sand.
The shade cloth I used is white and 50%. It is almost too light for the sun here (QLD) when the plants are young (seedlings) but the front part is not tied down and I often “fold” it on the top section to double the layer when the sun is overhead after about 11am.

These photos are from Gringo (on ALS) in Central Victoria
using conduit attached to star pickets.

"I've found that the best material for shade hoops is 30mm recycled conduit which I purchased from a second hand junkyard. You could use up to 50mm dia.however the larger the diameter the less flexible the conduit causing it to break.

I line up two opposite pieces against the one star picket, drill a hole thru the conduit that lines up with the holes in the star picket, and insert a 70mm. galvanised roofing screw, which has enough tension to hold the lot together.
Shade cloth covering varies in light intensity, as I've scrounged bits and pieces from all over the place, however interestingly, brassicas haven't done well under cover, they grew very leggy and consequently didn't produce very good heads.

Others from the net:

This small frame again constructed from PVC tubing with joints, seen here with plastic over for a cloche (From Bountea newsletter details here)

This is similar but is made to fit over a bed with extra height for plant growth. From the Peak Moment video "It's the Compost! Creating Abundance" (See it Here) again covered with plastic for added warmth.

Either of these designs could be used with shadecloth but if you are growing fruiting plants that require insect pollination you would need to allow an entry point for the pollinators or remove the covers at flowering time.

More info on these posts:
Wicking Bed Shade
Sewing Shade Cloth
A Shady Request
Hot House Conversion
More Shade
Poly Shade Structure

And from Doc's Blog:
More Shady Deals
More Shady Requests


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