Friday, 30 September 2011

Hard Working Barnies

September Week 4

Not an albino Cockroach...
...apparently they turn white when they moult!

With yet more frosts forecast for the coming weekend planting out was put on hold. This week has been horribly windy yet again and I have been putting a shadecloth cover over the glass front on days when the temperature is set to top 30C. At least we have had a bit of rain even some small hail!!

I have been getting the seedlings out into as much sun as I can on calmer days to stop them going 'leggy' which is what will happen if they don't get enough light. This is the beginning of hardening off...but they also need to stay out over night for that.

Beans Phaseolus vulgaris:
Purple King from DT Brown
Blue Lake from Eden Seeds
Gourmet Delight from New Gippsland Seeds
Roc D'Or from Green Harvest
Tongues Of Fire from New Gippsland Seeds
Beans Soy Glycine max from Eden Seeds (the last planting hasn't germinated yet)
Beans Winged Psophocarpus tetragonolobus from Green Harvest
These seeds were soaked in hot rainwater for a few hours then sown in old egg cartons. As soon as possible after germination they will be planted out with minimal disturbance.

Sunflowers Helianthus annuus
Double Dazzler from Diggers
Dwarf Sensation from Mr Fothergill's
Prado Red from Diggers
Sun King from DT Brown
Teddybear from Diggers
Helianthus debilis ssp. cucumerifolius
Italian White from Diggers
These were sown in folded newspaper pots made with one sheet of newspaper (not a double one) so they are smaller than the big ones. Again these will be planted out soon after germination.

Nasturtiums Tropaeolum majus
Alaska from Grower's Pride
Milkmaid from Diggers
Tall Mixed from DT Brown

Buckwheat Fagopyrum esculentum from Phoenix Seed
Dill Anethum graveolens From Gringo in Victoria
Salvia splendens Blaze of Fire from Mr Fothergill's

Free from the garden:
Borage Borago officinalis from seeding plants - scattered around garden

Potting up/on:
Luffa seedlings

Yes the Barnies did almost destroy the mound garden. Mainly the mulch layer where all the beasties were hiding!
I have allowed them a short session in the Wicking Beds. They were closely supervised because these beds are full of wormies and the chooks aren't having them!!

This was a surprise.
I expected the Pink Flowered Strawberries
to have pale pink flowers like the label said!

The last Violet Sicilian Cauliflower is ready to pick!

Baby Stella Cherries
are still hanging on through the windstorms.

Don't forget that you only have a few hours left to go in the draw for a copy of the October Gardening Australia Magazine. There is a growing list of names so why not add yours to the comment list on the last post here.

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

First Ever Giveaway

The October issue of Gardening Australia is once again full of interesting articles. Lots of tips and more from the great Vegetable Growing guide from Jerry Colbey-Williams.

This month Maggie Beer has a super special on one of my favourite veggies - Silverbeet. I have always grown this vegetable no matter where we have lived. Of course Maggie has included how to use Silverbeet in the kitchen...I'll have to share this information at the Community Garden where the Silverbeet has really taken off.

Millie Ross is busy out in the garden again this time growing a Playhouse for the Kids. A Bean Teepee that sounds like great fun!

This month's Gardening Diary is packed full of seasonal tips. Like what to plant now in your region, new plants on the market and even how to make your own (safe) wetting agent at home.

Then there is the important issue of Food Security. A thought provoking article about just where our food is coming from and includes the grim statistic that shows Australians waste 7.5 million tonnes of food each year.

Thanks to the people at Morey Media, who do the PR for Gardening Australia, for sending me a freebie copy of this latest magazine so that I could review it here for you.

Magazine Giveaway!!!

This time I'm allowed to give away a copy of the October Gardening Australia magazine to one of my blog readers!

As long as you live in Australia (sorry) you can go in the draw!

For a chance to have a free copy of the October Gardening Australia Magazine sent to you just leave a comment below and I'll put all your names in a hat and get Doc to draw a winner at noon on Saturday 1st Oct 2011 so be sure to come back and check if you have been the lucky winner.

Check out the Gardening Australia website here

Or if you are into it (facebook that is) join in the fun on their Facebook Page here

This Giveaway has now ended...see this link for the winner!
Thanks everyone for entering!

Friday, 23 September 2011

September Week 3 - Spring Equinox

How lucky are we!!! During the windstorms last weekend this tree branch must have missed the new shed by millimetres. This shed has only been up for 6 months and holds Doc's Wooden Toy stock!!!

Weather highlights:
Warmer days, windy days with just a touch of frost!
Highest maximum temperature 30.5C
Lowest minimum temperature 0.5C.
With 1mm of rain that nearly got blown away!!

Potting on/up:
Bull's Blood
Golden Detroit
Black Cumin

Pomegranate Punica granatum info link
Lemon Myrtle Backhousia citriodora info link
Lemon Verbena Aloysia triphylla info link
Sweet Appleberry Billardera cymosa info link
Mushroom Plant Rungia klossii info link

Planting out:
Mini Cauliflower
Into Wicking Boxes
Kale Red Bor
In between the Crimson Flowering Broad Beans.

It's getting very close to Spring planting time in my part of the world. We just have to get through a couple more frosts this weekend (including a -2C for Sunday argh!!)...then maybe some early planting trials...depending on the seven day forecast.

I've let the Barnevelders into the Old Chook Run area to have a final scratch through the mulch layer on the raised mound. Every time I check there are many European Earwigs in the mulch layer. The chooks will no doubt destroy the mound but it will be a small price to pay for being able to plant the Trombone seedlings there soon...maybe next week!!!

What's this???
I'm saving some lettuce seeds. I've left the last of the lettuce (Drunken Woman) to go to seed and because I have another variety (Crispmint) in the same bed about to seed I've covered the flower heads with a piece fine fleece. This will also prevent cross pollination by the weed Wild or Prickly Lettuce (Lactuca serriola) that grows around here. I try very hard not to let this weed flower in my garden as it is very difficult to remove, having a nasty prickly stem.

It's time for the Cherry Tree to flower again.
We dream of the fruit that ripens around Christmas.
The Apple Blossom smells wonderful!

The Grapevine is sprouting new life too
and will soon provide full shade over the back pergola.
We have Jostaberry flowers!!!
The first of the Asparagus is up!

Saturday, 17 September 2011

September Week 2

Maybe The Black Ninja thinks that sleeping in a pot of Gotu Kola (Centella asiatic syn. Hydrocotyle asiatica) will give her brain a boost!!!

Weather Highlights:
The week started with cold, windy and drizzly weather and cleared once again to bring frosty mornings including Tuesday's low of -3.1C. After that the day temperatures rose up to 28C by Friday and the frosts were gone...for now.

Alyssum Gold Dust Aurinia saxatilis from Goodman Seeds
Carrot Purple from Goodman Seeds
Beans Soy Centaur Glycine max from Eden
Watermelon Citrullus lanatus:
Sweet Siberian from The Lost Seed
Golden Midget from Digger's Seeds
Moon and Stars from Digger's Seeds
To replace the earlier sown ones that failed to grow well after germination

Potting on/up:
Mrs Burns Lemon, Large Italian Sweet, Genovase, Purple, Thai
Black Coral Pea
Chamomile German
Honey Dew Melon Tigger
Korean Mint
Large Gourds
Leeks King Richard
Marigiolds Crackejack, Oranges and Lemons
Mexican Hyssop
Queen Anne's Lace
Rockmelon Hearts of Gold
Salvia Blaze of Fire
Savory Summer
Savory Winter
Silverbeet Rainbow Mixed
Sticky Hop Bush
Tomato Black Cherry
Watermelon Golden Midget
Zinnia Lilliput

Potting up New Purchases:
Sweet Potato Hawaiian Sunshine (Purple)
Current White Ribes glandulosum
Gooseberries Ribes uva-crispa
All from Goodman Seeds

Planting out:
Lettuce Red Coral, Black Seeded Simpson from seeds sown 2 Jul 2011
Miner's Lettuce from seeds sown 4 Jun 2011
- as Companion Plants in the Strawberry Wicking Bed
Cosmos White Purity from seeds sown 31 Aug 2011
Cosmos Mixed from seeds sown 5 Aug 2011
Ivy Pelargonium Pink that had been living in it's pot way too long!

Potato Nicola form The Lost Seed
Planted into a re-worked Wicking Box

The Hot House is just about full,
especially on these days
when it is so windy I can't put the
boxes of Tomatoes outside!!

I have set the Mini Hot House up again to take some of the overflow! The 5 litre containers of water help provide warmth at night and also help to weigh the flimsy structure down!

With hot, windy weather on the forecast already I have attached some temporary shade to Main Veg Garden Bed 3 where the Celery continues to provide us with a handful of stems and leaves for our morning juice each day. Just as it has done right through winter, surviving many frosty mornings, even a couple of -5C.

The Scarlet Cambridge Broad Beans
in Main Veg Garden Bed 7
are beginning to produce
some of their lovely red seeded beans!

While the Crimson Flowering Broad Beans
are struggling against earwig attack
in Kitchen Garden Bed 2

So far so good with the Apricots and Plums.
New fruit is appearing
and the Plum tree is Aphid Free this year!!!

With the Spring Equinox due next week we are expecting some more nasty windy days.

Friday, 9 September 2011

September First Week

The stone fruits have all blossomed,
the Pears are beginning to flower
and the Loganberries are close behind!
The frosts may mean no Apricots again this year
but we hope for a few.

After needing sunscreen at the Sunday Markets we were plunged back into winter yet again. Windy, freezing weather followed, with a morning frost of -3.9C on Wednesday and a hailstorm on Thursday!! confusedconfusedconfused

As if that wasn't enough the earth beneath our feet has been quietly rumbling away...since Sunday nights 4.1 magnitude Earthquake (just a little a tremor really, I know). Not many houses up this way to sustain much damage but it leaves you with an uneasy feeling...will the next tremor lead to a stronger quake??? eekeekeek

Beetroot Bulls Blood from New Gippsland Seeds
Beetroot Golden Detroit from 4 Seasons Seeds
Radish French Breakfast from DT Brown
Radish Saxa 2 from Mr Fothergill's Organic Seeds

Potting on/up:
Suyo Long
Green Gem
Early Hanover
Ida Gold

The Ginger from Green Harvest was divided up, put into pots of sandy mix and now sits in the heated propagation unit.

Around the Garden this Week:

The Cranberry Red Potatoes are growing quickly
in their warm, black Wicking Pots!

The Carrots have all germinated
and so far are safe in their newly build bed...
...the earwigs haven't found them yet.

The Wormcast Brew seems to bubble stronger
with the warmer day temperatures.

I've covered the Yacon with a plastic bottle
to keep the frosts off the emerging shoots.

The Comfrey and Rhubarb I planted have sprouted leaves. They are living in an old leaky pond that I have turned into a Wicking Bed. So far this is surviving on rainfall alone but it may be subject to occasional flooding during heavy downpours. eekeekeek

The Tomato seedlings are moved out into the sun each morning
and taken back into the hothouse overnight!

Those comical Faverolles are looking very healthy
and laying lots of cackleberries!!

Monday, 5 September 2011

Folded Seed Pots

As I look at my list of Squashes and Pumpkins for this year I wonder how I will fit them all in. I am growing extras for the community garden this year. We want to cover the place with pumpkins!

I need to give these a good start and usually use cut down milk containers for the purpose. I don't have enough this year and have found an alternative. Newspaper pots have been around for some time but I never really considered using them until I found this tutorial on making origami pots!!! They are easy to make and I hope will be suitable for planting completely into the soil.

This is the link for the tutorial. There is even a video for those who can't follow written instructions very well. Like me!!

When making them they stack in groups of ten - nine inside another one!!

I can comfortably fit 18 in a foam fruit box (with plenty of drainage holes) and I have filled them right up so they can be planted with the paper below the surface.

Now I shall see how they stand up to roughly six weeks of watering before planting out!!

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Scarecrow's Garden Journal Notes: August 2011

Tagasaste Chamaecytisus palmensis
in full bloom and full of bees!

Temperatures/Rainfall this month:
Lowest Min -5C
Highest Min 9.3C
Lowest Max 11.5C
Highest Max 24.6C
36mm Rain

Weather Highlights:
I thought we would have had more than average rainfall this month but we missed it by 1mm. What started off as a warm, sunny month with almost spring like weather quickly turned cold. With a return to winter we had wet, cold weather and when that cleared it was back to frosty mornings which included the lowest for the year at -5C.

Rain comparison with other years:
August average is 37mm.
2011 36mm
2010 49.3mm
2009 19.6mm
2008 23mm
2007 7mm

The local Acacias are blooming for the bees!

In addition to the earlier lists in the posts on 6/8/11; 12/8/11 and 26/8/11


Cucumber Cucumis sativus:
Bushy from The Lost Seed
Revel from New Gippsland Seeds
Triamble Cucurbita maxima from The Lost Seed
Whangaparaoa Crown Cucurbita maxima from The Lost Seed
Trombone Gramma Cucurbita moschate from Eden Seeds
Zucchini/Squash Cucurbita pepo:
Rondo de Nice from The Lost Seed
Yellow Bush Scallop from Eden Seeds
Squash Acorn Table Queen from Eden Seeds
Gourd Spinning Top or Dancing from Eden Seeds

Seedlings planted out:
Phacelia tanacetifolia Planted in the Old Chook Run and edge plantings in the Main Veg Garden and Kitchen Garden
Clucker Tucker mixture
Planted under bread trays for protection like this in the Almond Area and the old chook run (where the Barnevelders still have occasional access)

Potato Bismark from The Lost Seed

Violet Sicilian Cauliflower

Monthly 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. The Celery continues to provide a handful of stems/leaves for our morning juice each day.
Cabbage Verona Purple Savoy 2514g
Cauliflower Violet Sicilian 330g
Celery American Stringless/Pink/Celeriac stems/leaves 3873g
Lemons 565g
Radish French Breakfast 150g
Silverbeet 1660g
Turnip Snowball 50g (a baby one!!)

Eggs: (total for month)
66 From the 5 Farmyard Ferals
20 From the 2 Barnevelders we lost another during the cold snap!
67 From the 5 Faverolles

The early warm days has brought the Ladybirds
out of their winter hiding places.

August of Previous Years:

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

For more information on seed raising go Here for the beginner's Guide:
Getting your seeds to grow.

Check out the latest Moon Planting Guide for September from The Cosmic Gardener...thank you Linda for posting this helpful guide.


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