Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Some Freebie PDFs

Check out The Rodale Inc webpage for a host of FREE downloadable PDFs on all kinds of Organic Gardening info. On This Link.
The list includes:

A Seed Starting Chart...don't be put off by the fact this is US based as it's just a chart that you fill in with your own details (like last frost date) so you can work out the best times to sow seeds indoors in Spring/Winter and chart when you plant them out. 

Companion Planting Made Easy...A 39 page guide which should come in handy for planning what goes where in the garden.

A 64 page guide called Good Bug, Bad Bug even though it's US based again many of the bugs are the same as we have here in Australia.

Or a 48 page booklet filled with Weekend Garden Projects...should keep Doc busy for a while!!!

Another is called Wacky Garden Helpers From Your Kitchen...53 Ways to Feed your Soil, Pamper Your Plants and Drive Away Pests!

There are more, go check them out but don't miss the opportunity to read the first ever issue of Rodale's Organic Farming and Gardening from May 1942!

Friday, 18 May 2012

Basil in May

Back in February (see here) I told you about the Basil Seed Mats from Mr Fothergill's. I thought it was time to post an update.

Late in March I transplanted the growing seedlings into a Wicking Box I have in the Greenhouse. They took off in the extra warm Autumn weather we had and are now ready for a first harvest.

With minor frosts occurring regularly now I am glad I put these into the greenhouse so far they have suffered no frost damage. It's great to have fresh Basil from the garden at this time of the year.

I have cut each plant almost in half so this should encourage a bushier growth pattern.

I am looking forward to using these little seed mats for my Spring sowing of Basil as I believe every seed germinated and they were so easy to use.

Check out the rest of the seeds in this range too.
Flat Leaved Parsley

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

May Gardening Australia Magazine

The May Gardening Australia magazine is full of great ideas to get your garden ready for winter.

There is a great article on how to build a Hot Compost Heap. Tim Marshall has helped Sophie Thomson with a very useful step by step guide to building a great compost heap surrounded by straw bales to keep the warmth in over winter.

Maggie Beer has got her timing right as usual with an article on growing (and of course using) Onions. Just as I am about to plant out the first lot of onions seedlings into the garden. She explains how day length will determine the success of your onion crop by choosing the right varieties to plant at a given time of the year.

We have seen Costa getting his neighbours out in the street working working the Verge Garden. Everyone seems to be getting involved which is great. Anna Evangeli has written an article to help organise Working Bees with lots of helpful tips.

Jerry Colby-Williams explains in great detail the benefits of including Flowering Plants in the garden to attract Beneficial Insect helpers which is something I have to agree with. He has included a couple of plants I hadn't considered but will be including in the edge beds now.

Of course at this time of the year no garden magazine could come out without including a Rose Growing Guide. Jennifer Stackhouse has all the tips you'll need for growing your roses this year including ideas for using the petals of these edible flowers and of course the hips (seed pods) that can be made into cordials and syrups that are high in vitamin C.

If you take out a subscription to the magazine they have a bonus this month of a Free Rose plant from Garden Express.

As you can see there is plenty to catch up on in this edition and lots if ideas to keep you out in the garden even if the weather is cooling down.

Thank you to the people at at Morey Media, who do the PR for Gardening Australia, for sending me a copy to review here on my blog!

Check out the Gardening Australia website here

Or join in the fun on their Facebook page here

Monday, 7 May 2012

April Totals

Scarecrow's Garden Journal Notes:

Temperatures range for April:
Lowest Min 0.4C
Highest Min 14.9C
Lowest Max 16.1C
Highest Max 32.6C
3 mm Rain

Rain comparison with other years
, April average is 22mm:
2012 3mm
2011 3mm
2010 18mm
2009 31mm
2008 24.5mm
2007 30mm

Harvest Tally for April:
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. For Salads, Juice and Stirfries  I have been picking Kale, Silverbeet, Leaf Amaranth, Mushroom Plant, Gotu Kola, Parsley, Basil, Nasturtium leaves and Beetroot Leaves which are not always weighed.
Beans  Purple King 601g
Beans Butter 697g
Capsicum California Wonder 2668g
Capsicum Hungarian Yellow 651g
Carrots Mixed 157g
Cucumber Suyo Long 195g
Leeks Bulgarian Giant 328g
Onion Stuttgart  765g
Onion Domenica  Sweet 413g
Onion Red 137g
Pumpkin Triamble 8372g
Pumpkin Whangaparaoa Crown 8743g
Silverbeet Rainbow Mixed 374g
Squash Golden 1034g
Tomato Money Maker 1317g
Tomato Stor Gul 424g
Tomato Silvery Fir Tree 227g
Zucchini Nero di Milano 1030g

Total Veg Harvest for April 28.1Kgs

Apple Cox's Orange Pippin 1275g
Apple Jonathon 734g
Apples Red Fuji 256
Apples Golden Delicious 74869
Grapes Black Sultana 3172g
Peaches  7135g
Pear Josephine 260g
Strawberry Guava 235g

Total Fruit Harvest for April 19.8Kgs

Total Eggs for April 56 eggs:
 56 from the 5 Farmyard Ferals
 0 from the lone Barnevelder
 0  from the 4 Faverolles

April of Previous Years:

To see how the various Garden areas fit on our half acre block check out the newest Planting Plan for Autumn HERE This is updated as planting occurs.

Come on over to the Scarecrow's Garden Facebook page and say Hi!

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

First Frost

Update: Last week of  April 2012

First frost damaged the Zucchinis but spared the pumpkins still growing in the Old Chook Run garden

Weather Highlights:
Lowest Min 2C
Highest Max 21.7C
1.5 mm Rain

Planting out:

Celery Tendercrisp seedlings into Bed 2 in the Main Veg Garden
Romanesco Broccoli seedlings into bed 18 in the Old Chook Run Garden

The following have been planted into the Old Chook Run edge beds:
Marguerite Daisy Double White Argyranthemum frutescens
Daisy Marguerite Maroon Centred Argyranthemum frutescens
Lovage Levisticum officinale
Sage Grandfather Salvia apiana
Sage Purple Salvia officinalis 'Purpurea'
Zaatar Origanum syriacum
Scented Pelargoniums - Pot Pouri, Lemon

Harvest Tally:
Beans Purple King 52g
Beans Butter 261g
Capsicum California Wonder 2024g
Capsicum Hungarian Yellow 522g
Cucumber Suyo Long 195g
Onion Stuttgart 362g
Onion Domenica Sweet 399g
Onion Red 137g
Pumpkin Triamble 8372g
Pumpkin Whangaparaoa Crown 8743g
Silverbeet Rainbow Mixed 56g
Zucchini Nero di Milano 489g

Apples Golden Delicious 4266g

Total for the week 19
0 from the lone Barnevelder
19 from the 5 Farmyard Ferals
0 from the 4 Faverolles

The Zucchinis have been removed from Bed 2 and replaced with Celery seedlings that needed to be covered as the Blackbirds are causing damage as they scratch around looking for worms.



As we head into May the minimum temperatures are dropping with frost warnings all this week. Those trial Potatoes in Bed 5 have been covered with a tunnel of perforated plastic for warmth.


Bed 18 down in the Old Chook Run Garden was cleared of pumpkin vines (with another 17kgs harvested) and topped up with worm castings/worms/organic fertilisers/compost. Romanesco Broccoli/Cauliflower seedlings have been planted and a Vege Net cover built to protect them from the ever present Cabbage Moths.

Bed 7 in the Main Veg Garden has a great crop of Lettuces, Parcel and Snow Peas coming on but of  the two sowings of  Spinach seeds not one has grown...some seeds sown into punnets have also failed to germinate, I think it was a bad pack of seeds!!!


The Tank Wicking Bed no 20 is taking off with the Snow Peas flowering and the Beetroot leaves looking great.

To see how the various Garden areas fit on our half acre block check out the newest Planting Plan for Autumn HERE This is updated as planting occurs.


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