Friday, 31 May 2013

Update: End of May

We have been busy inside re-arranging the rooms in the house for winter so I nearly missed this little Hakea flowering. The Pincushion Hakea - Hakea laurina It's interesting to note that it has flowered over a month later than last year???

Lowest Min 1.6C with ice!!
Highest Max 18.9C
35.5 mm Rain (as of 4:45pm on the 31st)

As it's raining while I type this anything that falls after 4:45pm will have to go on to next week/months total. We are welcoming the coming Winter with some "real winter" weather...cold and wet!!! Yipee! At last the water tanks are filling up.


Broad Beans Early Long Pod Vicia faba from DT Brown
Sown into loo roll holders in the greenhouse

Potting up:
Strawberry Guava Psidium littorale var. longipes
Rescued from a tank bed that is being moved.

African Daisy Yellow Arctotis arctotis x hybrida

Planted out:
Alfalfa Medicago sativa seedlings planted out in the Orchard before the rain. As this is Lucerne I'll be able to cut it for mulch later...the chooks will no doubt have a nibble on it too!
Alexanders Smyrnium olusatrum Retrieved from their volunteer position in a pathway and planted into the new herb bed in the kitchen garden.

Celery Tendercrisp seedlings planted into Bed6 after it was cleared and topped up with compost.

I have been cleaning seeds that I am saving this year.
Two varieties of Cucumber - Suyo Long and Bushy.
I also saved some of my favourite little Ida Gold Tomatoes the same way.
  • I chose some good looking fruits and let them ripen fully...over ripen actually.
  • Then left them in the garden shed for a few weeks.
  • Last week I opened up the fruits and scraped out the seeds.
  • Soaked them in water for a few days, stirring daily, to let them ferment a bit.
  • Then drained and rinsed and left to dry out under the watchful eye of some tiny helpers that have recently arrived in the garden.
  • When the seeds are dry they will be stored away for use in spring.

The Snow Peas on the cornstalk TeePees have grown to the top of the stalks. They have been flowering for a while now and I am harvesting a few snow will be interesting to see how much the cold morning temps affects the flower set. The extra string was added when bad weather was forecast.

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Update: May Week 3

One week from winter and this one day's harvest is destined for a stirfry and our morning juice...including Carrots, Radish, Zucchini, Kale, Beet greens (the red ones!!!), Silverbeet (Chard), Snow Peas, Peas, Purple Mizuna, Baby English Spinach, Lemons and (not shown) 2 Eggs from the Farmyard Ferals.

Lowest Min 1.4C Brrr!
Highest Max 21.4C
3 mm Rain

The mornings are getting chillier now and we have had a couple of cold, windy and drizzly days. It really does feel like winter is only one week away!

Potting on:

Snapdragon Antirrhinum majus purchased seedlings
English Daisy Bellis perennis purchased seedlings

Dwarf Nandina Nandina domestica 'Pygmaea'

Black Mondo Grass Ophiopogon planiscapus 'Nigrescens'

Planted out:
Cabbage Red Dutch
Lettuce Salad Mix
into a Recycling type Tub

Purchased Plants: Another weekend away at a market and I got to go plant shopping :)
Snapdragon Antirrhinum majus seedlings
English Daisy Bellis perennis seedlings
Dwarf Nandina Nandina domestica 'Pygmaea'
Black Mondo Grass Ophiopogon planiscapus 'Nigrescens'
Pink Jasmine Jasminum polyanthum
Lavender Lavandula stoechas Avonview
Sedum Dragon's Blood Sedum spurium coccineum

Just a week after sowing and those Radishes are up and they belong to the Brassica family they need to be netted so the cabbage moths don't lay their eggs on the leaves where they hatch into caterpillars that will eat big holes!!

Those Ruby Brussels Sprouts are growing bigger and just starting to show tiny sprouts.

A quick wander around the beds to see how everything is growing. This growth will slow down now with the temperature dropping.

Monday, 20 May 2013


The Loganberry Rubus loganobaccus is a cross between a Raspberry and Blackberry with a taste somewhere in between those two. The plants are hardier (in my garden) than Raspberry canes. Because they fruit early in the season (November) they usually miss the hottest of the summer heat unlike Blackberries that try to ripen in February in the middle of our heatwave season. The Blackberries often dry out before they have a chance to ripen.

The Loganberries fruited well last November and now its time to cut them back ready for next season.
It's quite easy to tell the old canes which have fruited as these are dry and brown.
The new canes which will go on to produce a crop later this year (in late spring) are green and lush, as these have grown I have tied them together in a bunch to one side.

To prune them all I have to do is cut the old canes right down to the ground and remove them.
Then I gather the new canes and tie them against the weldmesh trellis. I usually have to wind them over themselves to get them to fit in but as long as I don't snap any ends off they are fine. Some of the canes have offshoots so from these I take cuttings to grow more Loganberries to plant around the garden for free!!

The soil beneath the plants has been cleared, topped up with soil and compost, mulched with organic sugarcane and planted with Parsley and Sorrel. These have replaced the Strawberry plants this year. 
This is Bed 14 and yes it is a Wicking Worm Bed...see this link for more info.

Thursday, 16 May 2013

Update: May Week 2

I have taken down all the shade cloth covers and stored them away for winter.  As you can see things are happening with the downsize!


Lowest Min 6.3C
Highest Max 27.1C
9.5 mm Rain

We have had a little rain but now it is really getting cold!


Broad Beans
Coles Dwarf and Early Long Pod Vicia faba from DTBrown sown into the Tank Wicking Beds (4&5) for Green Manure
Radish Beauty Heart Raphanus sativus from Mr Fothergills
Radish Nero Tondo Raphanus sativus from Southern Harvest
Radish French Breakfast Raphanus sativus from DT Brown
Sown into a Wicking Box

Potting on:
Pansy Carrington Deveruax Purchased seedlings
Stocks Dwarf Mixed Purchased seedlings
Coreopsis Early Sunrise Purchased seedlings
Calendula Lemon Daisy seedlings
Tagasate seedlings that had volunteered in my Bathtub Bed!

Gooseberries Captivator
White Currant

Mondo Grass
Catnip Nepeta cataria

Planted out:
Silverbeet Erbette x 8
Sorrel French x 1
Sorrel Garden x 1
Sorrel Red Veined x 3
Sweet Peas x 9 not edible but may add a little nitrogen to the soil

These seedlings went into a bed in the old main veg area that I haven't moved yet!! This bed is growing greens for the chooks.

Kale Red Bor x 3 and Vates Blue x 4
Lettuces Red and Green Salad x 3
Leeks Sleek - Purcashed seedlings - small punnet
Corriander - Purchased plant - 1 pot of many seedlings
Planted into the new Wicking Bed (no 13) in the Kitchen Garden
Catnip Nepeta cataria - division planted into the new herb area next to the Fridge Beds
Small Garlic cloves and Elephant Garlic cloves planted into the new herb area next to the Fridge Beds

With the forecast at 90% chance of a decent amount of rain I set out on Saturday morning to get lots done before it came. I needed to get the last Wicking Worm Bed made up ready for planting out the Kale. 
Most of planting for winter is now complete, there will be some more onions to go in but they will wait until winter. 
I can relax now :)

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Sorrel, Sorrel, Sorrel.

Three types of Sorrel!

French Sorrel Rumex scutatus I found one of these in our local garden shop in amongst the herb pots
Garden/Common Sorrel Rumex acetosa seeds from Eden Seeds
Red Veined Sorrel Rumex sanguineus seeds from Green Harvest

Sorrel is a useful perennial leafy green that seems to do well all year round in my garden. As long it gets some water it provides year round greens for the chooks and the new tender leaves are a useful addition to salads in small amounts.
Here's a link to an older post back in 2007 on French Sorrel.

Earlier this year I split the pot of French Sorrel and made 4 new plants. I dug up a clump of Garden Sorrel from the garden and have 5 new plants now I am looking forward to seeing what the Red Veined variety looks like - from the photos on Green Harvest here it looks great.
Red Veined Sorrel also known as Red Dock, Bloodwort, Bloodleaf, Bloody Dock, Wood Dock and possibly other names!

Already on these small seedlings you can see signs of the red colouring!

One point to remember though: Sorrel can be invasive (sorrel is a weed in some folks minds especially in farming areas) so I try very hard to never let it flower by snipping back any sign of any central leading shoot that resembles a flower stalk!!

Saturday, 11 May 2013

Late Zucchinis

The seeds for these Early Zucchinis came from Inspiration's Seeds in Tasmania  and were sown in containers in the greenhouse at the end of August last year.
At the end of October this zucchini (one of 3 leftover seedlings) was planted into the ground at the base of the mound garden bed in the Old Chook Run Garden.

Unlike the other 2 that were planted nearby this one survived the onslaught of earwig attack...and being smothered most of the summer by a rampant pumpkin vine. Since I cleared the pumpkin out the zucchini has taken off.

It is now May and we are days away from the first frost and it is still pumping out tasty zucchinis. Normally I would have planted some more zucchinis in January but that didn't happen this season...

As this plant was in a fairly isolated and sheltered position I decided to save what I thought was the last zucchini for seeds but this plant had other ideas. That was a few months ago.
The large zucchini that has been earmarked for seed is still sitting there while all around the new growth has been happening.

It looks like it was a good plant to choose for seed saving. In April alone it produced over 2.5kgs of fruit and is still growing strong.

This post from 2007 is a basic guide to growing zucchini. 

Thursday, 9 May 2013

Update: May Week 1

Pots are being sorted and tidied...potted on and cuttings taken. Any frost intolerant plants have been tucked up in the greenhouse for winter. May is here and the morning frosts can't be far away.

Lowest Min 4.9C
Highest Max 25.6C
No Recorded Rain 

The weather remains warm for this time of the year but a change this weekend is set to bring winter weather with rain!

Potting on:

Thyme seedlings
Gypsophila seedlings
Strawberry Runners

Cotton Lavender Santolina chamaecyparissus syn S. incana
Purple Sage Salvia officinalis 'Purpurascens'

Golden Marjoram Origanum vulgare 'Aureum'
Red Shallots

Planted out:
Cauliflower Macerata
Salad Burnett
Alyssum Royal Carpet
Cauliflower Mini
Salad Burnett
Alyssum Royal Carpet
Planted into the Fridge Wicking Beds 11 & 12
Strawberry Runners 'Alinta' (PBR) & Hokowase into some 'Besser Blocks' (cinder/concrete blocks??) I've placed at the end of the Fridge Beds
Red Shallots into the Herb Bed next to the Fridge Beds

The Fridge Wicking Beds have been emptied and moved over into the Kitchen Garden as I begin the re-design to downsize the garden. Doc has been very helpful cutting back dead tree limbs and moving the heavy stuff. That is in between a major re-vamp of his workshop.
The bed next to the Fridge Wicking Beds is destined to become a bed of herbs and flowers with a bird bath in the middle and a smaller wicking worm bed behind that. 

 Clearing the Oregano from this bed seems never ending. Any small piece left in the ground will shoot. Argh!!!

To see how we built our greenhouse from old windows go here 

In this post I describe how we built the Fridge Wicking Beds using Hugelkultur. They have been re-built in the same way.

This is where I get the weather info from just type your postcode in the Search bar and click Go!

Saturday, 4 May 2013

Scarecrow's Garden Journal Notes: April 2013:

April Growth:Snow Peas, Kale, Beetroot and Broccoli

Temperatures this month:
Lowest Min 4.6C
Highest Min 24.1C
Lowest Max 16.1C
Highest Max 30.5C
26.5 mm Rain

Rain: Year To Date: 67.5mm (Average YTD: 88mm)
Comparison with other years:
April Average is 22mm:
2013 26.5mm
2012  3mm
2011  3mm
2010 18mm
2009 31mm
2008 24.5mm
2007 30mm

Weather Highlights?
The second month of autumn has been much milder. Mornings are growing cooler with 14 minimum temps under 10C. Some welcome rain and winds that have been light.

This Month:
Another busy month that saw us away from home for half the time, a two day market, Microman's first birthday, a trip to Adelaide for some wood shopping and again to Adelaide to stay by the beach for some grandie-sitting (yippee!!) after which we joined them for a trip to the zoo.

The autumn seedlings have put on steady growth and I have been busy tidying up the garden.

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. For Salads, Juice and Stirfries I have been picking Amaranth, Silverbeet, Celery, Cress, Gotu Kola, Lettuce, Kale, Parsley, Beetroot and Sweet Potato Leaves which are not always weighed.
Beetroot 540g
Capsicum 1122g
Carrots 382g
Cucumber 589g
Tommy Toe Tomatoes 104g
Zucchini Early 2583g

Total Veg Harvest for April   5.3Kgs

Peaches  2758g
Strawberry Guava 256g

Total Fruit Harvest for April 3Kg

Total Eggs for April: 32 eggs.
32 From the 5 Farmyard Ferals
0 From the Lone Barnevelder
0 From the 4 Faverolles

April  of Previous Years:

To see What is planted Where in the Garden check out the newest Map of our place HERE

Come on over to Scarecrow's Garden Facebook page and say Hi!
Check out my Pinterest Boards

Update: April Week 4

The soil is damp from recent light rain...volunteer seedlings are popping up in the garden as are the inevitable weeds...with a flurry of planting out and seedling growth it feels more like spring. These volunteer Amaranth in the Old Chook Run Garden have provided some tasty additions to stir fries.

Lowest Min 5.1C
Highest Max 27.1C
7.5mm Rain

Potting on:

French Tarragon
Pelargonium Ivy - several small cuttings from spring
Pelargonium Scented Orange
Pineapple Sage

Raspberry Smooth Stemmed
Pelargonium Ivy Red
Pelargonium Scented Orange


Planted out:
Beetroot seedlings (purchased nameless)
Broccoli Chinese Kailaan seedlings
Onions White seedlings (purchased nameless)
Silverbeet White Silver seedlings
Alyssum Royal Carpet seedlings for colour
These have been planted into Bed 17
Red Veined Sorrel
Planted into Bed 14


The chill in the air at this time of year turns the leaves on the Lemon tree yellow just as the fruit begins to ripen.


At last I have tasted some of the Midyim Berries (Austromyrtus dulcis)...I had read that the taste of these resembled "Vicks Vapour Drops" (cough and cold lozenges sold in OZ) and have to admit that I believe this to be true. Quite odd for a berry that you might expect to be sweet!


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