Tuesday, 25 February 2014

A Cool Change...

Time to pick the Basil for drying...the rain that came with the cool change has boosted the growth of the various types of Basil I have growing this year.
1) Lettuce Leaf Basil is kept bushy by pinching out the flowering tips as they appear.
2) Sweet Genovese Basil, a main cropper
3) Purple Basil, a favourite because of the little pink flowers it produces and the dark coloured leaves
4 )Minette, a new one this year, again would've been better if I had pinched out the flowers as it grew.

Well it seems as if the whole of the Mid North and other regions of SA must have been out doing rain dances because the Bangor Fire area received around 75mm of (flooding!!) rain on Friday (14th Feb) to finally put that fire out!

Potting On:
Kale Lacinato
Lettuce Red and Green Salad Mix
Lettuce Darwin
Perpetual Spinach
Spinach Viking
Also I have potted on lots of plants and cuttings on the potting table...

Planting Out:
Feb 21st
Garlic Rocambole Allium species just one bulb's worth at the end of Bed 9
Shallots  Red Allium cepa were divided and cleaned (the rain had made many soggy and a couple mouldy) then planted out into Bed 14 the Loganberry Bed

The next lot of propagation will be Seeds of Green crops which can be sown on the 2nd and also from 5th through until 1pm on the 7th of March. I'll be popping in more Lettuce seeds as well as some cooler weather greens like Coriander, Parsley, Corn Salad, Mesclun Mix, Chinese Celery and some more European Spinach. 

General Seed Raising Here on this link
For Moon Planting information please see the 2014 Astrological Calendar & Moon Planting Guide by Thomas Zimmer available for purchase from sites online including:
Greenpatch Organic Seeds
The New Oracle
Warm Earth Magazine

For information on what to plant in many regions around the world just visit Gardenate and choose the area where you live from the drop down menu at point 1 on this page.

Thursday, 13 February 2014

Bring on the Rain...

Looks like rain IS going to happen at last to put the Bangor Fire out See Here
It has been burning for over a month threatening many nearby townships in the Southern Flinders district. It has been a terrible month of endless heat as the CFS  heroes battled against this monstrous beast of a fire. Let's hope these amazing folks can finally get some rest. So too the poor landholders in the path of this fire...many haven't slept properly during the whole month!!!
Read Doc's wonderful tribute to the firies on this link

No Fruit sowing this time it just wasn't worth it during 40C heat...but just near the end as it started to drizzle I popped in a few extra Greens seeds. According to the Zimmer Moon Chart sowing of Greens and Fruiting seeds during the first and second moon quarters can be interchanged...but should still happen during a fertile sign! 

Seeds Sown:
Feb 12:

Broccoli Romanesco Brassica oleracea var. italica - Cornucopia...because the other seeds failed to germinate
Cabbage Portugal Summer Couve Tronchuda Brassica oleracea tronchuda - Eden Seeds...because I still haven't had any of these germinate...third time lucky maybe???
Cauliflower 'Sixty Days' Brassica oleracea var. botrytis - Green Harvest...because the last lot grew too fast and were not suitable to pot on. I have time to sow more so I can be fussy and get good seedling growth.

Potting On:
Cauliflower Mini
Cauliflower Violet Sicilian
Collards Champion
Kale Tuscan Black
Kale Red Russian
Kale Vates Blue Curled

The next lot of propagation will be Seeds of Root crops  which can be sown from the 18th until the 22nd of February. When I shall  be dividing and planting some Shallots and an early planting of Garlic. As this phase is also good for sowing perennial herbs I might try some of those.
And another small sowing of Radish and Beetroot can go in if I can find some room.

General Seed Raising Here on this link

Potting on lots of seedlings and protecting them from pests!!

At last a chance to uncover those Carrots and Beetroot that were sown on Jan 22nd they haven't seen the sun yet!!

For Moon Planting information please see the 2014 Astrological Calendar & Moon Planting Guide by Thomas Zimmer available for purchase from sites online including:
Greenpatch Organic Seeds
The New Oracle
Warm Earth Magazine

Saturday, 8 February 2014

More Greens Sown

Next weeks weather (from the Elders site Here) looks like being HOT again...but it will be interesting if that "chance of rain" brings anything on Thursday and Friday!!
I am growing very weary of watering during this excessive heat that never seems to end...

Seeds Sown:
Feb 6:

*Cabbage Tokyo Bekana  Brassica rapa var. chinensis  Green Harvest
Cauliflower Mini Brassica oleracea Diggers Seeds
Kale Lacinato Brassica oleracea The Lost Seed
Lettuce Lactuca sativa
Canasta The Lost Seed (Chosen because it's "slow to bolt"???)
Darwin  The Lost Seed ( chosen because it "survives well in hot conditions"???)
*Gourmet Mix seed tape Goodman Seeds
Red and Green Salad Mix DT Brown (a tough "all rounder" selection)
*Mizuna Purple Brassica rapa Japonica Group Southern Harvest Seeds
*Pak Choi White Petiole Brassica rapa var. chinensis Mr Fothergill's Seed Tape
Perpetual Spinach Beta vulgaris Cicla Group  Home saved seeds
Spinach Galilee Spinacia oleracea Green Harvest (chosen because it "has a higher degree of heat tolerance"???)
*Spinach Viking   Spinacia oleracea Mr Fothergill's seed tape
*these seeds were sown directly into a large plastic tub under the back pergola, the rest went into punnets kept under the back pergola for ease of watering.

Potting On:
Silverbeet (Swiss Chard) Bright Lights
Silverbeet (Swiss Chard) Erbette
Lettuce Red and Green Salad Mix
Lettuce Gold Rush
Broccoli Albert
Cabbage Verona Purple

I am slowly potting on all the greens seedlings that have germinated. Early in the morning and later in the evening is the time to get any work done during this heat.
One job I didn't mind doing was washing out some pots to take the seedlings. It was quite pleasant to be outside splashing around in some water.

As most of the seedlings are Brassicas I have re-purposed the small hot house shelf by bringing to the back pergola and covering it with Vege Net to keep the cabbage moths away. This link shows another structure we built a few years ago for the protection of new seedlings

The next lot of propagation will be Seeds of Fruiting crops  which can be sown on the 11th and 12th of February. When I should (not in a heatwave though) be sowing some (pre-soaked) Snow or Sugarsnap Pea seeds into loo roll holders. If the weather is favourable (cooler and maybe some rain??) and I can find some room.

I could also look at sowing some seeds of Beans for a quick crop as well. 
If you are in an area that has milder winters than I do you might get a late sowing of spring veg (from seedlings) in but you would need to pick varieties that will tolerate the cooler conditions that will come in Autumn (we hope!!).

General Seed Raising Information Here on this link
For Moon Planting information please see the 2014 Astrological Calendar and Moon Planting Guide by Thomas Zimmer available for purchase from sites online including:
  Greenpatch Organic Seeds
  The New Oracle
  Warm Earth Magazine

I recently noticed Vege Net for sale Here at Greenpatch Organic Seeds as the price includes postage I found it quite reasonable.

Saturday, 1 February 2014

January 2014 Harvest Total 20.7Kgs

Scarecrow's Garden Journal Notes: January 2014:

This month I have been harvesting Tomatoes, Beans, Cucumbers and Blackberries plus more!

Temperatures this month:
Lowest Min 8.9C
Highest Min 28.1C
Lowest Max 22.6C
Highest Max 43.4C
9mm Rain


Comparison with other years: January average is 22.6mm:
2014 9mm
2013 0mm
2012 20.5mm
2011 12.5mm
2010 15.5mm
2009 0.4mm
2008 0mm
2007 92.6mm

Weather Highlights?
15 days over 35C and 10 of those over 40C...a cool change (in between two heatwaves) that lasted a week and brought 9mm of rain...that's Summer in South Australia!!!

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, Kale, Lebanese Cress, Spring Onions, Parsley, Sorrel and Sweet Potato Leaves which are not always weighed.
Beans Dwarf 864g
Cucumber Bushy 552g
Cucumber Crystal Apple 345g
Cucumber Mini White 265g
Onion 335g
Sweetcorn 2504g
Tomato Bendigo Drop 1191g saving many of these for seeds
Tomato Capri Showstopper (non dwarf rejects) 4705g
Tomato Red Colossus 5161g
Tomato Tommy Toe 187g
Tomato Yellow Baby Pear 49g
Zucchini Black 1575g
Zucchini Early 341g
Zucchini Golden 832g
Zucchini Cocozelle 239g

Total Veg Harvest for January 19.1kgs

Blackberries 382g
Grapes 1075g
Mulberries 176g

Total Fruit Harvest for January 1.6Kg

Total Eggs for January: 32 eggs.
11 From the 1 Farmyard Feral
 32 From the 3 Faverolles

January of Previous Years:


I'm seeking alternatives to the styrofoam boxes I had been using for wicking boxes so I have a few of theses abandoned around the garden. This one at the side of the back pergola has been sitting there during all this heat...well nobody thought to tell this New Zealand Spinach volunteer not to use that wicking box to grow in. It has grown quite happily with just the occasional watering and the small fall of rain we had this month!!!

A quick update from the Propagation Log...
These Carrot and Beetroot seeds were sown on the 23rd of January. Since that time we have had 4 days over 40C. Look how they have germinated! I have been going out and misting them a couple of times a day during this heatwave.

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

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