Saturday, 24 January 2015

January Week 3...Old Chook House Revamp

The Old Chook House was nearly falling Doc pulled it all apart and rebuilt a cute little shelter and pot storage area.

15th Jan
Temperature Min 8.8C Max 23C Sunny with little wind.
Scuffled some of the million odd weeds that have started to germinate after the rain!!
Mulched beds with Organic Sugarcane mulch
Tied strings to Tomatoes (Roma) at rear of the bed in the shade tunnel. This will allow me to give the strings a quick tap every so often for pollination of the tomato flowers as there won't be any bees inside the shade tunnel.

16th Jan
 Temperature Min ??C Max 29.6C Warming up slowly
Put some potatoes from my previous crop into an egg carton for "chitting" - hope to get these planted this month for a late crop to harvest before the frosts hit!
Out in the garden I weeded, fed, tied up and pruned tomatoes then mulch the beds with sugarcane mulch.

17th Jan
Temperature Min 10C Max 28C Beautiful weather!!
Emptied and tided garden shed - lots had been stashed away in there for the storms. Doc made new shelves on my work table as the wooden ones went mouldy after they got wet when the roof leaked. These wire grills off the back of old fridges will be perfect and not stay wet when the roof leaks again!
Covered the new zucchini and pumpkin seedlings with lightweight shade cloth as they were being scorched by the sun.
Planted 3 Silverbeet seedlings

18th Jan
 Temperature Min 10.6C Max 28C Could get very used to this weather!!
Emptied out the old chook house and dismantled will get a new roof and side. This will be a storage area for my empty pots.

19th Jan
Temperature Min 11.5C Max 29.4C Starting to warm up weather-wise
Doc continued to rebuild the Old Chook House while I gave one of the new chook houses a thorough clean out. I scrubbed the nest boxes and re-lined them with sawdust, DE, herbs - wormwood, fennel, oregano and lemon balm...this mixture was also spread on the floor as it was covered with fresh straw.
Out in the garden the beans and amaranth are just poking their heads up!

20th Jan
Temperature Min 16.3C Max 31.5C horribly windy today...stayed inside and cooked soup and stock!!!
Noticed most of the beans are up

21st Jan 
Temperature Min 14.8C Max 29C
Doc finished off the new shelter.
Potted up seedlings of Lacinato/Tuscan Kale, the only 2 Brussels Sprouts and 3 Lettuce seedlings that survived being drowned in the rain!
Put them with the other lot of Kale seedlings in the shade tunnel where they will get more sun and still be protected from bugs
Potted on Roma Tomato and Rockmelon seedlings and some Lucerne out of their loo rolls (they are too dry this time of the year).
Made a hoop arch for the new Lemon tree for shade cloth.
In the evening I attached a connection for a curly hose in the shade tunnel and then tidied and pruned in the orchard beds.

This week I have been harvesting...
Kale that is still growing from last year
Parsley which has taken off since the rain
Thyme & Bay Leaves went into the soup/stock pot

Thursday, 15 January 2015

January Week 2...Rain!!!

Things might still be a bit of a mess in this back corner of the block but things are starting to grow!
A great week with cooler temperatures and a decent drop of rain at last! Very humid conditions so I had to keep an eye out for any mildew attacks.  The cooler weather meant the chance to spend some time in Adelaide and go shopping!

Notes from my garden diary...

Jan 2015

8th Jan
Temperature Min 21.5C Max 33.5C
Still waiting for the rain to start, swept concrete areas and continued to tidy...
Added gravel mulch (fine) to native seedling transplants
Potted up 3 trays of Kale seedlings and put them on the potting table (70% shade cloth) and covered them with vege net - should stop them being damaged by any heavy rain that might come...
Planted 4 tiny Tuscan Kale seedlings into the shade house beds.
Potted up 5 Lilly Pilly cuttings using the native potting mixture.

9th Jan
Temperature Min 18.7C Max 21.7C 5mm Rain
Much cooler with light rain falling after lunch.
Potted up Basils - Blue Spice, Thai Lime, Thai Siam Queen and Sweet.
Potted up Dianthus Fringed Pink.
Dead headed any spent flower heads and removed dead leaves on plants. We are on a downy mildew alert so shade covers were removed from beds especially cucurbits which are prone to mildew attack in humid weather. This will allow more air movement to dry the leaves of these plants. 

10th Jan
Temperature Min 13.3C Max  18C 27mm Rain o/night
Cool with drizzle falling...
Emptied trays that the pots are in - keeping some water at the base of a pot is one thing but being drowned is another matter.
Planted Lemon (Lemonade) tree, Lucerne seedlings, Lavender, Pigeon pea seedlings and a couple of Strawberry Guava seeds  around the base of the tree.
Seedlings of Radish and Kohl Rabi emerging in the shadehouse.

11th Jan

Temperature Min 13.2C Max 20.6C
Foggy and drizzly all day so spent the day cooking in the kitchen...lots of meals now in the freezer.

12th Jan

Temperature Min 15C Max 23.5C 2mm Rain
Took advantage of the cooler weather to hop in the Hippy Bus (campervan) and pop down to Adelaide for some retail therapy...lots of shopping...

13th Jan

Temperature Min 17.5C Max 20.6C 48mm Rain
A very windy return trip home from Adelaide to find a very wet garden and house!!! More rain!!!

14th Jan
Temperature Min 11C Max 23.6C
The sun was out making it very pleasant to be in the garden. The soil was lovely and damp so I took the chance to shape some beds up and plant some seedlings.
Zucchini Black Jack, Cucumber Long Green, Pumpkin Golden Nugget, Nasturtiums and Rock Melon Petit Gris De Rennes.
Direct sown seeds of Marigold Red Marietta, Amaranth Autumn Palette, Aztec Amaranth Rajeera, Black Cumin, Bean Italian Romano and Violet Queen Bush Bean.
In the shade house the Carrots are germinating!

This week I have been harvesting...

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

January Week 1...Shadehouse.

A hot week to start the year but we managed to complete and plant up the new Shade house. As always the heat means we are up early in the morning and usually have our jobs completed by lunchtime. Sometimes we can go back out in the evening but this is often just to let the chooks out for a scratch while we water their straw yard down so it is cooler for the next hot day. Of course the silly things choose this hot weather to go broody!  By Wednesday the humidity was rising ahead of what promises to be a significant rain event with thunderstorms.

This clip from Elders Weather Page shows our forecasted rain. We live in hope!

Notes from my garden diary...

Jan 2015

1st Jan 
Temperature Min 14.4C Max  35.7C
Added rest of shade cloth to house Doc made a new door and covered it with shade cloth. Filled beds with rough fill, straw, potting mix, mushroom compost, coir/sheep manure mix and garden soil. Mixed well and watered.

2nd Jan 

Temperature Min 17C Max  39.9C
Attached irrigation (dripper) hose to beds

3rd Jan 
Temperature Min 21.2C Max  40.2C
Moved potting bench from under Carob tree in driveway to behind the shade house.
Plants were sorted, pruned and re-potted.

4th Jan 
Temperature Min 16.2C Max  31.3C 2.4mm Rain
Planted into beds in the shade house Tomatoes , Sweet Basil, Egyptian Spinach, Silverbeet, Spring Onions and Parcel.
Planted Basil seedlings with Tomatoes in outside bed.

5th Jan 
Temperature Min 16.8C Max  34.5C
Potted up native seedlings using a purchased Native Plant Potting mix 

6th Jan 
Temperature Min 21C Max  37.4C
Attached dripper line (15cm spacing) to last bed and sowed Carrots (tape), Radish, Kohl Rabi, and Beetroot seedlings
Tidied garden for impending heavy rain - put away anything that shouldn't get wet

7th Jan 
Temperature Min 22.6C Max  38C Doc's Birthday and our 37th Wedding Anniversary.
Secured items in garden - storms forecast with rain event
New tarp cover to straw pile - the old one ripped in recent wind storms.

Monday, 5 January 2015

End of 2014

Spring came and went quite unproductively, harvest-wise in the garden. We have been busy re-shaping the garden to create a workable propagating area and more manageable growing spaces.
Swapping sheds around, building beds and shade structures and clearing garden beds to allow for machinery to gain access to remove a large and very dead gum tree out the back.

This tree had to be removed before any major work began on building the greenhouse and shade houses...really before most of the spring garden could be planted out.
It wasn't until mid Dec that this tree was able to be removed! But it is gone now and Doc and I have been very busy sorting out the garden!

Since August I have not been and will no longer be weighing the produce as it is harvested...I will just keep a record of which crops are being harvested. I will keep a tally of eggs and will again note temperature and rainfall with a new weather station once A) it has been installed and B) I learn how to use it!!!

Weather (as of Aug from the Bureau of Meteorology) for 2014
Jan....Low 8.9C....High 43.4C.... Rain 9mm
Feb....Low 6.3C....High 41.4C....Rain 37mm
Mar....Low 4.8C....High 34.3C....Rain 3mm
Apr....Low 3.9C....High 33.4 C....Rain 84.5mm
May....Low  2C....High  23.3C....Rain 51 mm
Jun....Low  -1.2C....High  16.4C....Rain  22.5mm
July....Low -5.2C....High  18.2C....Rain 15 mm
Aug....Low -4.8C....High 22.5C....Rain  11.8mm
Sept....Low  0.5C....High  18.8C....Rain 26 mm
Oct....Low  -1.4C....High 34.9C....Rain  0.3mm
Nov....Low  1.1C....High  38.7C....Rain  9.4mm
Dec....Low  4.9C....High 34.9C....Rain 16.4mm
Total Rainfall for 2014 was 285.9mm our average is 330.2mm

Month by Month Eggs...Total for 2014...873 eggs.
Jan 32
Feb 12
Mar 32
Apr 1
May 11
Jun 40
Jul 102
Aug 117
Sept 150
Oct 150
Nov 114
Dec 112

Looking forward to a more productive 2015...I aim to be positive this year and set myself small easily accomplished goals for each day!!
I hope everyone has a great year in their gardens and that we all have perfect weather conditions for growing our food...or at least find strategies to work with what our climate chooses to throw at us this year!!!


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