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Dave Riley's Blog (151)

Capturing the garden going about its everday business...

It always seem to happen that I can never capture the garden in a photograph.

It's messy and jungle-like and green merges into green so that it is always hard to distinguish the species of plants one from t'other.

But I've tried...

Captured en route to…

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Added by Dave Riley on May 20, 2018 at 19:00 — 7 Comments

My new garden 'plan' -- green aspirations in motion with snakes and ladders, Vetiver and stuff.

Now that the mulch has settled and the seedlings are tucked up in their beds I can play the lord of the manor -- and tweak my vista.

Herein is an exposé of the underlying principles that my good self have concocted within the juicy confines of my fertile brain.

The…

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Added by Dave Riley on May 6, 2018 at 22:00 — 18 Comments

By the time these fermented zukes are ready for eating, I should be ready to photo-shoot the change.

At left is a recent harvest.

Tromboncinos: an Italian heirloom zucchini originally from Liguria.

If you have space, 'tis an essential grow.

Since I'm renovating outback I had to cut down a couple of these vines, thus the contents of these…

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Added by Dave Riley on April 1, 2018 at 23:30 — 7 Comments

Two Garden Tales

I'm in the process of renovating two gardens at present: my own and the school garden.

As I pointed out --…

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Added by Dave Riley on February 19, 2018 at 22:16 — 2 Comments

Vetiver Ventures (Part 2)

Vetiver and I have finally decided to get engaged so that we are retrofitting our family home together. Over the past two years we have grown closer to one another so that a day seldom goes by when we aren't interacting with one another... in an horticultural sense of course.

I've come to know Vetiver's ways and have learnt to appreciate the plant even more. In that embrace I can imagine the grass' potential.

At present I have three projects in mind:

  • Redesigning my…
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Added by Dave Riley on February 4, 2018 at 0:30 — 8 Comments

A change is afoot...

The great joy of annuals and the like is that nothing lasts as it was. Gardening with non perennial plants  is full of options,quickly realised.

Since taking up with Vetiver grass (we are indeed married)-- we've not only had many offspring together but I've experimented with uses.

The big deal is that I'm embarking on a garden retrofit structured by Vetiver hedges.

I guess the main impetus for this is that after installing a spear pump my irrigation protocols have…

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Added by Dave Riley on January 28, 2018 at 9:30 — No Comments

YEAR'S BEST.

Great moments in agriculture award:

  • Balinese corn  -- finally found one that I can grow.
  • Perennial Capsicum -- producing AGAIN as we speak.
  • Dragon Fruit -- keenly fruits.

Festering Passions:

  • Squashes --…
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Added by Dave Riley on January 2, 2018 at 1:20 — 17 Comments

Once upon a time...

Of late I've been investing energy 'renovating' the school garden while 'maintaining' my own. That doesn't mean I've been neglecting my own patch.

Indeed the effort has served to offer me a comparison.

When I look at my own outback it keeps changing each year, each season, each…

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Added by Dave Riley on November 11, 2017 at 22:00 — 7 Comments

The School Garden

Since we had a Community Day yesterday I used the excuse to renovate the school garden.

This is a primary school project I've been engaged in for a few years now. Each week we take almost all classes through the gardening program. At other times it is deployed as a chill out or distraction zone for problem -- as in acting out --students.…

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Added by Dave Riley on November 4, 2017 at 23:00 — 3 Comments

Clay Pot Irrigation : the latest and greatest in garden hardware

With the persistence of the dry weather I thought I'd share with you the latest version of my clay pot irrigation system. I've been experimenting with the setup for a few years and this rig works to my satisfaction and prevails against, weather, pet dogs,bush turkeys,  cane toads and crows.

THE…

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Added by Dave Riley on September 28, 2017 at 0:00 — 5 Comments

Synchronizing my kitchen gardening with the culinary preferences of the house

Contrary to my expectations I still can harvest comestibles outback.

Looking about, I'm soon set to drown in tomatoes which have occupied my patch like weeds.

The greens survive the heat and lack of moisture while the spuds begin to flag their readiness  by  consecutively dying back above ground.Beans and peas are a waste of energy but the squashes have…

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Added by Dave Riley on September 19, 2017 at 0:45 — 1 Comment

3 Sisters : intercropping, Kitchen Garden style.

No matter what I do I cannot play rain god and the soil --such as it is -- dries the more.

The comestibles live -- indeed in demographic abundance -- but they do not live well as the wee things suffer from the absence of precipitation. Even the dew has got surly and comes in each morning parched.

But such weather as this seems to suit the squash family. Less mould. Not damp. Just right to throw out the buds and shoot out a succulent stem or ball.

After years been held hostage…

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Added by Dave Riley on August 28, 2017 at 23:00 — 10 Comments

Looking Good in July

I was outback and the garden was looking so good I thought I'd capture the moment.

As you can see, I'm growing sticks too -- cuts from mulberry bushes. I use the sticks to mark where I plant seedlings and to later deploy them to raise up climbers or ramblers.'Tis an African habit.The red berets are the latest…

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Added by Dave Riley on July 9, 2017 at 21:30 — 6 Comments

Is growing food at home costing you more?

An interesting report in the Brisbane Times  raises the conundrum of garden size vs water use as a primary cost factor.

It draws on research by James Ward  and John Symons , published as Optimising…

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Added by Dave Riley on June 26, 2017 at 0:55 — 9 Comments

My absence from outback was not enough to sabotage the horticulture.

After a rough Summer, a recent bout of ill health kept me from my garden tasks for weeks. All I could manage was to fill up the terracotta pots I have located in the centre of my mounds with water.

Nowadays the 'mounds' aren't self evident as over time I have been mulching in between them -- but the…

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Added by Dave Riley on May 23, 2017 at 1:00 — 2 Comments

"I is coming boys and girls. Get procreating."

'Tis the best time of the gardening year. This time. The March/April convergence.

Whan that Aprill, with his shoures soote

    The droghte of March hath perced to the roote

    And bathed every veyne in swich licour,

    Of which vertu engendred is the flour;

    Whan Zephirus eek with his sweete breeth

    Inspired hath in every holt and heeth

    The tendre croppes, and the yonge sonne

    Hath in the Ram his halfe cours yronne,

    And smale…
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Added by Dave Riley on March 30, 2017 at 0:01 — 6 Comments

Summer is not over until I say it is.

No surprise that I also had a rough Summer.



Ran out of mulch. The plants crisped up.Weeds took over. Too hot to toil...



Best consequence was that my clay pots kept the strong rooted mature annual plants alive. Seedlings, on the other hand,died.

Maybe I did get the shade I yearned for but losing my mulch supply line was a tragic disaster.



I have planted many frangipanis among the beds.The mower folk are back dropping off the lawn…

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Added by Dave Riley on March 2, 2017 at 22:30 — 5 Comments

School Garden Notes so far in 2017.

SOURCE

As we'd…

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Added by Dave Riley on February 14, 2017 at 19:30 — 2 Comments

Pots: brewing and irrigating

It works! It truly works!

Who woulda thought?

I am learning to love my pots.

I have three models: one for the collection of slops and 'teas' ; the others to irrigate my garden.

The slops and washes protocol  is really kicking in (see diagram at right).

I collect the waste…

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Added by Dave Riley on January 15, 2017 at 11:26 — 4 Comments

Outback says, "Welcome to 2017. Looking good."

The year begins green.

Surprises in the soil.

This season we do have shade.

Added by Dave Riley on January 7, 2017 at 9:54 — 5 Comments

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