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Dave Riley's Blog (142)

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

Vetiver Ventures

I began with 3 Vetiver slips. I grew them up to 1.5-1.7metres tall and started harvested root cuttings -- two to three months ago. I now have just under 100 plants in the soil with another 30 coming on in my nursery.

That may seem a lot of stock for any one plant but to bio-design with Vetiver you need to…

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Added by Dave Riley on December 30, 2016 at 0:00 — 42 Comments

I'm so darn empirical that I suffer from the green thumb fidgets.

I now and then ask myself,"Why don't you leave well enough alone?"

But, you know, if you don't potter about the garden -- grabbing any excuse --you may as well be dead...

As well as making over the front yard with copious plantings of creepers, aloes, kangaroo paw, vetiver, flowering bulbs,grevilleas…

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Added by Dave Riley on December 1, 2016 at 2:35 — 7 Comments

The garden in November: 'Death has come to so few.'

It may be a tad dry but it photosynthesizes. Always full of surprises. A garden of dirty delights.

Main events: the frangipanis…

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Added by Dave Riley on November 19, 2016 at 13:30 — 3 Comments

Less frenzy.Less jungle. I'll miss the improvisation...but I'll have 'a' plan

I think I lost it. 

A few weeks of influenza of whatever branding and the garden got away from me. 

Went feral with my frequent absence from the garden.

Led by a carpet of chickweed my investment in ground covers took off and I had nasturtiums up to pussie's bow. 

But I learnt that patience is its own reward and all annuals subside, even weeds. 

Die off. 

The rampaging nasturtiums drowned so much in their path that I couldn't find the comestibles…

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Added by Dave Riley on October 14, 2016 at 2:45 — 3 Comments

September: verdant -- Greening it up

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Added by Dave Riley on September 14, 2016 at 15:14 — 11 Comments

Lacto-Fermenting DIY

Since I haven't explained this DIY before, this is the rig I use to ferment vegetables. Now on display for the very first time.

  1. EasiYo Yogurt Maker: cheap and readily available flasks from Op shops(cheap) and supermarkets. I reckon they make great crocks.
  2. Pack in your…
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Added by Dave Riley on September 3, 2016 at 11:30 — 23 Comments

Recycling Ways & Means

The only garbage that leaves our kitchen via the front door are those items that can't be eaten by either chooks, worms or their friendlies.

Any big item with a dead animal background -- if not fed to the dogs (or the chooks sometimes) -- is buried outback. 

The scrap bin that accepts all the…

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Added by Dave Riley on August 31, 2016 at 23:59 — 18 Comments

in Production and Gallery

We're away on another branch of the garden adventure.

You'll note the 'ground covers'-gone wild. I hack a space in that…

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Added by Dave Riley on August 17, 2016 at 22:00 — 8 Comments

Clay Pot Irrigation: no more flying saucer parking lot.

There I was commuting on the train heading south towards the CBD when I had one of those moments.

My 'thingness' came upon me and I had a flash of transcendence.

"What, if," thought I, "I used shade cloth instead of plates atop my irrigating clay pots?"

And voila...!

I got myself home.…

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Added by Dave Riley on July 31, 2016 at 21:30 — 5 Comments

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