14/03/11 Autumn - the weather is just beautiful already with milder days. It's almost enough to take my mind off the colonoscopy I'm facing later today, or rather, the muck I had to drink in preparation. Thank goodness for gardening to divert my attention from it all lol (and Minties to help remove the dubious flavour).
I'm a normally a nibbler when I mooch around the garden and it's painful not to be able to indulge. I just want a lovely big meal of veg and meat with some FIBRE in it!
The pumpkin vines (heirloom pack I bought from Diggers) I gingerly placed a few seeds of around the yard are doing their best to take over everything. There are mainly male flowers but I did manage to find one female yesterday morning and have hopefully succeeded in pollinating it.
Lettuce are going to seed nicely. I haven't collected lettuce seed before but others seem to do it without too much fuss, so shouldn't be too hard.
Rodents are eating any crop I get on - seem to be after the seed inside. They chewed holes in the Banana Rockmelon (was able to save the bulk due to the size of the fruit) but have completely consumed all my tomatoes, eggplant and red okra. They also attack my cucumbers. Oddly the ones growing on the outside of the beds are untouched. My dogs think the rodents live on the inside and when I let them, dig deep holes trying to find them. I've found two dead mice they've killed (near the aviary) and a large dead rat most likely killed by Nathan's rat poison. Both my neighbours have chooks so the rodents are having a field day between our three yards.
I just hope the rodents leave my beautiful fig fruit alone. The little plant has a couple of dozen developing.
Back from the loo again :(
More diversion needed.
13/03/11 Isn't she a beauty - self sown by some thoughful little bird. I wish I knew which it is so I can admire and thank them. This is the second self sown providing a big crop and there are a couple more little plants coming up around the yard that I transplant to better spots when I find them.
Back again :(
13/03/11 This is where the compost pile was (Lychee branches in the foreground need cutting down smaller). I've just moved it all into bed 1 on top of the existing well broken down compost and new grasss clippings and will add some horse poo, Organic Xtra and granite/deco (potassium) and basalt (calcium). The ground is still extremely soggy/slippery as this is the low point in the yard and I guess all the flood water pooled here.
Weed Tea (black tub) - don't know how I managed without this in the past - great way to give the seedlings and cuttings a boost and use up noxious plants.
14/03/11 Babaco cuttings now in indivual pots (still in the sandy seed raising mix) and still seem to be doing well. Some of the cuttings had roots forming and others didn't, yet they all show new growth.
At front - yellow dwarf bean, to right Zuchinni Blk, middle is carrot medly and parsnip seed, left & right towards back are lettuce (can never have enough lettuce on the go), back is corn and roma tom, neither of which are doing well. Quite a few of the seedlings died the next day in spite of being handled with the usual care.
At the front of the bed are Cape Gooseberrys (trying again to succeed with these!) and a Tomatillo (had two but stepped on and broke the one to the right :S hopefully it will come good).
Still "between jobs" so I have plenty of time to spend in the garden. I've planted heaps of seed for various broccoli and cauli - some for the second time - did get four mini-cauli seedlings out of the first planting.
I have removed the all-invasive heirloom pumpkin vines. Nothing on them but some embryo fruit to show for all the growth. Very glad to have it gone! as I couldn't get at the plants in the back of the yard and the elevated beds were gradually becoming islands.
Bed 1 is coming along nicely although the whatever (??) is eating the tops of the carrot seedlings. No sign of any caterpillars etc in the morning, so I've sprinkled them with Vege Dust. Lots of rain at the moment though so must remember to re-sprinkle.
Zuchinni; Bush Bean "Frost"; Bush Bean yellow (? seedling from Caboolture Mkts); Carrot "Heirloom Mixed"; Radish "Daikon"; Cauli "Mini"; Parsnip "Hollow Crown"; corn; Roma Toms.
Bed 2 has been replanted. The depth is lower than I would like but I have lost my lovely mower people who brought me heaps of grass - must find another. Stephen is mowing and doing handyman jobs for me at the mo but he doesn't have lots of grass to bring me.
Pea "Sugar Snap"; James' climbing bean (?); Silverbeet "Five Colour mix"; Celery "Stringless"; Carrot "St Valery"; Tomato "Amish Paste"; Dwf Bean "Sex Without Strings"; Beetroot "Bulls Blood".
17/04/11 Front Yard - chokos are doing well and grow so fast without any bugs. I've planted out the Tamarillo plants I grew from seed along with strawberry runners from Jess. I've removed some of the Pit Pit which was looking a bit ratty.
Visited the Yandina Markets yesterday with Jess and Michelle and it was a very productive visit!
Apart from the gluten free goodies on offer (home made fruit tarts, smoked sausage, cane juice) there were lots of edible plants and interesting veg to choose from. Picked up some more plants from the community garden nusery later as well at $2 a pop. Cheap cheap.
What's happening in the front yard? Filled up the back now making the most of the front yard! Have turned the patch of grass between the fence and the path into a no-dig bed - Midyim and lavendar to be planted.
Tahitian Spinach bought from Yandina Community Gardens. Entire plant is edible apparently - yet to try it.
Note: leaf joint is completely underneath the leaf, unlike the inedible alocasia on the other side of the fence which comes to a point with the leaf joint.
Dwarf Wurtz showing lots of new growth.
New bed outside front fence waiting for the grass to die to plant Midyims and lavendars. Choko on fence to right.
Pomegranates - grown from seed on left, Wonderful on right.
Yellow Jaboticaba (NOTE: this never did grow, sat there like this for over a year and then died) , Cassava at back and strawberries.
Black Jaboticaba, choko on fence, raspberry.
Tahitian Spinach, Tamarillos, Canistel, strawberries.
This last week it has become really chilly and the ugg boots and extra coats have been put into use.
The rats in the ceiling have gone quiet - dead? hybernating? At least they are leaving my seedlings alone now and not eating the middle out of my eggplants. The dogs have killed a few and enjoy our night time forays out into the yard to hunt down the ratties.
Everything is thriving at this time in the garden and being off work has meant that I can get a few jobs done that were on the wish list, like the garden bed outside the front fence, now all planted up with Midyim, Lavender and some native ground cover bought from Indigiscapes.
I have discovered a loofah growing mysterioulsy where I never planted one, in a great spot where I can train it over the tank. Just what I wanted! but lord knows where it came from
Listada di Gandia at the front producing more flowers and giving me good return in fruit for buying the seed. The cuttings I took seem to be doing well also.
These two bags are from spuds I kept back from the first cropping, so very excited to be growing second generation.
I did add some pea eggplant bought from Yandina Market but they are bitter and horrid which reduced the pleasure somewhat. Have to pick them out before eating a mouthful.
The rats have stopped eating my seedlings! (Can still hear them shuffling around in the ceiling despite the bags of rat poison). There are minimal grasshoppers, caterpillars and slugs doing damage! Time for growing some crop!
Below - Bed 1 coming along nicely - carrots are growing quickly and some of the broccoli and cauli seedlings are finally taking off without things eating them. Should be able to pick the little crop of corn soon.
Have soaked and planted the Bali Corn seeds Jacqui gave me, about 100 in all - fingers crossed that some of them come up - could be just my luck that they ALL come up lol.
Below - 24/05/11 Jeruselum Artichoke - a little surprise crop found at the bottom of some dead branches of plant. Really not my favourite thing - am yet to find a way to cook them that makes them really irresistable.
Below - Bed 3 (on left) with last of cucumber plant still in it, needs to be replenished and replanted with winter veg. This has been a prolific cropper but stupidly I don't seem to have kept a record of which seed I used! It was from seed I had saved from a previous crop I think - should still have some in a packet.
Below 24/05/11 Bed 2 - coming along nicely - mostly beans and peas this time as they should blanche and freeze well. Also some toms, Florence Fennel, carrots, spinach and celery seeds planted and all coming up.
I've notice one of the tomato plants leaves are rolling up. Seems it's due to the cool wet weather we're having and will self correct:
Leaf roll, or leaf curl, is a physiologic distortion that may develop with periods of cool, rainy weather. It cause the lower leaves to roll upward and become thick and leathery. Leaf roll does not affect plant growth or fruit production and requires no treatment.
The recipe is to mix one part sugar (castor sugar is ideal) with one part sodium bicarb (baking soda) and one part flour. You add a bit of water to form a dough and dish out pieces of this "cake" to areas where rodents are active.
The digestive system of rodents cannot expel gas and the idea is that bicarb produces CO2 when it comes into contact with acid (in this case stomach acid). The gas causes the stomach to expand, resulting in either an implosion or suffocation - by pressing up against the lungs.
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