Well, you have all heard me lament about my lack of space and the fact that I have run out of room on my tiny 560 square meter block of land. Don't get me wrong, I pack a lot in but I have to be very strategic with my plantings and I'm now at the stage that if I want to plant anything new, I must first rip something out. Case in point, my large apple tree was removed 3 weekends ago because I want more flowers, a pond and a rose garden. Here is the progress on that so far
"So what is the exciting news", you ask?... I bought a FARM!!
I've been daydreaming about a farm for a long time. An acre or two where I can build my retreat from the world and have all the space in the world for whatever I wish to plant. Well, these holidays, I have made progress on that dream. I have bought 2 acres of land up near Gympie!!! It will obviously be a long time before we can build (kids, mortgages, work etc) but I am so happy to have secured the land so in the future, my dream will be a feasible reality. The plan is to put a caravan on there and use it for camping holidays for the next 6-8 yrs or so and then slowly start building an eco cottage and getting serious about planting some fruit trees. Even if we never live on there full time, it will allow me enough room to "play" with permaculture design and give me a sense of security for the future.
On to the clean up part. I have had a very busy 2 weeks. In between multiple dentist appointments for my 3 children (2 of whom, have started the process of teeth extraction and braces these hols), real estate hunting and looking after my niece and nephew, I had lots of things I wanted to achieve in the garden. The first was laying down stone for my old woodchip pathways. My dog is an absolute psycho and will run up and down the length of the yard barking at anyone who passes by. Great for security, bad for woodchip mulch which he would push out the way and cause it to disintegrate leaving my red clay soil exposed. With all the rain and him being allowed inside, it was driving me up the wall with all the cleaning I was doing. 400kg of stones later and a barrow of soil moved, this is the end results:
Side of house with new shade garden planted out on the right. Notice the asparagus jungle on the left - such a decorative plant as well as edible.
Front of house to driveway.
I also headed out to Turner's garden center as they are in there final days of closing to see what else they had. Didn't have any plants I wanted but did have this gorgeous water fountain marked down to $100.
My massive jungle out the back I started to tackle today. I am going to remove my muscadine grape vines from the fence to the vegie patch. I don't like them that much, they aren't very sweet, small and very seedy and they also go nuts!. Here is a sample of the overgrowth that is happening. Keep in mind this has 5 roses planted in front that I hope have survived.
As I was cleaning up, look what I spied. I will be letting this go to seed now and have fresh trombonccino seeds.
I have bought a Carolina black (seedless) and pink Iona to go along the back fences this time away from all my other plants. The carolina black I bought back in September and is along a fence that gets shade in winter - just look at it now.
The Pink Iona is a recent purchase from the Daley's visit and is still sitting in its pot waiting for me to prepare its bed. Both these grape varieties are mildew resistant and cope better with humidity than other standard grapes so hopefully will have a successful (and edible) harvest soon.
My poor cumquat tree has suffered badly. It was absolutely laden with fruit and I was thinking WOW - bumper crop this year (not that it ever has disappointed me really). To my dismay, after one particularly torrential downpour, I went out and found that the two main trunks had split down the middle. Even with the weight of the fruit and the rain, I thought that surely wouldn't be enough to cause it to split so I investigated further. The whole tree was covered in, what I later discovered, white louse scale. I am currently smelling like rotten egg because I have sprayed ALL of my citrus with lime sulfur to hopefully get rid of this pest.
This is what remains with a bit of shade cloth to hopefully prevent sunburn.
Need to finish all that clean up, get the winter vegie patch going and do a honey harvest before I go back to school next week. Whew!
What's coming in from the vegie patch - not much really. Herbs, shallots, tromboncinno's (obviously) and corn. Last of the cucumbers are done, new tomato's aren't ready and lettuce, beets and pea crops failed. Corn harvest is AMAZING - 14 more cobs to come in from the garden and they are so large and sweet. When I planted these, I dug through a bucket of chook manure from the pen (not composted) - They LOVED IT!
The new seedlings for the garden. I will say that I have given the Erica Vale seeds 2 shots and they have all failed so won't be buying those again. I have got Mr Fothergills and 4 season seeds and never have drama's with those so I'll stick with what I know works. These are all planted into wicking pots with searles premium potting mix and makes my seedlings thrive.
Planted out a carrot, beet, pea, bean and lettuce bed. I decided to use Coconut Coir to plant into to see if that helps with keeping seeds moist enough to germinate in the bed as opposed to my wicking pots and had some beet seedlings from a wicking bed to transplant. This is their second day and they are looking healthy still so hopefully a better success rate than the storebought ones from a month ago.
The early brassica bed had 2 broccoli and 2 cabbage survive. I've netted them now and the new seedlings will be going into this bed as well.
Fruit wise, I'm still eating plenty of banana's and I'm getting about 3 pawpaws a fortnight plus the never ending lemons from my Eureka Lemon tree. Big news is my other citrus is starting! Doing my sprays of the citrus, I noticed the first ripe Ruby Red grapefruit. If you'll remember my blog last year, I had my first fruit but they had splits in them. Not so this year and there is about 10 on my little tree so YAY!. Turned this one into grapefruit juice.
I also might have another fruit set on the black sapote. Here's hoping it develops and doesn't drop off this time.
The loquat tree is flowering like mad. It also flowered last year but didn't set anything so I'm hoping this year is its year. It's a grafted Bessel Brown from Daley's planted mid 2016.
Well folks, that's it from me. 4 more days until I go back to the grindstone so hoping to have the rest of my clean up done by then. Happy gardening people.
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