I've been slack of late, in my contribution to the site as a result of work related issues which seem to be resolving themselves, thankfully. Anyway, for those who might have thought I was being rude (like Donna, I only just saw your message), I'm so very sorry.
Anyway, I just thought I'd drop in and say hello, brag (not that I have anything to brag about!) etc.
So, about a month ago, I bought a couple of white garlic bulbs (read: not suitable for subtropics) from Green Harvest and I planted them last week, along with beetroot, carrot and onions. Anyway, I noticed today that some are sprouting, which I am most chuffed with. I thought they'd just rot in the ground like the potatoes I drowned last year. But apparently not! Woohoo! Anyway, I wondered if anyone else had planted garlic, and how they are going...??
Every autumn since we've lived here (this is our 4th), I've been kidding myself that I was going to ask the lovely elderly couple who live behind us if I could rake up the fallen leaves from the gigantic Liquidambar (which is an awesome borrowed landscape) in their front yard. To my delight, they were stoked with my offer as they struggle with it more and more each year and have actually been paying someone to take it away (HELLO!!!). So I went down this afternoon and packed 7 big garbage bags full of them, and that's only about 2/3 of what's fallen so far, with t least twice as much to come. I plan to head down there weekly, or even fortnightly and collect everything I can get. I've read that if you put a bit of water in the bags and cut some holes in them, the leaves will break down into 'leaf mould' within 6 - 12 months. This is great news for me, as I do struggle with my veggie beds 'sinking' because of stuff down low breaking down. I find it hard to come across good sources of (cheap/free) organic material to put in them, and to compost, so I'm making the most of the neighbour's tree this year, in preparation for spring. Anyway, it's making me feel quite warm and fuzzy...
A couple of weeks back, we cut back the lime tree quite substantially, as it was becoming quite large and thus unmanagable. We cut it back by about 1/3 and put all of the prunings through the chipper and filled a compost in in the process (waiting a week until it was not so green anymore). When I ran the compost aerator through that heap today, it was steaming nicely. Sweet!! This combined with the dirty chook bedding that goes into the bins, means I now have 3 compost bins full of sweet, cooking organic matter. I can hardly wait for it to be ready!
On the chicken front, they're all still alive! I have 4 left and the death spree is over and done with! The youngens are now 19 weeks old, so I've put them on an organic layer mash by Country Heritage Stock Feeds. They love it and it's actually quite cost effective, at $35 for 25kg, which is very cost effective seeing as I normally pay around $20 for 20kg of Barastoc, which they seem to waste quite a lot of (if it tastes the same way it smells, then I hardly blame them).
Other than that, it's just the same old around here. I've got some cauliflower and broccolini seedlings on the go, but they are quickly being devoured by an army of catterpillars... I bought some BT to spray them with, then read Mark's post about the stuff and felt funny about it (thanks a lot Mark!!).
Off to water the garden, hard core, ninja, night gardening style! Look out!
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