Spring is here and the natives are blooming, bringing parrots and other birds as an addition to the other pleasures of the garden.
Nasty westerly winds yesterday, truly awful - I'm sure I'm windburned! But this morning it seems to be gone thank goodness.
My native bees seemed awfully quiet, even when the sun was on the box - I haven't been home much to check if they are out and about - so I snipped the packing tape and checked inside the box. Sure enough there are heaps of little people mulling around inside thinking of coming outside but not actually doing it. Perhaps they realised the westerly was blowing even though they are protected in the backyard by the bulk of the house.
Yesterday I bought a 4 stroke mower (regular unleaded) and electric whipper snipper as there is so little grass left in my yard...surely! I can fit mowing into my tight schedule lol. Good exercise. The guys at the shop told me they would "fill the tank" for me at the shop, but it ran out in about 15mins, so only half the backyard mowed until I can get down the servo to fill my can. The whipper snippers terrify me. Will try to get up the courage to use the thing today as it is a necessary evil. Must remember to put the dogs in the house first so I don't do them any damage with the thing!
Heard rodents in the ceiling early this morning. Will have to rebait. The mice are out in force stealing the cockatiels seed - as fast as I block up holes with expanding foam the little monsters find another way in. Have bought a third can and will try again. Gretel just loves going in there hunting around bedtime and has killed quite a few...which she likes to bring inside to her igloo as trophies :( The other dogs hunt around the outside and indicate that there has been activity, but so far haven't caught any that I know of.
No real bug problem in the garden as yet, just a few green caterpillars every now and then on the broccoli and cauli but they don't do much damage.
Still lots happening in the vege garden at the moment. Waiting on the Romanesco broccoli to crop - no sign of veg there yet. Sugar Snap peas are still giving me veg each day. Mini Cauli and broccoli are going to seed - will have to do something about capturing these for future use. Wondering if my little bees will have cross pollinated these??
Carrots are still growing - the multi coloured ones are mainly white (boring but creamy to eat) with just a few purple amongst them. No orange ones from this eBay purchased seed - don't buy there again, stick to Diggers etc. Another variety is still growing to useful size.
Beans are finished and working on giving me some seed for next year. Not sure if I have taken some of the seed too early, so I've left some to do their thing on the vines.
Below: Corn (ex Jane St) is putting out pretty pink silk and pollen. Some of these grew to a good size, some is still short and stumpy looking. Mixed bag by the looks. Note: This turned out to be an unproductive crop and not very tasty.
Below: Marigolds ex Donna are blooming so I should be able to perpetuate these from seed. Corn in the regular beds not doing nearly as well as the elevated beds. NZ Flax in the background along with Dragon Fruit climbing the fence. I've planted some snake bean seed to grow up this trellis.
Below: Sugar Snap Peas still doing their thing, these have been wonderful croppers and so delicious. A veg that everyone eats. Not sure when I should be taking the pods for seed. Have left a few to get big and fat and starting to look a bit dry before pulling them and opening to allow the seed to dry out. Should check my book for instructions of course, but that would be too easy!
Below 12/10/11 - about to redo the elevated beds, which means pulling up the last of crop growing in them at the moment. This is the last of the multi coloured carrots and parsnips. Quite a lot more than I thought was in there.
Below 12/10/11 - the three mature pawpaws have all been aflicted by some bubbly yellow leaves. DPI don't seem to know what it is either. The plants appear to be recovering by themselves with some new leaf growth.
Below 12/100/11 Bed 3 - the corn (seed ex Jane St) was a huge disappointment, barely any return. The Romanescu broccoli and mini cauli in this bed were also both a waste of time with limited return of crop for the time waiting and the size of the plants. The bed has been filled with the contents of the compost pile, mostly leaves from the Carambola which are quite dry. They need some grass clippings mixed with them.
Have added some rock minerals, Organic Xtra and dolomite. Waiting on the organic cow manure to be delivered.
Below 16/10/11 Re filling the beds - layers starting with rough organic matter, finer organic matter (grass in this bed), thin layers of minerals (granite, basalt, dolomite), Organic Xtra, organic cow poo (Searles) and topped off with a thin layer of organic garden soil (Brunnings) for putting the seedlings into.
Below 16/10/11 The dogs swear there are mice in the bed, hidden in the layers of compost. Good exercise for them plus a lot of fun and they turned over some of the organic matter for me in the process.
Below 27/10/11 Listad de Gandia problems with the fruit splitting. NOTE: Have come to the conclusion that this is most likely due to a lack of water! Stopped watering these for quite some time as I thought they were well enough established and deep rooted enough to find their own water.
One of the Black eggplants has copious amounts of fruit on it - over 24 - but half are round and brown and half are tear shaped and black the way they are supposed to be. Scarlett thinks it has some form of baterial rot and recommends I remove the brown fruit. I'll give them a bit more time and see what happens.
27.11.11 We've had reasonably good rain the last few days, on and off. The tank is half full again. Sure wish I had two of these or a bigger one. Makes me want to move and start over! The brown grass turned green almost overnight. The seedlings have all said thank you and made a growth spurt in spite of me watering them each morning to keep them alive.
Below 27.11.11 I've moved the beehive out of the full sun and into what should be shade most of the day, as the temperatures are getting very hot.
27.11.11 Tamarillo near the tank producing fruit. This one is taller than the original one out the back - grown from seed perhaps. The seedlings I have growing out the front yard are also doing very well. Eventually I will have a bumper crop of fruit :D
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