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Andy's Regular Program - Garden Updates

2014

Wow.  I can't believe the changes in my garden, especially in the big girls' yard (hence I left the picture way below).  

This year's notes: 

I've learned that I have three real zones (I left the old picture of the whole site below to give you context, if you are interested).

Out the Front: The building patch is slowly getting more fertile with composting. It will take time.  It currently has the same lime as last year (the only "in place" survivor), a mulberry and a blood orange, with some ornamentals. 

Cumquats are mostly used for cumquatchello these days. 

North side of the yard

Snow peas are doing well now on this side.  Great passionfuit crop for the last few months.  Paw paws booming.  Cherry toms are producing nicely still.  The sweet leaf died off but I'm hoping it will come back soon. The little lotsa lemons from out of the building site is finally taking off in a pot up this side!

Oddly, the Celon spinach is suffering greatly. I may lose it.  

South side of the yard

Aquaponics are in and doing well, as are the chickens which have started to lay an egg or two a day.  

Lettuce does well in warm, not cold. I suspect the basil is the same. Perpetual spinach is an all year crop.  Strawberries arfe starting to produce well at this time of year.  

The snow peas are doing very badly on this side!  Turnips are doing badly as well - the harvest was meagre.  It's also my second year of failure with cauliflowers.  (Neither side appears to work.)  However, it is possible that I am confused because the wicking bed has too much soil from Bu... that big name hardware... that isn't really fertile. I'll need to build it up to ensure that isn't the problem. 

2013

It looks like I updated this entry several times, as the yard progressed. 

Rozie's Seat Goes Solar!:

First, Rozie's seat went vertical (see below for pix).  Now, it's gone solar! Actually, there are a few things going solar these days.  More to follow.

Winter Crop:

I appear to be coming to the end of my winter crop with the advent of Spring.  I got a great crop of snow peas:

The beans did much better than expected and tasted great!:

I ended up with 3 pumpkins which tasted really good:

The cumquats have produced more fruit than I can cope with.  I've already done one run of marmalaide. The picture shows them with the passionfruit that I mix in the marmalaide.  If anyone wants to come pick some cumquats to take home, just let me know!  Free of charge!

Oh, it was Abbey time - so a medieval style beard came and went.  Here's a little shot to tickle your fancy.

So - I guess it's time for Spring planting.... and possibly more crazy antics.    

Rozie's Seat Goes Vertical and The Turn of the Seasons... read from the top now...

Elaine and Lissa gave me some bean seeds which I planted at the back of Rozie's planter seat.  I needed something for the beans to attach to on the rock wall.  I think it is a great improvement!

We have a lemon one end and an orange the other. 

The seasons continue to turn here as well.  The new bed in the little dog's yard is going well.  Plenty of rainbox silver beet and snow peas coming along.  There are some caulis in there as well but you can't see them. I plan to make a silverbeet, leek and fetta pie!

Lots of chillis happening now, both bell and thai. I already have four bottles of chilli jam so I don't know how much more of it I want to make. 

Still getting tomatoes and the shallots are going well.  Strawberries are hiding under the passionfruit vine. The Ceylone Spinach has died right back but I have a second sweet potato vine coming along.

And that's the regular garden update for the moment.  

Rozie's New Planter Seat.. 

I'll update from the top of the blog from now on so you don't need to read the whole darn thing (unless you want to).   This update is about Rozie's new seat.  

We have one rule at my house - it is:  Rozie's Rules:  Rozie Rules.  So when My Rozie asked for two planters with a bench seat between, that is what she had to get.  I've already mentioned that as a handy man, I make a real good photographer, or cheese maker, or baker.  Anyways, after a day of hard work (and using Bunnings to cut the wood, oh, and buying a bigger drill and a truckload of screws and brackets), I finally produced the goods.  I'm actually quite proud and can't wait to post a pic of this baby planted with the fruit trees. (I've also realised I could make it in L or U configurations!) Ummm.. did I mention I can't walk too well today, or lift my arms above shoulder height?  

Check it out now, funk soul bruvvers/sistas:

Next project will be the aquaponics setup.

Share the love campers!

Andy

Yard context

Here is an aerial shot of my house and land.  It's pretty small but I have discrete 5 garden areas. 

This is my front garden.  We lovingly call it the "Building site."  It is a shocker.  

There was a huge tree (about 4 foot wide) that the previous owner removed - called the "stump" on the pic - leaving the soil pretty infertile.  The neighbour's yard also drains all its rainwater through here.  Even better, the builders threw all their rubbish out here and then buried it.  

We are adding fertilser and compost at a rate of knots.  We planted some things before I realised the real story.  The lime is going okay but the mandarin is suffering. I took the lemon out and potted it.  The pumpkin grew of its own accord from the compost.  I'm happy to let it be - if nothing else, it will be green manure. 

The next garden is my Alfresco Dining Area - the Cumquat patch. 

This one was pretty much in place when I moved in.  These are the fruit trees that I will cut back in a few months (when they have finished fruiting).

The next garden is purely ornamental.  It is (or was) our Japanese garden.  Rozzie is an orchid grower and it was perfect for her.  It is now pretty much the Japanese/Roman/Balinese rain-forest garden.

The next area is the Big girls' yard.

This is the biggest area with the most potential. I don't intend to touch it for a while because I have my two big girls (Huskies) out there.  Huskies have a double layer coat which traps a layer of air between them - so no, they don't suffer any more in the heat than in the cold. (That is why Arabs wear long, loose clothes.)  The girls are getting quite old - the brown and white is Tahlia, she is 15. Dumbest dog I have ever owned.  There is a black and white called Kian, she is 16 (you can't really see her).   While I love them to death, they are garden killers.  When the wind blows (think in the snow), they dig a hole to keep warm.  Unfortunately, that takes out a whole bunch of garden space!  Any small animals become Husky food.  

You can see the deluxe pizza oven. The chook pen and aquaponics setup will be on this side as well.  Along with another alfresco dining area and a few more vege patches.  If it takes another 10 years for my girls to go over, then yeah, it will wait that long - I have enough yard to manage in the mean-time.

This is a serious pizza oven - apparently it fits a whole pig.  I'm not sure what the pig did to test that experiment, but it couldn't be good.

The final yard is the Vege Patch - or the little dogs' yard.  

This is also a work in progress.  Here it was two weeks ago.  You can see the bits of timber around the place where I am scheming like an evil genius (although "evil fool" is closer to the mark, it just does not sound sinister).

Two weeks later, and I have added the new patch of garden and also my vertical garden.  You can't really see it but I built a trellis for My Rozie's passion fruits. That dog holding open the gate is not Louie - it's just a statue. 

Views: 516

Tags: Winter, beans, beard, cauliflowers, peas, pumpkin, snow, turnips

Comment by Elaine coolowl on April 9, 2013 at 3:48

The dry-stone wall is a beauty!

Comment by Andrew Cumberland on April 9, 2013 at 20:04

Thanks Elaine.  That garden leaves a lot to be desired, but I'm in no rush and it will get there eventually.

Comment by Craig Hogan on April 9, 2013 at 20:51
Yeah tree stumps are annoying! I've had plenty to deal with but mainly palms which don't take long to rot. Get any pumpkins?
Comment by Scarlett on April 9, 2013 at 21:57

hmm, tricky - because i guess it drains pretty quickly because of the wall as well.

shallow rooted, fairly tough things?

lemongrass would probably be good.

cardamom, turmeric (unless it's too sunny)

sweet potatoes :)  (they'll fix nitrogen too - bonus)

pigeon pea to improve the soil

you could try bird seed as a cover crop/ green manure and plough it back in

can you slow the runoff water down so it soaks in and doesn't scour your plantings out? a pond? contour/ keyline swales?

you could dig a banana pawpaw circle fed by the neighbour's runoff? it wouldn't drown because of the wall

Comment by Andrew Cumberland on April 9, 2013 at 22:20

Got a few babies on there Craig.  Waiting to see what happens.  

You know, what I actually like about the "building site" is that I no longer expect it to produce.  It's now just about building it into a fertile bed (eventually).  It's kinda fun because if I get a pumpkin, I will be happy.  The damn lime tree has taken off, so that's an unexpected bonus.  I'll probably transplant the mandarin (which might actually be an orange?!).

It's always dry Scarett.  Lack of water seems to be the main issue.  What I've done is dig a ditch where the water flows and am slowly filling it with whatever rocks turn up.  That stopped the run-off from randomly digging bits away - it's working pretty well.  

I might talk to my Rozzie about moving our half our lemon grass out there.  It annoys the hell out of me in the perfectly good vege patch, but she wouldn't be without it.  It might be food to stabilize and pretty up the edges of the ditch - I mean "creek bed to be."

Sweet potato seems to go well at my place, so I will definitely give that a go.  They grow so darn well from tops and tails that it's not funny.  

I also have a bed feeder/house that I want to move out there because it will help pretty it up.  That'll provide the seed green manure by accident.  (I'm still throwing heaps of mulch and compost out there - it's great, serves as a defacto rubbish tip!)

Comment by Scarlett on April 9, 2013 at 22:26

speaking of defacto rubbish tip - have you seen this? it really is a brilliant design, and it might work there: http://brisbanelocalfood.ning.com/photo/albums/banana-paw-paw-circle

you could have bananas, pawpaws, sweet potato and lemon grass 

and the citrus trees :)

maybe an avocado once you get the soil nice/water sorted - they really need good drainage

you could direct your rock ditch to your trees too - give it multiple arms

Comment by Andrew Cumberland on April 9, 2013 at 22:48

I also did some googling.  That's pretty impressive.  Would lead to a re-shape - the bed would go to a pit on the right of the stump.  I think it might work tho... *Andy is thinking - my brain hurts!*

Comment by Craig Hogan on April 13, 2013 at 17:14
Nice alfresco area, looks like a great place for relaxing! Is that where the pizza oven is?
Comment by Andrew Cumberland on April 13, 2013 at 20:45

No, the pizza oven is in the big girl's yard.  The BBQ fitted out here but the oven was already built out the back. 

Comment by Lissa on April 15, 2013 at 7:09

The Japanese garden is very beautiful Andy. Very soothing. Is that a water feature with the blue ball?

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