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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: 519

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

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Comment by Andrew Cumberland on August 17, 2013 at 19:57

Valerie-Anne - I just used CCA treated pine sleepers.  I read up quite extensively on it - the consensus seems to be that it is very safe.  The Western Australian government has done quite a lot of work on it because they were worried about using it for community gardens. 

Comment by Valerie on August 14, 2013 at 7:51
I putin an order with hubby for a seat now...:-)
Comment by Valerie on August 14, 2013 at 7:51
Hi Andrew, which wood did you use for planter box and seat? We find it hard to get wood that has not been treated with CCA or other chemical i would not want in my food. We ended up lining the side with 4 layers of black plastic but I am not sure that's any healthier.
Comment by Andrew Cumberland on August 12, 2013 at 20:09

Cheers ladies. Tracy - steal away!  Because my yard is so small, vertical is becoming a good way to go. 

Comment by Tracy Arnold on August 12, 2013 at 8:01

awesome!  Love Rosie's seat.  Also love your vertical garden.. might steal that idea.  :-)

Comment by Lissa on August 12, 2013 at 7:17

Love it! :) You've got so much crop going on in your spaces. The peas are beautiful beautiful. The half beard made me laugh. Very entertaining blog Andy, thank you.

Comment by Lissa on June 9, 2013 at 15:25

The improvements to the garden seat look absolutely wonderful. What a good idea to add the trellis and grow beans while the citrus mature.

Comment by Vanessa Collier on May 22, 2013 at 20:01

So neat and tidy!  The garden looks great and I love the super professional looking cob/pizza oven you've got there.  Looking forward to the progress photos.

Comment by Andrew Cumberland on May 1, 2013 at 21:13

Thanks guys.

Comment by Craig Hogan on May 1, 2013 at 10:04
Figs grow sideways so I'd avoid that. Citrus would be the go.

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