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Dehydrator first use ~ & my new garden ~

It's been a long time since my last blog ~ I haven't been doing much gardening if at all over that time (About 4 months...) ^^

I am surprised we're even harvesting anything at all, but the passionfruits, chillies, lime (fruited for the first time), angled luffa, Rosella (and the sweet potato leaves, and choko shoots if you eat these too) are producing despite the neglect ^^

I was going to make jam with the rosella but I've introduced rosella tea to my mum and she really liked it, couple with the fact that it supposed to help with hypertension she asked me to dried them into tea instead.

I was given a dehydrator a couple of weeks ago, so I am eager to give it a try .. I picked the rosella on the weekend, but I didn't get time to do it until today, hope they're still fresh ~

"Before" as I lay them out on the trays ~

"After" about 4 hours later ~

These are from my parents garden, now that I've moved out to a rental place, I'll have to start establishing a garden all over again....


It is a much smaller 'playground' though... hopefully meaning easier to manage :)

This is 'it' ^^ ... we're going to dig up the lawn with permission from the landlord.  Will have pots and polythene boxes on the bark mulch area as there's weedmat underneath and it would be messy to dig them up.  Also, I notice the water run along the back fence where the bark mulch are during rain, so I think it's better that I don't plant into it.

We started lifting the lawn today, and found the ground underneath was very hard and clayie... I thought the soil wasn't going to be good, so I bought half a cubic metre of compost and half a cubic metre of course river sand... but not too sure whether that's enough to build up the soil now...

Hopefully I'll have an update with the garden set up ready to plant soon ~

Lastly, I bought a new basket for my new garden ~  $9 from the reject shop!


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Comment by Elaine de Saxe on April 18, 2011 at 10:37
If it's not too late in the process now, and if you've the strength: dig up the squares of turf and lay them upside-down; you get the turf gone and make use of the organic matter. I'm fascinated your landlord is letting you dig up something!
Comment by Lissa on April 18, 2011 at 10:02

Will be great for you to have some garden to play with again! You will learn how to garden using small spaces to their best, which is no mean feat.


Comment by Florence on April 18, 2011 at 9:53
I thought my parents will have some use for the turf we're lifted out….. otherwise I would have laid wet cardboards over them at the time we moved in (in January) when we had heps of cardboards from furniture and white goods packages.  All the grasses would be dead by now if we did that…. Oh well, it’s too late for that now since I wanted to plant into it by end of April.  We have dug it up over the last two weekends, and put in half a cube of compost and almost half a cube of course river sand plus some garden soil, and some coconut coir fibre.  Albert have dug over half of it, and will finish it off this long weekend and hopefully I can start planting into them over Easter :)
Comment by Lissa on April 17, 2011 at 18:14

Why not just cover the lawn and do a no dig garden Florence? All that grass will then rot down and provide nutritients once you start to plant.

You could do a little path up the middle.

Comment by Vanessa Collier on April 4, 2011 at 18:16
It's always amazing to find secret plants hidden away in the garden when you haven't even been out there for months.  I've been increasing the number of permaculture plants so that when I have less time to garden, I can still get something out of it.  My dehydrator looks exactly the same as your one (only 10years older)!  I admit I haven't used it a great deal - if you have any luck with bananas let me know.  Mine always go tacky/chewy and I don't find the flavour to be that good.
Comment by Donna on April 4, 2011 at 12:47
I just froze a heap that were getting over ripe for cakes & smoothies & gave away some to the neighbours... there is another bunch that is likely to ripen soon so I might borrow the dehydrator then Florence for something different.
Comment by Florence on April 4, 2011 at 9:12
Well Scarlett, the lawn doesn't do anything for me, but veggies does :)
So lawn into food it goes ~~
Thanks ElsieMay ~ I agree, it was council's kerb side collection week in my suburb last week (council still haven't collected them yet maybe due to rain so they're behind on their schedule), there are so many things that I find would be useful and was so tempted to pick them up, like a medium size timber frame aviary which could be use as a chicken cage to knock out broodiness, a metal frame which could be use as obelisks, and a solid timber ladder just to name a few ^^
Donna, anytime, let me know when you can drop by. I had a quick look at the instruction booklet and it mentioned banana chips.  If I remember correctly, they said to use bananas that are just underipe.. so the ripe ones maybe try banana cakes??
Comment by Donna on April 2, 2011 at 8:46
Hi Florence, think I might need to borrow your dehydrator to make banana chips!  After the first disaster (which I haven't yet admitted to in a blog, where a whole bunch of banana's was turned into compost by putting into a bag inside a styrafoam box - too much moisture) we left the second bunch on until a couple were ripe before cutting - and now have a bunch of ripe bananas all at the same time...  Brendan has been loving it, hopefully you can never eat too many bananas!  Look forward to seeing your new home :)
Comment by Scarlett on April 1, 2011 at 11:04
Funny you've got the only lawn and you want to dig it up :D
Comment by Florence on April 1, 2011 at 9:41

Thanks Addy ~ we're lucky as I think we're pretty much the only house in the estate with a patch of lawn.. the other houses only have the bark mulched area ^^ so probably not much clippings around, but I am keeping a worm farm for our kitchen waste ~

Elaine, thanks for the tip, but this dehydrator only have an on/off button... so it's not that flexible, but I'm happy because it's a freebie :)  Although it's never been used, but I think it's been around for some time.. the story was one of Albert's aunty received it as a gift, never used it and when she moved back to HK, she gave it to another of his aunty.  The aunty who have received it just kept it in storage, until recently they were cleaning out the storage after Albert's gramma passed away.  There was talk of selling it, but Albert's counsin commented no one would want it.  Since I was showing some interest, they gave it to me ^^

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Vetiver grass helps to stabilise soil and protects it against erosion.  It can protect against pests and weeds. Vetiver is also used as animal feed. (Wiki.)

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