All vaxed up and nowhere to go!
I'm therefore sentenced to potting around outback. Mind you, I gotta make a list of what is to be done?
Otherwise, I won't build a head of steam and I need to last to the end of the week outdoors, outback, quarantined at home...
And such gardening weather! The botanicals call to me like over sexed bulls.
So each day I attend to WITBD -- what-is-to-be-done -- by listing on my listing app ToDoist.
My shopping list is a bit of a no start. I can't even renew my gardening supplies, as I am not essential enough to go do the hardware or nursery thing.
I did, however, order seeds online and although many suppliers have been gutted by lockdown greenies buying optimism in little packets, I did snaffle a spring awakening supply.
It is Splinter after all: the warmth is already pervasive, as my mulberry tree informs me.
At the plantation -- our Vetiver crop may be slowly recovering from the cold -- but here at home the comestibles are going bananas (as the images suggest).
The symbiotic method being engineered so well by colleagues in Vietnam (see here on fb for example of recovering marginal land) -- is delivering for me in backyard Brisbane.
The first principle is that you design your produce growing around planted Vetiver.With mulching and the green mulch ground cover -- my soil is holding onto its moisture better than anytime before because the Vetiver acts like an irrigator. While I do test the soil's moisture content, I know anytime I pull back the Scurvy weed + mulches, I'm getting worm demographics right at the surface.
The plant I'm most hopeful about -- as an experiment -- is Portuguese cabbage (Couve Tronchuda). It's actually a collard -- but a brassica that delivers in my patch without all that cabbage angst -- and with a flavour that transcends (spit. spit) the taste of kale.
As for the rest, when I go foraging, I have a lot to choose from.My Chaya has suffered again over Winter (because of the cold I expect) and is the only one of the veges that looks desultory.
And I can never grow enough Okinawan Spinach to sustain my hunger for it.
I can focus more on particular plants because I have reduced my growing space and consolidated the beds.
I do suffer from the handicap of not seeing the veg for the greenery --as the images -- so busy with plants -- suggest.
I've also gone back to making my own green tea. I don't have a special recipe, but my base ingredients are sheep manure + prickly pear paddles, which I chop up to assist break down.
I also add any excuse I have to dump milk or yogurt. So when I finish with my Filmjolk I add the bottle rinse to the tea pot.
Dairy is a great driver of tea brew recipes.
For a time I was brewing Scurvy weed I harvested from the beds, but brewing that was like taking coals to Newcastle. Prickly pear -- as a succulent -- should have some of the substrate that empowers aloe vera and yucca based fertilisers.
On areas not growing comestibles, I still spread human urine -- as if you wanted to know that. Don't try this at home unless your soil is as sandy as my own.
I do, however, do a green leaf very well and suffer from no diseases at the moment. I mean the garden -- not me.
The Scurvy Weed abolishes the snail problem, as they must expend so much energy getting from A to B thru the jungle.
And since I've added even more ponds -- I grow on the Vetiver in water -- the frogs are my minions, while all that undergrowth of Scurvy Weed discourages Cane Toads. I bring on Vetiver at ground level, but my three ponds are at least 50 cm above ground and covered all in a mat of Azolla.
Not cane toad friendly and discouraging of mosies.
To delight us humans and the bees, I've planted out an array of cottager type plants, with Pride of Madeira ( Echium Fastuosum Candicans) promising the most buzz for my buck. Any flower that blooms gets buzzed by bees and sundries -- including the local sugar sucking birdlife. At back and next door, the Peruvian cactus is so loud each morning with bee hum when it is in fantastic bloom.
In regard to my use of weed mat and cardboard as mulching mats (see HERE for my past contribution)...just look at the images. The mats are so hard to find amongst all that growth. Nowadays, I'm sophisticated in that department and will select which plant I think will do better under weed mat or with cardboard; what size of mat I should use ; and the planting layout I should employ as a template.
This matting has solved the overgrowth challenge presented by the vigour of the Scurvy Weed. Some may insist that that what makes it a 'weed' --but I love the stuff in a way only a dotting partner could.
Why Scurvy weed should love my patch so much is a question for ecology, as it is a minor activity in most wild places I've come upon it in its native setting. I have reintroduced Dog Bane and Beach Bean (Canavalia rosea) into the beds -- them being my other fav ground covers. I'll also be planting out Black Beans when they soon sprout and (touch wood) Millet to keep the Scurvy weed company as advantageous mulch greenery.