Sunday, September 28, 2008

Growing Food Upwards

After yesterday's yucky hot day, today was just such a joy to be able to get out into my little vegie patch. Cool and overcast, just the sort of weather I enjoy when gardening.

Today's main playing was for sorting out plants that can be grown upwards with the use of a trellis. By using this form of gardening practices, more plants can not only grow in a smaller space, the food grown stays cleaner, with it not laying on soil. This can also help to stop grubs and such eating into the fruits.

I needed help with putting the stakes into the soil, this is where Pat came in. As I am typing this, he's having a lay down as he's buggered after using his sledge hammer to drive the stakes into the ground.

We concentrated on beans and cucumbers today. I have taken some before and after photos of the areas........ so grab a drink and lets go.

Broad beans are just booming along and lots of pretty white flowers attracting bees can be found on the plants. After a couple of very windy days with either rain/hail or that hot wind yesterday, it was time to stake them.

Broad beans have hollow steams and can snap easy, if not supported.

Nicely supported and pots on the tops of the stakes to remind me not to walk into them. Room to walk in between the 2 rows when harvesting them. Pat put the stakes on an angle so that when he pulled the wire tight, those stakes didn't budge.

Blue Lake beans are up and won't be long and they'll be looking to climb upwards. This variety of beans would have to be my most favourite bean in the world. Really hoping for a good harvest this season.

Trellis in and room for the asparagus to grow and me to harvest the beans.

By now room is getting scarce and I have 8 cucumber seedlings to find room for. So this season I have split them into 4 smaller areas, between other plants but near to each other.

I'm taking full advantage of growing plants upwards and also of those months where I rested areas and fed the soil.

Leeks will soon be all harvested and so I am using the area next to them, for Pat's apple variety of cucumbers. These are Pat's most fave cucumber and I so love to spoil him as well as myself with certain foods.

Looking around the backyard for a trellis I spotted the gate that used to keep my little lop bunny Nibbles from getting out the backyard. Perfect as a cucumber trellis, as Nibble is no longer with us. Gate has been leaning up against the house for over a year and was just screaming for attention and a job in the garden.

All setup and ready to have the apple cucumbers planted next to it this evening. Once those carrots and leeks are gone, I'll find something new to plant there.

Today Pat pulled out the chilli bush come tree as it has to be 5 years old and not doing so well. That is now in the chook house for them to peck over and strip.

With the chilli bush now gone, this opened up the area for some cucumbers. Being in the no-dig area, I'll just need to move some soil for a hole and drop the seedlings in. Pat couldn't get over how dark and rich the soil is.

Trellis all ready for a couple of cucumber seedlings.

By now I'm really walking round the garden and saying to Pat.... little trellises will need to be used and squeezed in. I am a firm believer in close plantings, maybe this is why I don't suffer much in the way of weeds in my vegie patch.

Choose this area as the trellises we made were only small for 1 cucumber to grow on.

All ready as well for the seedlings tonight. Still leaving me room to move about and harvest foods.

Have you noticed, you never see Pat's face? He doesn't want his face on the internet and humors me with photos of body parts instead. Maybe I should call him "Wilson" like on the TV show "Home Improvements"

Here's a tip with small trellises, before you hammer in the stakes, weave those stakes through the wire used for a trellis. That way the wire is firm before the stakes are hammered into the ground. This saves either pulling the wire off the stakes and re-threading it or pulling up the stakes.

Another tip...don't leave tool laying around the yard. Weather could rust them or they could be stolen. Also don't strain your back carrying too many in 1 trip.

So there you have it, a lovely busy play time out in my little vegie patch sorting out cucumbers & beans.

Below are 2 photos, a before and an afterward of what this part of my garden now looks like.



Sometime in the next week I am going to turn the green manure in and get this area ready for corn, zucchinis and bush pumpkins.

Hope you enjoyed seeing what Pat & I did this afternoon. In the near future I hope to show you some FAB TAB results of foods harvested.

Until next time....hoo roo

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Saturday, September 27, 2008

Asparagus Growing

Isn't this a great photo?? Well I think it is lol as it shows a new spear pushing the mulch up on top of the soil. Bit like a mushroom, when it breaks through the hard ground.

Didn't get to do any gardening today...... temp climbed to 34 degrees. So I was in the kitchen cooking a pavlova for tomorrow night's meal and used the egg yokes up in a egg custard desert for tonight. Also took advantage of the hot day and washed the woolen under-lay on our bed.

This afternoon we had a lovely couple, visit Lucky's Duck Farm. mrgreen Rainy and her hubby called in for a visit to see our garden and animals. Didn't stay out in the hot north wind and sun for too long, just enough time to see everything and everybody. Then it was inside for a cuppa and chinwag.

After they left I finished off watching the last of the Grand Final in the AFL footy.

Tomorrow is going to be cooler and maybe some showers. The items I want to do will not take all day and I can do them between showers, if they turn up.

Not the day I had planned, but a FAB TAB of a day still.

Until then....hoo roo

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Friday, September 26, 2008

Where Was I??

Apple Blossom

Have you been wondering where I have been?

My dad & Stepmother were here for a week and I had been enjoying their company. Then I was catching up on a long list of jobs around the house. One of the things I have is a clean oven now. mrgreen

Said to Pat that I'd like to take a break from cleaning and spend it playing in the garden tomorrow. This will include a BBQ for lunch.

Garden is responding to the warmer weather.

Either Hotlips or Klinger is broody, so I'm now saving Light Sussex eggs for setting her.

Look out for an update later tomorrow afternoon razz

Until next time....hoo roo

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Sunday, September 14, 2008

So Need More Space.

After all the seeds I sowed yesterday and there is still leafy greens and corn, zucchini, cucumbers and other goodies to find room for. But where???

So after talking to Pat about it, we are going to extend our no-dig area.

The area is just over 5 metres long and 1 metre wide. The cow was used as a marker until it was measured.

Another angle of the new area.

Going to start this area off this week, not sure the day though. Getting it started and settled will be more beneficial to the seedlings.

Run out of sheep poo so, I have to wait until Deb comes down later this month. She is bringing me some more sheep manure. If I need to I can go and buy some at the open markets.

This area will be growing low plants, so being next to the clothes line, won't be an issue.

Less lawn to mow and compost, more vegies for us to eat. Can't get any better that that. mrgreen

Until next time....hoo roo

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Saturday, September 13, 2008

Playing With My Food.

When is it okay to play with your food??

Easy...... when out in your vegie garden. That is what I did today and I had a ball.

My garden as of this morning, before I started to play around. Removed all bird netting and started to think of where I wanted to plant what.

Using the lights and bird bath as markers I planted some capsicums between the asparagus and the brassica plants.

Leaving the poly pipe where they are, this keeps them out from under our feet elsewhere in the backyard. I'll just move them around the garden as I need them.

Between the asparagus on the left and the silverbeet, I sowed some Blue Lake climbing beans. I'll put up a trellis once the beans have germinated.

This area was growing carrots and radishes. But with all that rain we had a week or so ago, fine weeds took over and I couldn't tell what was what.

To solve this problem, I turned the soil and planted 2 tomato seedlings and about 4 capsicum seedlings in this area. Then a good mulching, this will control those fine weeds and at the same time, grow summer crops.

Around the edges are clumps of chives and parsley.

Our dwarf apple tree, going to put a weed mulch mat around the tree this coming week. Behind the tree is the raspberry and tomato, capsicum and herb area.

Due to all the mulch, I have netted the area until the seedlings are big enough to cope with birds digging round them.

Using the big netting from over the green manure patch, I'll have enough room when staking the tomatoes.

I didn't net the other newly mulched areas, due to the lack of space and wanting to squeeze in as much food as I can.

Between carrots, leeks and leafy greens, 3 more tomato seedlings.

Seedlings planted out today were 1 seedling of each variety below.

  • Rouge De Marmanade
  • Cherry Red
  • Black Russian
  • Oxheart
  • Tigerella
As well as about 8 Californian Wonder capsicums.

In line with moon planting cycles, its a good day for planting fruiting annuals. I have planted out not only tomatoes, capsicums and beans in the garden. But also seeds in punnets for later on.

Wheel barrow comes in handy for mixing worm castings, peat coir & propagating sand together. Then lots of playing room for filling punnets and sowing seeds.

After the seeds are sown I pop propagating sand on top and into the mini shade house until they germinate and harden off.

In line with sowing fruiting annuals and moon phases, my list for today are....

  • Butter Beans
  • Green Dwarf Beans
  • Bush Pumpkins
  • Early Long Purple Eggplants
  • Red Eggplants
In tomatoes I have sown many I haven't grown before...

  • Black Tula
  • Druzba
  • Marianna's Place
  • Soldacki
As well as old favourites of ours

  • Grosse Lisse
  • Black Russian
The chooks enjoyed a day out as well, running with the ducks. I let them turn the compost for me again today. This kept them from wanting to jump the "people fence" and getting into trouble.

Stopped for a BBQ and that was lovely, as James came round for lunch.

My body is aching from all the hard playing, I should in theory sleep well tonight. Just as long as I don't dream too much about tomatoes and summer crops.....

Until next time....hoo roo

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Friday, September 12, 2008

A Little Visitor

Oh I just have to post this little visitor's photo for you to see. mrgreen

I got an ID over on Scribbly Gum and it's a Tau Emerald, Hemicordulia tau dragon fly.

Pat spotted it before I did and he kept an eye on it, while I madly ran inside for my camera. This photo is 1 of many I took. So pleased the little fella didn't fly off and I was able to get a good look at him or her.

Until next time....hoo roo

Plants Moving

With the warmer weather I am finding plants are well and truly on the move. This means now I am going to increase the amount of mulch in the garden, as the soil will be starting to warm up enough to do this.

Green manure is now big enough to leave the bird netting off. Very pleased with the crop this year. Bird netting sure made a big difference in how much seed germinated.

Spuds are coming up and so now I will mulch the area and build up this area. This is my first year growing spuds in the soil, rather than on top of the soil but under straw.

First load of mulch on the spuds. Little plant heads are just poking through the straw.

Broccoli is starting to form heads in the plants. Can't wait to be eating my own broccoli again.

Nothing showing in the centres of the cauliflowers yet.

Broad beans are starting to flower now as well. I am growing these as Jamie Oliver made this bean sound so exciting on his garden/kitchen show. Here's hoping I can find a recipe that we like.

Until next time....hoo roo

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Sunday, September 07, 2008

Good, Bad & Ugly

Woke to steady rain soaking into the garden this morning. This gave me the get up and go to try and sort out my "Friendship Garden" out the front.

Like a lot of friendships, that are neglected and left by the way side..... my front yard is a lot like this. I walk past it and like when you think....."I must ring so & so", its forgotten the minute I walk inside.

So today I have made the decision, not to neglect this area anymore. I'd then like to plant some herbs out in between the ornamental plants.

Parts of my vegie garden as of this morning, well cared for and weed free. Feeding a family and some.

My Friendship Garden, an eye sore but so very much loved.

Like all friendships it can be neglected and forgotten about. Then one day I'll notice a new plant or an old plant has died off.

I give it a thought and then walk away and forget about the area and what this spot means. Its not that I don't love the area, just my passion is vegies.......

This is going to change.....for the better. No neglecting this part of the garden.....its not called a Friendship Garden for nothing. People have sent me parts of their garden for me to grow and enjoy........

Its like a good friend in one's life.....not to be cast aside and used when it's suited. Good friends should be cherished and nurtured.

And on that note......

Happy Father's Day to all dad out there. mrgreen

Until next time....hoo roo

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