Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Edible Garden

Well things have been growing like mad in the veggie patch! The Pumpkin gone off and is huge, starting to get tiny little pumpkins on it! We have been eating carrots from the patch, and the lettuce seedlings we planted is doing quiet well too. I have finally been able to locate a male kiwi fruit and brought a trellis for the vines to grow up so it doesn't pull on the chicken wire.

I also brought another Fejoa that is more of a bush than a grafted plant as my other one is. Ivé not heard of a Jostaberry pronounced Yostaberry but brought one at Bunnings last week as apparently they love the fronty Winters so I thought perfect for Ballarat! It's a X between a blackcurrent and gooseberry, should be tasty in Jordan's famous Blueberry muffins!

Something is attacking the Japanese Turnip leaves, radishes and rocket it looks to be something eating the leaves so I made up a garlic/detergent spray and have been applying regularly.

Didn't quiet make the window for moon gardening for planting all my leafy veggies, I did put in more lettuces but wanted to plant some endive too and some dandelion, oh well not to long to wait until the next best dates by the moon garden calender, although I will have to wait until February.

Have had to water all the veggies pretty much every day and when we go away camping or for the night I always hope it will rain so I don't lose anything!

I am actually going to sow a crop of Dandelions sounds silly but the leaves are actually very nutricious and the bunnies love them but I would like to add some to our salads and I don't want to risk getting wild inorganic ones. Here's some medicinal info on it;
Diuretic, tonic and slightly aperient. It is a general stimulant to the system, but especially to the urinary organs, and is chiefly used in kidney and liver disorders.

Dandelion is not only official but is used in many patent medicines. Not being poisonous, quite big doses of its preparations may be taken. Its beneficial action is best obtained when combined with other agents.

Have a gorgeous self seeded Sunflower with multiple heads in the garden too, it's just lovely and I should get loads of seeds of it, so nutricious for the chooks!

Update on the pets

Well after loosing Remy our adorable blue mini lop we have replaced her or rather brought another baby pet for Sian to cuddle up to and she is a Dwarf lop like Pepa our older rabbit. So she will grow quiet a bit bigger than Sian but hopefully won't take over the hutch and become to dominant.

We are also in the process of buying a new puppy. I have gone beyond all the things I said I would do this time around for the next dog, I wanted a dog that would be very large, protect me while out walking late, have a short coat, and I didn't want a puppy to go through all that destroyed garden and shoes!

Ivé just brought and pick up next week a Border Collie Puppy (chocolate) who is 8 weeks old with a medium to long coat! Basically we looked high and low through all the shelters in Victoria for a dog that met our criteria but because I have the chickens and the bunnies it was quiet hard to find one that didn't have a prey drive.

This dog may want to round up the chooks but hopefully can be trained easily, the parents of the dog was lovely and we have named the little fella Phoenix, which has a special meaning for myself.

On the chook front I have sold all 7 babies and we decided to keep 2 although it's looking quiet likely that one will be a cockeral and not much good for egg production! We sold all the chicks to friends which is nice for $5 per chook as we now know they will have a good home.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

The Veggie Garden

I thought I would write up what I have planted this year and what seems to be going well.

I have in the western most bed 2 very large pumpkin plants and a gold zucchini plant that are doing really well, Ivé just added all the rabbit mulch (the rabbit poo and straw) to that bed as a mulch to give it and added boost. I also put a row of corn behind and in front of the plants but I grew this from seed and the seedlings are tiny so time will tell if they do ok this season.

In the next bed I have planted rocket, Japanese Turnip and radish from seed and they are doing really well, probably ready to be pricked out to create some space and there are also lettuce and carrots in there.

The next bed has some lettuce and silver beet, carrots and more lettuce that is nearly at the end of it's time and I am mostly just using it for the bunnies feed now.

In the old horse trough Ivé planted celery and lettuce and they are doing ok but we did lose some seedling as it was so hot so I should add some more lettuce in there next time it's right to plant leafy veggie which is in the new moon to first quarter cycle starting on the 15th January.

I have 3 Styrofoam containers of strawberries that are doing really well leaf wise but some of the fruit looks a little odd not sure what is happening there. The bed to the front of the chicken shed has a blueberry bush in there, elderberry bush and some lettuce along with oregano, and planters above it of cress, coriander and white mustard.

I have 2 small wine barrels from Bunnings with tomatoes in them and I am getting loads of tomatoes I also have sweet basil for the companion side of gardening as it grows so well with tomato.

I have some lettuces in with my Pineapple Guava tree and they are doing brilliantly I think because they are getting more shade than the other lettuces and that seems to be really important with this severe heat we are getting at the moment. It's funny 20 years ago veggies had to have the mandatory 5-8 hours of Sun and now with the climate all messed up we are having to provide shade for them.

Then in the flower beds I have some nasturtians doing well which I must add to some salads and about 6 zucchini plants some doing well others a bit slow.

From the 15 to the 23 of January it is the new moon to first quarter and it's time to plant fruit crops, beans, flower annuals, lettuce, spinach brassica's and if your wanting to increase the growth mow the lawns now.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

The Pottage Garden

A traditional pottage garden was done to save space years ago when land owners didn't have the space for a sectioned off area for fruit trees and veggie gardens. These days blocks are getting smaller with some blacks on new estates being only
350m2 in size! So it can make sense to go back to gardening in this way.

I am living on 3 1/4's of an acre so while pottaging isn't really necessary I did find myself in the position of running out of space for my zucchini plants I had grown from seed.

I have some photo's here of the zucchinis planted in with a flower bed I have near my clothesline. I have also planted a Fejoa (Pineapple Guava) up in a cement look alike wine barrel and added some lettuce seedlings to that and dotted through the entire garden we Nasturtian plants, I like to eat the leaves and keep the plants for medicinal reasons the leaves are potent antibiotics and they will also be very beneficial for the bunnies and chickens too.

On a sadder not a few days ago we lost our beloved Remy our little baby blue mini lop rabbit - RIP sweet girl.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

The Fruit Trees

Well this year has been a good one for fruit for us although I did have more Apricots on last years trees but they say they put one year into growing and the next into fruiting. So one hasn't got any fruit and we harvested about 20 Apricots from the older tree.

There is nothing like the taste of home grown fruit and nothing more that I enjoy than picking the fruit from our paddock before the birds get a chance to eat the lot!

We didn't put nets up this year the trees are starting to get too big and it's such a huge job with so may trees. I think I managed to get the lot with only 1 Apricot that had been slightly pecked at but the plum tree with be the tricky one as some years we watch patiently as the fruit ripens and takes on that purple hue only to come out the next day and the entire tree has been picked clean!

Anyway I have two full tree of plums this year and they should be ready sometime in February, two gala apple trees that are just about touching the ground they are so heavy with fruit. A sad nectarine that is recovering from a previous years bout of leaf curl and another that has a good 30 nectarines on it. Haven't seen any pears on the pear tree as yet, and the fig is way too small for fruit yet.
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