Monday, December 26, 2011

Dec 27

Over this last month we've picked a few strawberries (270g in all, currently worth $3.80) and 75g of snowpeas.

Here's what's in the garden at the moment.

One zucchini plant and one tomato plant in bed 4, both with a bit of fruit.
One ?pumpkin plant and a few leeks in bed 2.
Tiny carrot seedlings in bed 3.
Lots of potato plants.
That's it.

That's it because the sheep (who have about 3 acres of grass to eat that is so long we had to pay to have it slashed) decided to break into the vege patch and eat everything they could. Coco even broke into the strawberry patch, jumping over the fence, and at the leaves off all the strawberry plants, leaving only this

 Stupid thistles that have started springing up.


Sunday, November 27, 2011

November 28

Another 430g of broccoli (stems chopped off) to add. With the other 250g that's 680g, and at $3 a kilo, a mere $2-worth. But it's homegrown :)

The potato plants are becoming a forest. I might pick some tomorrow and see if any are big enough to eat yet. Got a few snow peas. The carrots haven't grown, and only one of the leeks has sprung up. Sigh. Think I'll have to invest in seedlings. The strawberries are flowering up, though.

licks lips


Friday, November 4, 2011

November 5

No sign of seedlings yet (though it's not long enough since I planted them, I suppose). Today we weeded seed pot one and two, and planted zucchini in 1 and pumpkin in 2. Four each.

Then I pulled the mulch off the top of Bed 3 (the north half) and planted 3 rows of carrots across it.

The potatoes are looking good, the caulis are looking good, and we picked off one of the broccolis. It weighed 400g, and when I cut off the stem part (that we probably wouldn't eat anyway) it was 250g. I'll have look up what it costs at Coles, and take it off the total later :)

There's so much silver beet that it's starting to look like a tree. Must eat some of it...

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

October 27

After a few days of nice sunshine/ bucketting rain, I thought the garden might have progressed a bit.

1. The broccoli plants at the south end are flowering, if that's the right word, and there's one big broc florette and lots of little ones. The peas on the east row didn't grow, so I replanted it today, with Byron's "help". There were about 5 snowpeas on the west row, so I replanted the rest of the row.

2. Neither the onions or leeks grew at all. I replanted onions in the east row and leeks in the west row.

3. Quite a few cauliflowers grew in seedling trays 3, 4 and 5. I planted 4 in the south end of bed 3, with lots of space (taking up about a third of the garden). There are more in the seedling trays, but I'll leave them for now.

4. Noone in here but us worms

5. Heaps of potato plants have popped up everywhere! I'm fascinated to see how many kilos my 3kg/$3 seed-potatoes will yield. I think it will be a money maker

Hex: I did some weeding the other day, and the strawberries are growing well, though not flowering yet. The one silverbeet plant is producing more than I'll ever use. Must eat more silver beet.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

October 4

Bed 5 has been planted out with the pieces of 3kg of potatoes I bought (for $3 a while ago). Byron and Jasmine had fun helping me out, dropping the bits into the holes. The rhubarb I replanted just died, but the original rhubarb seems to have come up again!

Today, I took the trailer to Gillies St. and loaded it up with cut Lake Weed. I don't know what it's like for mulch, but it's free! I covered beds 3 and 4 (the pots with some seedlings are between 1 and 3 there) and the rest of the Lake Weed is at the end of bed 5. Don't know if I'll mulch the potatoes... Might mulch the strawberries, though.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

September 6

Spring has sprung, the grass is riz
I wonder where all the flowers iz?

Nathan recently dug a big hole in his shed, so some of the topsoil went onto beds 3 and 4. I've turned things over a bit and poisoned some weeds. The lettuce was stepped on (by Zach, I think) and I gave up on the mulch pile; too many weeds through it.

Instead, I bought some mulch, so here is how the garden looks today:

Bed 1 is mulched. There are two broccoli plants and one silver beet down the south end. There is a long row along the east side full of peas, and a similar row on the west side full of snow peas.

Bed 2 is mulched. There is a long row along the east side full of onion seeds, and a long row on the west side full of leek seeds.

There are 5 cheap seedling trays. 1 and 2 have zucchini seeds, and 3, 4 and 5 have (what I think is) cauliflower seeds. (They came from the cauli seed pack, but I have a feeling there may have been a cauli/broc seed-mixing accident a while back.

There are also 3 kilos of brushed potatoes in the cupboard, destined to be chopped and planted in bed 5.

$27 mulch
$10 seedling trays
$3 potatoes


Friday, August 26, 2011

August 26

Poisoned weeds today. There aren't a lot inside the garden, but the pathways are getting overgrown! Poisoned everything, except the few little plants. Think there are two brocollis, two silver beets, and 5 tiny tiny lettuces.

Friday, June 24, 2011

June 25

Bought these last night when I was in town, roaming the shops.

Peas, leaks, snowpeas, cherry tomatoes, lettuce, big tomatoes, cucumbers and pumpkin. But I think I can get my $16.50 back in Spring :D


Sunday, June 19, 2011

June 20

About 2 weeks ago Nathan finished off garden bed #5. There's a bit of weeding to do around the edges, and some grass is growing in the first 4, but the seedlings are mostly surviving. There's a bit of one cauliflower, both brox and all 4 silver beet.

Later today (it being half-past midnight right now) I'm going to the cattleyards again, for another load of manure. The 3rd and 4th garden beds are looking good. I dug them over the other day, and it's only still manurey in the middle. The worm population is about 20 worms psi! lol. Some of them are so fat. Lovely little worms.

Just have to watch Jasmine. She'd take every worm out of my garden if she could, and put them in a box under her bed ;)

Friday, May 20, 2011

May 21

Here are the garden beds. The nearest two are called bed 1 (left) and bed 2 (right). The far two are bed 3 (left) and bed 4 (right).

I forgot to buy weedmat, but I decided to plant my sick-looking seedlings anyway. There are two brocolli plants, two cauliflower and 3 or 4 silver beet, all spread out around bed 1. I put a few spades of mulch around each, but I didn't want to bury the poor little things. The dirt is still quite moist, so I didn't water them. If it doesn't rain in a day or two, though, I might give them a little bit.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

May 20

Still haven't gotten around to getting a photo.

I went out with the kids this morning, and dug over beds 1 and 2. The manure is oldest there, and it's practically dirt, beautiful and rich, and full of worms! Beds 3 and 4 have dried out a bit, but the manure is still fresh enough to smell manurey if you turn over a spadeful.

Tomorrow I plan to plant the caulis and brocs that have survived in the neglected seedling box. They may as well grow in bed 1, as planned, and we'll see how they go. I'll get some weedmat and mulch on it first, if I can buy some tonight. Lots of grass was growing in it (though it's all turned upside down now) and I even found some potatoes from long ago ;)

Sunday, May 8, 2011

May 8

I was certain I had a picture on here... can't find it.

Well, the garden now has 4 vege beds (two of the doubles like in the last post) and each double-bed has been filled with a trailerfull of manure.

It was hard work!

Luckily it was free, though. I took the trailer to the stockyards, where you can just help yourself to... erm... what washes out of the cattle trucks. The first day it was wet, heavy stuff. The next time, about a week later, it was drier, but I was still a bit exhausted by digging a tonne of it twice, first into the trailer, then out into the garden.

Not much is going on now. The seedlings are surviving, though I've been neglecting them. The second lot of zucchinis planted out into the hexagarden died off, too. But I can't really plant anything into the manure until it breaks down quite a bit.

Here's my basic plan for when we have 5 beds going.

Vege Garden rotation

Bed 1
Spring: peas, beans (legumes)
Summer/Autumn: cauli, broc, cabbage

Bed 2
Spring: Onion, leek (alliums)
Summer/Autumn: cauli, broc, cabbage

Bed 3
Early Spring: dig in manure
Late Spring: tomatoes, capsicum, (acid lovers)
Autumn: add lime, mulch

Bed 4
Spring: corn, cucumber, pumpkin, zucchini (curcurbits)
Autumn: manure

Bed 5
Spring: root crops and asian veges

Next year: bed 1 crop to bed 2, bed 5 crop to bed 1, etc.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

April 11

A lone little potato plant, buried under all those weeds. We worked around it, as it has tried so hard to survive! Nathan knocked this up for me this morning! He measured and sawed and drilled while I dug over most of that end again to make sure it was flat-ish. Found the snake again when I was digging over the garden. I lifted him out with the fork and threw him over the fence (since all the kids were in the garden with me). But I decided, since he was determined to live with us, that he was going to get whacked. Sorry snake.
Doesn't that look great! All the sleepers cost me $60, and the bolts Nathan bought cost him about $30 for 30. These two beds are each 1500 x 3000, or about 4 square-meters each.
Nathan's going to make me another one to sit beside it, and a 3x1.5m one up this (North) end. Next job: fill with veges!



Wednesday, April 6, 2011

April 7

  • Yesterday, Matt and Kylie (bro, sil) came for tea, and to drop off a birthday pressie. In the end, though, it was more than "chocolate eggs and tupperware" for "tacos and chocolate pudding". We had a great trade, where we gave them a heap of stuff they wanted that was just cluttering our house, and they gave us a heater for Zach's room. Also, Matt told me they were trying to get rid of a pile of imperfect wood, so today, after some measuring and texts, he's setting aside a dozen for me, size 3000x200x75mm. Cheap wood... Woo hoo!

  • The vege patch is 5x10m, and my part is 5x6. So I'm thinking 4 rectangles to fit. 2.5m by 2.75 or something. Four vege beds is perfect!!

  • Thanks, Matt and Kylie!

  • We did a bit more weeding this morning, and I took a pocketful of little easter eggs. I scattered them, a few at a time, when Byron and Jasmine weren't looking, and they kept "finding" them while I was digging. hehehehe.

Monday, April 4, 2011

April 4

Did some more weeding with the kids, and picked 170g of strawberries. Found more holes under the weeds, but a mouse ran out of one, so they're not all snake holes! hehe. Have weeded about 2/3 of my side of the vege patch now, but it looks like I could use a tonne of manure and mulch! Bit dry and dead-looking. Not a lot of worms.

  • +$49.30

Saturday, April 2, 2011

April 2

Put your backs into it, slaves!! hehehe. These are the 2 partial rows I had dug over before today. This kids prefer to dig the loosened up dirt. But, of course, weeding is fun for them, little weirdos! I dug over one more partial row to the left of this pic today.
This unassuming hole is where a little snake disappeared into. Byron had a chance to see it, but by the time I had my camera it was gone. Don't know what sort it was, but it was just a littley. Byron was the only one within the fence at this stage. He was digging a hole to find me some gold, bless him! I told him if he did, we'd give him a lolly.

And here are a few rogue veges I dug up from previous years. Actually the carrots are probably from the seeds I planted last year before the weeds took over again. Zachary's hand and foot show you how puny they are!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

March 31

  • I've abandoned the weeding lately. I do want to plant my onion seeds, but I think I'd rather buy a truckload of dirt and dump it on the garden! Besides, I want to make some built up beds like you see on gardening TV shows, but that still requires weeding first. Sigh!

  • I need a gardener. LOL.

  • The two zucchini seedlings that I transfered into the hexagarden got chomped until they were gone. I suspect snails, though I haven't seen any. I planted the remaining three in their place, and they're good so far. Starting to think it's a bit cool for them now, though. The mornings are getting frosty!

  • Picked another 450g of silverbeet and 180g of strawberries. There hasn't been enough heat to make as many strawberries this time, and we've also eaten a few for "picnics" without weighing them. Frankly, we've had more strawberries than we can eat. (Well, the kids could eat them, but three lots of nappies is bad enough without the Strawberry Effect!) .

  • P.S. Blogger is messing with my paragraphs. Again.

  • +$45.70

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

March 22

480g of strawberries (picked quickly because it was nearly dark) and about 2m of one row of vege garden weeded. Sigh. The dirt is hard to get even the fork into. Need to borrow a plough!


Sunday, March 20, 2011

March 21

The two zucchini seedlings are now planted in the hexagarden. There are 3 more seedlings in the tray, plus seedlings from nearly all the cauliflower, broccoli and silver beet. The vege garden is dying off pretty nicely, so I'll be able to weed it soon. Might pull out some weeds tomorrow, and then pick more strawberries :D

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

March 17

I think a light spray of pyrethrin on top of the strawberry plants has done a world of good. I picked another 640g of strawberries today, and didn't see a single teeny bug.
These are zucchinis. I planted 3, and later another 3. But I know from experience that two plants is more than enough!! If it's not too late in the season for flowers and zucchinis to grow, we'll get a heap. The vege patch weeds have only half-died down, so these zucchinis are going into the space in the hexagarden when they get just a little bigger.

Also picked out some silver beet yesterday. Not sick of it yet! hehe.


Sunday, March 13, 2011

March 13

Spent $8 at the supermarket on some pyrethrin spray. Tiny tiny bugs keep eating holes in some of the strawberries. They look like specks of dirt, but wriggley. Yuk.

Anyway, I picked another 640g of red strawberries: $12.80, because they're still $20 a kilo; I checked. Then I gave them a light spray on top.

Also have some seedlings popping up! I've seen a couple of shoots of each vege so far. Haven't checked the poisoned weeds yet, but hopefully they're dying down ;)


Friday, March 11, 2011

March 11

My sister came out today, and since we were having a healthy "pudding" lunch, I went out to grab some strawberries: another 420g worth $8.40.

They're collecting tiny, tiny bugs that are chewing little holes, but I'm not sure what they are. I generally chop them off and the holes they eat. Must find out and get rid of them.


Monday, March 7, 2011

March 8

I meant to water the strawberries last night, but I forgot, and luckily, it rained lightly all night. I gave the seedlings a teensy bit of seasol.

Today I picked 320 more grams of strawberries (how did I miss so many the other day?) and 500g of silver beet. Hope my seedlings grow and produce this well.

My running total is in the positive!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

March 7

Poisoned my three-fifths of the vege garden with roundup today. As Nathan reminded me, we agreed that the short rows were his, and the long rows (the Southern 6m) were mine. Besides, he has a rebel tomato, which is surviving under his tomato frame amongst the weeds. I found it, because I saw the glow of a single red tomato (which was delicious), and there are two green ones. No planting for 7 days. Lots of weeding and digging to do when they die!

Am considering more zucchini seedlings.

Collected 590g of strawberries this evening.


Friday, March 4, 2011

March 5

Today, I divided the bag of seed starter (nice mulchy dirt) into the dishes, after putting two holes in the bottom of each, and planted (l to r) Silverbeet (6) Zucchini (3) Cauli (4) and Broc (4).

Here's the seedpack info:
Silverbeet: Seedlings by 14days, harvest 2-3 months. 300 seeds in the pack. Look like teeny shrunken heads about 2mm across. Plant 40cm apart.
Zucchini: Seedlings by 10 days, crop 8-10 weeks. 25 seeds, look like small pumpkin seeds. Plant 90cm apart.
Cauli: Seedlings by 28 days. Transplant when seeds are 10cm tall. Plant 60cm apart. 200 seeds.
Broc: Seedlings by 10 days. Plant 60cm apart. 50 seeds. Look just like cauliflower seeds.

Good to have this info, since all my cauliflower and broccoli seeds are mixed up in the plastic bag! But the broc will pop out first ;)

We (Byron, Jasmine and I) picked some silverbeet (800g) and strawberries (640g). I'll add the price to the running total when I check out what they're worth at the supermarket tomorrow. It would have been a little bit more in the strawberry department, if Jasmine didn't eat every single strawberry she picked!

Here is the hexagarden, made with a border of 6 railway sleepers that Nathan got me one year. The strawberries were planted two Summers ago, and we thought they'd all died under the weeds. But when I weeded it... surprise! That's why the harvest is getting added without subtracting the cost of the plants; I'm considering them free. Mum gave me the silver beet, so it's free, too.
And here is the vege patch. I 'stepped out' the measurements, and it's 5x10 meters. 50 square meters is a big enough garden for anyone, really, but it needs just a bit of work. I went to poison it while the kids were asleep, but couldn't find Nathan's poison-mixing watering can.

Here is the littlest, 1-year-old Zach, getting into an apple his big brother abandoned.

Silverbeet and strawberries for tea tonight!
Edit: Strawberries are $19.92 a kilo and silver beet is $6.12. So yesterday's harvest was worth
Running total: -$20.00

March, 2011

Welcome to the garden!

I decided that I'd record the progress of our 5-acre block, as it hopefully becomes something of a self-sufficiency paradise... lol! I can totally do it! I have no time schedule, as such; I'm just going to improve it bit by bit and see where it goes.

Details at the present:

Nathan and I (and three kids) live in Australia, in the cold, windy country near Ballarat. Our block is 5 acres of grass, divided into two paddocks. In the front we have a house, Nathan's shed, a garden shed, a bunch of baby trees (Nathan's) and a pile of mulch! In the back part we have a fenced vege patch (will look up dimensions later) full of weeds again, a hexagonal garden (fenced and mulched) containing about 20 strawberry plants and 1 silver beet, and 4 sheep named Barley, Daisy, Cocoa and Coffee. There are a few surviving fruit trees, a square garden of photinias (Nathan's area) and some wattles and gums (mine), but it is mostly open space.

A week or so ago I started a compost heap. So far it's just a pile of rotten food in one corner of the vege patch! I hope to get some good compost going, though, because the ground is very clay-rich. Tonight I bought a copy of "Your Garden: Autumn 2011"

...some seed packs (onion, cauliflower, broccoli, zucchini and silverbeet), 2 tubs for seedlings, some seedling mix, some weedkiller, and a cheap trowel to replace the one I bent the other day.

My plan is to plant a few seeds in the tubs tomorrow and poison the vege patch. Hopefully the children will have a nap at the same time!

We've had veges before, and have a watering system set up, as well as 4 short rows and 4 long ones and a tomato frame, and the dirt is getting 'wormy', but the veges were a disaster this year. Sigh. Hopefully some of the Autumn veges will do well.

:) $37.65 (didn't include magazine) spent. Will approximate value of any veges, and have a running total :)