Monday, September 11, 2017

crop rotation

One of the things I want to do once I have chickens: Crop rotation.

Easy Crop Rotation - this is a seasonal one, growing one set of vegies in a bed each year. Could work with multiple beds, although may not necessarily deal with what happens in winter.

This link deals more in-depth with families and planting cycles, including seasons somewhat. Although I suspect that the best solution is always going to be one's own observations and experiences in one's garden space.

It's a little confusing because there are so many things that I like growing, but finding the space for them is another matter, and everything takes longer in my garden - I'm not sure if this is a ground nutrients issue, or something else.

Some thoughts on crop rotation:
Tomatoes/eggplant => cabbage/caulis => Corn/Cucumber/Pumpkins => beans/peas
Capsicums/zucchini => broccoli/brussel sprouts => beans/peas => Potatoes
Corn/Cucumber/Pumpkins => green manures => Tomatoes/eggplant => cabbage/caulis
Cucumber/Pumpkins => onions/carrots => silverbeet/lettuces => green manures
Potatoes => beets/radishes => Capsicums/zucchini => broccoli/brussel sprouts
silverbeet/lettuces => green manures => Cucumber/Pumpkins => onions/carrots

Hopefully, the chickens will help reduce the need for legumes/green manures, though.

Chook Dome: I still have fantasies about doing this circular, but I think circular may have to wait for the front yard, while I go for the space-saving option of rectangular in the backyard, still using a moveable chook tractor - just a rectangular one...

THOUGHT: Sow a line of barrel medic/lucerne along the fencelines, particularly under the crepe myrtle.

LINK: Growing Trout in a bathtub system...

Sunday, September 10, 2017

spring is in

I've rented some chickens for the spring. I plan to move them around the garden in a moveable chicken coop, but I guess we'll see how that goes. I know what I want for them to do, but actually getting them to do it may very well be another matter (honestly, it's largely fertiliser and fruit fly management).

None of the plants that I bought have yet been transplanted. Largely because I asked the lawn guys if they'd dig the holes on the outside of the fence, and they were worried about the council (which is decidedly punitive about things that they don't like which, peculiarly, includes not chopping down annoying trees, but not allowing people to plant trees that might otherwise flourish. *sigh*

Anyway, the lilly pillies died when I failed to water them during a hot spell after a long dry spell, and are not responding to my seaweed brew therapy. I think they're probably dead. As the grapevines I transplanted may be. (Dammit.)

The back fence has not yet been dug out (those damned rocks that the previous owner put in to deter weeds), and with hockey ramping up to the finals series, I haven't dared to wreck myself by going out and doing the work of a chilly winter evening. I think I need someone to help me with the garden - who doesn't cost the earth, and who doesn't mind a day or so of 'bit' work.

- passionfruit fence
- front hedge trees
- avocado

Monday, July 3, 2017

Hedge-Grows

So, we have 4 passionfruit, 3 lilly pillies, 3 acerola cherries, 3 macadamias, 2 avocadoes, a loquat, and a fig tree that are going to various parts of the property boundary.

The passionfruit are to go along the back fence, hopefully climbing up the new fence to cover it, and provide some screening between us and the neighbour, who feels a little awkward since his study window looks straight into our back porch. The lilly pillies, acerola cherries, and macadamias will probably go along the front fence, with the avocadoes and loquat. The fig tree is going to replace the mandarin that doesn't produce anything.

Actually, none of the citrus in the front garden segment are doing very well. I think they may need more/better feeding. Like loads and loads of horse manure/green manures.

The plan is to keep the lilly pillies, acerola cherries, and macadamias well-trimmed along the front fence (western border of the property) so they don't impede the sun to the front lawn, which I hope to someday turn into a full-fledged vegetable garden.

There's a part of me which would like to keep the avocadoes safely in the backyard, or behind the fence, because, well, avocadoes! But I guess one of the things I consider pretty important in gardening is community involvement - sharing of resources, crop-swapping. And so long as someone isn't going to run off with all my avocadoes, or people ask, then I don't mind sharing...

This has been a tricky winter in which to grow things - not weather wise, so much as the fact that I've been working from sunup until after sundown, and it's difficult working in a dark garden. (Plus, the neighbour's dog yaps at me from the other side of the fence when I turn the garden light on.) I can plant some seeds at night, and I kind of have to - still have many winterveg seeds to plant out.

Planting out the winterveg seeds is the Thing To Do for this week. I'll have to leave the hole-digging and the claybreaking to the weekend, when there's light and time.

Some thoughts on rearranging the garden

Upper step bed near carport is difficult to reach; not a good place for grow-and-pick vegies, better for fruit trees and perennials.

Lower step bed near carport is easier to reach, better for grow-and-pick stuff.

1. move grapes to upper and lower beds against fence.

2. move sage to upper bed, move rosemary (under cherry) to upper bed

3. move chilli/perennial capsicum to upper bed

4. move lavender to upper bed

5. plant bulbs in upper bed (save lower bed and side for easy annuals)

new fence, preserves, winter garden

I had to pull up some sweet potato plants for when we did the back fence.

Garden May 2017

Tricky part: persuading the neighbour not to paint or treat the fence with anything that might turn out to be toxic for my plants.

Wombok (I think)

Garden May 2017

Old Fence.

Garden May 2017

More old fence:

Garden May 2017

Still more old fence:

Garden May 2017

The root vegie garden - rocket and carrots and parsnips and leeks and a bunch of other things, most of which aren't growing at all.

Garden May 2017

New fence being put up (early morning light makes it tricky):

House and garden: new fence

New fence:

House and garden: new fence

More new fence (from same POV as the old fence photo above)

House and garden: new fence

And the long view of the new fence:

House and garden: new fence

I chopped down all the basil and made pesto:

There's gonna be pesto... #basil #gardenofsel #harvest

That was a weekend of preserving, actually. Last of harvest: red tomato chutney, green tomato chutney, preserved lemons, and pesto. Everything but the lemons came from the garden, and I swapped the lemons for lemongrass I did grow in my garden! #gardenofsel #relish #preserves #homecooked #homemade

Last of harvest: red tomato chutney, green tomato chutney, preserved lemons, and pesto. Everything but the lemons came from the garden, and I swapped the lemons for lemongrass I did grow in my garden!  #gardenofsel #relish #preserves #homecooked #homemade

I pulled up the only parsnip that I'd managed to grow:

First ever parsnip! #gardenofsel

I've planted more parsnips, but they're not actually growing. They're difficult to grow apparently - need good sandy soil and the opportunity to grow straight down...

I'm thinking of pulling up the carrot seedlings and planting them out in boxes of sandy compost.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

planning thoughts

to buy
- another avocado (grafted)
- grapes for the back fence (plant behind the washing line)
- passionfruit for the back fence (plant down in the bottom corner behind the apple
- nuts & berries for the front fence (macadamia, almond, chestnut, lilly pilly, acerola cherry, kumquat)
- raspberries under the lounge room window in front bed

to do
- pull out mandarin (replace with avocado)
- espalier multi-apple
- put hooks in fence to grow things on

to do THIS WEEKEND
- pull out remaining summer plants
- plant out seedlings
- mulch fruit trees and prep bed behind washing line

Thursday, April 13, 2017

front fence hedge - loquat

Must remember that I have a loquat seedling (full size, grown from seed) and it will go nicely by the front fence!

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

All The Trees Are Brown...

So, gardening. Mum called this morning at 8:30am to say she'd be coming around with her garden helper to help put in some fruit trees.

We got the avocado (grown from seed) and the two apples (my birthday present this year) in the ground, and moved the apricot over. We also discovered a large chunk of cement in the front garden - too large to lever up. So we just planted the apricot a little beyond it.

The avocado - planted out just in time. It's been getting entirely too big for its boots, and had just started leaning to the side in the teeny tiny pot that it's been growing in the last, oh, five, six years...
Trees

Two apples up against the fence - I'm going to espalier them, probably in a fan shape - and the apricot in the front, looking like an umbrella blown out the wrong way...
Trees

The big sprouty thing to the left of the pic is an eggplant. I've done really well with eggplants this year (compared to previous years).

The apples a little closer up:
Trees

I also put in some sweet potato (we'll see how that goes, but I had the length of vine), and started clearing space in prep for the attempt at autumn-winter corn.