Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Game on

Pot experiment

Game on.

By the time you add scruched up paper to the toilet rolls, these contain about the same volume of soil.

I have put some mustard seed in them, and are turning them through 90 degrees every day.

So it is going to show me if there is much difference there. Although I suspect they are best for cucurbits and beans. But I have enough of them - definitely don't want any more zucchinis.

We have had three beautiful inches of rain - which sounds much more satisfying than however many millimetres it is. The gardening is humming.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Watermelon Seedling Progress

Watermelon seedlings2

Just a quick shot of some of those watermelon seedlings.

The one on the left is one of the leggy seedlings, the one on the right is one of the ones in the toilet rolls. The one on the right is more than twice the size of the one on the left, and going gang-busters.

We are sitting back waiting for heavy, heavy rain, according to the forecast.

Which is fine. Bring it on. We need it (unless you are a farmer cutting hay). Just as long as it does not put people at risk. My gutters all go to tanks, and in this case we just keep running hoses off them to remote parts of the garden. The trees love it.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Late Night Encounters

It has been pleasantly damp here, so I was out snailing before bed. There was I bobbing around my garden with my trusty torch, when I hear a voice, asking me if I was okay, and had I lost anything?

It was one of the young blokes of the town, on his way home from a mate's place.

I explained that I was fine, and I was just picking up snails and dropping them into a bucket of hot water and biodegradable detergent.

"OOOOh", says he. "Lethal"

And he keeps on walking.

Just that little bit faster.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Now isn't this strange?????

Watermelon seedlings

We have just realised - we put in three small black pots with two watermelon seeds in each, and two toilet rolls with one seed in each. They had exactly the same soil mix, fertiliser etc.

The ones in the black pots are rangy and weaker. The ones in the toilet rolls are stronger, bigger cotyledons, and overall much healthier.

All we can think is that maybe the black pots absorbed a little bit of sun (not much available) and got hotter. The two lots of pots have been together since planted, not even a few inches apart.

But to make such a difference? Any suggestions welcome.

We are off to design some carefully planned experiments.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Broad Beans

The Broad Beans are just finishing, and they have been wonderful. The trick is to catch them young, and cook them by just steaming them for a short time.

We have managed to give quite a few of them away - it was especially good to swap a lot for a HUGE quantity of Asparagus.

So we have just invented a wonderful salad - just as we run out of beans.

Cook and chill the Broad Beans.

Add Kalamatta Olives, cubed fetta (we use Australian full-cream fetta) and some finely sliced spring onion (I use the red scallions).

Finally, pour over Italian dressing.

It is very, very nice.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

The Ultimate Compost Bin

Teds compost bin

We are just back from Auntie Dot's, after her 90th Birthday, and this is her late husband's compost bin. He was a third generation bricklayer. So what does he make the compost bin out of? Bricks, of course. (DH also tells me that ALL males in his generation were bricklayers!)

The compost bin is well over six foot high, and square. You climb up the two brick steps at bottom left, and throw in the kitchen scraps. (They were built for his wife. Ted was a giant and didn't need the steps). We don't think there was a lid, and it worked like a Lime Kiln - you just levered up the gate at the bottom (gate still in place, lever missing), and shovelled the compost out the bottom. Throw the hose in the top occasionally, and apparently it worked a treat.

Sadly, it is no longer in use.

DH, despite his genes, is not a bricklayer, and is not in the slightest interested in making one. He used Gedye-bin type bins, and I use half corrugated iron water tanks.

The Pots Progress


We are just back from a week away, and have collected the seedlings from the Seedling Sitter.

The beans were hardly through the soil when we left - and this is how they are now. There seems no difference between those in cling wrap and those not. There is one stunted one where they were so damp the cotyledons fell off - so the plant did not have access to the nourishment from them, but still grew.

They all have roots poking out the bottom, and are about to be planted as is, except for the cling wrap.

Stand by for progress!