Pinched

When it rains it pours. This week we have accumulated 40.9mm of rain. A garden needs about 2 inch of rain a week, and that’s almost there, about 50mm. It’s time to put the irrigation props back in storage, and roll up the long hoses and put them away. All I need to tend to from now on are those sheltered seedlings.

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The Berry Fence is almost done. I was supposed to be installing the trellis but I ran out of the green wiring tape, it’s got to be green to match all the other green tapes I am using to tape the bamboos together. So, that’s a job pushed out to next weekend. Anywhere, that’s a start on the bamboo stakes fanning out for the berries to go up and spread out.

  1. Raspberry Ebony
  2. Blueberry Blue Crop
  3. Berry Delight
  4. Blueberry Blue Joy
  5. Loganberry Waimate
  6. Blueberry Dixi
  7. Thornless Jewel
  8. Blood Orange Moro
  9. Kiwiberry 1
  10. Lemon Yen Ben
  11. Kiwiberry 2
  12. Navel Orange Cara Cara
  13. Kiwiberry 3
  14. Lime Bearrs
  15. Kiwiberry 4
  16. Blood Orange Taroccco
  17. Boysenberry Brulee
  18. Blueberry Muffin
  19. Boysenberry Mapua
  20. Blueberry Nui
  21. Boysenberry McNichols Choice
  22. Blueberry Reka
  23. Boysenberry Tasman
  24. Blueberry Puru

The planting holes are a mix of compost and peat. Crushed egg shell, neem granules, rok solid and biophos added to it. All the available plants have been planted, and now just waiting for the deliveries. The soil in the planter bags will hopefully inoculate the goodness that I have nurtured back in The Orchard Cottage into this place. The abundance of earthworms in each planter bags is a stark contrast to the rather sterile condition of the existing soil.

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This is the Squash Burgess Buttercup. I’ll wait for the vine to die back before I harvest it. Don’t have much luck with Pumpkin Australian Butter though, seems to have flowered into an abundance of tiny non-viable fruitset.

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This one is Pumpkin Wee Be Little. It’s really small, but bright orange colour. Its brother is still a wee bit green but larger. Still a bit more of ripening to go.

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These guys are tiny. Squash Delicata. It’s probably a case of environment determines genetic expression. Planted into an ex-planting hole that have been stump grind. Hopefully, some viable seeds in them to grow again next season.

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Ideal sized Pumpkin Thelma Sanders Sweet Potato.

Not a big pumpkin harvest this season but a good one nonetheless. No watermelon success yet. Next season perhaps. Mildew is now starting to set in on most of the vines signalling the end of the season.

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This calendula begs to differ, and the Sunflower Vanilla Ice is still flowering in abundance while everyone else have gone to seed.

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As for me, I’ve got myself toesocks. Apparently, formal shoes aren’t really made for my style which involves a lot of power walking and running up and down the stairs two steps at a time. My toes are feeling pinched, so I slipped on my vibram five fingers and they felt a lot better, that’s when I decided that toesocks might do the trick.

If only there’s a pair of John Bull elastic side non safety available in black. I’ll just be using black polish on mine for now to get it to pass it off as black.

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Drought Breaker

The title today could have been “Too Wet to Do Much” or “Too Cold to Do Much” or “Too Miserable to Do Much”. The long awaited wet spell is finally here, and the alps have a nice cap of snow. It’s cold, it’s windy, and it’s wet. I’ve fired up the log burner and tried out the firewood that I have bought in Summer, highly satisfied.

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I spent yesterday digging holes and lifting dirt along the berry fence. Each hole resulted in a wheelbarrow load of dirt. That’s 24 wheelbarrow load. Then partly back fill with compost. And I’m going to get some peat in next week to fill the rest up, mix it up, and plant out some of the berries and citrus.

Some of the holes towards the front of the property are quite hard to dig. I somehow hit a clay base with smooth rocks just 15cm below the surface. Out comes the hoe and we’ll call it ground breaking, or breaking ground.

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A while back I was into Blood Oranges and Cara Cara Navel Oranges. So I ordered one each from my favorite nursery but they accidentally sent me two of each and I kept the extra at a discount. One of each are now planted into pots and the other lot will be planted along the berry fence.

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From the left, Cherry Dawson, Cherry Black Heart, and Cherry Lapin. Dawson and Lapin on Edabriz interstock, makes a tree that normally grows to 30m to only grow to 2m. They are going to be trained onto a horizontal trellis along the posts.

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This is Subtropical 3.0. Subtropical 1.0 failed in a -3dC frost. Subtropical 2.0 had the foundation laid but that’s about it as I have to move. And here we are, Subtropical 3.0, Banana Basjoo, Banana Misi Luki, Banana Australian Lady Finger, and Banana Gold Finger. This Winter they will be in the pot, on the porch, where I can easily cast the frost cloth over them.

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Some chia seeds got mixed up the potting mix and now they are popping out in some of the planter bags and flowering. I must say, they have really nice flowers.

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Winter tomatoes. I have not really ate any homegrown tomatoes this season as its quite a flop year. But one variety never fails once it gets going, and that’s Indigo Rose. Its wickedly dark, when ripe, breaks off easily with the calyx on, or even falls by itself, and takes on a nice rose red blush. I wonder how long I can keep this one going.

Hopefully we’ll get a break in the weather by next weekend. I want to get the berry fence planted and some bamboo stakes put in. I’ve also got a couple more garlic and shallots to plant out in the Belgian Fence.

Too Gusty to Do Much

Its been too gusty over my weekend to really accomplish anything out in the garden.

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Though, I managed to pot up 3 of the oranges, companion plant with some garlic, and also pot up some strawberries I received in the mail.

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I’ve also managed to dig some holes and plant out the Worcesterberry and black raspberry.

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And another 4 more larger holes along the berry fence.

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Digging those holes just revealed how dry it is.

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There’s minimal moisture an inch below the soil surface.

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And it seems like I have hit clay too just a foot deep.

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I decided to head inside after the 4th hole has been dug.

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Its just too gusty to be doing anything outside.

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So, I just take a lot of pictures of the corn drying on the oven rack nested on the clothes drying rack.

Come again next week maybe I would have achieved more.

Grass is Growing

It’s so dry. When is the last time we have had a good long soak? I have had to keep up with the watering to get the lawn going. Not really complaining as the weather has been nice and warm which is helping things to grow. Just add water, and they grow.

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And they are growing. The timing is just about right as mentioned in the seed packet.

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The newly sown wattles are slowly popping out too.

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And rosemary started to flower.

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Pinus pinea.

Just some macro shots this week. I’ve been working everyday of the week and half days on my weekend. I didn’t really get much done apart from raking out the mulch to reveal the soil along the berry fence where I am going to dig the planting holes. The dug up soil will be moved elsewhere and the holes back filled with perhaps peat compost mix.

This week, I learned how to iron formal work pants properly.

Three Ladybugs

Its been a simple weekend. Its more about harvesting than anything. The sunflower seed heads were harvested and I have them drying out in a banana box outside. Two of the more exposed water pipes have been insulated. I’ve transferred the ginger plants into a small trough, in the process discovering one of Caesar’s bones fermenting nicely in the soil, which I promptly scooped out and cast it towards Caesar and he devour it instantly. Then transplanted Raspberry Ivory into the larger trough. That spiny thorny raspberry is going to be growing on the Belgian Fence trellis.

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Then there’s all the corn. Diversity is the spice of life. Black Navajo, Blue Aztec, Early Gem, Golden Bantam, Rainbow Inca, and Silver Platinum. Some have the standard shape, some thin and lanky, and some just stubby.

Environment determines genetic expression. How they come through, did depend on the ground that they sits in. As we noticed much earlier on, those that were planted in stump grind-ed holes are not doing as well as the others.

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Look at the amazing marbling pattern on the kernels of this cob.

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They gets topped and tailed, and only kernels from the middle of the cob will be saved for seeds. They go into the oven and gets the drying slowly at 30dC. The rest I eat.

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While in the many sisters patch. I decided to check on the pumpkins. Here we got Pumpkin Thelma Sanders Sweet Potato.

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Just about fully ripe Pumpkin Wee Be Little.

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Very very very small Squash Delicata.

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And another larger but less mature Pumpkin Wee Be Little.

I don’t have any luck on Pumpkin Australian Butter, Squash Burgess Buttercup, and Squash Honeynut this season. Better luck next time.

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And a ping pong size watermelon.

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And then there’s this flower. I’m not sure what the name of it is. It was just there when I got the place, and just started flowering. I think it is Chrysanthemum.

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While saving sunflower seeds, I stumbled upon this bud with three ladybugs on it! I took this shot with the macro lens add on to the phone.

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With the chimney cleaned. I decided to test run the log burner for the first time. Well, its on fire and Caesar loves it!

Next on the list would be saving tomato seeds. Though this year’s crop is a bit of a flop. Next year will be better. Doing the up the cherry patch, and digging the planting holes on the berry fence.