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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

It's now or next year!


Yep it's now or next year if you want to plant, from sown seed, watermelons and or for that matter, cucumber and pumpkins and rock melons and you know, all those creepy climby, viney things. You can still leave it for a month or so if you buy seedlings from your nursery, but if you are sowing your own seed you really need to get them in now.

They take about 70 to 80 days to produce fruit and need the heat of summer to produce good growth. If you move into autumn (this would probably exclude the sub-tropics and the tropics where they could be grown much later into the season) and get a early cold snap you probably won't get any edible fruit.

I grow the 'sugarbaby' watermelon here because of the limited space I have in my backyard but I also have a few planted down at the community gardens.

For soil prep I use one ten litre bucket of compost, one ten litre bucket of aged cow manure, a hand full of blood and bone and a small hand of sulphate of potash. I'll also apply another small hand of potash when the vines start to flower to help with fruit set and development. Creating a raised mound in the process into which I plant my seeds.

After planting four of five seeds into each of the raised mound/s at about fifteen to twenty millimeters deep I then water them well and keep them moist untill germination takes place.

Keep them well watered for the first 3/4 weeks then water as necessary. When the fruit is ripening back off all the watering as extra water at this stage will dilute the sugars and therefore the flavor.

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Good luck if you plant some,
Cheers for now,
Stewart

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Lets paint.

G'day,
I started to put up a post of me painting our house on facebook and then decided it would work putting up here on my blog as well.

So in between working, sleeping, weeding and watering and doing whatever else is needed in the veggie garden and being back up driver for my daughter, shopping, cooking and various other duties (jobs my wife wants me to do) I have decided to paint our house. About ten years over due but better late than never.

In the photo you can see the results of my first 30 minutes. Can you believe it has rained ever since I started sanding. If I'd have known that I'd have started six months ago. I'm guessing about 1/300th done of the sanding with 299ths to go.

It's not a cheap exercise either costing $115.00 for a few things just to get started like a paint brush, four liters of undercoat, a coupla' spannas for the angle grinda, a few sanding disks and ear plugs. I'll still need more undercoat plus all the top coats.

I only know the basic of painting so if there is anyone out there with vast amounts of painting experience and would like to share some of their knowledge with me then I'm all ears.

Well it's Sunday (a day after I started sanding and writing the first part of this post) now and it's still raining, about thirty mls since Christmas eve, so that counts out any more sanding and gardening is off the list so I guess I'll catch up on some long overdue guitar practice.




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Cheers

Stewart

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry cheesy Christmas everyone


Hope you have a Merry 'cheesy', Christmas and there is nothing cheesier than Rolf with a little Status Quo on Christmas day!!!


Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Tips without explanations.


I sometimes have an intense dislike for some gardening tips/advise that are doled out with liberal regularity without any form of an explanation as to why this is good advise or what, if any, benefit will be achieved by following this tip/advise.

One of these tips is to pinch out the growing tips of trailing plants like pumpkin, watermelon, cucumbers and rock melons, etc. So as I was reading organic gardener's 'Getting started' essential guide I finally found out why this is good advise.

So here is the tip found on page 28. 'Pumpkin, zucchini, squash and cucumber plants thrive in soil heavily manured with sheep, cow, poultry or decomposted stable manure. The secret of good pumpkin yields is to initiate more female flowers by pinching out the growing tips of runners when about two meters long. (and here is the explanation as to why this is good advice) This forces out side shoots that bear more female flowers'.

How easy is that? Now I can rest easy and knowing why the bloody hell I pinch out the tips of my pumpkins.
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Cherry-bye then till next time

Stewart

Monday, December 21, 2009

Feeling Christmas kinda lazy

Feeling Christmas kinda lazy. We have had 18 mls of rain so I've been given the day off from watering.

I mixed up a new brew of compost and put down new straw for the chooks and planted heaps of seeds in punnets, including some cabbage 'Savoy', Tomatoes, 'Mortgage Lifter', 'Reisentraube' and 'Yellow Perfection' a British heirloom, small, slicing tomato from Green Harvest, lemon cucumber, lettuce, 'Great Lakes', 'Drunken Woman' and red cos, Onion, 'Mini Purplette' and Silverbeet ' Vulcan Red'.

Just in case you're not in the Chrissy mood I've also included a few songs to help get you in the Chrissy mood.




Sunday, December 20, 2009

Try

Try and get this one out of your head. It's been playing in mine since I woke up this morning.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Countdown to Christmas

Christmas might be a little early here. It's actually really raining!

But who's counting?


Poodwaddle.com

Thursday, December 17, 2009

This is called, The......

My Sister recently reminded me of this little gem of our recent past history (1975, but that can't be right can it? That's like..wow.. 'that' many years ago!!!) and so I couldn't let a chance go by and went a searching and found this. Hope It brings back some good memories.


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

I've gotten over myself...


Hi there, well I've gotten over myself a little bit in the last few days and am feeling positive about my veggie garden again. After weeks of seemingly endless extreme heat, for Toowoomba's climate, and hundreds of watering cans of water I was feeling like I was getting no where, but the weather has changed, though it is still hot but not stifiling. I'm also hopeful we have stopped the Houdinis of the chook world escaping and I might be able too put my backyard back together again. And as you can tell from the photo of veggies I picked from the Toowoomba Community Organic Gardens things have been growing and looking up in spite of my child like frustrations (read tannies). The only thing I have left to combat is that dastardly pretentious possum I have running around eating any little seedlings I happen to plant, not to mention any ripening tomatoes it can reach. Now that can only mean outright war when it comes to my tomatoes.

Included in the harvest are a red bucket of sebago potatoes, one bok choi cabbage, a hand full of butter beans, heaps of yellow button squash, three ruby lou potatoes, more green button squash, two leeks, one over grown spring onion, two Spanish onions and four Detroit Globe beetroot.

I also planted a row each of bulls blood and golden beetroot seed, more but fresh lemon cucumber seed and four Bourke's Backyard tomatos.

It's supposed to be hot the next two days and then, hopefully, some rain Saturday.

QUEENSLAND WEATHER FORECAST
Issued at 11:35am EST on Wednesday the 16th of December 2009

IDQ1070002
EXTENDED OUTLOOK

Saturday.. The rain and storm band will move into the southeast parts of the
state, with showers and storms extending from the west and north-west of the
state into the south-east. Isolated showers will occur over the northern
east coast. Elsewhere conditions will be fine. Winds over the interior
will be light to moderate SE to NE.

During Sunday and Monday widespread showers and storms will occur over
the
south-east as an upper cold trough moves across the area and
destabilizes conditions. Isolated stream showers will return to
much of the east tropical coast on Sunday and continue through Monday.
Only isolated showers and or stormswill occur about the Gulf of
Carpentaria. A weak SE change will move through the
south-east coast early Sunday and then decay overnight Sunday.

Well here's hoping for a brighter veggie future, with some cooler
weather and some rain

Cheers
Stewart

I like beer!!!

Did I tell you I like beer?

One afternoon at Cheers, Cliff Clavin was explaining the Buffalo Theory to his buddy Norm. Here's how it went:

"
Well ya see, Norm, it's like this... A herd of buffalo can only move as fast as the slowest buffalo. And when the herd is hunted, it is the slowest and weakest ones at the back that are killed first. This natural selection is good for the herd as a whole, because the general speed and health of the whole group keeps improving by the regular killing of the weakest members. In much the same way, the human brain can only operate as fast as the slowest brain cells. Excessive intake of alcohol, as we know, kills brain cells. But naturally, it attacks the slowest and weakest brain cells first. In this way, regular consumption of beer eliminates the weaker brain cells, making the brain a faster and more efficient machine. That's why you always feel smarter after a few beers."



Monday, December 14, 2009

ARRRGGGHHHHHH!!!!!!

ARRRGGGHHHHHH!!!!!! I just watched another storm evaporate off the radar as it approached Toowoomba. We must have killed a thousand chinamen with the run of outs where having.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

That's it. I quit, I've had enough!!!

That's it. I quit, I've had enough!!! The straw that broke this camels back. After watering endlessly for the last three weeks to keep the veggie garden alive in plus 30 degree heat, I wake up this morning to find half my chooks have escaped and ripped half the garden to pieces. So I hereby quit my back yard garden and leave it for the chooks and will concentrate soley on the Toowoomba Community Organic Gardens where I only have to worry about my veggies being vandalised or stolen by big human chooks.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Go Green Tube

Hi, just found this web site and found it interesting. Probably nothing new or earth shattering but good to reinforce any organic beliefs and values you might have. Click here to go to Go Green Tube

I've included two videos about the Grailville Organic Farm which go through some of their organic growing practices. Hope you find it interesting. The video quality is a bit poor but worth persevering with. Thanks.

Search results for Grailville Organic Farming






Cheers for now

Stewart

Friday, December 11, 2009

Rocks in my head?


Gees, I must have rocks in my head. It's been hotter than Hades for over two weeks here with no sign of rain anywhere. Watering (by hand with watering cans)is keeping me as busy as a one armed wallpaper hanger and so what do I go out and do? That's right, buy more plants, plus, 'plus', I put in an order for a half a dozen more packets of veggie seeds.(Green Harvest - Organic Gardening Supplies)

Is this eternal optimism or have had too much sun lately? I'm hoping it's the first option but fear it's the second.

Anyhow, the weather is 'supposed', to change for the better this weekend (still hot today, currently 28c @ 9.00am heading for a max of 35c) so after enjoying Burke's Backyard Tomato last year they are getting another run this year. I'll plant two in my backyard and the other two will go to the Toowoomba Community Organic Gardens

Bourke's Backyard Italian Tomato

Burke's Backyard Tomato report from last summer!

I'm off to feed the chooks and collect some eggs and surprise, surprise do some watering.
Cheers for now
Stewart.

Just for fun and cos I luv Kylie and cos I did it again.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

It's still too bloody hot!


Hi everyone, I've got a hundred things to write about but It's still too bloody hot. At 3pm in my kitchen on my thermometer it is 38c. with a hot breeze.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Damn it's still hot!

My kitchen thermometer in the coolish part of the house reads 37.5. How am I going to get any sleep in this heat before I go to work?

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Monday, December 7, 2009

'Gardener's Latin'


Here's a bit of fun. I ordered 'Gardener's Latin' by Bill Neal through Amazon.com mainly for hits and giggles, but it is interesting to find the English translation of some of those Latin names and this book hits the nail right on the head.

For instance officia'lis was one I have always been curious about with me thinking it was something official. Turns out it means 'medicinal; of the pharmacopoeia (literally, 'drug-making').

So try me out, is there any botanical names you have always wanted to know what they mean?

The introduction informs me that this is only a partial dictionary of botanical names and includes only species names. Therefore if you want to know the meaning of a genus you'll be up the creek without a paddle.

Cheers for now
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Stewart

P.S. Weather for tomorrow. Fine, hot and dry!

Rain? What's that?

I can predict the weather, it's simple. Hot and dry, hot and dry, hot and dry. Rain? Phssstt what's that!!!?

Now if I could just get paid 50 odd grand a year for that I be set!


Can't remember the last time I sung this but I know it was a loooooooonnnnnngggggg time ago!
It's raining; it's pouring.
The old man is snoring.
He went to bed and bumped his head,
And he wouldn't get up in the morning

I'd better go out an water what's left of my withered garden before it turns into a desert.

Cheers from the new Darling Desert.

Stewart

Friday, December 4, 2009

I've been thinking again!!!


This time it's more of a wondering, pensive kind of thinking.

So what have I got my tits in a tangle about this time?

C
arbon neutral 'V', 'Carbon negative'!! And why or how some community beliefs, values and/or goals become standardised or normalised. The standardised value I am referring to here is what is being called living a carbon neutral lifestyle. And while living a carbon neutral lifestyle, in my eyes, is an admirable goal, I have to wonder how this became the standard norm as opposed to living a 'carbon negative' lifestyle.

I'm thinking 'carbon negative' could be a step (a rather small step individually, but if we all do it, it would become a big one) in the direction of actually fixing the problem rather than treading water and waiting for someone to rescue us.

Any thoughts anyone? Can we start a Carbon Negative movement or a Carbon Negative agitation support group? Maybe we can have a new standardised community belief, value and or goal for a new years resolution.

I sent this post off to my sister (you can find her here if you like)for a proof read and it came back with these questions 'I'd like more information on what it means to be carbon negative. What's involved? For those that just hear this lingo bandied around but don't really know what it's all about. ie, what can I do personally that would make things carbon negative. etc'?

So if anyone can come up with some strategies to help her out then please let me know and I'll put together a data base of info on how and what can be done to live carbon neutral.

My #1 would be ditch the car and ride a bike. That's the push bike kind of bike.

In the mean time I know of a few sites that tell you how to measure how much carbon your emitting so I'll look them up and post the links.

Anything else anyone just let me know.

Cheers and bye for now
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Stewart