Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Thank-you Santa

What's happening in the veggie garden?  
Absolutely nothing. I've quit!! I'm tired of throwing good water onto a garden when all mother nature can help me out with is a few 10mm falls since the end of June. It was 39c yesterday and not much better today. When or if I start to get some help from the heavens above then I start planting again.

 On a brighter note I went a saw my local Kawasaki dealer this morning and made me an offer on a KLR650 that I've been saving all year and it was too good to refuse.
So all things being equal, by the end of the week I should have a brand new shinny Candy Lime Green machine in my garage.

Thank-you Santa


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

I love a sunburnt country (not),

So much for the rain huh? I'm still watering veggies and kicking up dust. This is getting as bad as before the floods.

I love a sunburnt country (not),
A land of sweeping plains,
Of ragged mountain ranges,
Of droughts and flooding rains (tell me about it).
I love her far horizons,
I love her jewel-sea,
Her beauty and her terror -
The wide brown land for me(meh! may-be)!

Let it rain, let it rain, let it rain.....


Sunday, November 18, 2012

I haven't fallen off the face of the earth.

Just in case you've been wondering, no, I haven't fallen off the face of the earth.
What is happening is that it has been a very dry start to the season so I've been keeping my planting to a minimum, though I have been planting somethings.

Secondly I've been driving the wheels off the Taxi trying to reach a long held goal of buying a motorbike.

This has been made all the harder by me because of another decision to never buy anything ever on HP of by a Bank Loan (any sort of credit) so I've been saving like crazy and if all my cards fall right I should have my bike for Christmas.
So, not much veggie gardening but I have managed to get some things growing. From seed I have cucumber, squash, beans (bush and climbing) zucchini, a couple of chillies and today I sowed some Chinese cabbage, beetroot, bok choy and a punnet of yatesdale lettuce.

I hope to have another couple of hours in the veggie garden this coming Tuesday and I might plant some more seeds but mainly maintenance I think, it's still very dry here atm.

Something like this is what I'm after.


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Pinching Out Lateral shoots

Just a short video on pinching out laterials using my iPhone.

I should have said leaf instead of branch and you pinch the laterals from the leaf axil. (The angle between the upper side of a leaf or stem and the stem or branch that supports it.)



Sunday, October 14, 2012

Bright Idea.

I hardly ever watch TV but sometimes out of the blue something draws me to it.
In this case it was a story on landline and I thought what a cracker of an idea. And as the bloke on the interview said it's not rocket science.
I can't embed ABC video on my site but follow this link, make sure you click on the 'Play Video' Link just above the main story, have a look and I'd love to hear what you think.

From the ABC landline site:-  PIP COURTNEY, PRESENTER: Experts tell us that just 2.5 per cent of all the water on the planet is fresh and very little of that is accessible, locked up in ice caps and deep down beneath the earth. And with so much of the available fresh water used up by agriculture, it's becoming an increasingly scarce resource.

A group of international scientists. which has based itself in outback South Australia, has devised a system of growing crops which doesn't rely one bit on that diminishing fresh water supply.

And as Pru Adams reports, they're now ready to take their ground-breaking technology to the world.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Q & A

Hello veggie people, I've had a few questions posed to me through the e-mail contact in the last few weeks so I thought I'd throw them up here for the heck of it.
If any one does have a question just fire away and I'll do my best to answer it.

Question 1. Hi Stewart, I have a rosemary plant in a tub that seems to be quite healthy but it gets this white or grey mildewy stuff on the new growth. What is it and how can i get rid of it?
I live on the Gold Coast so it is often hot and humid but the mildew seems to be around most of the year. One site said to use dolomite as the plant will like it and it will help with the problem.
Any info would be appreciated -thanks, G*****.
My answer.
Hi G*****, sounds like powdery mildew and with rosemary in your climate it can be a problem. Best way to fix it is to spray with copperoxychloride, any nursery or supermarket should have it. Follow the directions on the packet and it should be fine.
If you haven't already it needs to be in full sun all day and when watering, which is usually unnecessary, then water in the morning to give the water a chance to dry up off the foliage.
Cheers. And hope this helps

Question 2.  About Burke's Backyard Tomato.
Hi, did you pinch out the laterals. Someone told me they did and got no
fruit, they said you don't need to with this variety, I find this hard
to believe, nothing on the ticket the plant came with. What do you
think? Hope your gardening going well mine just beginning, regards J***

My answer.
 Hi J***, it's been a while since I planted these but from memory I'm sure they needed staking and pinching out of the laterals. They were a tasty tomato but I was disappointed with their yield. Fwiw the best tomato I've grown is one called Mortgage Lifter. Large tomato's and plenty of them.

Cheers, hope this helps


I'll add one more thing about tomatoes that I didn't include in my answer and that there is two main growing habits of tomatoes. and they are named determinate and indeterminate and I've pinched a description from the Garden Webs site,
Determinate varieties of tomatoes, also called "bush" tomatoes, are varieties that are bred to grow to a compact height (approx. 4 feet).
They stop growing when fruit sets on the terminal or top bud, ripen all their crop at or near the same time (usually over a 2 week period), and then die.
They may require a limited amount of caging and/or staking for support, should NOT be pruned or "suckered" as it severely reduces the crop, and will perform relatively well in a container (minimum size of 5-6 gallon). Examples are: Rutgers, Roma, Celebrity (called a semi-determinate by some), and Marglobe.
Indeterminate varieties of tomatoes are also called "vining" tomatoes. They will grow and produce fruit until killed by frost and can reach heights of up to 10 feet although 6 feet is considered the norm. They will bloom, set new fruit and ripen fruit all at the same time throughout the growing season.
They require substantial caging and/or staking for support and pruning and the removal of suckers (I call these lateral shoots) is practiced by many but is not mandatory. The need for it and advisability of doing it varies from region to region. Experiment and see which works best for you. Because of the need for substantial support and the size of the plants, indeterminate varieties are not usually recommended as container plants. Examples are: Big Boy, Beef Master, most "cherry" types, Early Girl, most heirloom varieties, etc.
May your harvest be bountiful

Monday, October 1, 2012

Golden Laced Wyandotte chooky chickens

    I've been harboring a desire for some Golden Laced Wyandotte chooky chickens (yes, that is a technical term) for quite some time now but have never been able to find any handy enough to home.
    The idea has been simmering along for a while but had been put on the back burner of ideas.
    The other day though after clenaing up around their run it came to me to have another search and see if I could find any. 
    My first and only port of call is always the Farmstock (great website too) web site and as if it was meant to be there in the first half a dozen listings was an add for some Golden Laced Wyandotte chickens.
    A quick phone call and the deal was done for four Golden Laced Wyandotte chickens. A second phone call to a good friend to drive me down to pick them up and there you be, all done. 

 They were seven and eight weeks old a week ago tomorrow (2/10/12) and in the USA that's (10/2/12)

    Here's a brief description from Wikipedia :- The Wyandotte is a breed of chicken originating in the United States. The first examples of the breed appeared in 1870s. Wyandottes are a docile, dual-purpose breed kept for their brown eggs and for meat. They appear in a wide variety of color patterns, and are popular show birds. The Wyandotte lays pale brown or tan eggs and usually has a white ring of feathers around its neck. Wyandotte hens are devoted mothers.

The Wyandotte is a breed that suits both free range and confinement in a run. Hens occasionally become broody. They are also very vocal, uttering soft clucks on a regular basis.
The breed has been noted for being incredibly friendly, and combined with their easy maintainability are a favorite with those new to raising chickens.
You can read more on Wikipedia about Wyandotte chickens by following this link - Wyandotte Chickens



Sunday, September 30, 2012

1/2 a mm

Well now what can I say, after the massive downpour we had last night of 1/2 a mm it looks like I'll be getting up early to do some watering.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

I managed to squirrel an afternoon off

Some light rain's been forecast for around these parts so seeing as I managed to squirrel an afternoon off, thanks to a very nice paying taxi job, and that I also like to plant seeds before rain, I set to it.

In went a row of beetroot seeds plus I seeded up a punnet of rocket as well.

I also have some Leek seedlings planted that had reached the stage where they needed to be planted out as well.

Everything else is going well though, I'm getting some nice asparagus and I'm also harvesting lettuce, spring onions and spinach from earlier plantings. My broad beans have been flowering profusely and are now setting pods (broad bean risotto here I come).

I also planted some parsnip seeds about three weeks ago, for the first time ever, and I'm proud to say they have sprouted into a nice row of little parsnip seedlings.

I'll have to start planting some beans, cucumber and corn when I next get the chance but for now that's about it.

Cheers and happy Gardening


P.S. There is one other thing but that's going to have to be a surprise for my next post, tomorrow or Tuesday, with some luck.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Springing to it.

 Despite my infrequent posting lately I have been doing as much as I can in the veggie garden.

The cab owner has taken off OS for a month so I've picked some extra shifts which can only mean less veggie time for me.

The Scarlet Cambridge Broad Bean seeds I planted that I received from Scarecrow's Garden are coming nicely. Full of flowers.

 Beetroot seedling  from seed planted 3 weeks ago.
Lettuce, you can never have to much lettuce. Why the wire? Well I have a possum that's thinks the same it would seem, but I'm not in the sharing mood.
 Cabbage are thriving and I'm keeping a vigilant lookout for the dreaded cabbage moth. So far so good.
 Brocolini, simply yum.
What's that? More lettuce.
I also have spring onions growing and have planted some Dwarf bean seeds along with parsnips. Some self sown potatoes, Two Tommy Toe tomatoe plants and leeks that will need replanting next Tuesday.

That's all I can think of for now.
Cheers and happy veggie gardening


Monday, August 20, 2012

Asparagus TLC.

A sparrow grass Tlc.

Last growing seasons left overs. Removed the weeds and trimmed up the dead spears.
 A sprinkling of Searl's 5 in 1 and about 200 grams of Organic Plus fertilizer. If I had compost I'd have added a good bucket full of that as well.
 Mulch it baby. No water it first and then mulch and then water it again.
A week later and 'ta da' Breakfast tomorrow.



If you want some more info on growing Asparagus then Jane Edmanson has gone to a lot of trouble click here

And about a 101 ways to cook with Asparagus at taste

Today I

Marigold, Beetroot and pea seeds planted, horse manure spread ready to be dug in tomorrow. Petunias planted, just a punnet of mixed lettuce seedlings to plant and it's back to the weeds.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Hi, how have you bean?

I had a few minutes spare on Tuesday and this is what I ended up doing. I wish it was as easy as it looks. It's like the weeds were just jumping into my hand.

I stopped into the nursery on the way home today (Sunday) and picked up a few punnets of seedlings while I was there. It seems now that I'm driving the Taxi of a daytime I can't care all that well for seeds that I've planted. Big seeds like beans and corn should be OK but the little seeds like lettuce and carrots that are planted close to the surface tend to dry out.

Anyway I bought some Leek, spring onion, cabbage and lettuce seedlings to plant tomorrow. I also picked up a packet of rocket seeds (I know, I just said I wasn't going to do that) and I'll try them in a protected spot where they wont dry out as much and see how I go. I know they sprout quite readily so fingers crossed.

I'm promised fine weather for the next two days that I have free to myself to play, plant and weed in the garden and I'm so looking forward to getting plenty of work completed.

Until next time,



Sunday, July 22, 2012

Instant Peas.

I planted a punnet of peas and spinach.

Added some lime and compost. And dug it in of course.
Easy really. Plus 30mm of rain the next day and all's good.

I'll plant seeds this Tuesday all going well.

I'd better see what the asparagus is doing too and give them some tlc.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

I've started mine

I've started my sweet potato as described in my earlier post.
 Now I just have to wait for some shoots to appear.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Mystery solved. maybe, sorta.

If you have ever wondered where garden gnomes disappear to...this may be the answer....

I need to thank dirtgirlworld for this photo

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Sweet Potato

I stumbled across this video yesterday and while it lists pesticides as an option that will be a step I'll be leaving out.
But I'm wondering if anyone has started their sweet potatoes this way and how successful you were?
I think I'll go and grab myself a tuber and give it a go anyway but just wondering.

Cheers, I'm off to plant some peas,


Saturday, July 7, 2012


I'll let the video do the talking, but it's a must watch in my mind..



Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Get the Gardenate app

Screen shot for Gardenate app.
Happy accidents! I like happy accidents.

Yesterday I was reading my email from Gardenate on my iPhone, that amazing veggie (when and what to grow and plant) website, and I must have touched a link on the touch screen by accident which then opened up their web page.

O.K. nothing earth shattering there I hear you say.
Well as I rarely go to their actual website I hadn't noticed they had a smartphone app available, and this is the amazing part. I downloaded the app and was amazed with it's ease of use and the information available. I know it basically what's available on their web site but to have it handy and presentable on my phone is, to me, just terrific.

"Get Gardenate on iPhone, iPod Touch, Android, and Nokia smartphones

Want a fully portable version of Gardenate with extra features like your own planting and harvest calendar? Try our app, available from iTunes, and now available on Android Market and Nokia Ovi .
The Android/Nokia versions don't yet have the Notes page shown in the iPhone version, but I'm working to add any missing features as soon as possible!"

Cheers and happy smartphoning,


Thursday, June 28, 2012


57mm of rain over the last two days. That ought to get those broad bean growing.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012


'Gardening is a matter of your enthusiasm holding up until your back gets used to it.' - Unknown

It's raining therefore it must be my gardening day. Bittersweet.



Sunday, June 24, 2012

Only a Farm Kid

Only a Farm Kid

When you're from the country, your perception is a little bit different.

A Queensland farmer drove to a neighbours' farmhouse in his Holden ute, and knocked at the door.
A boy, about 9, opened the door
"Is your Dad or your Mum home?" said the farmer.
"No, they went to town."
"How about your brother, Howard? Is he here?"
"No, he went with Mum and Dad."
The farmer stood there for a few minutes, shifting from one foot to the other,and mumbling to himself.
"I know where all the tools are, if you want to borrow one, or I can give Dad a message."
"Well," said the farmer uncomfortably, "I really wanted to talk to your Dad. It's about your brother Howard getting my daughter Susie pregnant".
The boy thought for a moment...
"You would have to talk to Dad about that. I know he charges $500 for the bull and $50 for the pig, but I don't know how much he charges for Howard."

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Scarlet Cambridge Broad Beans

What have I been up to. Work, work and more work which is why I haven't posted much lately. Why? I've been trying to save madly for the two months I need off work after I have my operation but today just to cheer my self up a little bit I planted some Scarlet Cambridge Broad Beans that were sent to me by Scarecrow from Scarecrow's Garden after I'd expressed an interest in them from a post Scarecrow had about them.

So I cleared a spot of veggie garden, attacked it with a digging fork and happily planted my seeds. All I have left to do is stay on top of any new emergent weed growth and watch them grow.

What Scarecrow says, Old English Bean has scarlet-purple bean seeds and green pods on 1 metre stems. Young pods can be cooked fresh or dried.
Beans are tender and a little smaller than other varieties.

Sounds neat to me.


Tuesday, May 1, 2012


This weekend folks, don't miss out. For the full run down go to the Gardenfest web site. Click here

Saturday, April 28, 2012

It don't mean a thing.

I got a kick out of this guy the other day so I'm sharing. Hope you get a kick out of him too.

He's sing about Permaculture principles. In this case Permaculture principle #3. You can follow him back through Youtube where he has other songs and videos written about Permaculture principles.



Saturday, April 14, 2012

Roses are red..

I was flicking through twitter this morning when I came across a tweet about the difference between own root roses and grafted roses.

I found it informative and I enjoyed the authors authority and enthusiasm so I decided to repost it here. Hope you enjoy it too.

You can follow this link to the original blog where I got the video from.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012


Hello, sorry for the lack of postings lately but my UC's been keeping me pretty crook lately. So I bought myself something to keep myself entertained while I try to make up my mind to either have an operation or stick things out the way they are atm. Mind you an operation's sounding pretty good . I just so damned sick of feeling sick.

Anyways, enough about me because I like to introduce to you Matilda the amazing Soprano Ukulele.

Isn't she gorgeous?And she's all mine. Hours and hours of fun and I can take her with me in the Cab as well.

Any how, I'm off to practice a few more chords. Cheers


Sunday, April 1, 2012

Gardening Australia

Who watched Gardening Australia last night (repeated at 1:00pm today)? What did you think? Good, bad, indifferent, informative?

Gardening Australia Episode 1

Sunday, March 25, 2012


My pile of weeds from today.
I did it.

It was a beautiful day with just a light breeze and lovely warm sun shinny sunshine.

And I weeded and I weeded and I weeded.

And now I'm all weeded out.

Planning for onions, peas, broad beans, garlic, carrots, beetroot and spinach and more.

Touch wood our wet season is over and I can get some of these planted.

So here's cheers to a productive winter/spring veggie garden


Thursday, March 22, 2012


Please, please let it be fine on Sunday so I can get some weeding done!!!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Peas appease me, let me grow.

Peas appease me, let me grow.

After what has seemed like six  weeks of continuous rain I have a sunny clear day and weeds and ruined Veggie garden everywhere I look. But last week I managed to lift some potatoes and this is the only clear patch of veggie garden and as I have a desperate need to get something growing again I'm going to plant some dwarf peas.

So then, what does it take to grow some peas? Not much really. Their easy peasey...
Add some gyppie and some B&B. Do a little dig.

Some nicely prepared soil with some compost and a bit of blood and bone or any organic fertilizer. I sometimes add some Searle's 5 in 1, and a good dollop of  gypsum. The gypsum has a two fold use as it supplies calcium and Magnesium, to help root growth and the formation of flowers, and also it helps to condition the soil I have around here. If your soil is slightly acidic you can use dolomite for the same effect on the soil while sweetening (raising the alkalinity) the soil. Peas like that more and therefore grow better.

Choose your seeds

Do a little planting..
Follow the destructions on the packet and you can't go wrong really.

Cheers and Peas appease me, let me grow.


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

On-site composting apparatus - Osca

Dear Santa, if you're listening, Santa, I may have found my Christmas present for this year. I promise to try very hard to be nice if you can get me one of these. I'll even pretend when I'm out driving my cab that all those people who say Australia is in a terrible state of affairs actually know what they're talking about if you like..

On-site composting apparatus - Osca
Osca is an automated on-site composting apparatus. It is the first of its kind designed and made in Australia.
Osca currently can handle waste streams of up to 1 and 2 tons of waste per week using little more energy than it takes to run a light-bulb. Osca is an aerobic composterer which produces safe high quality compost (meets Australian Standards). Osca is easy to use; waste is continuously loaded in one end and finished compost is ejected from the other end after a period of around two weeks. Osca is silent in operation and odourless.

 You can read all the details here if you like.

Cool huh? Anyone else want one? Maybe we can get a bulk purchase deal ;)



Sunday, February 19, 2012

Paint me, please.....

 Go ahead punk, paint me.
You got to start somewhere, am I right? I started this late in 2010 and seems like it has rained ever since but with the promise of some fine weather I set myself a goal to paint a window sill, so if that's the case then mission accomplished.

The next goal is to finish the whole window.

One step at a time for someone like me who is easily overwhelmed.

It's going to take forever though with just a day or two here and there but if I stick with it I hope to have it done by the end of the year.

Lucky for me it's not a big house.

Cheers and happy painting


Thursday, February 2, 2012

Motorcyclist and car, collide.

In light of my recent decision I'd really like it if everyone in the world looked just a little bit harder before they turn the next corner. Thank you.

Cheers and thank-you...


Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Decisions have been made

 Decisions have been made. I've been working, saving and paying down bills so as I can start a new traveling phase of my life. After being diagnosed with 4 or 5 years ago with Ulcerative colitis it has changed the way I  think about what to do with the time I have left before I get to kick the bucket.

So in order to maintain some kind of a healthy lifestyle and have as much fun as possible I've decided to spend as much time as I can walking/hiking around parts of Australia, NZ and if possible the Ireland and the UK, money and time permitting.

So why the bike. Simple, I need to get from A to B as cheaply as possible and with as much fun as possible.

First place to go is in November when I go with my Sister to Mt Kosciusko, the top of Australia, with lots of stopping, riding and walking on the way down and on the way back.  

Veggie gardening might be a bit light on but I also have plans to try some Wwoofing and I'm hopeful I can bring reports from organic farms from all over the place.

That's it for now, it's been raining here for the last 10 days and today it's fine so I'd better get out and mow the lawn.



Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Tomato Wilt

Not a pretty picture.
I found this great article on Tomato Wilt this morning and thought you might find it interesting. Tomato wilt article.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Gone in 60 seconds.

 Gone in 60 seconds. The highlight of my veggie growing summer.

Sweet sweet corn.

Mawhahahah. In the pot cooking as I type!!!!