Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Experiment time.

 Experiment time.

Whenever I've been reading about how to grow lettuce often you'll see advise stating they should be 'grown quickly' without giving you too much information on how to go about this. 

Therefore I'm going to lightly dig and water in a quarter of a handful of blood and bone fertilizer around my Great Lakes iceberg lettuce every 2nd and 4th Tuesday of the month to see what happens. If that seems to be working and I'm getting good growth, then, when it gets to about half grown in size I'll increase it to half a handful every 2nd and 4th Tuesday of the month

Here goes nothing.

What do you think?
Anyone ever tried something similar? 

The photo doesn't do my lettuce very much justice but I can assure you it looks a lot better and healthier than what it looks.

Cheers for now and happy gardening,


Sunday, November 10, 2013

Garlic harvest

They're not big corms by any stretch of the imagination but considering the tlc they may or may not have enjoyed then I'm more than pleased with the results.

I'll leave them in a shady spot until the stems and leaves have dried out, plait them and store them in the shed.

I'll save the largest corm or two for next years crop and with better preparation, now that I'm feeling so much better, then I'm sure to have a better crop next year.

Everything else that I've planted is growing like mad but like most of the rest of us we're desperate for some rain.

Been starting to harvest a few things, there's lettuce a plenty, a few beans, rocket, parsley's producing well. Tomatoes are growing rapidly and setting fruit though none are ripe at this stage.

A few ideas on soil preparation I'd read about and decided to try seem to be working well and I promise to get a post up about that because it has been well worth the effort. Nothing fancy just a good recipe that has been delivering good results.

Anyway that's enough rabbiting on from me so until next time, it cheers from me.



Saturday, October 12, 2013

Gardening by the numbers.

Gardening by the numbers. 

*1 bag of Searl's 5 in 1 plant food. 
*2 large bags of straw mulch for the veggies. 
*5 bags of 100% horse poop. 
*1 day or 11 hours of sunshine to spread it all around the place, appropriately, hopefully 
And only one little ol' me. 

In for a penny in for a pound



Thursday, October 10, 2013

A hot tip to keep your lettuce cool

A hot tip to keep your lettuce cool. 
*During the hot summer weather avoid watering in the heat of the day to reduce the likelihood of internal slime. A condition that develops on the inside of the lettuce while the outer leaves appear unaffected. 

Cheers and keep your lettuce cool


Monday, October 7, 2013

Here's the story

Here's the story as it appeared in Saturday's Chronicle newspaper on page 15. It was a full two page spread along with a story about another local veggie gardener.

As for the veggie garden itself we've been super busy mulching and watering. You'd swear it was Summer here and not Spring. Days regularly up to 30 or above usually accompanied with hot dry winds.

All the seeds I've planted have sprouted, this included the Sunflowers, Watermelon, Lettuce, Carrots, Beetroot and Cucumber.

I've also planted struck cuttings of Roma Tomato along with some Basil and Chives seedlings I purchased.

I also planted the Chilli seedlings I'd been growing on in pots. Um, what else, oh yeah, Zucchini, Climbing Bean and Spring Onion seeds have also been planted.

I'm still working on the Sweet Corn bed with some more needed on it tomorrow with planting to come this weekend.

That's about it for now, cheers,


Friday, October 4, 2013

The Chronicle story.

It just goes to show, you never know who's reading these bloggie things.

Yesterday I received an email from an The Chronicle reporter, that's our local newspaper, asking if she could have a chat to me about a story she is putting together about local veggie gardeners.

Seems she put the question to Dr. Google and up came the 'My Veggie Garden' blog.

Anyway, a time was set a chat was had and we're, that's me, the blog and the veggie garden, supposed to be in the paper tomorrow (5/10). You can be sure I'll post a link to the story when I find it and in the mean time I might have to go and do a little house cleaning for the rush of new visitors coming my way.

Sadly for me I have work tomorrow but the good news is I have all day Sunday and Tuesday to get veggie gardening and at this time of the year there's always something to do and plant.

Zucchini, Sweet Corn, Climbing Beans and some Spring Onions for starters will be getting planted along with the regular jobs of weeding, mulching, watering (is it ever going to rain?)

There's two tomato cuttings that have struck and a Gross Lizzy Tomato that need to be planted out as well.

Plenty to do, cheers and happy veggie gardening


Thursday, September 26, 2013

Bibs and bobs.

Geez Louise, enough already, 32° yesterday and 34° today.  It's a mini heat wave for us Toowoomberites.

Been up early watering all the little seedlings I've planted. Good news is they're all holding up well.

I direct sowed some Great Lakes seeds on Tuesday.  I'm concerned about their soil drying out so I've put a light mulch over them, that I hope they can push through, to help prevent it drying.

Sunflower seeds  I planted for the chooks have sprouted but only 3 out of 12 so far. Quietly confident the rest will sprout though.

Nothing from the water melon seeds I planted at the same time but I still remain hopeful.

I've also sown carrot and bean seeds so I hope they come through this hot weather and I've also managed to get the sweet corn patch prepared and ready for sowing.

That's about it for now, chooks are still laying well though they do back off a bit when the weather gets hot. I've have basil, parsley and peppermint growing in pots all doing well.  Potted on a couple of chillies I started from seed, marjoram and a piece of Apple mint I managed to strike. And some oregano too.

Cheers and tootle-oo


Monday, September 23, 2013


Stiff, sore and exhausted. Been digging and clearing all day so I can plant seeds all day tomorrow. 

After months and months of neglect it's starting to look like a backyard again.

Carrots, beans, tomato, spring onions, lettuce, basil and something else I can't remember right now all on the to plant list for tomorrow. Only managed to sow some Great Lakes lettuce today.

Still want to get a bed ready for some Sweet Corn so as soon as I get all those planted that will be priority #1. 

29° tomorrow and 33° on Wednesday, though, hot and dry too, not great seed planting weather.

 Damn the compost is full too. Need another Gedye Bin.

Anywho, 'till next time, happy gardening


Mmmm delicious

Weeding around the garlic patch and the garlic aroma is simply delicious.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Sunday, Sunday.

Positively glorious day here today but sadly I'm working in the cab.

Happily I have Monday and Tuesday to myself with heaps of seed planting planed. There's beans, basil, carrots and an assort of other seeds to be planted plus heaps of maintaining to get through as well. There's Charlie carp to water, mulching, watering and weeding.

On top of all this I've got to get a bed cleaned up so I can plant a small sweet corn crop.

Busy times with plenty to do.

What's keeping you busy?

Cheers and happy veggie gardening.


Friday, August 23, 2013

ABC Vegie Guide app update, update

 I was playing around on my iPhone this morning with my ABC Vegie Guide app and adding some seeds I sown to the My Patch section. Then I noticed they had some very short harvest times so I decided to sent an email in their feedback option (see below) saying as much.

Well blow me down and call me a monkey's uncle but they'd replied with in the next hour (see below, below).
Not that surprising you might say but they added some interesting info about some new inclusions in the upcoming update (see below, below, again).

Cheers, and happy veggie gardening,


-----Original Message-----
From: Stewart Dorman [mailto:ssjdmb@hotmail.com]
Sent: Friday, 23 August 2013 12:37 PM
To: Gardening Australia
Subject: The Vegie Guide: Feedback

Feedback on version 1.0.1.

I love your app and use it all the time so I not trying to give you a hard time but (there's always a but) I been finding some of your harvest times rather optimistic.
I just planted some rocket and lettuce from seed and added them to my Patch and it says the rocket will be ready in 16 days and the lettuce in 28 days.
Anyways just my 2 cents worth

Dear Stewart

Thanks for your feedback and kind words.

The harvest and planting dates have been reviewed in the version of the Guide – to be released very shortly. The next version of the App will include Herbs, Spices and Aromatics – and we hope to include fruit in a later version.

Good luck & happy gardening

The GA Team                          

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Sponsor me?

A planting we will go, a planting we will go, Hi-ho the Derry o a planting we will go.

Carrot, Topweight
Beetroot, Crimson Globe
Pak Choy
Chinese Cabbage, Nagaoka F1

Feeling much better by the day now since my operation, going for longer walks, even managed a little digging fork and shovel action today. 

I have to make the most of the time I have though because I've put my hand up to go back to work next week so I won't have as much spare time once I start that. 

I'll tell you what though I could get used to being a full-time backyard veggie grower though. Anybody out there want to sponsor me? I'd only need four or five hundred dollars a week to keep the bills paid and me off the streets.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Chook Misadventures

Woke up to a nice, and surprising, 31mm in the rain gauge Sunday morning, went about my business for the day, weeding, planting feeding the chooks (and this is where the problem begins). Had a good day and was feeling pretty good about myself.

Woke up early Monday morning to go up and feed the chooks (chickens) and I can't believe my eyes.
Chooks having and absolute ball scratching up all the good work I'd managed to achive over th last week.
Very nearly chicken soup for dinner and then when I went to put them away I discovered the culprit aiding their escape. Me, yep good ol' me hadn't tied up the gate to the chook pen and the wind overnight had blown the gates and allowed the chooks to escape.

It's all a game of snakes and ladders sometimes but I'll just have keep rolling the dice until I land on another ladder.



Friday, August 16, 2013

Fresh Eggs Daily blog

Still no eggs
I found this great post on Fresh Eggs Daily blog yesterday about adding fresh and dried herbs to your chooks feed, via Pinterest, and found it interesting and informative so I'm posting it here to share the tips they have.

I have herbs growing wild here and there is always an abundance so it only seems fair to share them with my chooks.

Although the weather is very Spring like here at the moment they still haven't started to lay. With a bit of luck this might get them going.

Cheers and hope you enjoy,


Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Tomato cuttings.

I do this every year. I usually pinch my lateral shoots out early when they are small but I'll let one grow to about six or seven inches long and Bobs your uncle you have a new tomato plant.

 I buy one tomato plant and then every three or four weeks I plant a cutting and I've got tomatoes all season. And it's as easy as it looks. I even just stick the cutting straight into the ground where I want it to grow.

Big thanks to Mr. Brown Thumb for making this video and he also has an excellent blog you might want to visit by clicking this link. Mr Brown Thumb's blog link.

Thursday, August 1, 2013


Just a photo I liked and I really wanted to Pin It to my Pinterest and seeing as it was posted on facebook (you can't pin from facebook for some reason) the only way I could think of to get it Pinned was to upload it to my blog.

If you're interested this is a link to my Pinterest page


Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Me and My UC

It sure has been a long time but everything should start getting busy from here on out.

I've always liked gardening and growing plants but it all turned serious abour six years ago when I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis (UC). I was hoping if I lived the good life then it all might go away.

Well as hopeful and optimistic as I was it wasn't to be, stubborn and persistent disease is UC. About eighteen months ago I saw a few specialists and the verdict was I need an operation to have my Colon removed. The last and only permanent cure for UC.

I went down hill in the last twelve months and as such the veggie garden has suffered greatly from neglect, but on the fourteenth of June I received the phone call I'd been dreading but also needed and with only five days notice I was operated on on the eighteenth of June and by the end of the day I was colon free, had what's known a a J Pouch and a stoma and a stoma bag. (I need a second operation to reverse my stoma and attach it to my J Pouch and apart from a few extra visits to the loo each day I'll be basically, for the want of a better description, normal)

I'd like to say it's been easy since then and I'll spare you all the gory details but I've had more twists and complications than a Batman Movie. Needless to say I'm about a month behind in my recovery but, and this is a good but, I'm glad to say I'm well and truly, fingers crossed, on the mend.

Besides being on the mend and colon-less I am also free of all the symptons of my UC, big yeah there.

So with renewed health, vigor, and passion I'm chomping at the bit to make my self the best veggie garden I've ever created. While it is still at least a month away that is going to give me a great start on a spring veggie garden.

Until then, happy veggie gardening.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Last Sunday

Last Sunday, unlike today that is cold and rainy, was absolutely glorious. Beautiful sunshine with only a light zephyr blowing, a perfect morning to hit the trail at Mt. Kingsthorpe, all 618mts of it. I didn't get a height reading from the start but I'd doubt if the climb was more than 300 mts. The walk itself was only 1040mts. The views, though, are to die for with about a 300 degree views of the surrounding Darling Downs.

This is walk #8 in the local walks guide I've been using. Apart from the steep climb by road to the car park area at the beginning of the walk the grade was fairly easy.

The video is a view from the top looking out over the Darling Downs starting east of south and finishing north of east.

 Me trying to get a little arty.
Looking North West half way up.
 Mt. Gowrie that I'd like to climb but I'm not sure if I'm allowed.

Section of path on the way up. Pretty easy walk.

Anyhow, until next time, cheers.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013


Just came back from a recky on the bike to see if I could find walk #7, 'Kingsthorpe Hill', in the Bush Walks In The Toowoomba Region book,
It was easy enough to find so if the weather is fine I'll go out and do the walk. It's nothing huge by any means, about 1.5k's up and back but the views of the surrounding downs promise to be spectacular.

About a month ago now I went out to crows nest falls, #19 in the Bush Walks In The Toowoomba Region book.
 It was a cool morning and the ride out though uneventful a bit on the cool side.
It's an east enough park to find and the walking paths well worn and easy to find and follow.

Here is a video of the Vally of Diamonds which is walk #20 but a little beyound my skill and fitness level but I hope to find someone that can show me the way one day.

Anyway, I'll be back with some photos and video after I get to the top of Highfields Hill.
See ya then.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Highfields Falls

Right, here's the post as promised.

After months of trying to get all my ducks in a row it finally happened.
  • The I have a motorbike duck
  • The I have a licence to ride the motorbike duck 
  • The I have a day off duck
  • The it's not raining duck
  • And the I don't feel too tired duck, all lined up and I was off to find The Highfields Falls which up until a few years ago were unheard of to me but once I'd found out about their existence I was determined to find them even if they were only 10 minutes to the North of me.

And this little booklet I picked up from the Tourism place here in Toowoomba is how I found out about the Falls. There's 52 mostly short day walks listed in the book and at this stage I plan to do each one and report back here.

I've already done several before I bought the book but I plan to do them again.

Sweet, aren't they?

Now, the Falls, like I said are only ten minutes North of me here but I did have to have two goes at finding them. Being a bloke I'm not supposed to need a map or directions so I left the book at home and went looking and while I could hear them I wasn't game to venture any further without directions. So, back on the bike and head home to get the book I goes and the second time with a decent set of instructions I found them easy peasy.

 There is three tiers to the falls the first and the third are small with this, the second, being the largest. At a rough guess I say twenty/thirty feet or so.
 This boulder was just sitting in the middle of the stream and I can only guess that it was washed there during the wild floods we had in January, 2011.
 By the time I'd finished my walk I counted seven different seed species stuck to my pants and it took a good fifteen minutes to pull them all out and off.

Last but not least the falls from a different angle.

I've planned to ride to Inglewood and Texas and home via Stanthorpe tomorrow (07-04-13) but I'm not sure if the weather gods will be on my side.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Highfields Falls

Just a teaser for my next post, coming soon, to a computer near you.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

ABC's Vegie Guide app.

Hey trendsetters,
I know you're all a pretty switched on bunch out there but just in case you've missed it I'd like to recommend to you the ABC's Vegie (I know, they've spelt it wrong) Guide app.

I've only had a small play with it but it looks like the bee's knees. It'll do almost everything you ever wanted except all the digging, weeding, watering and planting bit.

It even made me go out and plant a row of Beetroot seeds.

And what's more it's free. Awesome.

Cheers, I'm going to see how many days it takes to grow some carrots.


Sunday, March 3, 2013


Still raining here. Anyone know much about how to grow rice?
Cheers, until one fine day

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Forecast for Friday

My rain gauge tops out at 130mm and that's where it was this morning when I checked it. That's over the last 24hr period. Right now it's overcast with the occasional shower.

And if that wasn't enough then the BoM have this to say about Friday

Forecast for Friday

Rain areas, showers and thunderstorms.
Rain periods. 

Sunday, February 24, 2013

It's wet enough to bog a duck

Another week gone but things are settling down now after all the bike and licence getting. I'm not working as hard and have some time for the veggie garden and I'm going to need all the time I can get as it is badly neglected.

I bought a punnet of Red Mignonette lettuce to start the ball rolling again and cheer myself up a little. Nothing fancy for the soil prep. I'd tipped a bag of cow manure over a patch that had grown Beetroot so I added some blood and bone and planted them.
With a forecast of over a 100mm of rain over the next two or three days I can hardly go wrong.

I also shouted myself a packet of Mr Fothergill's Great Lakes lettuce seeds so I can plant one or two seeds a week and keep a good succession of lettuce coming into the house.

Plans to plant carrots, beetroot, cabbage and maybe some early peas and late beans.

That's it for another week. I have Tuesday to myself as well but it's sounding like it will be to boggy and wet to do any gardening.
As my dad would have said, 'It'd bog a duck in gumboots.'



Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Bikes and Bluff

 Finally, after what has been months of head down and bum up, everything is done. I have my bike, I have my licence and I am riding. Yeah.
My Q Ride test was on Sunday and after thinking I was going to get washed out by the rain it stayed fine long enough for me to do the test. I made a couple of ordinary mistakes but they can't have been bad enough for the instructor to not pass me 'competent' to ride.

This is the bike I took out for the test which was fun to be on another bike.

First time out and I get a wet Bike
And that brings me to today, Tuesday.
My first chance to go for a ride on my own bike and after pouring rain overnight I thought I still wouldn't get the chance, but most of the day was fine. That was until I went for a ride down to Murphy's Creek with plans to stop at Spring Bluff on the way back.
As you can see I made it there alright but when I got to Murphy's Creek it started to rain again.

So now my not so new bike has been christened.
The joys of bike riding, Hey?
I wanted to stop at Spring Bluff railway station as I've not been there since it was badly damaged in the 2011 floods we had.
The place looks better now than it ever has. Looks like someone's put a lot of work into the place.
If you're out that way it's well worth the stop.

Anyways that's about it for now. I've got some more time off coming up so I'll be doing a bit in the veggie garden (it was too wet today) now I've got some time back and don't need to work so much.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Q Ride

My Q Ride test day has arrived and I'm feeling a little nervous to say the least.
Hopefully the next thing I get to write about is to say, 'I've got it.'

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Bikes, Ukuleles and Lettuce.

Mmmm, well I see it's Sunday again. Another week done.

There's been plenty to keep me busy, I had another riding lesson on Monday and was taught a thing called counter steering. Way too hard to explain but very interesting just the same.

Best photo I have.
The rest of the week was taken up with ukulele practice. The Toowoomba Ukulele Group were invited to play a small three song set as a part of a fund raising concert on Saturday the 9th. All the practice seemed to pay off as we went over well with the crowd. I was even roped into an impromptu interview with the host for the day and answered some questions about the group and the ukulele as well. Not the best photo but that was the group on the day with two missing but the addition of Brendon Walmsley (check shirt) the feature artist for the day and all round good guy. And I'm the bearded one on the far left.

Next big thing on the horizon will be my Q Ride test coming up this Sunday (the 17th). I feel like a kid waiting for Christmas to arrive. It seems to be taking forever. But if everything goes well by this time next Sunday I should have my motor bike licence and will be chomping at the bit to take my bike out for it's first ride. It's taken from the 17th of Dec 2012 until now the get on the road so that might explain why it feels like it's taking forever.

Cheers for now,


P.S. The weather is cooling off a bit so I've been thinking of planting some lettuce. Fingers crossed we don't get another heat wave.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

WWOOFing stories please.

Good news year.

My bike has arrived finally (that's a story in itself) and we've had inches and inches of rain so it's full steam ahead here.

1st though I have a favour to ask. My idea has been to do some WWOOFing and now that I have my bike I'm going to be able to get around an do some of these things, so what I'd like is all your WWOOFing stories. The good, the bad and the ugly.

If you can pop them into the comments box I love to read them and find out more from you.