Monday, September 29, 2008

It's planting time

Egg plants I transplanted as seedlings are big enough to be planted into the garden. Done. Half a bucket of compost and watered in with charlie carp. Happy as a eggplant in compost :-)

Finally the mortgage lifter tomato's (see here for reason for slow start) are big enough for transplanting from punnet to pot.
Another couple of weeks and they'll be in the garden and growing strongly.

The Tiny Tom Tomatoes are big enough for the garden and have been duly planted.
All my toms are only planted with compost with no added fertilizer except being watered in with charlie carp.
You can just see some lettuce seedlings on the right of the picture and they will be planted some time today as well.

Carnival of flowers

I love snapdragons. I grew these little baby's all the way from seed to now.

Our front footpath. I planted two flowering peach, both double flower types, one white one red on the footpath itself. Also a flowering crab apple just inside the front yard.
Coming from Toowoomba and being a gardener it's hard to resist planting for the Carnival of flowers we have here each year.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Potatoes, potatoes, potatoes

Easy as one two three.

One, tatties need hilling.

Two, add extra tyre.

Three, add Compost aged horse stable manure and a handfull of blood and bone and away we go.

Top it off with a little sugar cane mulch and where done.

These are the King Edward potatoes I planted on the 29th of August.
They are growing better than the Pink Eye, but I think that is because the Kings were planted whole while the Pink Eye were cut into pieces.

I back filled the trench they are growing in a little and the soil is about at ground level. The next time I will need to draw soil up to them in order to hill them, but for now so for so good.

More veggie garden adventures

Ok Lots to catch up on.
Firstly on Wednesday I planted some butternut pumpkin and some Sugar Baby watermelon into little 5" pots on account their bed is not ready for direct planting.
Then I potted on four seedlings of capsicum so as they can get a little more established before I plant then into their final growing position.

Corn I planted on 8/9/08 was ready to be planted and was dispatched to the prepared corn bed.

Two more lettuce seedlings were planted to continue their successive planting.

Now you see it

Now you don't.

Peas were pretty much spent so out they go to make room for more sweet corn. Just need to add some compost aged manure and blood bone turn it over and away I go.

I did get a nice basket full before they came out.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Another week begins

The beginning of another week and I have beautiful spring morning sunshine along with crisp clear fresh air after storms last night.
I positivity feel alive right now and can hardly wait for things to dry off enough so as I can get stuck into the day.
There's been lots happening in the garden. The cucumbers I planted last Monday have sprouted the chillies have finally all sprouted taking about 10 days from first to last. Very uneven, not sure if this is a chilli trait or just a cold start.
The Pak Choi will need to be planted so I'll need to get onto that job.
We have had a couple of fairly hot days around the 28/29 degree mark and this has prompted the tomato's into action. Even the mortgage lifter has sprouted after their fairly ordinary start to life.
The pink eye and King Edward potatoes are putting on good growth and should be hilled next week.
Today I'll need to mow the grass weed mix excuse for a lawn.
Most of my seedlings in punnets will need another week of growth before I pot them on.
It is looking like a pretty lite week for me, but I'll still be weeding and mulching and keeping an eye on how things are going.
I haven't got a lot of room here, but I saveed some seed from a nice butternut pumpkin and there is a smallish area where I think they might do well so I'll be making that part of today's things to do.
Anyhow lots to do so, cheery bye.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Re: Tattie tyres comment about cadmium

Lifted from Thrifty Fun

Old Tires Are Safer

I was reading about using old tires and they discussed chemical leaching. One thing they said was that the tires *were* old so that they had had lots of time under adverse condition to oxidize and vent harmful gases and chemicals. That is why new tires smell bad and old ones typically do not. I found this info and a lot more on tire houses at This was in the FAQ section. I'm quoting:
"The surface of used tires has been subjected to years of exposure to oxygen by high speed rotation in the atmosphere. This exposure causes a phenomenon called oxidation. Oxidation 'interlocks' the surface molecules with oxygen and 'out-gassing' (fly-away molecules of synthetic rubber) is considerably limited, if not stopped completely. It's the new tires that stink/outgas, they just need to "rust" for a while, before they are suitable for use as a building material."
By Jennie in M

Friday, September 19, 2008

Damn fine weather, but

Damn fine weather, but it's fairly warm and humid which is playing havoc with my peas. Cool misty nights and warm humid days are a perfect recipe for powdery mildew which I'll have to attend to.
Here's a photo of my tiny tom tomato's I transplanted today. They only just have their first set of true leaves on so I have put them into pots to grow on before I plant them into the garden proper..
I had a productive morning mulching/weeding and watering. I also planted this seasons first row of beans plus another two foot row of carrots.
The Sweet corn I planted has sprouted and a few more Chilli have come up.
I also planted another two cabbage in my secession planting goal. At the moment I should be able to have cabbage when I want it for the next three months without having any excess or waste.
Cheery bye.

Tattie Tyre and more.

Been feeling a bit low these last few days. If anyone has heard of Ulcerative colitis will know why. Apparently I'm one in 61000 Australians that suffer with it.

Anyhow on to more positive things and my potato tyre is doing very well.

I have given them a feed of blood and bone and mulched them and when they get about 200mm aboue the ground I'll slip a second tyre over them and fill it up with compost. So far so well.

I can report that my 'tatties are go' stuck their shoots through the ground and are looking very strong and healthy. I'll post photos when they get a bit bigger.

Also Beetroot I planted on the 11/9/08 sprouted within six days. I don't think I've ever seen them grow that quick. Must be the songs I'm singing them. But then again maybe not.

I've included this photo of my broad beans progress because this is the first time I've grown these little (nearly 1.5mts tall) buggers before and I'm finding it quite exciting.

I've got more to tell but I need to get out into the garden so I'll post again this arvo with more news.

FWIW I drive a taxi in Toowoomba and one of my favorite customers is and old scottish lady and her farwell saying is cheery bye which sounds so cheerful when she says it so I'll try it as well.

So cheery bye

Monday, September 15, 2008

Pak Choi

Here's a photo of the Pak Choi I mentioned earlier. It was only last Monday I planted the seed.

Today I finished preparation for the Sweet Corn by adding compost and blood and bone. Seen as corn is just an overgrown grass I don't mind having a very fertile soil to plant in. It will also be given a good regular dose of Charlie Carp as it Grows.

Also prepared two areas for Cucumbers with Blood and bone and compost and dropped four seed into each site. They are planted close to a wire mesh fence so I can train them to grow vertically.
They are Cucumber 'Crystal Apple' and Cucumber 'Marketmore'.

Things are really moving now

4mm of rain overnight has freshened things up around here and will make watering a little easier.

Seed report.
On Thursday 11/09/08 I planted a follow up row of Beetroot
Sunday. Seeds I've planted that have sprouted are Capsicum. Pak Choi (planted 8/09/08), Tiny Toms, Lettuce and Cabbage.

Sporadic sprouting of Chilli. I planted 16 and have 5 but am hopeful the rest will follow. I want to plant these in a flower border as a compromise between ornamental flowers and useful vegies, even though I can't eat them I can give them away to friends who can.


Saturday, September 13, 2008


These are my climbing peas which I'm just starting to get a crop from. Very tasty and fun to grow.

I planted these guys ages ago (Feb I think) and I am now just starting to use them. They were easy to grow and I'll definitely be planting more.

I read that carrot and leek make good companion plants and it was suggested to plant a row of carrots between the leek. I gave it a go and it is working really well.

Friday, September 12, 2008

How's this for embarrassing

I planted (or thought I did) some mortgage lifter tomato's on the 18 of the 8th and as of yesterday they still hadn't germinated. So I decided to try again today, went and got the seed packet and it hadn't been opened.
So some how I've gone through the process of filling up punnets with seed raising mix labeling and watering for the last 3 weeks and there's been no bloody seeds planted.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Talk about spoilt!

These are my Cabbage, Lettuce and Turnip that are about half grown and I decided to give them a treat. My Beetroot and Brussels also got the same treat.

First I added a light side dressing of blood and bone at about a hand full per sq/mtr.

Then a side dressing of compost. I used about a bucket per sq/mtr

And then I covered it all over with my mulched prunings, again about a bucket per sq/mtr.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Bloody weeds, how they love the rain.

Well you guessed it I've been weeding. They grow like, er, bloody weeds :)

I've had my eye on this variety of tom for a while and being a sometimes impatient gardener I didn't want to wait for seed to germinate so I got a shinny new one from Bunnings.
The Toms flavour is not as strong and less acid and hopefully easier on my tum tum.

Here it is planted in the garden. I buried about 40mm of stem below ground so it can produce a strong advantageous root system (Tomatoes do this very well) and grow into a stronger and healthier plant. I've yet to add mulch, but all in good time.
Soil prep. The Tom was planted into my onion bed which I'd just lifted(see below) with a bucket of compost added. I don't like to give toms too much fertilizer at the start preferring to use a weak Charlie Carp solution at regular intervals to maintain constant but not rampant growth.

Here are the onions I'd lifted this morning. They were going to flower and the stems are quite thick which, to me is all wrong. I think the cause is I planted way to early. I'll look up a couple of books tonignt and see if I can confirm my diagnosis. In the mean time I'll dry them out best I can and use the worst ones as quickly as possible and hope the othere will keep long enough for us to use. We get through a lot of onions here so all should good.
I'm not dissapointed with the results as I've never grown onions before and this was a suck it and see learning experiance.

Monday, September 8, 2008


My wife commandeered me today for some car repairs but, I managed to get some seed planting done.
Sweet corn Snow Gold Bicolour F1 x 10
Pak Choi x 6
Broccoli Italian Sprouting x 2
Cabbage Sugarloaf x 2
Tomato San Marzano x 6
Lettuce Iceberg x 6
Celery Green Crunch x 6
Basil Sweet Genovese x 6

Busy as a one armed traffic cop

Well the rain finally arrived leaving about 22mls in the gauge. It was enough to fill the rain water tank again, so I should be good for the next six weeks.

Friday being to wet to work in the garden I was heartened to find all sorts of surprises in the garden.
First up was finding new shoots of my tyre spuds poking through the top soil. I'll post photos when they are a bit more prominent, but definitively pleased to see them.
Next was the carrots I'd planted only 9 days ago. Wow those guys are in a hurry. It usually takes at least two weeks.
Next was the Eggplant I planted in Punnets of which only two of four sprouted.
Lastly but not leastly the Tiny Toms I planted on the 27 Aug have also 100% sprouted.
Every one was rewarded with a weak drink of seasol and are doing very well.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Beetroot relish

  • 750g of beetroot, peeled, grated.
  • 500g of golden delicious apples, peeled cored and chopped
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 4 tbs of grated, fresh horseradish
  • 750ml of malt vinegar
  • 500g of light brown sugar
  • 200g of raisins

Put everything into a preserving pan and stand for 2-3 hours.

Place over a low heat and simmer for about 2 hours or until it becomes thick.

Place into sterile jars and seal.

Note: if horseradish proves hard to find it may be replaced with fresh ginger.

Recipe from

I'll have heaps of Beetroot soon so I'll be trying this one.

Gillian Hirst's suggestions on using beetroot

Gillian Hirst

September 02, 2008 12:00am

BEETROOT cultivation dates back to the Middle Ages in Germany, and grew wild near the shores of the Mediterranean and Atlantic in Europe.

The wild seaside plant had only a thin long root and was collected and eaten for its stem and leaves rather than the root which is worth a thought before you throw out the tops.

The root was considered only fit for animal consumption, or as a fallback if times were bad and you had no choice. It wasn't until the 1700s that beetroot became more widely accepted and its popularity increased.
Read full article at the

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

I like flowers too

This is my Globe Artichoke. The photo doesn't do it justice, it is looking fabulous at the moment.

These are two of the four Globe Artichoke I divided earlier on in August. They are growing well ATM. Can you see them there hiding in the shade?

This is my Comfrey which doesn't like winter at all, but is now putting out new growth which
i'll be harvesting as soon as I can.

These are my Beetroot. Planted about 6 wks ago. They'll need mulching in the next week of two and I also want to get some boron on them as soon as I buy some. Beetroot love Boron, as quoted from Peter Cundell.
I'll also need to plant up a follow up row of Beetroot this week.


Hi all, how you going today.
I'm just fluffin' around doing a bit of weeding, mulching and watering while I'm waiting for the predicted rain to come.
Mostly fine, just a possible shower. Moderate E winds.
MAX 18
UV Alert - 9:10 am to 2:30 pm, UV Index predicted to reach 6 [High]
Outlook for Thursday ... Rain developing. Possible thunderstorm. Moderate
falls possible
I've got a 10kg bag of blood and bone ready to go just in case the BoM have it half right.
I usually wait for rain to come to add fertilizer to the garden like
this because it would use to
much water from my tank and possibly
leave me short when need most. Also trying to do
such a large area
with 9ltr. watering cans would take forever.

Monday, September 1, 2008

So much to do so little time.

I'm feeling overwhelmed at the moment so I need to look at getting myself underwhelmed.
1st off the weather has let me down with little (.04mm) rain falling, but some still being predicted for mind week.
Spring being spring there is lots of soil prep, weeding, watering, mulching and planting to do, plus I'm trying to clean up other areas of the garden that I have let fall into neglect.
I collected seed from a Passionfruit I bought a few days ago so they will need to be planted.

Seedlings of Lettuce (iceberg, see the cute little fella an the left) and Cabbage (sugarloaf) have been planted.
I divided two Globe Artichokes into four a month ago and they are going well.
My Rhubarb is starting to form leaf. I can taste Apple and Rhubarb pie already.
What else is there. Arr yes, turning soil/preparing small area for sweet corn which I'll plant from seed in about three weeks. The second sowing will go in where my Broad beans are at the moment.

Earlier sowing of lettuce.

I'm also going to try growing climbing beans in with the corn this year so I'm looking forward to trying that.
Rocket, spring onions and spinach I planted direct by seed 3/4 weeks ago are growing well as is the beetroot which will need follow up plantings some time this week.

I gave seven lettuce to my wife to take to work (Myre) with her and they were all gone within a matter minutes.

Spring onions, spinach, garlic chives and Cauliflower I picked will make it to dinner tonight.

Here are some Cabbage seedlings planted about 4wks apart as part of my continuous cropping plan. The two on the left I planted today, the tow in the middle I will plant in 2/3 wks and I'll need to plant 2 more seeds to keep the whole thing rolling.
I find it really hard to plant just two of things. I'd rather plant a hundred and have a good old go. Maybe I have a repressed farmer inside me somewhere.

Here are some about seven weeks old.