Thursday, July 31, 2014

Strawberry TLC

 Unbaffling the Baffled

Strawberries have had me baffled for a while but over the last year or two I've been focused on unbaffling myself.

It seems to me the more popular a plant is and the more information there is written about such it and then the more misinformation there is.

What I've looked for is consistent and often repeated information and messages.

Fertilizer time

Information like, strawberries like to be well watered and well fed. Along with as much sunshine as possible. They also like a rich well prepared soil with loads of added organic matter.

And also now (mid Winter) is a good time to water, fertilise and mulch your strawberries which I'm doing right now.

I mention Macro nutrients during the video and there is a fairly thorough article on Wikipedia about Plant nutrients if you're interested. 

Monday, July 28, 2014

Time to Get Cracking

I'm pinching New Gippsland Seeds facebook post here but it's good advice and I'm sure they won't mind.

You'd better get cracking though, you're running out of time if you want to plant any of these bare rooted.



Sunday, July 27, 2014

My Globe Artichoke.


I received a phone call on Friday to let me know that two roses* I'd ordered a while ago had arrived and I could pick them up when I was ready.

I was keen to pick them up so I pinched my wife's car this morning (Sunday) and made a bee line for the nursery.

While I was waiting to be served I was having a good look around when I spied a very over grown punnet of Globe Artichoke.

  'Powis Castle

It's been in the back of my mind to grow some more Globe Artichokes.

So I bought them, the roses, a packet of seeds, some potash, a wormwood  'Powis Castle' and a punnet of lobelia.

 I had Globe Artichoke years ago but lost them in the drought when I was too crook to care for them. Before that though they grew well.


Being a perennial I gave the soil a good dose of Witch's Brew.

About twenty liters over a two meter by half a meter row.

Turned it into the soil and planted my Globe Artichoke.

Sixty centimeters apart was the recommended plant spacing on the label but seeing as it is only a single row I planted mine about forty centimeters apart.


  A  little on the root bound side of things but I teased the roots out a little so I hope this will take care of any root balling.

Gave them a good watering and I'll give them a good mulch of straw when I get a chance on Tuesday.

Cheers and happy gardening,


*The two roses I ordered were 'Cabana' and 'Remember Me'.

Calling Toowoomba Gardeners

A little Toowoomba centric but here goes,

Saturday, July 26, 2014

B is for Borage

Back in the good old days when I had my Garden Maintenance business a customer introduced me to the wonders of borage.

So I'll plant some.

I might be a little early so I'm only planting two, fifty miller-meter tube pots to see if they'll germinate and if they do I'll plant a heap more.

While it has many uses I'll mainly be using it for it's bee attracting flowers.

 You can never have too many bee attracting flowers as far as I can tell.

Though, if I ever need regulation of metabolism and the hormonal system, or a remedy for PMS and menopause symptoms then I'll be prepared.

Other benefits of having Borage in the garden include, as a companion plant which is said to protect or nurse legumes, spinach, brassicas, and even strawberries. It is also said to be a good companion plant to tomatoes.

Seeds about the size of a match head and they're easy to plant.

You can find out more about Borage here at Rangeview Seeds.



Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Growing carrots in a pot.

While I was up at the Qld Gardening Expo my Mum suggested to me that I do a few stories on growing veggies in pots.

So here's the first of many as there's heaps of veggies that you can grow in pots.

I need to find a good potting mix though.

So far most mixes I've used I've found wanting in a few departments.

Anyway, this is about as easy as growing veggies gets, so why not have a go?

Cheers and happy growing veggies in pots


Monday, July 21, 2014

I don't know why I didn't think of it sooner!


I don't know why I didn't think of it sooner!   

I've been putting wire cages around plants here forever to keep possums from eating my seedlings and at the same time I've been trying to work out a way to stop the white cabbage moth from laying it's eggs on my cabbages as demonstrated by the cabbage below.  

I've known about those fancy exclusion nets and such but I only grow one or two cabbage at a time.
Rarely in a row, and it seemed like a lot of effort for one or two cabbage.  

Wire Cages

Then it occurred to me, just leave the wire cages I'm using to keep the possum away over the cabbage and the moth can't get to the plant, so simple.

So simple I don't know why I haven't thought of it before.

For now I have the bigger chicken wire and the smaller bird wire covering one cabbage each.

Mainly to see if the moth can be bothered to fly through the larger chicken wire spacing.

No Support

 The cages don't need any extra support and are free standing. No need for staking or making frames up.

If it works though, I'll need to increase the overall size of my cages to account for the extra size of growth as my current cages are for covering seedlings only.
Here's the evil culprit chowing down on my broccoli.

Cheers, lets see how it goes


Sunday, July 20, 2014

Cheating a little

Keeping Backyard Chooks

 Claire Bickle Gardening

Plants galore, gardening info, organic growing, chooks + all things horticultural & bits and pieces relating to nature, sustainability & science. Enjoy!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Lime Sulphur

If you're looking for something to do in your veggie garden this weekend then might I suggest a little Lime Sulphuring.

July is the right time to get stuck in and get this job over and done with and out of the way.

I'm working on the sound, I know how to improve it I just need to gather my gadgets.

Cheers and you smell like rotten eggs


Thursday, July 17, 2014

2014 Queensland Gardening Expo.

Some random shots taken from around the 2014 Queensland Gardening Expo.

While there was a lot of what I expected to see there was still a few things I found to keep me interested.

For me though I think I get the most value by coming over the three days and attending the large variety of talks on offer.

I only had enough time to attend two talks but found oodles of good advice and information.



Five Mils

Five mils of rain in the gauge.

That's it, that's all we can muster up.

But we live in hope, hope that next time we, by 'we' I mean gardeners that is, might get six or, heaven forbid, seven even.



P.S. Not holding my breath waiting, you know, just in case.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Potashing Peas

Monday, July 14, 2014

Queensland Garden Expo

 Just a small selection of photos of the Queensland Garden Expo on Saturday.

And yes, I was frozen through by the time I got there. There was frost on the ground all the way from Toowoomba to Beerwah.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Minus feckin ten. SEVERE FROST WARNING

Seriously questioning my sanity right about now.

You'll see the weather warning below and guess who's decided to ride to the Qld Garden Expo leaving Toowoomba around five thirty in the morning.

Last time I went to the North Coast it was record heat wave temps of thirty - nine degrees.

I can't take a trick and I wish I'd have ticked the heated grips option for the KLR.

If I didn't really really want to go I'd fold and stay home.

All I can say is it better be bloody awesome tomorrow.

Cheers, The Iceman


Thursday, July 10, 2014

Ripe Near Me

Ripe Near Me. Only new on the scene but they seem to be onto a good idea. I'll give it a go shortly with an over supply of mandarins.

Anyone tried it yet? Anyone going to try them? What do you think? 

Here's chef Simon Bryant talking it up!



Tuesday, July 8, 2014

How's The Frost Out On The Pumpkins

And This Is why

Monday, July 7, 2014

Golden Midget Watermelon

Planing Ahead

Planning ahead, um, by accident, or sometimes some things just work out?

Four or even five weeks ago now I ordered some Golden Midget watermelon seeds from Riverview Seeds.

Then a couple of days later I was out in the garden with some extra broad bean seeds wondering how or where I could use them.


Then inspiration and perspiration met.

I'd already spread a bag of fairly fresh horse over an area that need some extra preparation for the coming Spring and Summer with no plan for what I was going to p;ant and grow there.

I roughly turned the manure over into the soil, added a bucket of coffee grounds and bunged the seeds in for a green manure crop.

It didn't matter that much if they failed to germinate or not the soil would still be ready for the watermelon seeds in Spring anyway but now I have the benefit of some extra nutrition from the broad beans.

Now I have the perfect spot for planting my Golden Midget watermelon seeds.

Melon ‘Golden Midget’ Watermelon

Miniature, 3 lb. watermelon with a rind that turns golden yellow when ripe.

One of the earliest to mature, with sweet, refreshing, salmon-pink flesh.

 70 days from transplant

Care: Space 3-5′ apart in all directions. Melons need heat and well-drained soil: plant in full sun in raised beds or hills.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

A Little Ray of Sunshine.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Open Day At Bellis, August 2014

 Who's going? Want to meet up?

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Lambley Nursery

Lambley Nursery

Has anyone ever bought any seed from Lambley's before?

They have a few varieties I'd like to try but thought I'd check first.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Golden Laced Wyandottes.

Just a quicky of my chooks having a scratch in their new straw. Love my Wyandottes but they have a short laying season.

Seemed like a good idea at the time.

Queensland Garden Expo

When I made the decision to go to the Queensland Garden Expo in Nambour about a month ago I was still enjoying the gentle breezes, warming sun and the humidity of a late balmy Autumn and it seemed like a good idea.

Now, less than two weeks out, the lovely Autumn has gone and been replaced with the coldest, windiest winter temperatures since the last coldest windiest winter temperatures happened.

 You're What?

This, in itself, isn't all that bad except I'll be riding my motorbike and I'm working myself up into a
small panic because I'll need to leave predawn on the Saturday morning and lately that's been around zero to five degrees Celsius.. I'm hoping furiously for a warm front in the weather or else this is going to be one frozen little veggie gardener by the time the sun rises and I get a chance to thaw out.


So like a straw hut facing up to the big bad wolf I've decided to knit a scarf because, that'll fix everything, won't it?

Lets Get Together

I was also thinking if any other bloggers are going to the Garden Expo we could have a little meet and greet. Let me know by email or in the comments if you're interested and see what we can organise.

Cheers and stay warm