Thursday, December 30, 2010

Fly Traps...

Fruit Fly Traps...
We have lost nearly all our Capsicums & about 60% of our Tomato fruit over the last few weeks so today we put up 6 traps with 3 different types of bait to see what works best...


I read up on a few different ideas for bait on the net & came across a fair few differing opinions as what works the best... I thought we would use the 2 main ingredients that appear to be the most popular, 100% fruit juice & Banana Skins...
To begin with, Some holes were put into some empty 2L white vinegar bottles (we use it as a fabric softener)...

2 sets of bottles were filled with differing quantities of juice & the 3rd set had ½ a pureed Banana skin mixed with a cup & a ½ of water...
A tsp of bakers yeast was put in each bottle with a few drops of washing liquid to break the surface tension of the bait... This allows the flies to become trapped in the liquid...
 One set of each mix were then placed out on opposite side of the garden near the different lots of Tomatoes to see what effect they will have on the fly strike rates...


Weekly Harvest...
The Cucumbers are going really well & are not being affected by the powdery mildew like the other Cucurbits this year... B☼ & Koo got a few shots of 1 poor Cue that got caught in the wire...


Anyhoooo... This week we have picked Cucumbers, Mini Roma Tomato's,  Chillies, Shallots, Radishes, Carrots, Eggplants, Strawberries, Mixed Herbs, Beans, Silverbeet, the first of the Kohlrabi & 3 eggs a day... Fairly much the same as the past few weeks...

 General Happenings...
The beans will probably get pulled this week & the vacant space will be prepared to have some Dragon Carrots go in... The Feral Pumpkin has had a few more shoots clipped off & a couple of female flowers hand fertilised this week... Looks like it was successful at this point... Is interesting to note that these pumpkins are the only variety not to get any trace of powdery mildew **Knocks on wooden coffee table**  this season... The Tomatoes have had a major pruning as they haven't had much attention over the last couple of weeks with all the rain we have had... As I said before, we have lost a fair bit of fruit due to fly strike but hopefully the traps will make a big enough dent in the fly population...

Rainfall...  
Since the last rainfall post 11 days ago we have had 232.4mm of rain... With a total of 368.2mm so far this month, it looks like we will fall short of the recorded wettest  December (1941-2008) which was 394.4mm in 1991... 
It looks like we have escaped flooding but our thoughts are with those who haven been so lucky...
If your interested you can donate to the Premier's Flood Relief Appeal.....    


Have a great one all...
: )»

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Worms...

Worm Farm Update...
We did a bit of an experiment to see how long it takes for the hungry little Fellas to go through their food....
On the 9th of December they were fed a processed mixture of Pineapple skin, ½ a Pumpkin that went manky in storage, Sweet Potato & other assorted kitchen scraps... The total weight was 2.3kg or 2300grams.. It took less than 5 days for the majority of the food to be consumed with only the larger "chunks" left...
The  reservoir was also drained & we got 1.5l of the darkest, "sweet" smelling worm juice/wee we have ever got... The farm on a whole has been relatively offensive odour, bug & ant free which is a great to see/smell...

Have a great one all...
: )»

Sunday, December 19, 2010

♫ It's Raining again.....♫

Mmmmm..... Very wet here....

video

That was from the large Thunder storm that came through Ipswich on Thursday the 16th of December... It freaked the Dog & Koo out a bit... The only damage to speak of was a branch from the neighbours tree damaging out TV antenna.... The same tree was kind enough to donate a branch to make garden stakes out of... Looks like the rain will be here until early to mid January so I don't think many major work will be occurring out the back for a while, only daily maintenance with a few seeds going in here & there...
: (»

 GRUBS !!!

The rain & the heat have been ideal conditions for the Cabbage Butterflies & their offspring... I have been out daily collecting the grubs for the Chooks & chasing the Butterflies around the patch with the lid from a bucket... At least neighbours are getting to have a laugh... : )»  
 The Radishes appear to be the favourite food with the Kohlrabi coming in second.. We also have Ants helping the Aphids get established onto a few Eggplants at the moment... It has been hard to keep up with the Neem spraying as the rain would just wash it off within 12hours & it needs a bit longer on the pest/plant to work it's magic...


 Gifts From the garden...
 The Panama Red Passion fruit have finally made an appearance... Looks like we will have more than enough for our needs as well as a few gifts for family & friends...
 The other surprise for us has been the Cucumbers... We have gotten about 10 off over the last few weeks & it looks like we will be getting at least 6 a week for the next few... Best result we have had from Cue's at this house... We have lost nearly all the other Cucurbits we have planted to powdery mildew except for the Cue's & a few Pumpkins that were all sown as seed... Don't think we will be buying seedlings from this family again...
Summer Beauties...

This is the Dragon fruit Cactus that lives on our fence line with the neighbours... Every Summer we get a few flushes of flowers but only 1 fruit has set in 7 or so years we have been here... Very spectacular...



Weekly Harvest...
Mini Roma Tomato's, Cucumbers, Chillies, Shallots, Radishes, Baby Carrots, Eggplants, Strawberries, Parsley, Basil, Sage, Thyme, Beans, Beetroot leaves, Silverbeet, & 3 eggs a day except for 1 when there were only 2...

Since I last posted on Friday the of December we have had 87mm of rain... Great for the gardens & water table but I think we may be in for another 1974 level flood event if it keeps up all through January as predicted by some...

Have a great one all !!!
: )»

Thursday, December 9, 2010

I saw the SUN !!!!!!!!!!!!

Well..... it lasted about 15 minutes anyway....Last 2 days have been fairly dry but now the Washing machine has thrown a tizzy fit so I can't take advantage of the few sunny periods we have been having until it gets fixed... Such is....

 Haven't been out in the veggie patch other than squishing the White Butterfly eggs & tending the Chookies.... I have been slack & not made up the Decoy butterflies or fruit fly traps as of yet... Was busy last week with school reports & curriculum writing for the Moo... All reports have been posted to the Home Ed unit & next years Curriculum for the Moo has been sorted.... Just need to do up Koos application for starting grade 1 now... 3 days of no school & they are already
B O R E D !!! Might get the girls to make some decoys up to keep them occupied...


The plants...
The Bush beans are going great guns as you can see from the flowers in the pic to the Left... We are getting a few plants with beans that are "browning off" as soon as the beans start to form...I have Googled & checked up in our books but haven't come across the cause as of yet...

A bit of pruning has taken place over the last few days.. The Pumpkin has been cut back to 3 leaders.... The tomatoes in the bed to the left got some manky looking shoots trimmed as well.. The bottom leaders are growing more victoriously as well as looking a lot healthier so will let them become the dominant leaders...

The Kohl Rabi (Left) is coming on great as is the cucumbers at last... A dried bean was found on one of the paths so B☼ popped the seeds into the Cucumber bed & they all sprouted within 5 days... I am itching to harvest the carrots so I can plant some more Beans...
The Turmeric, & Ginger are loving the warmer weather... Both Barrels have new sprouts... The Mini Roma's are giving us about 2-3 Kg per week... The poor Golden Nugget in the left of the shot has had it's day I think... Time to dig through some compost & plant some Melon's...Hopefully the powdery mildew wont get them...
The Zucchini's were pulled out & Cape Gooseberries (Left) were planted in the barrels as well as 2 into the Eggplant bed (Bed #4)... Just to much powdery mildew with all this damp weather to keep them...
The Silverbeet seed head (Right) is rather impressive... Really want it to hurry up & produce seed so we can get our first saved generation in the ground...


Shots of the Garden...
Here is a few shots of the garden & gnome taken from opposite corners...
Feels great to sit amongst all the greenery.... Well, it would do if it stayed dry long enough....




Wild Life....

Got a good shot of a juvenile Kingfisher having a snack... We have seen 4 fly around together so this years clutch must be doing alright..
We have also had a couple of visits from 2 Channel-billed Cuckoo's...
I have now found the culprit behind this song...


Weekly Harvest...
Orange Chillies, Shallots, Baby Carrots, MORE Mini Roma Tomato's, Strawberries, Basil, Sage, Lemongrass, Kaffir Leaves, Thyme, Mint, Beans, Beetroot leaves, Eggplants, Silverbeet, some Lettuce found hiding under the Carrot leaves & 3 eggs a day...

Rainfall...
Since the last post on Nov 28th we have had 68mm of rain, with 57.8mm falling in the past 7 days... More is on the way as those on the eastern seaboard would be aware of by now...

That's about it until the weekend when I will update on the Worms, Decoys & traps...
Have a great one all....
: )»

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Worms are GO !!!

 Worm "Kingdom"...

The Worms are in their new home...Had to remove a wardrobe to make some room first... It was dismantled & the backing ply was nailed to the batons behind the farm to make a sun block with the rest being saved to be used as shelving... The wire frame at the base of the farm was covered with some weed mat fabric..
  3 Coir blocks were hydrated in water & were added to the Farm as bedding... This we also be food for them as well... 1 brick swells out to about 7-8L of bedding...





The top 2 trays of the old Farm were tipped on top of the Coir, food was added down one end & some newspaper & shade cloth was laid on top... We are very happy with the result.. The only change that may be made is a more sturdier base... Will just see how this one holds up...

The castings harvester was a bit of a let down... The castings were still too damp & just formed balls... We ended up going back to the proven method of just fishing them out with our hands...
We didn't get as much Castings as we thought but should be enough for the seedlings we need to plant out..

  Pests in the Patch...

Got some good shots of the White Cabbage Butterfly eggs yesterday...
I squished 9 on 1 leaf alone on a Red Cabbage... Don't think the bread clips are working so plan "B" is going into effect tomorrow... The Girls & I will be cutting out little imitation Butterflies tomorrow to hang around the Patch... The butterflies are supposed to be territorial so when they see our mock ups bouncing around, they should nick off to another garden..
The Shallots & spring Onions are being attacked by these little fellas on the Left... 7 were pulled from a square foot of onions... The little bugs on the Right are having a field day on the eggplant's, pumpkins  & a few other plants...  
Got a bit of a surprise when checking Koo's Strawberry Barrel...  A Chinese Elm had decided to take up residence... I thought our days of them being a problem were over, but alas there have been a few pop up over the last few weeks in the beds...                               



Strawberry Barrel # 2...

Planted out the Red Strawberry & the pot of others we saved from Bed #1 a few months back... They are situated at the end of Bed #4 under the slightly over pruned Lemon tree... The Lemon tree is packed with fruit which is great, & has more flowers appearing on it all the time... There is also a feral Tomato growing through it which is doing quite nicely...
Flowers...
Some of the Rainbow Silverbeet has produced a rather stunning Flower spike... Hopefully we will get heaps of seed as we are looking at planting out the back of the Chook pen with Silverbeet for the Lady's... The Galangal is rather surprising... It has a very delicate sent that is very nice...

Weekly Harvest...
Orange Chillies, Baby & Mature Carrots, a few KG's of Mini Roma Tomato's, Mini Golden Nugget pumpkin,  Strawberries, assorted Herbs, Beans, Eggplant,  3 eggs a day & the Mutant Zuccumpkin... Shall be interesting to see what it looks like once it is opened this week...


That about it for now...
Have a great one all...
: )»