Saturday, May 9, 2015

A Garden update.. the Autumn edition.

On the evening of 20 April Lake Macquarie and other parts of the east coast suffered some significant storms.  The high winds and torrential rain lasted for 3 days.  A lot of trees came down, a lot of property was damaged and a couple of people lost their lives.  I got off lightly.  The power was out for 36 hours and the phone ....  a whole lot longer, about 6 days!!! As a result there was a lot of damage in my veggie patch.  Some root veggies like carrots survived unscathed, but others, like ginger and garlic were awash.  I'm not sure if they will survive and prosper, only time will tell.  Above ground crops were badly affected.  All the corn was lost, an entire bed of it. Although it was planted late in the season and may not have been overly productive anyway.  I thought the broccoli was a goner, but it seems to have survived and the first heads are ready for harvest.  The silverbeet was lost, the spring onions flattened and the peas and beans and all their climbing framework was lost.

After the winds abated and the lawn began to dry out I cleaned out beds 1,3,6,7,9 and 10 and replanted with new seedlings.  20 silver beet, 4 mini cabbage, 8 brocollini, 8 cauliflower, 2 rhubarb, spring onions and a mix of different varieties of peas and beans.  There are still 4 beds unresolved.  Today the sun is out and bed number 11 is getting a makeover.  The basil in it was flattened, but has much young edible leaf.  It will have to go though and then the bed will be built up with a bag of moo poo, and a handful of troforte M, Searles 5 in 1, dynamic lifter, blood and bone and some lime for good measure.  I try to feed the soil, not the plant and it has worked for me so far... but I might be doing it very wrong.

I'm not sure what I might plant in bed 11.  Possibly more beans but it will be dependant on how the rest of the veggies are coming along and what is in stock at the nursery.  The yard needs a lot of work, there are two mid sized trees right down the back, both are harbouring dead limbs.  One assaulted me as I tried to remove it.... one is far to big for me to attempt.  Both might get a visit from Mr Nextdoors chainsaw later today if I see him!!!

Last Autumn white moth decimated my broccoli crop.  So I visited my local hardware and built a  frame of PVC covered curtain rods and plastic corner pieces that allowed me to drape mosquito netting over the frame and effectively exclude the moth.   This works well but the framing cost nearly $40.  A few weeks ago I saw flexible pvc coated metal rods that were 180cm long.  I bought 3 at the enormous amount of $2.80 each and they work in the same way.  They are only suitable for lower growing crops like cauliflower and cabbage, but work well to exclude the moth and uses less drapery in the process!  Still looking for the ideal solution, but I am moth free this season!

As usual, photos follow.

This is the set up with the 180cm bendy poles and mossie net.  Underneath is 4 drumhead cabbage and 8 broccolini I think the broccolini might grow too tall.

As the sign says!

Wish I could get more of these markers, they will last forever and are pretty groovy!

Snow peas, not my favourites, but I couldn't get any sugar snap ones. I usually plant peas and beans from seed, but after the storm took everything I used seedlings to speed up the process.

This time I used carrot tape as my last 3 attempts all failed. 

Pilchy, on guard duty!

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