Is there a gardening thread? I haven't seen one but I've seen lots of posts about people's veggie growing tips. How about we help each other out?
Planted first garden in about ten years today.
Lettuce, broccoli, swedes, kale, thyme, parsley. Raised bed under straw. Peas and carrots go in tonorrow.
BTW. I wish i still lived in a warmer climate, id grow some snake beans again, those things are so easy to grow and grow so fast and great to use in Asian type dishes
(If you cant find seeds just get some mature beans from asian grocer and let them dry out, then plant)
Snake beans going nuts right now.
I want to post a pic or two of my gardens but we just came out of winter and they're not planted out yet. Only got the hardiest of herbs that can survive here, everything else is annual.
For the last few years I've cycled various garden beds; what space wasn't being used got kitchen food scraps dug into it. Despite a few efforts, every compost bin I ever used was busted into by rats: they chewed through plastic, they chewed through fibreglass, and the final straw was when they chewed through chicken wire. I wouldn't have believed it unless I saw it myself.
Gave up composting after that. I just kept one bed empty and regenerated it with kitchen scraps dug into the soil.
Now, however, I want to use all the beds so I've been thinking about a compost solution. What I've come up with is using an old school steel garbage bin, one with a lid that locks down, then drill a number of very small holes around the side and base - enough to drain liquid and let some air in, but not big enough (hopefully) for rats to get a hold of and start chewing.
With a family of five and most meals home cooked I'd probably need two bins. To break the scraps down faster I was thinking of painting the bins black. Pop them in a corner that gets full sunshine to really heat 'em up and get the microbes working.
So who's got the rat cunning, eh?
Had to put my poor Drake out of his misery this morning unfortunately. He's been on the slide for the past 3 weeks or so, and couldn't bear to see him suffer any more. Just buried him under a grapefruit in the new orchard. Freeride are your ducks Muscovy's? Mine haven't layed for probably 2 months. Thought it might've been because big boy wasn't his mad shagging self lately. How're yours going?
yep, getting the composting set up right is challenging.
Stu, I too have done a lot of getting the scraps straight into the beds, chopped up finely and dug in, keep doing it in a defined area for a few weeks, then cover with straw and wait another few weeks before planting. Goes very well I reckon, except for the rat problem.
Most recent success is with a tumbler set up. A bit exxy, but definitely does the job and quicker. Raised above the ground, fully sealed, no rats getting into this. Tumble it every day or two. I also had great success with adding a liquid microbes brew - that definitely quickened up the process. Had an awesome mix after 5 weeks recently. Salvinnia from the dam was an excellent ingredient. Mixed feelings with that stuff - a bastard of a thing for the dam, but then such good material for compost bins or as mulch direct around fruit trees, that you actually want to always have some on hand.
and those beds of yours Stu - treated pine? best to avoid that
yeah, they are Muscovy's Tiger. they're going good, touchwood.
snake took one out the other night when my son didn't latch the coop properly, but apart from that they are thriving and laying eggs.
Dear swellnet Vegetables...(Q:1)- 2 limit max Product check!
Woolies stopped tbb from buying 2 x Soy Drinks + 2 x Long Life Milk.
Checkout Chick swore both were Long Life dairy products & tbb was a criminal.
Q: Which end of the Cow does Soy come from?
Dear Swellnet Vegetables: (Q:2)- 2 Limit Max Product check!
Woolies allowed tbb to purchase 2 x Frozen Chips + 2 x Frozen Mixed Veggies.
Checkout Chick said she won't arrest me because Chips weren't Veggies.
Q: Which end of Mr Potato Head do potatoes come from...(Just forget that one!)
"each fruit has enough capsaicin to burn the lips off a blue whale"
School kids in lock down for a few weeks, what could possibly go wrong
Goofy re your photos of the veggie haul, if you cut the shallots off at the base and leave the roots in the ground they will regrow for another crop
tbb if you can find a food wholesaler close by they have no restrictions on how much you can buy because they are feeling the pinch from not being able to supply the restaurants and hotels. Not sure if they'll have soy milk though ;)
there's a glut of avocados........selling them on the side of the road everywhere.
tbb thats hilarious
fliplid normally do mate but these came out of a bed that was getting cleaned out for winter planting. Spring onions (shallots) are the gift that keep on giving eh
Yeah, treated pine, GJ. Lined in the raised bed so no problems, probably not so good in the flat beds.
Also, I had a raised tumbler compost bin but the rats got into that one too. It was totally sealed, but they climbed up the frame and chewed through the plastic. I then fibreglassed the holes but they chewed through that too.
Today I made the metal compost bin thing. Got an old school metal bin, lightly drilled small holes in it, sprayed it black then put it in place. Put some scraps into it and used a thick occy strap to hold the lid in place. Looked unreal, flat black like Max Rockatansky's V8 Interceptor.
Had a late surf, came home and the bin was on the lawn, thirty metres from where it should've been. It was covered in mud and dirt. Clearly it'd been for a tumble yet the lid was still fixed in place by the occy strap.
I went closer and saw claw marks in the paint. Looked across the yard and Max, Walker not Rockatansky, was looking at me sheepishly.
Least I know it's dog proof.
My money is still on the rats.
They're as cunning as foxes those rats you know.
No way am I getting cocky, the rats have beaten me many times before, but thirty minutes with a big, curious, and hungry Labradoodle is a pretty good test.
Stu....maybe cull a few rats ?
You’ve probably heard of the rat bath. A large bucket filled with water with a bit of dowel/ stick balanced across the top. Threaded onto the stick , centred in the middle of the bucket , is an empty toilet roll covered in peanut butter. Access to the stick is whatever you can find which the rats will scale , scurry out to the peanut butter covered roll , which will spin and send them into the water to drown.
No poison involved which is good as the poisoned rodents are easy prey for predators which then get poisoned. Not nice poisoning your local owl populations.
Rats / mice are still a problem but thinning their ranks is not a bad thing. We caught 14 mice in one night using this technique.
Never caught a native rodent this way. Apparently native mice can’t climb.
Yeah that’s a reliable method Blowin.
Just got the flowhive together yesterday, still have to seal the outside and do a bit of reading then buy some bee’s.
"Stu....maybe cull a few rats ?"
Things looking good .
Few fruit starting to form. Pineapples happening , Passion fruit turning on , guava and blueberries making an appearance. Avocados gaining weight - already delicious, coffee , kaffir limes , sweet potato going nuts , macadamias increasing in numbers and ripening nicely. Just pulled the first citrus - honey murcott . Large numbers of citrus showing. Veggies looking good.
Produce looking good Blowin
Anyone had any luck with Feijoa fruit?
Only eating, yum GF
Growing some dragon fruit at the moment
Looks like your fruit trees are booming Blowin. Definitely been good growing conditions the last few months. Mature fruit trees are worth their weight in gold. I was devoed leaving behind heaps of awesome fruit trees at my last place, especially considering the only fruit trees here when I bought the new place we're a white sapote and a lime tree. Got all the timber cut to make some new raised garden beds. Maxed out the mill with the diameter of this log.
Tiger have you had much use out of that mill and how does it go on hardwood timber. Any blade drift?
Regarding compost bins. I made one out of pallets. Some star pickets for the corners, three side pallets and screw the front one on for access. Line the inside with shade cloth. Works a treat. With regards to rats you just need one of these for pest control.
My seedlings are kicking along. Any tips for preventing grubs eating them? At the moment I squish them each day... what can I make and spray?
Feijoa fruit are grown easily in Melbourne suburbs.. seen heaps, but I have no tips.
My garden... it's a start.
I'm going to grow on the slope using this method that uses old pallets. Starts at 3.30
Good Life Permaculture, who made the vid, has great vids and website. Check 'em out. They're based in Tassie.
They have a simple rodent proof compost idea at the start of this vid.
Hey fliplid. I have only cut hardwood on it. All Ironbark and tallowwood. It's working heaps better now I have it on the concrete slab. Just cut heaps of timber for the planter boxes, and the blade was starting to dull a bit by the end, and I started getting a few wavey cuts, but nothing too bad. The tallowwood is bad for gummy build-up on the blade too which doesn't help. Can get a 26" wide cut on it, but that's asking a bit too much of it with Aussie hardwood. Takes a lot of learning and tuning to get everything working properly on such dense timber. Been ripping some sweet 3mm thick veneers that I'll be using to make some new boards in the future!
A big ol' pile of hardwood.
Thanks everyone for stories , photos and tips.
Tiger.....very impressed with your milling skills.
Thanks mate. That pile of timber just there would cost more than what I paid for the mill. Not to mention the 150m of 3 rail horse fence it's already done.
That fence would have cost you a packet otherwise. Looks good.
Nice place too. That’s not Yarahappinni in the background is it ?
Blowin - you've obviously been lucky pest-wise with your citrus.
i'm sure all you fellow growers here will acknowledge its a never ending battle with the pests. Well, the latest for me is fruit-piercing moth. My citrus (meyer lemon and tahitian limes) have been non-stop pumping out the fruit for the last few years, but in recent months they've been dropping small fruits that then rot. Been struggling to understand what's been going on - then on the radio this morning was news that this whole region (Sunny Coast hinterland/Mary Valley) has been hammered by this moth. Not just citrus either. Limited control options... Thankfully they arent interested in the finger limes (yet anyway) - I'm focused on them as a small commercial crop as I believe they will have less pest pressure.
Goofy - feijoa are great plants, good hedges, attractive flower, but my experience is limited fruit unless in cooler climates. Or maybe some other seasonal factors influence crop size in the sub-tropics? anyone got any experience with that?
Patrick - you'll be needing Dipel (baccilus bacteria), an essential for any successful brassica production, in my experience.
ahh, Yarrahapini - had some good walks through there and a great stay at the nearby little caravan park a few years ago. Loved it down there.
and happy 420 day my fellow gardeners
420 day... hmmmm, I timed my baking perfectly ;)
There's a guy called Will who grows bananas in Yarrahapanni. Best bananas I've ever eaten, various varieties, the ducasse were my fave. He sells them every Sunday at Port Macquarie market.
At least used to, haven't been up that way for a few years. Family operation he took over from his parents.
seconded on the Dipel.
but for low level a chilli garlic spray will do better than nothing.
when I see the cabbage white moth circling the brassicas I get out there with a tennis racket and take them out.
thats organic too.
Cheers Tiger. I saw that mill advertised a couple of years ago and almost got one then but was a bit wary of how well they actually cut because I’d be using it on Ironbark as well. Thanks for the info
3rd Year avocado I've managed to grow in Tassie from seed. Probably got another 4 years before I see fruit - I hope.
Down here in the land of cloud and not much sunshine, I've got a cauli and a cabbage beginning to go, from new seedlings too... Gooseberries are beginning to flower, lots of fruit on the Meyer, all our lettuce in meals has come from the plot and TomZilla has been providing regular small Roma and round tomatoes for salads. New Legend Tomatoes have just come up from seed, which is nice. Just fed the brassicas. Re: the snake beans above, I find I can grow broad beans year round in Vic with very little effort. I just plant the seeds, and 90+% come up and turn into big plants with many new beans. Flowers are black/white iirc. The new ones are doing well. For a few years now, I've just raised them in planter boxes to see how big/how much yield they could do. I collected most of them, although the green beans are delicious, also with butter and garlic lightly fried, yum! I've collected a couple of brown paper bags full of the beans, and am feeling like Jack, planting them and watching them go up. Easy fun. We have Cherry, Blueberry, Imperial Mandarin, Blood Orange settling well, the little garden is to be productive garden. Debating where to start an asparagus adventure.
Great thread, cheers for the tips. That rat drowner is a weapon.
I'm curious as to what everyone does for work in these rural areas? Blowin, Tiger? I'm a Sydney sider with a young family and have been testing the wife about moving north, my dad lives up the back of Pottsvile and every time I'm there it gets harder to leave. Some big changes though as I have spent my working life in the corporate world
If you havent seen it its a good watch all you farmers out there.
Plenty of work around if you want it , Joesydney.
Peter Andrews was truly brilliant. Cheers, Simba.
Thanks, Blowin. Would be interested to know more Blowin if I could hit you up with some questions? Would you share an email address.?
I don’t work here , Joe. I’m just over here lending a hand to look after my father in law who has Parkinson’s disease.
I look around and see plenty of building. Lots of work in aged care and health. Mostly retirees around these parts so any occupations which facilitate them gets a good run.
I’ve let slip that I’m a chippy to various people and invariably get offers of work. Six week wait for a carpenter was one claim ! I know another fella offered to do a bit of gardening for his elderly neighbour and now is is completely inundated with requests to do more and more.....he’s been doing it full time for a while from that start.
Most people seem old . Even the professionals. I’ve been using an accountant and a lawyer lately and they’re both late 70’s. There seems to be a shortage of doctors.
This area should fare better than most during the lockdown as it’s got the permanent influx of government money to the pensioners. It might not seem much but it’s a river which won’t stop flowing when the rains cease everywhere else.
I reckon if you’ve got half a bit of go in you then you’ll find work in most places. It never ceases to amaze me that people think they’re better off financially in a city where it’s a few dollars better hourly rate on wages but your mortgage is hundreds of thousands of dollars more.
Sooner or later you’ve got to put a dollar value on your life and freedom if you’re reducing everything else through an economic lens.
Not so sure about corporate work in this area. As Blowin alluded to, there's plenty of opportunities here for tradies, especially if you showed some reliability. In my case, we are self employed and could move our operation. That said we live well within our means, have no mortgage, drive 15 year old cars, and are generally tight arses. It's really a question of how much money due you need to live. I see it so much with people who are so financially overcommitted, $500K+ mortgage, both working in some job they hate, kids in daycare, $75K cars, just totally on the hamster wheel trying to keep up with their perceived idea of what society deems as success. Depends on what you value I suppose, and it's not for everyone. I guess what I'm trying to say is your probably not going to make the big city bucks here, but you'll definitely get more bang for your buck.
This is the American equivalent of Peter Andrews. Nice little vid and an inspirational chap.
Zen ,these guys are so inspiring...brilliant
The rejuvenation of the property in this video isn't shown until the end, never the less it is remarkable what they have achieved over a few years. Of course now with the sequestration of carbon there is a way to pay for the work done as well
Tiger has a good philosophy for living life I reckon. Something I’ve always tried to aim for anyway.