Sunday, 26 October 2014

Discovering free mulch in the backyard

As the weather warms up gardens needs mulch more than ever to keep moisture in the soil and stop weeds from growing. Buying mulch for a garden as large as ours is an expensive business. You need a truck load.
When we were starting the garden we did buy a hundred bales of cane trash to spread. I didn't want to do that again but the mulch breaks down over time and needs to be refreshed.
This time of year there are high temperature but no rain. Add in some wind and the ground becomes parched so mulch is important.

Then I discovered a gold mine mulch mine in the bamboo area.

Bamboo loses a lot of leaves over Winter and in dry weather. We have had both. The poor old panda was being buried. The bamboo leaves were up to 50cm deep in places.

Aha! - 2 birds with the one stone. Clean up around the bamboo and mulch the areas needing it.

I started by filling a plastic bin and tipping it on various garden beds... then John joined in and things got SERIOUS.


He filled the trailer then pushed it to the rainforest area which badly needs mulching.

...and here it is ready to be spread. Notice the difference between the little piles I made with my bins and John's trailer load?

There's still enough left for another trailer load or maybe two. FREE MULCH!!!


Tuesday, 23 September 2014

John's visitor

I received an email from John while I was at work yesterday.

"Shame you were not here to take a photo of me feeding our visitor. Couldn’t take a pic and feed it at the same time. Ate biscuit crumbs out of my hand."
 
 
He said the kookaburra was so quiet it ate from his hand and let him touch it's chest.

 
Definitely not camera shy.

Monday, 15 September 2014

Not yet ladies

Another busy weekend in the garden. Two days a week just isn't long enough to do everything I want to do at the moment.
As the weather warms up the winter crops are finishing and it's time to think about planting new vegetables. I can't decide whether to grow one more season of vegetables or just clear the beds and cover them with mulch.


We are still eating lettuce from our vegie patch but it bolts to seed quickly from now on. The ladies will get to eat more than us from now on. They love lettuce. I can still grow lettuce over summer if I cover it with shadecloth but probably won't bother this year. There's too much else to do. The cherry tomatoes have gone a bit wild but will keep growing over the warmer months if I give them a prune.


We had a good crop of broccoli  this year - more than we could eat but they too are going to seed now. You can see this head just starting to turn yellow.

The asparagus is starting to shoot, so we will still have at least one vegie from our patch over Summer. Since asparagus is grown from root stock it is something I may take with us when we move. For now though I'm going to enjoy a few fresh stalks for lunch each day.


The ladies keep watch to see what goodies they will be getting from the vegie patch. They'd love to be set loose and help themselves I'm sure. They dig for worms as well as snack on the vegetables and generally make a huge mess. Once we've harvested everything we can use, we might let them. Until then they vegie patch is out of bounds to the ladies.
(Can you see in the background how tall the bamboo has grown?)


In the shade house most of the cuttings I started a few months back have survived. Now it's time to feed and water them and get them healthy ready for their new home.

 
I had put a few bits of various succulents into potting mix as well (just because I can't bear throwing away the broken bits) and they've started to grow.
 

 
 Continuing with the "short back and sides" pruning - the front hedge has been brought down to about half it's previous height. You can see the original height of the hedge at the rear of this photo. It's next to go. I know it looks like dead stalks now but it will soon bounce back.
Now, when the real estate agents takes photos, you will be able to see the house not just the hedge.
....and John wants to know if the local rubbish tip gives frequent flyer points.

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