Hothouse Rearranging

Hello! Bit late on last nights post… internet when down for the night.
See that nice fat bulb of garlic? I am a bit pleased about that. It came from my ‘afterthought’ patch where I bunged in 5 cloves that were trying to grow in the pantry. They clearly loved the area I put them in. I picked this one because it seemed big enough and I just wanted to pick something!

This patch (where the extra garlic is in the back) that survived weedless for so long, broke out while we were away. The rocket naturally raced to seed and a few more self seeded tomatoes came up in there somehow.

So I cleared it out and planted the watermelon in there instead as they needed a home ASAP. Not sure if I will actually be able to successfully grow watermelon outside in Tasmania as you need a long growing season, but I want to try anyway.

Reminder on the hothouse when we came home…

Weeded, parsley gone to seed pulled out and the cucumber & tomatoes tied back.

Better with the tomatoes off the ground so I can see whats happening. I also cut off a few stems to bring them slightly back under control

Little by little!
Hope your day was great too!
Cheers

(Pip enjoying being able to go back outside again!)

Tomatoes, Chooks & More Flowers

Hello!
How has everyone’s weekend started off?
We have been busy. Lots and lots of little things to take care of.
At least the cash I ordered came in early and my travel cards finally arrived so have them sorted out (and tested)

I decided to plant those tomato laterals in the other side of the raised bed. I made a little fence so they hopefully won’t loom over the carrots too badly.

My plan is to go and pinch off a bunch more laterals and leave them in a jar of water – my guess is when we return from swanning about Japan they will be well and truly ready to be planted out.

I took time this evening to clean out the chook house. It was due – nicer to leave it with a fresh start for Beau, our house sitter.

Poor little crook chook is not really getting better. We think we may have to dispatch her before we leave. We are so sad about that, but we have run out of time to do our usual nursing and we can’t expect Beau to either nurse or dispatch (He is about to enter into his final school exams so we are trying to make things easy for him)
I have left her sleeping on the nest – she has had lots of lovely special feeds in the past week.

The other girls were happy to snug up together in their clean coop.

The compost is now well and truly full!

The lettuce patch is full of sturdy little self seeded tomato and broccoli plants. I am hoping to relocate them (goodness knows where) before we go.

The white iris should unfold tomorrow!

Granny bonnets
Can you have too many blossom photos?

Even got a bit of a sunset tonight! By that point it was getting dark so I had to quit and come inside for the evening!

Hope everyone has a super fabulous weekend!

Cheers!

Wood Stacked, Tomatoes Planted & Blossoms Admired

More cherry blossoms fluffing out each day! Its such a pretty tree!

Well… another beautiful day! I had a few chores in town to do before pulling the gardening clothes back on.
But stacking the wood was the first main job

I love the new area! Its so much more space efficient and I don’t have to over-think the stacking process with the sturdy walls keeping everything in place!

Oh – I put my tables out again and made $19 today – although someone took an awful lot of pots for $3.50! I was in town at the time that happened. Not sure if they were really bad at math, misunderstood the prices or intend dropping back tomorrow with the balance! (the latter has happened before)
Oh well… I don’t put things out the front that I will cry about if I don’t get my $$. Sometimes mistakes happen. (I figure if they were trying to steal stuff then the eggs would have disappeared not the bean seedlings haha)

I cleared up the raspberry canes – mulched them up and added them to the compost.

I was going to hoe the potatoes but the ground was a bit hard – so I put the sprinkler on them and moved on to plant my tomatoes.

I would have waited a little longer before putting these out, but I want them well established before we go so our young house sitter doesn’t have to worry about everything in the garden.

The seaweed kept most of the weeds out, but the twitch is persistent. I raked off the seaweed and spent some time digging and fossicking for the ropey menace!

It will return I am sure but at least todays effort will slow it up a bit.

10 heirloom beefsteak tomato plants in. Each plant got a few handfuls of mushroom compost and a good watering. I also covered them up under the plastic containers – which they will get at night for at least a week.

I have more tomatoes that will need planting. I just have to work out where!

Broccoli coming along beautifully – I even noticed the floret (is that what you call it?) starting!!

After dark I remembered I hadn’t gone back to cover my zucchini and marigolds, so I slipped back out to do that. Errugh – snail & slug city out there! I spent some quality time tap-dancing on them, then gave some key areas a sprinkle of snail bait.

Anyway – a lovely productive day. Its calling for rain tomorrow – so I am glad I have made decent steps in the last few days out there!

Will leave you with a couple more flower images

Enjoy your day!

Cheers

Sunday

Was all prepared to be a sloth today, but Fiona rang suggesting a walk. Since I hadn’t been for a week I couldn’t justify a ‘no’ !!
It was pretty brisk out there, but we mostly didn’t get rained on and we felt good after our hike – even though our legs hurt a bit!

Back home I got into my original planned task which was turning those beetroots into pickles.

They were smaller than my normal ones, but one can’t be too fussy at this time of year hey?
Anyway, they filled a large coffee jar so I am happy again!

Remember my winter tomato lateral project?

Well… today finally I found one starting a root!

They are really slow to develop – again, can’t expect much in winter. Mostly its a gamble and if I manage to get a few early tomatoes going then I will be happy. If not… back to some seeds in pots in a few weeks!

Hope you have had a lovely day

Cheers

Someone has the right idea! Goodnight!

A Few More Tomatoes!

Hi there!
Just sorting the good, the bad and the ugly of the tomatoes! Thought I might do a batch through the dehydrator. Save some freezer space!

The house currently smells like a big tomato.

The chooks got the dodgy tomatoes and some warm mash. Seriously – they NEED to up their game – one or two eggs a day from 11 birds is pretty slack!

Boy oh boy did they enjoy that! Our little half silky/half Australorp was especially keen. I thought she was going to pop!!

Sticky beaks everywhere!

This carrot is doing well… considering its growing in the pathway with the weeds!!

Plenty of other carrots in the proper bed as well as seeding ones!

Lots of celery seeds!

Look! More tomatoes! haha

Todays haul!!

Hope your weekends are going along fabulously!

Cheers

(It rained a lot today on and off!)

Odds & Sods

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Chooks laying well!

Lucky Jeff trotted back off to work tonight – armed with 4 dozen eggs and a big slice of cake 🙂

Our chooks are certainly pulling their weight well!

Jeff had some old bait in the freezer that he thought he would try out on the chickens – was funny, first they crowded around fast to see

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Then they all kinda stepped back in horror and suspicion! A  braver one eventually gave them a bit of a pecking, but then spent five minutes rubbing her beak on the ground in disgust!

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I suspect the local crows weren’t as fussy as our girls!

I went off into town today – figured I was better away from the house, then I wouldn’t be tempted to be doing things in the garden. My back really isn’t playing the game. I need to remember I am in my mid 40’s not mid 20’s and somehow all the structural bits don’t play nice when you overdo things! 🙂

There must have been a big car rally over at Stanley or Smithton today – so many great old vehicles rumbled past us today!

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Cheery waves from everyone that went by too!

OK – I did a teeny bit of gardening – one of the tomatoes in the hothouse had big enough laterals to pinch off

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So I popped them in a glass to watch the roots form (I like that bit!)

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Working on some free tomato plants

Some of you expressed interest in the calendar I was getting printed. I finally sorted out costs/postage blah blah. You can view the calendar here.
The cost is $16 plus postage. USA & Canada is $8, within Australia $3.  Just leave me a message if interested (no pressure tho! lol) and I will send you an email to organise it.

Have a wonderful start to the new week!

Cheers

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Apple tree under the changeable skies

Goodbye Tomatoes

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Sadness

Yesterday I showed you this mess… so today I decided to get out and do something about it.

There was no wind or rain today, and although it wasn’t the nicest of days, it was mild enough to be comfortable in a t-shirt!

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Most of the time I spent grumbling at myself for not tying the tomatoes up with a quick release knot!!

Another nice little clump of parsley – thought I might leave it there

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Looks amazingly better

Why not put some of those excess broccolini seedlings (or maybe cabbage??) in here?

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If all my broccolini produce, we are going to be swimming in the stuff!

I kept all the green tomatoes… most should ripen inside in the warm (I hope)

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Enough for a future dinner or two

Often when the weather turns, I will pull up entire tomato plants and hang them upside down in the hothouse. Eventually the leftover fruit will ripen.  Because there wasn’t so much on each plant, I just cut off the stem that held the fruit.

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Loathe to waste any of my tomatoes

It doesn’t look pretty or stylish, but I have found it a good way to ripen the last tomatoes. If you don’t have a hothouse, a shed will do fine.

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Dangling tomatoes

Next I spent a very pleasant half an hour picking the dried bean pods off my runner bean vines and started some grand plans in my head for extending next seasons garden.

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Time to be taken off the vine
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Plenty of seeds to start some more runner beans next season

My little dabble into selling vegetables on the roadside seemed reasonably successful. Now that we have the bore water, I am a bit excited about extending the whole production and being able to offer more vegetables and fruit out the front

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I like scooping & hand watering

I still use the rain barrels to scoop up water and give my undercover plants a hand watering.

Getting the bore put in last December has given us a whole lot more freedom in what we can do in the garden

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Digging a 120 ft hole in our yard

Before the bore the only water we had access to was what we caught off the house and shed rooves, which were stored in two tanks – capacity of about 18,000 litres (4755 gallons). Which isn’t much when you get at least three months over summer with little to no rain. Your showers get extremely speedy!!

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This was a very exciting moment

I am a bit excited to plan and create new gardens for next season!

Night falls pretty early here now. 5.30pm and its dark. The fire is on and I am still adding layers to my crochet projects. I learned a little late how to make the centre sit flatter… not that I intend undoing it to fix it!!

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Progress

Tonight I also whipped up a batch of lemon butter teacakes…

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because I could

They taste pretty good… but they stick to the paper pretty badly. Maybe I am supposed to wait until they are really cool before eating?

Hope whatever is left of your weekend is fantastic.

The rain is now coming down again quite heavily, so I feel cosy inside. Pip is curled up under my windcheater – a warm purring lump – and the fire flickering along.

Cheers

PS Occasional extras on my facebook page!

Around the House

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Treasures from yesterday

This afternoon we picked up our new guest, Mana, so today was a day of making sure her room was prepared, a cake was ready for afternoon tea, and all that kind of stuff. (Will post some photos of Mana once she has had a good sleep! 30 hours of travel since she started from her home!)

Emma fossicked through the garden to put some fresh flowers in her room

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Welcoming bunch

I think she did a lovely job! I hadn’t realised we still had such a variety in the garden

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Bright colours

I had to pick a few of the cucumbers before they got too big

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Cucumbers

The oca is looking reasonably good. No idea if I will get any tubers of them. They are a new thing to me – (since coming here anyway) they are awesome baked!

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Oca – a long time from planting to digging up!

A little bit of autumn from our poor little Japanese Maple. Now that we have more water I will be able to nurture it a lot better.

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A touch of autumn

I save, or get Ruby & Margie to save meat trays. I find them useful for catching water under pots. At times I can have a lot of cuttings or seedlings on the go.

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recycle/reuse

The laterals in their new homes – lets see if they survive winter.

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The three successful laterals in pots finally

One of them seems to be trying to grow a tomato!!

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Keen!

It was a gloomy day today – much in contrast to yesterday! Still, lets hope for some sun so we can take the girls to some more beaches!

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Evening creeps up on Flowerdale

Have a lovely day – weekend is nearly here! 🙂

 

 

Growing Tomatoes from Laterals

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Dessert – trifle

Apart from stuffing ourselves silly at Ruby’s on roast turkey and vegetables – and double helpings of trifle for dessert – it was a reasonably quiet day.

I did get out in the garden and fluffed about picking what tomatoes remained, a few other vegetables (small pumpkins!!) and half heartedly collected a variety of seeds that seemed ready (Beans, sunflower & marigold)

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I love picking stuff!

Pumpkins store well for a long time – in a dry well aired area on their sides.

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I am thinking roast pumpkin as well as pumpkin soup

I picked a variety of laterals off my waning tomato plants with the hope I may be able to nurture a few through the winter to get a head start next season.  For those of you just heading into the warmer spring weather that have not tried growing tomatoes from laterals – here is a bit of a guide.

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New roots shooting off tomato lateral

I am not good at growing tomatoes from seed. I haven’t given up and am saving several seeds from fruit this season. However, I have no trouble snapping a lateral off an established plant and growing a new one.

This season I spent approximately $5 on three new tomato plants and the rest of the 20-something plants came from laterals or self seeded.

First, if you are not sure which branch is a lateral, check the photos below

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Leaf branch of the tomato
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A lateral starts in the crook of the main stem and the leaf branch
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A more advanced lateral
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A good sized lateral to break off to start a new plant

While it is not essential, I put my laterals into a jar or glass of water to watch the process of the roots forming, simply because I enjoy it!

You can plonk them straight in the ground and have the same success as long as you keep them watered.

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Waiting for roots to grow

Depending on how warm it is, roots can start showing as early as a week, but not unusual for them to take a couple of weeks.

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New roots showing

To me its like magic watching the process! I have found the plants grown from laterals quite vigorous and produce well… don’t forget free, which is about as economical as you can get!

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This jar full got packaged up and posted out to another state where they survived and grew for a friend who needed more plants. That’s tough!!

Well – we have a cool night here so the fire is on and beckoning me to go and stare at it! Pip is already snugged up in his sleeping bag

Cheers

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A cosy fire
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Pip in his kitty-sized sleeping bag

 

 

 

 

A bit of a tidy up…

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Ready for a trim

With all the rain, followed by plenty of sun, the grass (and weeds) were shooting up at a rate you could almost watch!

And we were beginning to lose the cat –

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Pip

So we did a much needed tidy up of the things that the wind had scattered about the yard and Jeff got out on his mower and sorted it out (I laughed when I caught him driving up to the apple tree to pick a snack for a break!!)

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Drive through apples

I picked up all the windfall apples so he didn’t do a yard-size apple puree. Quite a lot of the windfall apples are ok for use –

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The good windfalls

But a lot have been nibbled on – probably by our local possums or the single rabbit that has also taken up recent residence –

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The not so good windfalls

The chickens had a perfectly lovely afternoon as they are not normally allowed up the ‘house side’ of the property (something about their insistence on digging up my strawberries and herb gardens) So they were thoroughly over-excited at this little extra freedom today.

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She thinks I have food
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Our beautiful Australorps

Its funny watching them zigzag all over the yard chasing bugs. But then finally they worked their way up into the strawberries and herbs so it was time to herd their little feathery butts back to the other side!

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Not a bad herding job! The usually scatter in 9 different directions!

I’m actually trying to “Speed-Blog” tonight as we have to be up at silly O’clock tomorrow morning to get down to the local market and set up. I’d just like to take this opportunity to explain I am not a morning person.  In fact “not a morning person” doesn’t even begin to explain how much of a morning person I am not!  So tonight I would prefer to be in bed while the clock still says pm for a change

So I picked a few tomatoes –

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I managed to separate a large crate of saleable cherry tomatoes out of these

All my jams/sauces are sorted out and other bits and bobs that I need are all in the car. We just have to (ok I am saying “We” here because Jeff still hasn’t fully decided if he is coming along with me tomorrow…) pick some parsley and silver-beet in the morning and shove the last boxes in the car before going. Early.

Goodnight all – fingers crossed that tomorrow the weather doesn’t do a nose dive back into the biblical-level rain of yesterday!

Cheers

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My feelings exactly!