Thursday, February 28, 2013

Eat Your Greens Garden Gobbles

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Green Manuring

Not so long ago I thought I didn't have enough space in my garden. Not enough space for all the veggies and fruit I wanted to grow. But I'm starting to realise that is a complete nonsense. I just need to get a bit wiser in the way that I am growing. So I've decided this year to...
  • Plant things closer together - I'm no expert but those instructions on spacings on seeds packets are surely wrong.
  • Stop designating spaces in my garden as either ornamental or veggie patches and start growing veggies all over the place and intermingling flowers for bees with them. 
  • Get rid of the grass and replace with paths and patches (I embarked on this mission last year and am pleased to say I have succeeded and finished... except for the grass/weeds that keep growing) 
  • Make more use of vertical space
Making use of vertical space is going to be my new campaign this year I think. I've been reading a couple of books which have great ideas on vertical gardening and they are inspiring me. Oh and so is Linda at Witches Kitchen who also uses lots of vertical space for veggies.
So anyway, even though I've only just begun to discover more space, I am finding that as we are nearing the end of the season some patches in my garden are completely empty. So I was thinking I ought to attempt finally some green manuring in those spots.

I did in fact have a fantasy quite a while ago that I would do the right gardening thing and crop rotate and green manure. And in anticipation I purchased a bunch of green manuring seeds. So two weeks ago I got them out and sprinkled them over one of my patches and watered them in and forgot all about them. Until a couple of days later when I let the chooks out for a free range. And they spent quite a long time in that patch gobbling up all the seeds I'd strewn.
So a couple of days ago I started all over again and chucked a whole bunch of green manuring seeds all over and watered them in and even gave them a liquid fish feed. So surely they will grow. Of course the instructions that came with them were too wordy and complicated for my impatient brain. So I decided to ignore them. I have likely chucked the wrong seeds out at the wrong time of year. But I'm just hoping for a quick cover that I will chop down when it reaches the right height and add some nutrient to my soil. Or maybe I will just set my chooks free again to do the manure mowing for me.

Do any of you manage to grow green manure crops?  Any tips for me?
The beginnings of a green manure crop - I think.

PS sorry about turning the word verification for comments back on... but those nasty spammers have been driving me nutso lately.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Figgy Garden Gobbles

Recipe adapted from here.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Dry, Dry, Dry

I can't believe it but I am actually looking forward to autumn. And this is a bloody shock to me because I have always been a lover of the warmth and despiser of the winter cold. I moan and groan my way through winter and start to leap about and smile the minute the sun starts cracking through the grey. But I'm a bit sick of summer. I'm a bit sick of the hot nights. I'm a bit sick of the kooky looks I get when I walk to the local shops with an umbrella to keep the sun off my freckled, fair skin.

And my garden looks well and truly sick of summer.

My garden is dry, dry, dry. And our water tank is empty. I know I should have succession planted but I haven't. I did an initial excited planting before Christmas and that was it. And now I have great patches of dry, barren un-mulched dirt where the corn once was or the silverbeet that went to seed has been pulled. And I have wilty tomato and bean plants - still producing but looking nasty and dry.
The avocado tree is wilty from too many scorchy, hot days. My first ever red ripened capsicum has what looks to my untrained eye a nasty sunburn and even hardy herbs like the rosemary are looking unhappy.
I never thought I'd say this but... bring on the autumn cool and a bit of rain!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Garden Gobbles

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Glass for the Garden

A few weeks ago I hinted that I have a new obsession hobby. Well I am ready for the big reveal.
Here is me last night melting glass. Yep I have set up a home studio and have hooked up an oxygen concentrator and a gas tank and am nervously working with fire.

I linked up with an ex-student on facebook because I kept seeing her lovely postings of glass that I had become interested in. Over 20 years ago I taught her music when she was in high school. And now she has become my friend and our roles have been reversed - she has volunteered her time and has been teaching me lampwork. And as a thank you I will be teaching her children drama. I must say I have not really been a huge fan of facebook but in this case it has been terrific.

Now you may be wondering why veggiegobbler is blogging about melting glass - nothing at all to do with the garden or cooking stuff from the garden. Aaaah but I have plans. Glass plans for the garden. If I can keep practising and progress from these my first few wonky beads... some point in the near future I'm hoping to make some garden creations. In this snap below are some creations from last night that are waiting for me to attempt to wrench them from their mandrels. And if you look closely at the first one, you might get an idea of my plans.
If you are at all interested in goth, steam punk inspired jewellery, my lovely teacher-friend has an etsy site here.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Thursday's Garden Gobbles

Monday, February 4, 2013

Saving Seeds 'Aint Pretty

It's fortunate I am not a tidy person. 'Cos saving seeds, I am discovering, creates a rather untidy backyard. Apart from sunflowers, I haven't managed to save seeds before. (As well as being messy I am also a bit lazy).
waiting for sunflower seeds to dry
Anyway, I figured that it's about time I pulled my finger out and got organised and started collecting. So I let my silverbeet grow and develop seeds and waited for them to dry. And waited. And waited. And waited. It takes bloody ages for seeds to dry! Or is that just in my backyard?
Silverbeet going to seed
So that little patch sat looking messy and ugly and seedy all through December and January and it still looks like that. I have pulled a few of those seeds off and stored them away but probably loads of them have dropped all over the ground ready to sprout up in spots where I don't want them in a few months. But nevertheless, I do feel a wee bit smug.

Do you save your seeds? Any tips for a beginner?

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