Lena I found your mum's house. The very one. It is beautiful. What a nice home town to be from.
What are you going to do with your tomatoes while you are gone for a whole month Lena? Now the neighbors are going to think you actually built those fences to keep them out of your tomatoes while you are gone.
Russ, I never could figure that stuff out, and I live only about 40 miles from Canada. They have that up there.
I don't think Kent is actually a flyer Russ. Do you? He did say "land" instead of "park it" though. Maybe... . .
I'll bet Donna could navigate. She seems to be pretty good out there in that desert she lives in. Guess Barb and I could throw the peanuts.
Hey couldn't sleep, so just got here. Yup definitely have to have the peanuts for a flight like that. Course being an old Navy man, I've seen a lot of scenery like that. Almost got to go to Australia once but the carrier I was on. had to take the place of another that had the boiler blow up. Never got another shot at going anywhere near the Southern Hemisphere again.
On the time thing I was referring to was that I hadn't heard of metric time . Although some companies do have time clocks that keep track of tenths of an hour.
I'm gonna have to go back to the pic to see if I can find the house.
Beautiful scene, absolutely picturesque.
I'm not sure I want to fly with Kent, my husband many years ago, owned with a friend, a small Cessna that they used when it was legal to hunt coyotes for pay. I was learning to fly that plane when I got pregnant with my youngest son and Dr. told me to stay on the ground! so never got my pilots license. Course that was about 57 years ago!!!!
Jeanette., i do keep my little gh at about 50 degrees in winter, and have heated pads for under seeds and cuttings. I finally ordered a new 120 volt heater from Charley's as the one I am using is an old one and I don't trust it.
Never been to Australia or NZ but always wanted to go there.
Jeanette; If Kent can fly on a stay at Holiday Inn Express. I guess I could Co-Pilot with my experience at keeping up with truckers from Sioux City to Tulsa Oklahoma. Yes Kent, That was peddle to the metal.
I did fly with, a famous pilot, from Pensacola to Jacksonville in a helicopter. He let me take the controls, after we were in the air. I done pretty darn good too. That still don't help with landing Right ???
Unless you consider What Goes Up Must Come Down!!!!!!!
Sounds like we've got a full crew. Lena where is the nearest hotel? Do you guys have any of those little hopper things there? You know the Marsupeal (isn't that right?) things. Little kangaroos. Not the big ones, they look like they could kick pretty good. 'course the little ones could probably pack a good punch too.
Or are those in Australia? No snakes. I don't like snakes. Or spiders.
Jeanette; If I read it right, NZ. has no poisonous varmints. spiders or snakes. As Australia does, I don't know about the little hoppers
( Wallabies) Maybe we should all buy lottery tickets. Win our way there. Ha Ha HA :>)
Hey it's your elbow that's bad not your thumb. :>)
When I was younger and dumber. I would hitchhike, from Pensacola FL. to Denison IA. to see Barb, on long weekends. Of course I had a Flight back. It may have helped being in uniform. The best time I made it in 20hrs. Worst time was 36hrs.
Now I imagine I would have to walk all the way.LOL
No we have no poisoness nasties here, no snakes or biting spiders, and no little hopper things either. little hopper things, thats cute, made me laugh alot :-)
Like Australia, NZ has very unique biodiversity, it sepparated from the big main continent gondwana land over 80 million years ago. Just birds, fish, and insects. No native mamals, just a small forrest rat I think. and fruit bats.
People have changed that a little.
Cool you found my house! I havent been home since June, I miss my Mummy and Daddy a bit. And the cats. And the little beach just down the track from the house...Will see them in january just before going to Germany. Dad and i will go together, Mum already went earlier this year. And my sister cant get time off work in jan.
Yes its a worry, what will happen to my garden when Im away. Im hoping I can rely on Igor my flatmate to give it water and keep the plants tied up a little. And Im trying to organise friends to come and do "shifts" of garden work. Mainly watering tieing and feeding. Ill have everything well mulched as well. Cant really expect anyone to come and pull weeds for me. Igor is pretty good though, I chose him well. A Dr of plant biology and genetics.He works at the same univerity I attend. At least he wont let my plants die! Maybe I shouldnt have planted as many tomatoes...
Tomatoes bigin to ripen in jan/feb and keep producing right through to April. I still had one volunteer plant bravely making fruit amongst my peas in may! The frost claimed it eventually
So March is the best month. Nicest weather too. So Ill see you all in march then, yeah? Great!
Russ no wonder Barb married you if you went to all that trouble. I've never tried hitching. We have picked some up now and then tho. Not often, and depending. It always helps to have a car parked and be walking with a gas can.
Lena, don't give me bats either. I have them flying around in my house in the summer.
Your beach is beautiful. So, Lena, what body of water is that? Is it salt or fresh water? Sorry, I do not know my geography very well.
I don't see how you could go wrong picking a flatmate like that one!! Atta girl!! You did good. So, does the weather start to turn cold in April? Like our October? How cold does it actually get? We had 3 degrees F. last night and again tonight I am sure.
That would be -16.11111111 C
That is a beautiful beach. I can easily see why you would miss it.
Jeanette, I don't think the fruit bats would bother much. They would be trying to get out of our way. and in doing so, the noise would startle you.
We have a little snow on the ground. and it has switched to freezing rain. Don't plan on going any further than the mail box today.
I got the parts I thought I needed for the skid loader yesterday. By the time I got back from town, I decided to just cover it with a tarp. I do have a small propane heater I can take down in the back yard where it is. If it don't warm up enough for me, that is just what I'll do.
This morning the power kept blinking off, then back on. Done that about 8 or 9 times. Over a time period of 2 hours. Seems to be ok now though. We are up to 32 now 0 C for lena.
I don't believe it I got a seed catalog!! Well gonna go see what trouble I can stir up. We decided to go down to the barn, Gary wanted some help with something. That is only about three blocks so no problem.
Whenever our power goes out I want to hide, thinking that maybe it is one of my trees that has fallen on the lines. When I call the dam to ask what has happened, they say, "a tree went down at so and so's property so we have to get out there and cut it off the lines". So, everybody knows whose fault it is that they don't have power.
We still have the 4 or 5 inches of snow that we got last Monday. It has been so cold that it hasn't thawed at all. But Monday it is suppose to be 38 degrees and raining. Wonderful!! I'll take that.
Fruit bats just happen to prefer fruit. The do also eat insects. I know around here they can be found down by the rivers and creeks where wild grapes and choke cherries and such can be found.
I wouldn't try picking any up as the bat is a natural carrier of rabies.
That don't mean they all have the disease, but to be safe it would be just best, to let them go on with their life. of riding us of a lot of the night time insects and what little fruit they eat.
No I didn't get the points and condenser put back in. I just decided I didn't need to get cold and wet. Cold not so bad but add the wet, I would surely catch cold. I'll let it quit raining first.
Oh Gary talked me into going to town with him to get a battery for his snow blower tractor. We weren't even a mile out of town, when he spun out, and we were in the ditch. Amazing enough he just put it in reverse and backed right out. But he was definitely more cautious the rest of the way.
Our mail carrier didn't do the route today on account of the weather.
It really wouldn't be so bad but the rain made the ice wet and the snow turned into slush. Just not a good combination.
I think they said it was supposed to warm up a bit next week here too.
What did you say you had for a light, for your new mater plants?
The NZ native fruit bats, or Pekapeka, are very rarely seen. Highly endangered and very small. Heres a picture of one being measured before being released back into the wild. I got it off a conservation site. Isn't it cute!
The water is saltwater, its inside the Bay of Islands harbour. Part of the Pacific Ocean. Can be quite clearly seen on google earth.
-16 that is incredibly cold. Almost to cold to imagine. In Palmy out temps get down to -2 C in winter, thats the coldest. Usually around 1 or 3 at night. So we get some frosts, but they thaw out very quickly. Up in Bay of Islands it barely ever gets frosty. And yes, the fun begins in April/May and lasts untill October. Our last frost was over a month ago now. Today it is so hot again I dont want to go outside, but I want to spend time in my garden, Im so torn...
Bats are endangered here too. Because of how many insects they eat. Mainly mosquitoes. So that is good. I just don't want them in my house. No, Lena he isn't cute.
I bought a HID light on a 6 ft track so it takes I can't remember, seems like 30 minutes to travel the length of the track. I bought it from a Master Gardner that had moved to where she didn't have a greenhouse. To tell you the truth, she probably is going to get a more powerful one. Which is fine. After I use this for a while I will probably do the same.
However, the person that wrote the information I sent you did not use a light. Probably florescents or just daylight.
So Lena, you probably don't swim in the bay much huh? I tried swimming in salt water once and found it to be sticky. But, it sure is pretty.
Yes, it is cold here. Suppose to warm up the first of next week for a few days before it goes down again.
Aww but look at that face!!! I dont think Id want him (her?) in my house either though. Is there not enough food for your bats to eat? Our bats are defenseless against introduced predators, thats why they are on the decline.
Yes, swim in the sea, alot. Some crazy locals even swim right through winter! You have only swam in the sea once before?That is very hard for me to comprehend, having spent alot of my childhood in the water. The Bay is one of NZ top holiday destinations because of its many bays, Islands, and beaches. Calm water, great for families to swim in. The exposed outer coastlines can be very rough. Only experienced surfers would swim there. Sea water is a little sticky, but very good for you.
Jeanette; I tried to teach Barb to swim, on Florida's Gulf Coast.
She is still a non swimmer. We didn't mind the saltwater. We would go to the beach nearly any weekend we had enough gas money. She was there 6 months untill I was transferred to Key West for a short time. The navy told us that housing was very limited there. While there - - - -Hurricane Donna cut across the keys. Also cut our fresh water supply. They issued us, what they called salt water soap, to take baths. Forget that, it don't work without a fresh water rinse. Nuff said. Barb was home in Iowa for that 3 month period.
Then we went to Rhode Island for the winter. We used that as a joke for quite a while. Just the opposite of the snow birds. :>)
I guess since I have the florescence that's what I will try. I may even try adding a couple of the newer energy saver bulbs. I will probably have to make my own set-up, for that. For first I will try the daylight fluorescence.
Russ, sounds like you had a little bit of all kinds of weather.
Working with whatever you have is best. My little tomato plants are looking pretty good. I gave them some Superthrive and peroxide this morning. That's another thing, have you ever used any peroxide in your plants? I would think that would work real good.
I'm going to ask that guy if I can find him again.
Oh, BTW, here's a picture of the bird feeder on my front deck I just took. This ones for you Lena. Russ & Barb will see it soon enough. LOL
Wow thats REAL snow! And lots of it. Amazing how its piled up on top of the bird feeder roof. And theres a litte bird in there, how cute. Thanks for showing me the picture Jeanette.
Reminds me a little of the bird feeder on my Grandmothers balcony in Germany. Winter must be a tough time for local wildlife, with weather like that.
Reminds me, have you looked at the photo contest winners? I accidentally stumbled across the link to it last night. Cant even remember where. I havent seen it posted anywhere obvious either, was a little surprised. Maybe I didnt look hard enough. Anyway, there are some beautiful shots of wild birds in there. The vegetable pictures are great too.
Jeanette; Ive used hydrogen peroxide, in some of the house plants and in rooting cuttings in water. I would think it would be necessary in a hydroponic system.
Seeing your bird feeder, reminds me. I was feeding the birds. untill I realized that a cat that has staked out our yard as its territory, and thought that it was for his benefit. :>( I have tried to get him to leave. even tossed him in the pond. He just gets back out and hisses about it. Then he is right back under foot. and wants attention. Course I can't toss him in now. The water is hard enough to walk on. :>)
Had a couple mice get in and were playing in the plants near the computer. Barb quickly left the computer. How do you clobber a mouse when it is in among your flowers? I tried breaking up some castor bean seeds, to see if they would meet their own demise. Then I baited a trap with some peanut butter. Caught the bigger one. Now that won't be a test for the beans. But I haven't seen the little one for quite a while, now????? Could it be???They were both eating them.
The only time I was out today was to get the Sunday paper. Walked very carefully as it was very slick. The ice on top of the snow kept me from making any tracks. The roads must have been better than yesterday as the paper was there. Yesterday the mail lady didn't run the route. I couldn't blame her either. Will just have more to look at on Monday.
I called the few people that would have come to church. We all concurred that it wouldn't be wise to have the minister drive 20 miles in this stuff. He isn't a young man any more. So I called, and told him we thought it best just to cancel it today. Most of the board members were in Kansas City any way. Our SS teacher stayed in town last night.
Yup this is enough winter I'm ready for spring Yeah right, its not even the first day of winter yet. I have gotten 2 seed catalogs though. Don't think I will order from them though. No real bargins for shoping early.
Although they do have some gopher purge, that is also suposet to ward off moles and gophers. I may try that. It may be an aggressive plant though as it says , not availible in AZ.
Well so much for my trip to the dr. tomorrow. They are running snow warnings on the TV. All the schools are closed. We have about 18 inches of snow out there. Suppose to rain tomorrow tho so we won't have it long.
No, I didn't see the picture contest Lena. Where did you see it.? I like good pictures. I am surprised you saw the bird in the feeder. It is kind of dark and I don't have a zoom.
I might try the peroxide in one of my tomatoes Russ. I use a lot of it. My daughter used to bring it to me by the case when she worked in a drug store. I would try the food grade but I have heard it is so strong that it could be dangerous. I know some of the DGers use that.
Jeanette: I dont know how to post actual links that work (please tell me how to, if anyone knows!) but I found the link to the photo comp winners in a thread called "It's time to vote for the winners of the 2007 photo contest!" in the "Daves Garden" forum. About half way down the thread, its quite a long one. Hope that helps.
Jeanette ; There are a quite a few statements in the propagation forums about how much peroxide to use. Then too in hydroponics.
Barb & I have a friend in Cedar rapids that uses the peroxide in her pond as it also helps to keep the string algae at bay.
Glad we didn't get the snow you got. Ours was mostly rain but the temp was under 30 so it all froze. We had about an inch on the ground when it started raining.
They are saying Thursday for more snow.
We are suposed to get temps in the upper 30s untill then but each night down in the teens.
Maybe I will talk a little about my bales and their hosts for a change.
Im starting to suspect that my bales aren't actually wheat, but oat or barley or something a little coarser. Thinking back, they were a lot shinier and yellower than I thought wheat should have been. I should ring Prebbles and find out for sure.
The grass that is sprouting is very tough, with wide, almost furry blades. Nothing like the fine bladed tender wheat grass my mother and her friends used to grow for juicing.
I have found though, that the grass is much more effectively controlled by pulling it completely out of the bale rather than trimming it. A firm grip by the base of the plant will pull most of them out, with roots, doesnt even take that long, and they dont seem to be coming back that much. I lay the pulled grass on top of the bales around the plants. Becomes mulch I guess. Just dries out.
A few brave mushrooms are still taking on, and quickly succumbing to, the hot NZ summer sun. Tomato plants are shooting upwards in big leaps and bounds. They got their first proper "feeding" today since being planted into the bales. I fed the ground tomatoes too, special treat. Wont be making a habit of it though, as I actually want to compare the differences (if any) of minimal-feeding soil crops, and minimal-prep bale crops. I usually nuture the soil with manure and compost in winter, then give very little supplementary feeding in summer. Just plenty of mulch and water. It has worked very well for me in the past.
So, my plants got a good watering, then a few cups each of 40 day old horse manure, diluted about 50/50, followed by a little more fresh water to wash it down. Just to make sure Im not burning the young foliage.
Most plants are making flowers by now. The one Black Krim tomato is almost golf ball size, and the cherry types are making lots of early little bunches of green pearls, as they do. Am slowly beginning to feel the tieing and suckering workload I have created for myself this season.
I have placed most of the bales string side down. Some are with the string off the ground, so I can see the difference for myself, and also to make them fit better into a tight corner. I am already observing, the string down bales are holding their moisture, and shape, alot better than those with the sting up.
So far, plants in Bales are just marginally smaller than plants in ground, but today was their first feeding after all.
Everything is looking lush and healthy though, despite the last 3 weeks of continuous hot sunshine. I have seen some uncaring neighbours plants begin to shrivel. And my heavy clay soil lawn is begining to crack open already! That doesnt usually happen till mid-end summer! I have a feeling this summer is going to be a scorcher. This time last year I was still in a warm jacket and gumboots.
Sorry if that info was a little rambly and all over the place. It is 4.27am after all, I just couldnt sleep, its too hot and stuffy inside. Have taken myself and a pillow outside, under the plum tree, where I can breathe fresh air, hear the resident hedgehog, and get bothered by sandflies. and maybe smell the straw and freshly spread manure tea just slightly. Feels summery anyway.
Lena; Very good account, on the bales. I too had a little faster start in the ground. but after the first feeding of ( TEA) there wasn't much slowing down of the tomatoes in the bales.
After I saw that they were going good , I dumped the tank of manure tea. I had it in a galvanized horse tank. I had way more tea than I needed. But it went to where I will be growing carrots, and sweet potatoes, next spring, no waste there. Now the castor beans I planted in bales didn't do as good as the ones in the ground.
Another story, I am not real sure of the effect of the beans themselves as to kill mice. We noticed two mice in the house plants. I decided to feed them some of the beans. They kept coming back for more. After a few hours of watching them snitch the beans. I gave up and set a trap. Snap, The larger of the two. was done for. No test results there.
I had also put a sticky trap in amongst the pots with some of the mashed bean for bait. Well while we were down for coffee this morning, The or at least A small one was stuck tight. So my test was a failure. But got the little varmints anyway.
Jeanett; Got the information this morning. I will get a couple seeds started today. By the time they get big enough I should have the system ready for them. Russ
Just a lil note the sleeping outside. Reminds me of when I was mechanic on a construction crew down in Oklahoma. I would take a nap outside by my camper, untill it cooled down late evening. Then go take a shower, and go to bed inside. Without A/C - - -That was about the only way I could get a good nights sleep.
That was about 10 or 11 hours drive south of here.
Nice gardening Lena. I really enjoyed it. Especially with all the snow and ice, slush etc. outside. I found pulling the sprouted ones worked best also and not too difficult. Pretty soon you won't have any of those. Bet it is going to be fun comparing and watching the tomatoes grow. What are you going to do with all of those tomatoes??
I will try to find that photo contest. Thanks.
OK Russ, I have 5 up and they haven't gotten their regular leaves yet, but I gave them the Superthrive and peroxide so the trunks are getting fatter. I certainly don't know why the peroxide wouldn't work with the hydroponics. Will try one first.
BTW Russ, I don't think the Caster beans kill the moles etc. I think they just don't like the smell or something so it keeps them away. I can imagine the mice eating them. BUT, even tho I think the mice and moles are the same family, that doesn't mean that they react to things the same way.
Russ, you should have trained those mice for the circus. Would have been a good way to pass the boring winter days. LOL
HA HA HA. I think Barb was a little concerned about my sanity, for setting here just watching them. The little one was less afraid of humans it would climb the curtain then go back down into the flower pot. There was a couple times I wanted to grab it but it wouldn't stay still long enough. LOL
I am beginning to think you may be right about them being able to eat them. However the whole plant is poisonous. Could be that it may take a while an they would get sick. I thought about giving them some EX Lax, But then I may have more to clean up. LOL
Well I slipped and slid my way down in back. Got the points and condenser put in. So now I have the Skid Loader running again.
Trying to get warmed up now. At least I got done before the temp went
back below freezing. Weather is supposed to be a hair warmer tomorrow. Maybe I can get those logs moved. I'm too late to get the garden tilled this fall, as the frost is about 2" thick. Well I guess that will just have to wait till spring.
Yikes. Jeanette; I just typed in your Zip Code for the weather. You are warmer than we are. I'm almost jelious. But it shows rain for today and tomorrow. So there went my envy right out the window. :>)
Just got around to finding my seeds. getting some small pots for the seeds. I'm just using small plastic drink cups, for this time.
I just found out is actually barley straw that Im using. So no wheat grass for me! But yes, I do think if you trimmed the grass, it would keep growing back bushier. Most plants do that, when you take away the pressures of apical dominance.
I actually chewed on some of my barley grass, and it tastes terrible! Ill just compost it I think.
Igor has been putting some funny ideas into my head, about using a small legumous plant (like clover), to put nitrogen into the bales. It has prompted some further research on my part, and some interesting dinner conversations this week. Clover (trifolium repens) is a very effective nitrogen fixer. I am going to try using it in my soil. Igor thinks it could work in the bales too, if it was sown early enough. So an idea to try for next year.
I dont want to stray to far off the topic or bore anyone with this, so if your interested check out the soil and composting forum. I have been participating in a thread there, its called "using clover as a cover crop" or something like that.
I didnt end up sleeping out side, I escaped inside as it got light at 6. Didnt really want my neighbours to see me asleep in my own back yard! Very tired today though. Oh, and I found out I didnt get the BBQ job. Somebody else had more experience. So back to square one.
Lena; Just a suggestion, Why not check at the School. They sometimes have a work study program. I'm not certain for NZ. though.
One of our daughters Worked at the School where she took her classes. They even wanted her to stay on after she got her degree.
But never fret one door shuts another opens.
Good luck in your search.
Lena, I am going to put Dutch White Clover in where I have a lot of weeds and the dogs are on their leashes there. I don't think it gets very high but I want something to try to take over the weeds.
Yes Russ, it warmed up to almost 40 here today. We had 18 inches of snow yesterday and it is almost gone today. Can you believe that. We got what they call Chinook winds. Warm winds and it just wipes it away.
The weatherman called it a Pineapple Express.
That is too bad about the job Lean, but as Russ said, there are more out there.
Jeanette, I planted some White Clover last summer between my cucumbers and tomatoes. Grew nicely. I think it is supposed to be perennial so my plan is to mow it down next year when it gets too tall just like in the lawn, and use the area for my path .
The pineapple express came through here yesterday and melted all the snow. It is clear outside now, and supposed to reach 50 degrees today, then back to normal.
We are going down to Spokane today and the weatherman said 50 to 53 degrees. Can you believe that? Nice for a change. It has been almost a month or more since we have seen that. Yes, snow on Saturday he said.
Groan grump go ahead rub it in. We are having a heat wave , it is up to 34F. But ice is melting.
We don't get pineapple express nor Chinook winds. Every so often tho, we do get the arctic express. BRRRRRR !!!!!! :>(
I don't know either as my bales had a much different mushroom growth. I am certain that mine were oat straw.. I am thinking that barley might support a different fungi. Mine had a thin stem and were a grayish color for a day or two then would melt into a black gooey mess.
I'm not sure if I have a pic with the mushrooms in it. If I find one I'll post it. I will try to make a match on the schrooms, see what I find. The mushrooms didn't hurt the tomatoes any but they were touching the leaves of my pepper plants the black spot remained on it. but didn't stunt the production.
You have some kind of cup fungus there Lena, They are ubiquitous worldwide and there are many different kinds - I once had some grow on some composted paper based kitty litter I was recycling into the garden as mulch! Here is a link for some more info http://www.mushroomexpert.com/cups.html I'm no fungus expert but you can probably get an ID by emailing your photo to your nearest botanical garden. I suspect that the fungus is growing where it is because that part of the bale is less aerated than the rest - the cup fungi tend to grow well in compacted, damp or "sour" soil in my experience of them.
If the bale is too compacted in that one spot the plant roots probably can't breathe, which would explain why that one plant is not doing as well as the others. The fungus is not causing the problem, it is just taking advantage of a situation which suits it's own requirements. I wonder if a little peroxide solution might help re-oxygenate the bale in that spot? Alternatively, you could try driving a few narrow air holes in around that plant, like they do when they spike a lawn to improve it's growth and water absorption
Besides the fungi, you really have a crop of Barley or whatever that straw is from Lena. Maybe you could sell the grain it is so expensive here. Or grind it for flour to make bread.
Those are really ugly mushrooms. Have you tried sprinkling lime or soda on them? I would try poking holes like Kitty said and then give them a dose of sweetener.
The ones I got with my bales were like the ones Russ described. Kind of like shaggy manes, that turn to black ink after a while. Except for the shape. On tall skinny stems with a regular
mushroom shaped hat. gray to black.
Jeanette and Russ: I have exactly the same shrooms all over my bales as you described, lots of them, but as you said, relatively harmless. And they only last a day or two before the sun destroys them. Only this one bale (and another I have now discovered) is infected with the funny cup fungus.
I poked lots of holes into the bales, but they felt supprisingly soft and loose.Not tight at all. Then I watered the affected areas with a watering can full of organic antifungal foliar spray, a recipe I found in an organic gardening book, and scribbled into my notebook, a few years ago:
4.5L water, 1T baking soda, 1T cooking oil, 1T Palmolive hand soap or dish soap, 1T fish emulsion, 1T Nitrosol or other nitrogen based fertiliser. It has worked magnificantly for me in the past to control powdery mildew on pansies, peas, and cucurbits. Both the soap and the sodium bicarbonate should help sweeten (raise the pH) a little.
KaelKitty: Thankyou so much for identifying this fungi for me, and posting the link. And also for your very helpful advice. Im relieved to hear its not the fungus causing my poor wee plants misery. I will keep a close eye on it, and keep you all posted.
So you are in Adelaide, Australia, Hello neighbour! Are you growing in bales this season? How far into this unusually hot spring/summer are you? What are you growing? Your climate is probably alot warmer, but our seasons will be simelar. Glad to have met a fellow (bale) gardener on my side of the equator! :-)
I had no luck getting the bales here this season - the drought has driven the prices sky high and the availability just about down to zero, so I have been concentrating on getting my permanent plantings in around the edges of the garden for this season. All I have in in the way of veggies at present is in ground stuff. I have brown onions and leeks, pumpkin and zucchini, and one eggplant as an experiment. The pumpkins in particular are looking good, but I worry that the weather will cook them as we have already had several days over 35C/95F and no real rain since the first week in November. My mother has a Mr Uggly tomato at her place, but I am hanging out for a Le Gef grafted one. I feel a bit of a fraud at present, especially given the crops some of the others on the forum have been talking about, but I do read all the posts and contribute when I can.
Hopefully, now that I know what I want to do re the bales I can start looking a lot earlier next season and come up with better results. In the meantime, here is a sneak peak at my first ever eggplant starting its first fruit! TTFN, Kaelkitty.
Lena, you are probably right about the blossom. The tomatoes are beautiful. Congratulations on the rain.
Kitty, What is a grafted Le Gef tomato? Be sure to take pictures.
Your egg plant is beautiful. 'course, anything that is green and growing right now is beautiful. LOL
The best thing you can do right now Kitty, is to keep reading and taking notes for next year. And, NO FRAUD!! Don't even think that. We all are very interested in what you guys over there are doing. Across "The Pond" as they say.
I meant to mention my new permanent plantings in the last post but I forgot. The right hand back fence now has a thornless blackberry and a youngberry getting established, and the left hand fence has a passionfruit vine. My next door neighbours apricots and lemons hang over my fences and are ripening fast. The plum tree in my own yard is following them closely - this years fruit is fewer than last spring, but they are much bigger. I am hoping to make some plum sauce this year. Last year we had stewed plums in everything and they were delicious!
I took this picture on Wednesday morning, the colour is great but the fruit is still hard. Not long now though I suspect, Bye for Now, KK.
That is one that sounds Interesting. One or two would be all you would need, by the sound of it.
No idea of the size of the maters though.
I was trying to locate some. This side of the pond. I didn't have any luck.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~`Russ
Jeanette Yes I was thinking that should be a determinate tomato. That is unless you have an outside green house, to accommodate all the vines. Every thing I raised last year had a lot of vine , that just kept growing and producing.
I did put three Big Beef seeds, in little pots though. Thinking that if I have enough light they may have fat enough trunk. then prune the excess growth severely, keeping only a few branches with blossoms, it might work. Don't know. I guess that will be my experiment. lol
Well Russ, this experiment might just keep us from going bonkers from cabin fever this winter. I have been looking on ebay for hydroponics stuff. There is mostly new stuff on there. Might try Craig's list.
Guess I will have to agree with you on the experiment.
I would really like to get my greenhouse up for spring but it definitely will need to warm up some before I try that. At least I know where we want it. I'm hoping to have it up soon enough to run another experiment.
Using a raised bed, trying to raise some things with a poor mans hydroponic system. Also using that instead of the kitchen, for starting the little tender plants. LOL
Lovley plums and eggplant Kitty! Lucky you. I have given up trying to grow eggplant here after a few failed attempts. The plants were big and bushy with lots of blossoms, but they just wouldnt set fruit. My plums are still green, but theres alot of them! Alot of cute little apples too.
I just went for a little wonder (wander? sp) through the garden, and took some photos. Its not till I compare them with photos from a few weeks ago, that I notice how much everything has grown! Sunflowers have outgrown me by now, and one of the early volunteers is flowering already! Alot of things are flowering actually, its nice to see so much colour outside. Ill get around to updating my diary with pictures in the next few days. Right now I need to get ready to go out to dinner with my girlfriends.
Tomatoes are doing well. EVERYTHING for summer is planted now, all peppers, tomatoes, basil, etc etc the seedling fiasco is over for the year. Now I can sort my hundreds of little pots out and stack them away neatly in the shed. It can wait untill tomorrow though.
Heres one of the pictures just took, apples and plums.
Beautiful picture Lena. Are those in your yard? You must have a pretty big growing space. I just wanted to tell you that I think your Mr. Greenfingers is a bit of a crank. He wants to charge $12 just to tell me where to buy the seeds for that tomato?
Think he needs to get a job where he enjoys people. I don't think I have ever listened to a gardener on the radio here in the states where they weren't happy to help people out and tell them anything they wanted to know.
Oh well. I sent him an email so he will probably read it over the air and tell everybody what audacity this American has, expecting him to give out a little information and an address. LOL
Thanks for the consolation Russ. What is the flower you sent me? Very pretty. It isn't blooming now is it? It is 16 degrees out here again. Nothing will bloom in this.
I was thinking the same thing Donna. A very nice shot. I wonder what kind of apples they are. Maybe crab apples so they wouldn't get very big? Altho, they aren't hanging like crabs normally do are they?
Ha Ha Ha I would love to tell you it is blooming now but since I don't want to be labeled a liar.
No that is an Asiatic lily. I am not certain if it is an Amarillo or not. It is one I picked up at the RU last spring. I don't remember a tag being with the lily. So I had to guess. It bloomed within a a short time after we got back. I was still planting garden. It is also possible that could be one just called Early Yellow. I thought it to be very pretty, even in the pot. Here is another Asiatic. I have had it too long for me to remember what it was. I like it too. It is beside the pond. which is beside our patio.
I don't know about how long they live. I would think that it may have something to do with a disease of some kind, as the bulb seems to keep growing and even needing dividing every few years.
This year the reddish one had the little bulb-ets where the leaf comes out from the main stem. I put them along the edge of the garden. Now just so I don't forget and run the tiller over them and kill off the little guys before they even get to pop their heads up.
Wow I got the straight cutting edge on the skid loader. The snow was really coming down so hard. I decided to get rid of the old ridge that the snow plow left at the end of the drive. Done the same in front of the Church. Well I came back in with an inch of snow on top of my hat and the rest of my cloths were plastered with the white stuff. Decided I was in for the rest of the day.
Well keep warm~~~~~~~~~~`Russ
Glad you got your skid loader working. Just in time it sounds like. Bob just went down and started the wood furnace. That is the only way you can warm this house up. Then the electric can take over. It was 16 degrees this morning.
Not sure what the Apples are called. That tree has big sour green apples, quite late and not very nice for eating fresh. The other tree (this one) is simelar to a Pacific Rose or something like that. Two years ago I had some lovely big apples off it. Last year I had millions of tiny little ones! I wasnt sure weather to thin them or not so I just left it.
So maybe I should thin the apples. I havent done it before. Any advice? Thanks for the suggestion.
It was cold here too I can't remember exactly, but it was in the single digits. It may have got up to 17F, and now is 10 F.
Guess that was why I didn't stay out very long. My toes hurt the most after I started to warm up. I had traded gloves for a dry pair when I finished with the cutting edge, so my fingers weren't too bad. I was definitely ready to stay in after that. I have a roll over cage for it. I'm thinking about attaching some plexiglass to that and fashion a door of some kind just to keep the wind off me. Then hope I don't need to use it more than once or twice. Ha Ha, Don't I wish.
This house must have been built without any plans. It is a story and a half. No basement, They put the furnace in the living room and lowered the ceiling to put in heat ducts. We have been insulating a little at a time The kitchen, bath the closet, and the big bedroom upstairs are done. Next major room will be the living room . Of course not in the winter and Barb hates the dark paneling there so we will need to decide if we want paneling or go with sheet rock and paint it.
That means save up $$. Oh well what else do I have to do.
Russ, that house sounds a lot like the one I had in Seattle. With the dark paneling. Mine was pine tongue & groove. I sheet rocked over the top of it. Even the ceiling. Wow!! what a difference. Also, I had them blow in insulation. That helped tons on the heat bill.
My other house, that was in the middle of our 80 acres of apple trees, was a two story house without a basement, no insulation, lath and plaster. The little kitchen, 12 x 12 had four door ways, 1 window and 1 small storage cabinet. We bought it and the orchard just after we got married. Lived in it for 50 years, 3 major remodels, in 1967 we built on a large livingroom and basement. Then a few years later tore off the entire upper story, at that time 4 small rooms. Added to it on the south and made 2 large bedrooms. When my husband died in 1994 there were 14 rooms and the whole house was well insulated. I hated living in the middle of the orchard so put it up for sale, took 3 years to sell it. In the meantime I bought the 5 acres up here in the hills, and love the view from all rooms in my house.
Sounds like most of us, We bought what what the paycheck would support. Then try make it more to our liking.
If renting weren't so expensive, we could have rented, saved up the money then bought. But it just don't work that way; does it ????
That's about it isn't it. Bet you really like it up there Donna. What did you do with the orchard when you had it? I imagine that was a lot of work. I can't think how many trees per acre? That's a lot of work.
What are your 5 acres like? I'm trying to think about your area. It has been several years since I have been in that area. Do you have trees? Bet you have a lot of those little sun flowers I just love. They are about the first things blooming in the spring. They probably aren't sunflowers but sure do look like them. Only about 15 inches tall.
Yes, Russ, it sure is something not only that house payments are so high, but rent is so much higher. 'course, I guess if you are paying for something plus maintenance and want to make a profit too, somebodies got to pay for it.
I think this particular area is considered High Desert. Not many native trees, mostly Ponderosa Pine. I planted trees here at my location before the house was even in place. Trees are very important to me. I have planted more than 100 trees, of course all have not survived. If I can locate a good picture showing the area I will send along.
Donna, your place is very beautiful. You did a good job. Are all those small things between your house and the road trees? Looks like it. If so, what kind.
Very, very nice.
Are there any places for sale around your area? I have wanted to move closer to Seattle. Not really close, but closer than I am.
Every once in a while I go in and look at real estate ads but I think anything even this side of the mountains is pretty pricey because the people from California are so used to driving so far to work that they buy things up.
I remember when I was working I talked to a fella in California who bought a house and moved his family into it 180 miles from where he worked. Just to get away from the city where the crime rate was so high. He didn't drive it every night, but rented an apartment to sleep several nights a week. I know, you think I was told a big lie, but it would not surprise me.
I understand that is what the politicians do. 4 or 5 of them rent an apartment in D.C. and have cots and a microwave. Red eye in and out of there on the weekends. Terrible life.
Jeanette. Sorry, this is a long way from strawbales.
Well it is winter and i am afraid gardening is not high on our list of to do things, Jeanette. No those small things are weeds growing where 2 years before there were apple trees which were removed and nothing else had been planted. Now it is an alfalfa field. thanks for the compliments. I do really enjoy the scenery from here. And it is amazing how many new homes have been built in this area since I moved here 12 years ago.
Ok Russ, we've got the light and track in place. Also the buckets. Maybe this afternoon I will get down and take a picture of our set up. My daughter has been bugging me for one. But, I am going to have to start new plants. The ones I have going are just sitting there doing nothing.
I think I may have to get more heat to my three pots. Nothing has poked through the surface yet. I know I will at least have to get a couple more bulbs for the fluorescent lamp as all I have are just the soft lite.
I have been thinking about one of those day-lite halogen lamps. I will check them out a little more before getting one though.
We were down for our coffee & BS time, Gary was saying that those cardboard tomatoes with the very tough skin, are selling for $3.00 a pound. I am definitely going to have to get things together and get the covering on the greenhouse. I'm already calling it a greenhouse. Although it was purchased as a Storage shed. First winter the tarp covering tore to shreds. It has just been a metal frame work since.
It don't look like, I will have to help Gary set up a bale garden this spring. He has decided he really don't have time. Well that in it's self should give me more time for my own. I won't repeat it to him But he is like a little kid. He gets a big idea, then loses interest very quickly. That's ok maybe he will buy some tomatoes from me. That is if I can get it set up to where I can grow some all year.
I have a picture in my head of the principal of the track light. but I will be waiting for the picture.
Well yesterday started out at 0 degrees F was very slow at warming up. By 3:30 it did finally get up to 16 degrees. I really didn't plan on doing anything. However Gary wanted some ice scraped from the parking and along the one side set of doors. I first had to change hydraulic filter on the skid loader and that meant a trip to town. By the time I got the loader running and the ice broke loose and shoved across the street, it was starting to get dark. But I was happy to get every thing taken care of. Now today started out a little more like normal. 24 degrees. It's not going to warm up much more than it is now I'm reading 27 F and it is going toward 2:30 already.
And here I am talking about gardening Ha Ha.
I misquoted the other day when I said we would get what they called arctic express, It is arctic clipper. And it usually follows the the path of the jet stream when it dips down in the mid section of the US. That almost makes a person feel like they are in Barrow AK. :>(
Oh well gardening is much more plesant to talk about.
Well we were spared the big storm. It went south of us and we only got about 3/4" of snow. Nothing like what went through OK. KS.MO.and parts of NE and Southern IA.
After we get settled back in after Christmas, I plan to go out to the farm where I got the bales last year and get some more of the dry horse poo, off of the floor of the barn. If we have snow at that time I will just spread it on top. I will also be going after more bales, for that one end of the garden.
This time - - -only one row, or at least have them further apart. I plan to have the big beef and the giant beef in the bales. maybe even one mule team. See if they will do better than they did last year in dirt. LOL
Well stay warm, get a good seed catalog, set back in the E-Z chair. and plan. Or is that Dream.