Sunday, December 21, 2008

Garden Progress

Well after the "little" bit of rain we had last weekend the garden has taken off!!! Including the weeds!! The tomato plants I planted a few weeks ago are coming along really well, they even have a few decent sized tomatoes on them, although with the rain I did have the first Black Russian tomato that was ripe split, but so far the rest look good. The Pepino plant is asking for a pruning it is starting to smother the other plants near it.

The Lucerne is growing well too and is flowering these lovely little blue/purple flowers, I keep braking bits off for the chooks to eat, so I am glad it is growing so well. There is even seed pods starting to set so hopefully it will self seed a bit, I can handle Lucerne as a weed, its useful, but I guess by definition its not a weed then.

We got two apricots of the tree this year, the first fruit, and they were delicious, actually tasted like apricots!!! I cant wait for next year we should get a few more. I'm still watching the two peaches to get them before the birds do, mmmm they should be yummy too, cant wait for home grown fruit!!!!

The little chooks are getting big!!

Ok here is some photos of the "baby" chooks. They would be about 15 weeks old now.

They are almost the same size as the older ones now (middle, bum facing the camera, and on the left)

This one I think may be going to start laying soon, her comb is looking quite red compared to the others, I love the pattern on her tail feathers.

We got rain, and lots of it!!

Well last week on Thursday night (11th Dec) around 9pm it started to rain, and continued, and continued, and still continued. At around 7 in the morning I went out side and measured that we had had around 70mm of rain over night. Everything was nicely soaked including the chooks food, I dont think they were too impressed with "Chook Food Soup" for breakfast. This was the end of the street on the way to work, now you cant really see it in the photo but we do actually have gutters on both sides of the road, and that water is actually flowing down the road it is not because the drains had blocked up, there was just lots of water!!

But that wasn't it, the rain continued throughout the day and fell consistently, when I got home from work we had received another 60mm of rain (since I had checked at 7am), that's 130mm in less than 24 hours. I probably should say that for us 10 to 20mm of rain is something we get a bit excited about, and our average annual rainfall is around 250mm, so this was just amazing. It even closed some of the bitumen roads around the place because the creeks were flowing, really well. This is a picture of the road to Quorn, which at the time was closed, when I took this it was flowing at around 0.2m but apparently a couple of hours before that it was at 0.6m. As you can see this was a bit of a novelty event, people came out to have a look and for kids to play in the water, I haven't seen this creek flow in the (almost) 2 years we have been here.

While the rain was good, and we don't dare complain about it, after the lack of rain that we have had, the weeds have loved it too, and has meant that even DP has given me help to get out in the garden and try to keep the Caltrop prickle plants under something which resembles control. A little bit at a time is the key I think, it is amazing how much progress can be made by a quick, well half hour, stint of wandering around, pulling a few plants out here and there. This is what I now have to contend with, after this lovely rain, this is a ground covering plant but in this picture there are quite a few plants that are starting to mat together, and each plant can set heaps of thorny (magnetised to your feet) seeds.

The other interesting thing that came from this down pour is this:

No I didnt dig a hole and no we dont have a dog, on closer inspection the ground has collapsed and there is a tunnel either side, my thoughts is an old rabbit waren. There is rabbits around this area but I have never seen any in or around the yard. I thought because it is down the back of the yard maybe the lady over the back had once had an "escapee" rabbit that might have tunnelled under the fence, but no she has never had rabbits and she has been there for quite a few years. Ahwell ready made fruit tree hole, although I would have liked it about 2m this way a bit LOL.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Just a little garden update

It is a lovely day here today, blue sky, sunshine, a light breeze and the temperature is probably in the mid 20's. Could be a little cooler for doing work in the garden but still nice all the same. I have just been out in the garden and put stakes in to tie up the Black Russian and Cherry tomatoes and the capsicum. There is already a couple of capsicums on the bush as well as little cherry tomatoes and a couple of Black Russian tomatoes, one of which is starting to colour up. The Big Beef tomatoes seem to be going well, also with a few tomatoes around the place, I'm not sure if these will need staking or not because I have read that they are a bush variety, we will wait and see.

In amongst the tomatoes I have planted a few seeds of Stars and Moons watermelon from Green Harvest, I dont know hoe they will go with the tomatoes but again we will wait and see, I am trying to keep all that needs a fair amount of water all together, not only to save water but also time and effort when it comes to watering.

I really cant believe it is the end of the year already, I had hoped to have the garden in a much better state than it is, hopefully after Christmas I wont have to go away as often for work and I will be home a bit more and can start to organise things a bit more. I really do have to start to organise my seeds and actually get them in the ground and growing, they really wont do much sitting inside around the place.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Un-Summery weather

Well as I sit here writing this it is raining outside, and it is supposed to be summer.

The cockatiels are out in the rain having a bath and loving it!! The rain water is over flowing, and I am sure the weeds are growing at a phenomenal rate as I type this.

But I guess we can be thankful that the rain waited until this afternoon and let us do the Toy Run in mostly dry weather this morning. The Toy Run, for those who don't know, is where motorcyclists get together to raise money and toys for disadvantaged kids. There's a meeting place where the run starts, then everyone follows the leader (usually santa) through a set route through town, waving and tooting their horns and throwing lollies to the kids, who all come out of their houses to watch the bikes go past, then there is a gathering at the end with prizes for best and worst bike, and a big trailer where people can put toys in. These toys then go to the Salvation Army to give to kids who wouldn't have much of a christmas. Accorning to the MRA (Motorcycle Riders Association) site there is 48 Australian Toy Runs and 8 International Runs, so if there are any motorcylists out there check out the Toy Run website and see if theres one near you, it really is for a good cause and give you (well me) a reason to get the bike out the shed and take it for a run