Wednesday, August 31, 2011

A wine trip in a limo and a lot of fun

This was from October 1996. We had hired a limousine to go around Mclaren Vale for a wine festival and it was pretty fun. Sylvia my wife, Kirrily my sister and Greg my bud, are in this picture, but I think Sue, Sylvia's long time friend is on the trip too. Back in the days where we bought wine by the carton, and no kids. That was great, this is better, but I like to revisit my wineloving days - often.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

So much for "gonna die"

I had a white plum, a Narrabeen, that was about ten years old and looking sick, eight years ago. Lots of sap coming out of the bark and a whole limb going dead midseason. Indications of utipa, which is terminal. I decided to run it home, cut off the dead branches as I need to and take fruit for as long as I can.

No signs of it dying yet, the two plums I planted either side of it are starting to make their claim now.

Btw the paint is just any old paint. I paint the bark of a few trees especially citrus before the real summer. They say it helps with sunburn.

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Saturday, August 27, 2011

Time to get the plastic off the tomatoes

The season has turned. I have pulled the plastic off the tomatoes and we can get an early start to the season.

They've been on a west face against a brick wall in a large container. Perfect for winter and early season tomatoes.

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De-thatching a Kikuyu lawn

Turns long runners into hundreds of little plants. Looks bad for about a week but then - billiard table.

And then watering it in, it's ready to go.

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Friday, August 26, 2011

Tamarillos still a bit tart

Buts showing promise.

Passionfruit flavoured tree fruit.

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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

A nice walk late in the day, late in winter

Rebecca, Ervin and me, out for a late afternoon walk at Waterfall Gully.

Rebecca said it made her feel like a steak. Yep, I'm for sure going to cook a steak and eggs right now.

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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Honeybee come to visit

On my donut peach, coming to visit:


And goodbye.

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Monday, August 22, 2011

First Dutch Iris of the season

Here are the results of those bulbs I planted out and it should work well for the rest of spring.

I'm sure I'll have more photos to post.

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Sunday, August 21, 2011

Hard waste weekend is coming

Fantastic. Last year I was away for many of these things but this year I've managed to get many of them done.

So with the amount of stuff I've got I'll probably fill the kerb all the way out to Portrush road.

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Vege bed ready

Each year I manage to reclaim a little more space for growing beds. This year with the use of a couple of sleepers I managed to reclaim a 750x2400 bed from what was a bigger compost heap.

It's got a 200mm layer of mushroom compost as the base and 200mm of organic loam as the topsoil. Fantastic.

I'll put two lemongrass plants at the back against the iron, and this year I'll plant some radishes and carrots then turn them over to late season tomatoes perhaps around January.

I'm off to work today, which I'll start before the sun comes up, but I should be home in time to get the radishes and the carrot seeds in, before dark.

A fresh garden bed is always so full of promise. When in gets a little established after a few years it's time to either fully replace the soil or plant it out to fruit trees.

And I keep hunting for new patches to claim.

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Saturday, August 20, 2011

Footy today

A great parents match and then a trophy presentation:

What for the roses today? Confider or Triforine?

So a look at the roses tells me I need to do something. The black spot tells me Triforine, the aphids tell me Confidor. The "all in one" rose spray is a little too broad spectrum on the insecticide - the pyrethrum in it will kill all the good bugs as well. Confidor only kills the things that stick their suckers into the plant.

But I think the roses can cope with a few aphids for this week. It might be Triforine, knock that black spot back a bit.

UPDATE: I had some cupric hydroxide left over from spraying the fruit trees. That was perfect for the roses for black spot.

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Compost is hot!

Last week I got two tonne of mushroom compost delivered. It took me three days to shift it, but in that time it had become pretty active. The evidence is on my lawn.

You can see where the pile was delivered, but the heat within the pile was enough to kill the grass in the middle. The lawn will recover, but compost is hot.

My buddy tell a story where his compost heap caught fire in summer. Always a bit of a concern.

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Friday, August 19, 2011

Complete D on Spanish Garlic

Great time to load them up with complete D fertiliser.

A few more months, but they're looking good.

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Thursday, August 18, 2011

The lawn will have to wait another year

Sometimes the garden won't wait, you either do the job when it needs to be done or you wait another year. My kikuyu lawn is ready to be scarified. I've cut it down to the lowest level and spring is on the way.

It's a job for this weekend to hire a scarified for a half a day and de-thatch the lawn. It rips out all the dead matter opens up the soil and rejuvenates the lawn. Perfect world every year, real world every three, I think it's been five for me.

The year you've done it, the lawn is as good as any designer lawn.

But it won't happen this weekend. I have a football morning for my boy, exams to mark, final assignments to mark, other assignments to mark, a course to write and a whole day in at work for the very important job of representing our programs to one of our key markets.

So perhaps the job will wait until next week, but more likely it will wait until next year.

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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

A footy game on the weekend!

Wow. I've never been happier to get a date wrong in my life. I had thought my work's "Open Day" was next Saturday. As open day is my greatest opportunity to contribute to our selling effort it's a personal mandatory attendance, a not negotiable.

And an open day sat would've meant I missed the game.

I had already broken my 7yo boy's heart by telling him I was out.

I was delighted to be able to unbreak it. So people can call me a "half back flanker" again, and for the right reasons this time.

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Friday, August 12, 2011

Reused fence post

I've always thought this to be pretty cool. A house in Kensington.

The fence post must've been eaten off by termites. Why not turn it upside down and reuse it?

A sort of natural modern art.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Crossover tomatoes

Bragging rights for a vegetable gardener.

My first vine ripened tomato - from under plastic - for this season, dovetailing in with the last of last season's which I managed to hang on through winter.

So that's a first for me.

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Monday, August 8, 2011

Let nature take over

For the week I'll let nature do its stuff. I cut the lawns back to the lowest setting and got some "bounce back" organic pellets onto them, then 10mm of rain.

I also got the last parts of the first veg bed in, it now has rocket, lettuce, broccoli, spinach, silverbeet, broccoli, beetroot and the first four tomatoes.

I'm trying something new with tomatoes, growing them out through a picket fence on a north face. That'll let the sun hit the foliage, but keep the sun off the soil during the major heat of summer. We'll see.

But for now it's raining and I've got well over a week's work to do. So I'll let nature run with it for a week.

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Saturday, August 6, 2011

Orchid, a year's work

Keep them for a year and sometimes they reward you. This one did this year.

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Damping off, live and learn

These hyacinths were looking good, flower spikes getting nice and high. Warm weather they were getting a little droopy. So I gave them a pretty hard hit with a sprinkler. Not so clever. I think that water sitting on those high surface area flowers has allowed the bacteria/fungus to go crazy and the flowers have gone all brown and slimy.

Live and learn. Next year water the soil and not the top part. I'll be able to get the bulbs to recover by feeding them with high potassium fertiliser as they're dying down. An early lesson for this year.

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Wednesday, August 3, 2011

I like a spider

Always have. They're much feared and hated, but mostly they're harmless to humans and they are an important part of the circle of life.

And I like the way they work. They create a beautiful work of art each night, and pull it down each morning. And they sit and wait. For as long as they need to. And when it's time to get busy, when an insect hits the web, they move. But if there's no need to rush, they don't.

And if someone comes though and destroys their web, they simply rebuild it.

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Monday, August 1, 2011

Heavy pruning woodyard on hold

Half done. All the major limbs taken off now. Much of the small stuff ground up and in the compost with the large stuff cut for next year's fire. But I will take the straight pieces and use them as posts for a little fence I plan to put in the backyard.

It'll be cute, but the cutting of it is a job for next weekend.

Handy that the week flies by so quickly.

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