Friday, September 30, 2011

This is a fantastic fruit

I'm picking a dozen a week of these things and the fruit tastes like passionfruit.

I'll be giving plants away in another few months but for a gardener who's seen a lot, these tamarillos are what Nashis were in the 1990s. Really expensive to buy and dead easy to grow.

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That's some rain

Great timing, season-wise. As the soils were beginning to dry out we got some rain yesterday and so far 4.8mm today.

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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

War on the roses

I'm glad to see this. The aphids have started to come in, and I'm a little reluctant to spray. Although Confidor is a good weapon here that doesn't hurt the beneficial insects.

But about the beneficials, at least they're having a try now. There's the lady bird, which is great. And if you see any little black alligator insects they're an earlier stage of a ladybird.

Less known are all these little white ones. The yellow/white bugs are parasitic wasps and they eat aphids too. So the white cottony threads where the aphids used to be - they're the remains of the eaten aphids.

All of these would be killed if I got a head of steam and sprayed with rose spray or pyrethrum, so I'm resisting it. Confidor, watered into the wet soil is the best answer, but expensive. It kills the sap suckers and leaves the others alone. Slightly less expensive, Confidor sprayed onto foliage.

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Saturday, September 24, 2011

Meat snacks

Great meat snacks here in Singapore.

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Singapore a home away from home

I've been coming to Singapore teaching for over eight years now and it holds little mystery for me.

I like the place. I tell you I could live for $80 + $30 here quite comfortably (daily accom + food). In fact I did, last year, when I was doing some work here, off the employer's purse. Here's today's $9 lunch:

The heat and some crowds tend to drive us crazy a little, but it's a pretty well run country.

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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Chooks in the parkland

I've always found it nice to see these two as I walk to work here in Singapore.

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Monday, September 19, 2011

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Goodbye house for this week

I'll leave nature and the Habel family to run with the garden project for a week.

There's still a lot of moisture in the soil, so while I'm in Singapore the system will run well.

We should have lots of broad beans on my return.

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Saturday, September 17, 2011

Edan's Pelargonium

My boy picked a flower for my wife. Which is lovely.

I paid a few $ for this plant a few years ago, but I propagated it to a dozen or so.

And it's now a part of the fabric of our lives. Nice.

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Chooks will beat weevils for you

Here's a look at weevil damage:

They sit in the leaf litter under a plant during the day, come out at night and take monstrous chunks out of your plant's leaves. Weevils love citrus, as here, but they will go after many things and the damage is huge.

The chemical treatments are harsh. Spray a ring of Carbaryl or Bathyroid around the trunk of your tree which is meant to stop them climbing it. Bad chemicals - I'll use them when I have to but would rather not.

But the chooks are good.

They jump into my big pots and scratch them up, and you can see them eating whatever it is they scratch out. Scratch scratch, peck peck.

And then they move on. I top up the soil and the job is done.

Important - if you're planning to put chookies into action for this, desist from using those bad chemicals for a year. Who needs that stuff in our food stream?

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Thursday, September 8, 2011


Five stems of Asiatic lilies at the kiosk in the Kensington Gardens shopping centre for $11. Great value.

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Chookies are getting the hang of it

Two months ago I got two new chooks. That brought me back to four. Now my "quality world" picture is one where I can let the chooks out in the day, and when I go out to put them to bed, they rush into the chook shed and I close the door. It can happen.

But the last two months have been spent getting them to consider their shed to be home. Done. Yesterday I let them out for a couple of hours then caught them and put them back in for night. Also as they come to associate me with nice food they will rush along with me and fight to get into the shed, as the other two do.

So letting them have some time out and not losing them. The first win.

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Mandarin fresh growth

Took a lot of courage to cut it hard in early August, but it looks to be paying off.

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Tamarillos are ripening

They coloured up through winter but I think they need to be pulled off to after-ripen.

Straight off the tree they're hard and tart, but when soft they're amazing, like passionfruit.

This is how they look on the inside

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