About Me

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Fifty six year old empty-nester. Wife to one, mum to four and nan to three precious grandies. Living simply is my passion, I enjoy growing food, living healthy and playing with a variety of crafts. I am always up for a bargain and love to op shop for vintage treasures.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Garden Update - The Experiment Begins

The ollas have been made...
These pots are $1.95 at our local hardware store, but they could be cheaper elsewhere J

The warm/hot weather has arrived and we have had to put the shade over the garden.  Usually we don't have to do this so soon.  I think our Summer could be a scorcher!

The first of the ollas are in the ground,
and I have spread around some straw mulch...

They are filled with water and lettuces planted around them...

I put smaller ollas in the capsicum bed, but I think I will replace them with bigger ones for the heat of Summer...

There are two in each garden bed...


Yet to mulch around these.  I am still deciding whether to pull them out and plant something else in there. 

The old beetroot patch...
With a couple of stragglers left, no mulch yet.

And a spare patch, still undecided as to what to plant in here.

 These two are waiting to go in...

As are these...

Four in this plot and two in the back bed...

Now for the rest of the garden,
sweet potato shooting more in this warm weather...

Strawberries are forming, these couple are an odd shape...

Four zucchini plants are in...

More potatoes growing, these ones in a large pot...

Spring onions are flowering...

We are trying our hands at making compost...

The nectarine tree is in bloom...

And the apricot is just starting to blossom...

Our first lemon flower...

New shoots on the grape vines...

Do you like my friend? 
This fellow is huge, and he scared the living daylights out of me I can tell you!

We have five new spring babies...

More quandongs (wild peaches)...

Sleepy lizards (shingle back)are on the move...

This is what I made out of some of our beetroot.
Chocolate and beetroot cake J

Very delicious and moist J

How is your garden growing? Is there rain or sunshine your way?



  1. Do you leave the hole open in the bottom of your olla?

  2. Tania - good for you for experimenting with Ollas! I will watch your progress... between that and heavy mulching, you should see a marked improvement in your water bill :) That spider would have me terrified to go outside ~ it's HUGE!

  3. I am so far north of you ... up here in eastern Montana our summer is quickly changing into autumn. I am in the middle of canning season & happily report that the Lord has blessed us with an abundant harvest this year.
    I hope your garden does well for you.

  4. I'd mash that spider. I hate spiders.

    My daughter has exotic lizards she keeps for pets. She'd scoop that guy right up and pop him in a tank before he knew what was up.

    I just watched a documentary called "last call at the oasis" about drought. Much of it was filmed in Australia. They said the drought had been going on for years, and was destroying the dairy farms. Some of it was really sad, people having to sell out their farms and move. Are you effected by that?

    I enjoyed your post and was glad to see you writing again.

  5. Big spider for sure, might have to shoot that one.
    Storm clouds are building in the west this afternoon. I weeded the garden some more this morning. Warm fall afternoon getting ready to do the chores.

  6. Everything for us on the Pacific nW coast is in reverse Tania!
    And I think you are right about the Summer...Predictions for us here are 'brutal weather' for the Winter.
    Brr...about the 'little' felllow you found...I don't mind spiders but that's a rather large one!

  7. Hi Gorges, we cover the hole in the bottom of the olla. It is supposed to be like a slow release watering system. The water seeps out slowly through the terracotta :)

  8. Harry these lizards are pretty docile. You can easily pick them up, but you have to be careful of their mouth area as they will latch on to your finger and not let go. They have lock jaw when they get hold of something. Normally they are slow and gentle creatures :)

  9. I couldn't cope with that spider, Tania. It wouldn't last long around here. I just showed hubby your ollas and he can't understand why you would use them instead of a wicking bed. He is interested in knowing why you have chosen ollas over wicking beds so I told him I would ask you.

    Our watersaver garden should be set up this week so hopefully we will be saving on our water bills this summer.It is getting very dry here in SE Qld and out west and in NW Qld it is bone dry.

  10. Nanna Chel, I don't really know why lol! Mostly less work than making a wicker bed. We have wicking beds and they haven't done so well. I think mainly because the wicking is set up in big beds. If the ollas don't work I will probably go back to wicking, that is if I don't throw my arms in the air and say "I give up!" Just having a bit of fun along the way by trying something new :)

    I am now setting to work on our front garden (flowers). Cant afford to water them anymore so out they come. Will probably replace with pavers :) Next will be the dead lawn areas!

  11. wow you have been busy, I will be interested to see how those ollas work. I have been trying wicking beds for tomatoes and eggplant using polystyrene boxes.

  12. Thanks for sharing those ollas. I'm going to give them a try and then maybe share them with my playgroup mums. I'd never heard of them before. they will be great for more house garden I think.

  13. Im going to be watching the progress of this one. What a great idea. I also think its going to be hot and have my thinking hat on re shade. Yuk! Spiders. I think im a pretty tough bird and i can handle the normal household ones (when i have to) but that just looks positively aweful. Run for you life.....

  14. Trying to ignore the spider pic..... I hope the ollas do the trick for you!

  15. Thanks for letting me know about the wicking beds, Tania. I think I will have a try with a couple of ollas anyway. At least that way I wouldn't have to wait for hubby to put the soil in the watersaver beds.

  16. Had to google olla, now I understand the concept. I may try this idea, even though we have bore water, the running costs can be high in dry seasons. These would be good for when we have weekends away.

  17. Tania, what glue did you use on your ollas? Also, what did you use to close the hole. I noticed when I clicked on that link that a tile was used and gorilla glue.

  18. We used liquid nails ceramic Nanna Chel. The hole was plugged with some of the liquid nails. The glue needs to be waterproof.


  19. Things going ok for you folks down there, Tania?


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