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.

Thursday, January 3, 2019

out in the garden

Hello friends,

The veggie patch is doing really well with the plants loving the new structure, soil and rain water on tap.



Hubby has been doing pipework.





There are heaps of flowers on the tomatoes. Not sure if they will set because of the heat we are having at the moment. There is fruit already on the plants so that is good.  Apparently the heat will slow the ripening though as the plant conserves energy.






I have picked one zucchini and there are others growing nicely.




I have a couple of capsicums already although the plants are quite small. One of the plants suffered with the heat and I am not sure if it will be okay. It is still alive at this stage.



Beetroot.






The rhubarb is growing slowly.



These are rogue plants.  I thought they were cucumbers, but now thinking they may be pumpkins. I will need to wait and see J



Also some rogue eggplants have popped up.



The silver beet is mostly for the chooks, as there is no green around for them to eat.



The other young capsicum seedlings have finally started to grow.



Baby spinach is not doing so well.  I think it may not be a summer plant.



The potato is struggling with the heat but is still alive, I think I will move it under better shade.



  

Delicious sweet tommy toes.


Do you pick the tiny zucchinis that don't pollinate? I do. I put them into my cooking rather than go to waste. We have been enjoying yummy zucchini bread lately.


We have grapes! Hopefully I can beat the birds to them. We might have to put net over them this year.




Figs.



The mandarin tree has had the big chop! It was getting so huge and laden with so much fruit that the branches were snapping.  I froze a heap of mandarin juice this year and we are still enjoying it with our breakfast in the mornings. You can see my compost bins in this picture.I have put a bowl in the top of the blue one with water for the birds and wildlife.


Our nectarine tree has fruit again.  We chopped it back a couple of seasons ago and it was set back a little but now it is producing again. I don't know if we will get any of the fruit as the hungry birds are helping themselves. First time in all the years we have lived here. There is not much native fruit and feed around because of the drought so they are coming in to see what I have on offer.


The limbs from the mandarin tree, these are going to be mulched and put around the trees.


Recently I re-potted these dragon fruit.  I am so pleased they have finally sent out new shoots but it seemed to take for ever. I thought I may have put them in the soil upside down (oops), but it appears not. I got these cuttings from a grow free cart in town.  I have two more in smaller pots and I am waiting for them to shoot.

  
I have brought the pot plants in from the veggie patch as it is just too hot to leave them there. The soil in the pots dries out so fast. I don't know what I am going to do with all the tomato plants that have come up by themselves. I have so many already!



My son has a large fig tree in his yard and he is going to pull it down to build a shed. So last year I took a piece and plonked it in a pot and thankfully it has taken off. I also gave mum a couple of pieces and they are growing well too.



I couldn't resist taking this photo of a succulent that grew from one little leaf.  They are truly amazing plants and grow oh so well.



Not a good picture, or garden related, but I went for a walk last night just before dark and this is what I saw when I walked out our driveway. There was a mother kangaroo and her joey munching on the couch grass out the front. Hope they don't get hit by traffic as they are quite friendly and come in for water that I put down for them. The male that used to accompany them sadly died from being hit, we found him dead one morning on the road L



And this was the sky when I turned for home. It was a beautiful sight!



So today is 45C (113F) and this is how the veggie garden looks.  Back to tent city! We have had extreme hot weather this summer with temperatures mostly in the 40's. Last week we were the hottest in the South Australia at 47C (116F)! And to top it off we had two days in a row with these horrible temperatures. The second of those days was extremely windy and the hot wind is what will burn the plants quickly and contribute to bushfires getting going. Luckily there were no significant fires that day. It was already 35C at 9am this morning. It is going to be a long day....





Today will mostly be spent inside except when I go outside to check on things in the heat.  Usually it will be at lunch time and mid afternoon as that is the hottest part of the day. I have laid water all around our block for the wildlife and watered and shaded everything I can. 

On the upside, I will get to do this blog post and I might just get started with sorting out some of my clutter! The pantry needs tidying after all the Christmas activity. I may even get to do some craft work!

Have a great day everyone, and keep cool or warm where ever you live on this beautiful earth.

See you soon,
xTania

33 comments:

  1. Happy New Year Tania, I love the way you now set up your veggie garden. The hot winds are so bad for our plants, even here in the Central West of NSW, they blow in from behind Broken Hill and we are over 8 hours east of there. The winds have been horrendous this summer.
    Love your posts
    Cheers Lorraine

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    1. The new structure has stopped most of the wind Lorraine, but still had to check to see if the shades had blown off as it was so gusty! I saw that huge dust storm from the other day, hope it wasn't near you otherwise you would be busy cleaning the dirt out of everything! The hot heat and winds have hotter and stronger this year and we still have two months to go.

      Happy New Year, hope it is a great one for you!

      xTania

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  2. It's nice to see some green; everything is brown here.

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    1. Wish there was more green around Gorges, we badly need rain. Hope you are coping with the cold, you can send a cool breeze this way if you want :)

      xTania

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  3. What a fabulous growing area. I have so many plans for growing things this year that I need at least a 2 acre field... and I don't have one. I am hoping to grow many more tomatoes and a whole range of different lettuce.

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    1. It is pretty special and fairly new Cherie. To grow our veggies they need to be protected from the hot temperatures. I have been waiting ten years for hubby to build this for me, finally it is done! We are on 2.5 acres but the land is arid and no good for growing too much because of low rainfall. We pay high water bills just to grow our own food! Eventually we are hoping to water most of our property on the rainwater we collect.

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  4. Good on you! Your plants are doing well considering the weather! 47!

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    1. The plants are indeed doing well, this is probably because of the enclosure around them now. Protection from all sides except the hot sun when it is directly overhead. When the weather cools it will be perfect for them :)



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  5. I think of you whenever I catch the weather report on the news and see the predicted temps. It must be so hard to garden under such conditions, but you are doing an amazing job.

    I love that you consider the wildlife by leaving out water for them. I don’t have to know you personally to know you have a big beautiful heart, such a considerate thing to do! ❤️😊

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    1. Oh yes Cheryl, I always think of the animals, and they seem to know they can come here to find water safely. Sometimes I will put a sprinkler on for them, and they even get to sit on my front porch to take in the cool air from the air conditioner. I have a mess to clean up tomorrow from all their poop though haha!

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  6. Tania it never ceases to amaze me when I see what you have growing down there in that heat. Just incredible! Wow those temps would be hard to cope with. I nearly fade out when it gets to 40C here. Thankfully that doesn't happen too often as we are supposed to be a cool temperate region.

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    1. Our gardens need water, healthy soil and shade. This usually means high water bills though. We hope to water most of the new area with rain water this season and that will definitely make it grow better. On our to do list is another big rain water tank even though rain is scarce around here this year.

      Yesterday was not a good day, 45C no wind and the sun bit my skin when I went out in it! All good out in the veggie patch though :)

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  7. It is so encouraging for me to read about your garden Tania. I am just so impressed with what you have growing. Our days here on the Wide Bay Coast have ranged from pleasant to bearable this holiday period. I have only had the air-con on three days so far this summer.

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    1. I am glad that I offer encouragement to you Sherri, thank you for your support :-)

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  8. Everything is so green and beautiful.
    You have a green thumb! Twice I tried planting fig from cuttings and it didn't work.

    How tall are those blue containers, Tania?
    I'm thinking of making taller raised beds, but it's hard for me to fill them up if they are too tall. On the other hand, I don't have to bend if the beds are higher..

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    1. Hi Nil,

      The barrels are cut in half and are originally about 1 mitre tall (3ft3in), so when cut in half they are about 50cm (20inches) high. I still need to stoop a little, but can swing a shovel with soil easy enough to fill them. I just take my time. Hubby Phil has put the baths on stands at a level that is great to work with, but higher to fill. Really you can use any container for planting veggies etc instead of barrels. We have a couple of foam boxes here we are going to use for wicking beds. I will be planting my herbs in them.

      Hope this helps :-)

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  9. so glad someone is having some gardening success. Between the humidity and the fruit fly there hasnt been a lot of success in the garden this summer. My neighbour keeps encouraging me to spray as he is getting lots of goodies out of his garden. I wont spray so I will wait until the time is right for the garden to come back into full production. In the meantime I am working on the soil and getting it ready for the next lot of planting. At the end of the month I will get the seeds in so that they seedlings are ready to go into the ground in March.
    Your garden area just looks so lovely. It must be so nice to have a permanent structure to be in use all year round.

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    1. Sorry to hear that about your garden Jane. I don't blame you for not spraying, I do not like it either and would never use it. I hope you have better success in March. I have found our veggies grow better after the heat passes. I was late planting this year because I was delayed by the build.

      The structure is definitely making a difference. I have not lost any plants yet and we have had some nasty weather.

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  10. Hi Tania
    The dust storm really didn't come near us, about 120 ks north and it was horrendous.
    We have had some lighter ones blow in and they are bad enough, apparently most of them start out in the desert with sand and then as they head into NSW usually via Broken Hill and there abouts, they pick up topsoil, and start dropping the sand.
    It is really hot here esp for our neck of the woods, so feel sorry for you. We at least have water to water our garden.
    Cheers
    Lorraine

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    1. Wow Lorraine, Mother nature is amazing! I wonder if those dust storms only happen in droughts, or are they a regular occurrence?

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  11. Your garden looks amazing, Tania. How sad about the male kangaroo. The heat you are experiencing is incredible. I hope you stay cool and comfortable.

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  12. Hi Tania, Many many thanks. All your pictures are amazing. Love your new hair too. Cheers, Jo

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    1. Thanks Jo, glad we worked out the comment issues :)

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  13. Hi Tania, I hope you are well. Your garden looks really good as does your parents. I'm hoping to get back into mine this year and if it ends up half as good as yours I will be pleased.

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    1. Its lovely to hear from you Barb.

      Gardening is so good for the soul. I solve all the worlds problems in my garden :)

      Hope you are keeping well also. I am fit and healthy apart from a few issues with my varicose veins in my left leg, but are having them fixed this year at last. This year I plan to do more things to keep my mind out of the doldrums. I have signed up for a few crafty activities and plan to keep updated here on my little blog as I so enjoyed writing here. I am cross at myself for letting it fall by the wayside, and get distracted by other social media outlets. I will be posting here instead of Facebook and Instagram :)

      Keep smiling,
      Love Tania xxx

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  14. wow that is looking so good! I see those pots are all wicking beds. I re-did my veggie garden and put in three raised beds, with sicking beds along the fence. We cannot grow much during the wet season, so am anxious for April which is when I can plant "normal" vegetables.

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    1. Thank you africanassie, it is great to hear from you. Wicking beds are the most successful way to grow veggies in this area :)

      xTania

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  15. All that food, looks so good Tania. I've not had luck with potatoes in our heat either. Although sweet potatoes on the other hand, do really well! Luckily, because I love sweet potato, better than regular potato. I make a yummy sweet-potato brownie with it! In fact, I have one in the oven right now. Can't wait to gnash it.

    Rhubarb is really slow in the heat here, as well. I think it much prefers the colder weather. Enjoying seeing all your gardening adventures, in the new digs. :)

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    1. I am going to plant some sweet potatoes today Chris, I have them growing out of the potato box lol!
      Those brownies sound delicious, I so want to try those :)

      That's interesting about the rhubarb in the heat. The ones I have in pots under the shade are doing quite well :)

      xTania

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  16. Tania, your new enclosure is magnificent, well done to your wonderful husband for making it for you. I'm sure it'll make an incredible difference with the heat and wind conditions each summer and only getting worse as the years go on.
    Your garden in pots is really inspiring and what a wonderful variety of veggies you are growing. I can see that your great joy in life is gardening and you are being well rewarded for your hard work.
    So happy that you are posting more regularly, I just love your blog. Could you share your craft and recipes when you can please?
    I'll look forward to more of your lovely posts, thanks Tania. Best wishes, Lorraine

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    1. Hi Lorraine,

      Thank you for taking the time to comment, it is lovely to hear from you.

      I hope to return to the way I used to blog, and that includes crafts and recipes, as well as other handy tips. Although my recipes nowadays are vegan. I mostly just convert normal recipes I like to a vegan version :)

      Have a lovely evening,
      xTania

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