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Wife, mum and nan. 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, March 5, 2020

whats happening out back?

Hello everyone,

It has been a while. 

I don't know where February went and March is marching on. Blink and it will be Christmas time again!

Out back there has been some activity.

I planted out two Sturt's Desert Peas plants. I have tried to grow these before, but in the heat of summer, they died. So this time I am trying them while it is cooler. They should grow in our sand.



The rain has brought lots of amaranth (and weeds) up in the soil. They are scattered everywhere, I am not bothering to pull them out as I don't mind them growing around the place.


We have mandarins again this year after not having any last year. This was because the tree had a good prune. This is good news as I missed being able to squeeze them for juice over winter.


As usual the grapefruit tree is fruiting really well. I sometimes wish this was an orange tree!



After the rain, the kangaroos went back out bush and the stripped green leaves on this guava tree (a stump brought home from our sons place) and grapevines are regrowing. We are hoping to put a fence around our fruit tree area this year. 



Around the other side of the veggie patch I have planted eight Moringa trees. I am not sure how they will grow in this area, but fingers crossed that they do well. Moringa is also known as the drumstick tree, ben oil tree, horseradish tree or miracle tree because of its medicinal benefits. See here.



Phil has cleared this area to put a rain water tank there. This will water the veggie patch and trees we are planting on the ridge.


Scented gums for the bees.



We are not sure what this little tree is because it was given to us without a name. We will have to wait and see.


Looking back toward the veggie patch.


This pile of cow and sheep manure came from stock holding yards (feedlots) down the road near Crystal Brook. Phil organised for us to pick up a trailer load and bring home. It is well trampled and aged, so ready to use.


My seven year beans have really taken off, and they have escaped!


And so has the dragon fruit. Phil is worried about the plants damaging the shade cloth on the roof, so I am keeping a close eye on them and will make sure they don't break anything.


Inside...


Summer is now over and the garden is slowing down. I will be tidying things up out here soon, ready for next season.




A closer look...

Baby figs.


This was a stump brought home from our sons place.  We plonked it in a pot of dirt and kept it watered, and eventually after quite a few months, some leaves appeared, so now we will have another fig tree for fig jam!


I am picking oodles of zucchinis.


Tomato plants have popped up everywhere after the big rain. I am keeping them watered.


These tomatoes are called green zebras. They were on special for $1 at the local hardware store so I took a risk and bought them. Hopefully I get a taste before the cold weather arrives. They are flowering so that's a good sign.


The seven year beans on the inside.  They are just starting to flower so I will soon have beans. I was hoping these would provide much needed shade in the veggie patch, and it is doing a great job at that, but I need to figure out how to string it across the top section. I have been thinking of using bird netting.



My honey dew melon plant is dying. After the rain, it was really humid and the cucumber and melon plants developed rust as well as scale spread by ants. The pumpkin in the background is starting to die off also.


The basil has done great as usual. I left it to flower for our bees, but soon I will be stripping the leaves to dry them.




These cucumbers haven't been in long, and are not doing that well. Hopefully they take off soon.


Black cherry tomatoes.


Capsicums.


The eggplants are having a second crop.


I am still picking kale.  They have done really well this year and I pick some daily for my green juice.



Wrinkled butternut pumpkin.  This is the first time growing this variety. I do not think it is a good idea to grow pumpkins in wicking beds, they do not seem to do any good.


There is purslane growing everywhere. Here is a link of what to do with purslane.


This tomato variety is Roma and they are just starting to ripen.


Ox hearts tomotoes.


What I picked today.


And what I picked a couple of days ago.


Rhubarb that I picked a week ago.



And a not very glamorous picture of me with the Fordhook silver beet. It was so hard to try and get a picture of the huge leaves.


Well friends, that's all the news for now. I am going to try and get my blogging back on track, I have been very inconsistent these past few years.

Hope you are all keeping well.

See you soon,
xTania

27 comments:

  1. What an amazing garden and huge variety of fruits and vegetables! I am so impressed! We are just now getting ours started here in Texas. We will have one here in the back yard and a really big one down at the ranch. You really inspire me with all that glorious produce!

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    1. Thank you so much Linda. It is really hard work to grow our food where we live.

      Your gardens sound fabulous, especially the big one on the ranch. Hope you have a bountiful season.

      xTania

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  2. Everything still looks great in your garden Tania & you are picking lots. You are so lucky to have had some rain - we are desperately short here & though we have a bore, I cant water all the garden as its too huge. Your silverbeet looks amazing - I had good spinach this year but my silverbeet bolted to seed really quickly.

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    1. Hi Julie,

      I saw on your blog how dry it is over there. I am used to seeing it nice and green. Our weather has been all over the place too and the rain has done wonders for the plants. Last year was so dry.

      My silver beet has done exceedingly well, and I will definitely plant the same variety next time. It is so easy to grow.

      Wishing you a lovely weekend, and I hope you get rain soon.

      xTania

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  3. Your veggies are looking great you do so well given your the extreme weather you get. Have a great week. Kathy

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    1. Thank you Kathy. Wishing you a fantastic weekend and week also xxx

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  4. I love your garden. It looks great. 😊

    I think this year is moving too fast.

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    1. The year is moving too fast Nil. I cant believe it is already March and somehow I completely missed February!

      xTania

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  5. A beautiful photo of you in your natural environment Tania. I think we are at our best when we're near the dirt and plants. You're an inspiration to those who won't bother to try vege growing in the dry areas of our wide land. Where there's a will there's a way, and my gosh you've certainly found the way. XX

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    1. Thank you so much Sally. I definitely am at my happiest outside getting dirty. It is good for the soul. I love to sit out there and read a book at the moment, simply beautiful in the sunshine and the birdsong is lovely.

      Hope your garden is doing well.

      xTania

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  6. Wow so productive your putting me to shame. I’ll have to get into gear and get a winter crop growing.
    I didn’t know you could transplant a fig. We have one growing, on it’s own, in definitely the wrong spot. So I wonder if this winter would be a good time to transplant it

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    1. Figs are really easy to grow Angela. They can grow by the pieces that shoot up if you are lucky enough to get them to take. I don't think you will go wrong if you move your tree, it will probably boom in the right location.

      xTania

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  7. You are growing such a variety of food plants, Tania. Harvesting your own food must bring you a lot of joy. Here, it's mainly herbs at the moment and ceylon spinach. We have mandarins on our tree too. Meg:)

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    1. Herbs seem to grow best for me Meg. Some veggies do well, some do not. Its a matter of working out which ones to plant for success. Zucchinis do really well, as do the tomatoes and certain varieties or cucumber, however they do succumb to problems eventually, depending on the weather. Sweet potatoes are out of control and capsicum is another plant that grows well along with silver beet, beetroot and kale. So I stick with what I know grows.

      Pumpkin and the like need to be planted in the ground. This I will do next year along with melons. I will find a good spot to grow them, probably near the fruit trees. I will build up the soil over winter.

      xTania

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  8. Your garden is magnificent Tania !!! Peppers, Eggplant, Courgettes, and so many varieties of tomatoes :) Wow I wish we were neighbors :). My garden didn't do well at all this summer, so consequently I haven't done much preserving. I am choosing to except this gracefully and have been focusing on other things instead..like cleaning out things in the house and planting flower gardens :) Blessings to you ~ Linda

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    1. Thank you so much Linda.

      I had heaps of tomatoes this year and froze some to make relish over winter. The zucchinis are a bit of a hit and miss this season too. I have been lucky to get some zucchinis but then the plants die. Same with the cucumbers, maybe it has been too humid. Last year I picked tomatoes right through winter and some of those plants are still producing fruit.

      It is lovely to hear from you.

      Love Tania xxx

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  9. Tania your garden is so productive! Over summer my garden really did not do very well at all. I just couldn't get enough moisture into the soil. We have been getting good rain lately and the garden has taken off. Being the sub tropics now is the best time for growing a veg garden. I have seeds in and am hoping for a good strike rate. Hope your bees are still doing well.

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    1. Sorry to hear your garden didn't do so well this summer Jane. Mine struggled in the heat but the unseasonable cool weather since has done wonders. And that big lot of rain was wonderful as has yours.

      I am going to put in a winter garden this year and will be getting some seedlings on Thursday. Hope you have more success now during the growing time.

      The bees are doing great. Tomorrow we get our first taste of honey. Will be taking photos :)

      xTania

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  10. I love the photo of you, Tania. Your garden is absolutely amazing!!! I am in awe of your growing skills. I'm sure all of that manure really helps. My neighbor lets me use the manure from her horses and goats. I need to get over there and get some...

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    1. Thank you Stephenie. Oh yes the manure is the best fertiliser there is :)

      xTania

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  11. I was nodding my head a lot, reading your updates. I planted Moringa too. Only one, but it's more than doubled in size, in the past month or so. Seems to do be doing well. Growing like a weed. My cucumbers and pumpkin vines, are struggling also. Hoping my pumpkins hold out from the powdery mildew, until they ripen. They're still rather small though. Admiring all that homegrown produce in your garden. Am I correct in assuming the saltbush didn't make it through summer - or was that a different side of the enclosed area, you've planted the new trees? But it's all looking so good!

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    1. Great to hear from you Chris,

      The saltbush has survived, it is just not pictured in this post. It is doing quite well, I planted six and I still have six, so very happy. I will include a photo in my next post.

      Sadly my pumpkin plant died, so next year I will be planting in the ground. I don't think the wicking barrels are any good for growing them.

      I hope to do another post soon, have been busy getting ready for isolation. I am on day two of staying at home, so far so good :)

      Take care and stay well,
      xTania

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    2. Ah, nuts about the pumpkin! I love the promise of a pumpkin growing on a vine - until the vine runs into trouble, that is. Great news about the salt-bush though. Here's hoping they keep booming for you.

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  12. Tania, I have found a great recipe for pink grapefruit marmalade if your interested.

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  13. Garden is looking fabulous and so much to pick. The difference between your climate and mine, does make a difference.

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Your comments really make my day. Thank you for taking the time and for being so kind.