Showing posts from May, 2014

Garden share collective June 2014

Once again another month has rolled by and it is time to link up with  Lizzie at   strayedtable  for our monthly collective where we share what has happened in our gardens for the last month and what we hope to be working on for the next month.  Wrapping up May and heading into June. Last month I wanted to work on: Seed tape .... I did make seed tape, and did a tutorial on the processs - you can see it  here.   It was fun, and worked well, expecially with kids. Mostly though I see a space and throw a few seeds in.  I can see myself doing it at the beginning of a planting season. Worms . .... I have been adding a little of the worm castings every time I plant something, and as a side dressing when plants seem to need a bit of a boost.  It does seem to help. Sitting .... plenty of that - I like the new (original) location of the swing where we have a long view of the garden. - veggie garden is just around that corner.... Eat veggies out of the garden .... so far we have

Tropical fruit in my food forest

When I first started my little garden the only plant in the back yard was our rather large lychee tree... and lots of grass.  Eventually my garden evolved, and I never thought that I would have the room for much fruit. I was thinking of fruit trees in their own little orchard. Not every fruit tree is as big as the lychee tree though, and slowly more and more fruit has been added, until I think I am heading towards having a food forest. The idea of a food forest is to have layers, which works well in the tropics where most plants need shade from the direct hot sun.  I have quite a few pawpaw in the back veggie patch as they spring up on their own, and I let some of them grow to maturity.  They are the yellow pawpaw, and I have recently added a red papaya to add a bit of variety.  Then I have a lime mandarin and barbados cherry  in the middle veggie patch - they can both be kept small by pruning.   Most of the time I still keep up a small shadecloth but I think eventually I will no lon

Just say no!

A couple of years ago when I still had quite a few bare spots in my back yard I accepted a couple of passalong plants from a neighbour.  I had seen them in his yard, and they were magnificent.  The leaves were lovely and silver-backed and HUGE, and made a lovely sound brushing against each other in the wind.   I was quite taken with them, and planted two out in the corner of my garden next to the heleconias.  That side and corner really started to fill in. Did I mention they were HUGE?  What was I thinking?   I have been slowly cutting some of them back and noticed that they were spreading rather rapidly.  Suddenly I wasn't so in love anymore..... I started working on one clump about a month ago, and it ended badly.... with me sitting in tears sobbing about how I was just not a gardener, nothing grew right in my garden, how stupid could I have been to plant these....everything was just a mess..... I had cut the 12ft leaves down, and dragged them out to the kerb.  Then I

Did you know it is/was compost awareness week?

Compost is something I do for my garden that I feel really really good about.  In the back of my mind I knew that somehow compost sequestered carbon, but the facts here on  Jerry Colby Williams blog  make me want to go out straight away and build another compost bin. My first compost bin was just that - a plastic bin, and it is still going strong - it is about 8 years old now.   and I worked the compost in that continuously, turning over the compost two or three times a week.  I dont have the room for hot composting, but my gosh I got my mixture humming along pretty nicely.  Some of my bins favourite food is Browns: mulched dried leaves from our lychee tree shredded cardboard and newspaper Greens: cut lemongrass leaves seaweed picked up from the beach beer waste from the bottom of the beer brewing barrel  Then I was gifted some gardening money and off I went to pick up a compost tumbler.....  I find this one actually takes a bit more work, and here I thought it would

Moms .... and friendships

Happy mothers day everyone! When we moved into this unit I thought it would be simply marvellous to have someone come in and mow my lawn regularly.  Of course when we moved in there was just a lychee tree and lots of lawn.  I slowly encroached on the lawn until there was essentially just a lawn path remaining.  Two things that grass does not like is to be walked on and to have too much shade.   As you know from my last vegie patch update there is no longer lawn out in the back.  Look at what I have done to the side garden. I moved the swing back to where it was originally and now we have a nice clear path to walk around. I originally thought of having a stone path through the middle of the side garden, but then I thought if I made a little "meadow" of grass that nobody walked on we might still be able to have our patch of green.  Small enough to keep perfectly trimmed with hedge shears!  My little sheep can nibble on it, but no more gardeners with their heavy han

Tutorial - Make your own seed tape

I really enjoyed the times that MrFothergills sent me some seed tape to try out.  It was great for the grandkids to plant, and I had nice neat rows of plants.  It is an expensive way to plant though, so I decided to try and make my own. You are going to need: a flat board to work on, toilet paper, a little pot and paintbrush, flour, and seeds. Take your little pot and add about a tablespoon of flour mixed with about a tablespoon of water. This is your glue..  Measure the toilet paper into strips as long as the board you are using, and cut in half lengthwise. Lay one half on the board, and mark down the end of the remaining half the name of the seeds you will be using.  Dab some glue onto the toilet paper - it doesnt have to be totally covered,  then place your seeds in a line down the center.  Cover with the remaining half of your paper with the name of the seeds.  At this stage I lightly sprayed the paper with some water to ensure everything was nice and moist.  Then I left