Backyard Gardening

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Re: Backyard Gardening

Postby Kim O'Hara » Sun May 18, 2014 12:18 am

reddust wrote:
Kim O'Hara wrote::
You're putting much more effort into your garden than I do into mine - and obviously getting a lot more food out. :smile:

:namaste:
Kim


I only put in 2 hours a day, that's an averaged out through the year...During harvest and canning season I put in 12 hour days, but that only last a few weeks and it's not every day. I had a goal and I'm staying with it! I want to know how much food I can grow. I also want to know if I can live off of what I grow, it would be so nice not going grocery shopping. I really loath shopping...lol

I'm more like two hours a week - mostly five or ten minutes at a time. But I'm building my skills and knowledge so that if/when I have more time for it, everything should go well.

:namaste:
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Re: Backyard Gardening

Postby Jikan » Tue May 20, 2014 6:38 pm

For RedDust:

My great-grandmother was more or less self-sufficient from her garden for months at a go just on her own effort in her garden, well into her 70s. In terms of space, she had a small house on a big lot in town (big enough that after she died, they plopped a two-story split-level where her veg garden had been)--so less than a quarter acre in not-very-sunny Gladstone, Oregon, USA. She'd grown up a farm girl and she knew all the tricks. A little knowledge makes a lot of things possible. I'm confident that if you have the know-how, the right place, some creativity and flexibility in your diet, and a little capital, you could pull it off. Sounds like you're well underway!
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Re: Backyard Gardening

Postby shaunc » Wed May 21, 2014 8:47 am

I think a lot of us share Reddust's dream of self sufficiency. I've just got a suburban block in town. I'm down to 7 chooks now with the death of one yesterday. My vege patch is going ok, the broccoli & cauliflower are starting to get small heads & the cabbages are starting to get a heart. Nothing much is happening with the Brussels sprouts but they're looking healthy enough. We haven't had much rain but at this time of the year I only water twice a week for 15-20 minutes. I hope the rest of you are doing well with your patch.
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Re: Backyard Gardening

Postby shaunc » Tue Jun 03, 2014 8:10 am

Today I picked my first broccoli head, I leave the plant in because a lot of the time it'll start shooting small heads from all over the place, they're great for stir fries. I've let the chooks out for a pick around the yard, in another hour or so it'll be dark & I'll have to go down & lock em up for the night. Good luck with your patch.
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Re: Backyard Gardening

Postby Kim O'Hara » Tue Jun 03, 2014 11:11 am

All well here, Shaun. :twothumbsup:
The sweet potatoes are still putting out lots of leaves but I'll leave them another month before digging to see if there's anything under ground. The spinach is doing fine, giving us enough for a meal at least once a week, and I've just found out it's Ceylon Spinach (Basella alba). There's a bunch of bananas almost fat enough to cut down (they ripen after cutting, or you can wait longer and they will ripen on the plant and then the possums get more than we do).
As always, we have more herbs than we can use, especially basil and lemongrass.
Tomato and eggplant seedlings are now knee-high and should produce fruit before long ...

:namaste:
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Re: Backyard Gardening

Postby Kim O'Hara » Wed Jun 18, 2014 6:34 am

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Re: Backyard Gardening

Postby shaunc » Wed Jun 18, 2014 8:47 am

Kim O'Hara wrote:
eggplants-s.jpg


Good cartoon Kim.
We're getting frosts now. The chooks are off the lay, I'm lucky if I'm getting 2-3 eggs/day. We've used a couple of broccolis & a cauliflower already. My wife cooked the broccoli in a prawn stir fry & the cauliflower got put in a potatoe bake.
Tonight the footy's on TV. I'm driving Brenton to the pub so he can watch it with some mates & me & Liam & Kathleen are watching it at home, it's one of the rare days of the year that I get to smoke in the house.
How's things up your way Kim. Have you dug any sweet potatoe yet.
Go the blues.
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Re: Backyard Gardening

Postby Ayu » Thu Jun 19, 2014 11:30 am

shaunc wrote: Tonight the footy's on TV. I'm driving Brenton to the pub so he can watch it with some mates & me & Liam & Kathleen are watching it at home, it's one of the rare days of the year that I get to smoke in the house.

I'm very sorry the Aussies lost against the Netherlands. Australia had much more HEART in their play. In my eyes they were the better team.

We have the ideal gardening season here: sun and rain all the time. All plants are growing opulent and strong in deep green colour. In July/August I'll have to start cutting bushes. This will be much work.
Because, if our mothers, who have been kind to us
From beginningless time, are suffering,
What can we do with (just) our own happiness?
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Re: Backyard Gardening

Postby Kim O'Hara » Tue Jul 15, 2014 1:35 am

I dug up my sweet potatoes last week, figuring that they had been in for long enough that they should have done something, and found one good-sized tuber, one smaller-but-still-worth-cooking and half a dozen that were just starting.
That was better than my first try, in a location which didn't give them enough light, so I think it's worth trying again. On the other hand, if they are going to take that long, it makes sense to put them somewhere out of the way of the faster-growing crops like beans, tomatoes and egg-plants.
I think I will put in some spring onions where the sweet potatoes were. There will still be still space for something else ... carrots? More beans? I'm not sure.

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Re: Backyard Gardening

Postby shaunc » Tue Jul 15, 2014 7:37 am

Kim O'Hara wrote:I dug up my sweet potatoes last week, figuring that they had been in for long enough that they should have done something, and found one good-sized tuber, one smaller-but-still-worth-cooking and half a dozen that were just starting.
That was better than my first try, in a location which didn't give them enough light, so I think it's worth trying again. On the other hand, if they are going to take that long, it makes sense to put them somewhere out of the way of the faster-growing crops like beans, tomatoes and egg-plants.
I think I will put in some spring onions where the sweet potatoes were. There will still be still space for something else ... carrots? More beans? I'm not sure.

:namaste:
Kim


That's the way Kim. You've got to have a gamblers nature to garden. This year for me, 1/2 the broccoli went to seed because the frosts came late, funnily enough the cauliflower did ok. The cabbage isn't too bad & the Brussel sprouts are still coming along. I lost most of the silver beet to chooks when I let them out one morning to clean up the snails, karma I suppose. Because it's winter the chooks are still off the lay & we're only getting 2-3 eggs/day. But if you don't try & take a chance you won't get nothing.
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Re: Backyard Gardening

Postby Kim O'Hara » Tue Jul 15, 2014 12:26 pm

shaunc wrote:
Kim O'Hara wrote:I dug up my sweet potatoes last week, figuring that they had been in for long enough that they should have done something, and found one good-sized tuber, one smaller-but-still-worth-cooking and half a dozen that were just starting.
That was better than my first try, in a location which didn't give them enough light, so I think it's worth trying again. On the other hand, if they are going to take that long, it makes sense to put them somewhere out of the way of the faster-growing crops like beans, tomatoes and egg-plants.
I think I will put in some spring onions where the sweet potatoes were. There will still be still space for something else ... carrots? More beans? I'm not sure.

:namaste:
Kim


That's the way Kim. You've got to have a gamblers nature to garden. This year for me, 1/2 the broccoli went to seed because the frosts came late, funnily enough the cauliflower did ok. The cabbage isn't too bad & the Brussel sprouts are still coming along. I lost most of the silver beet to chooks when I let them out one morning to clean up the snails, karma I suppose. Because it's winter the chooks are still off the lay & we're only getting 2-3 eggs/day. But if you don't try & take a chance you won't get nothing.

A gambler's nature? Maybe. Since we're on a Buddhist board here, maybe we're better off with Equanimity. :tongue:
Either way, stressing about the ups and downs is pointless (it's easier to say that when you don't depend on your garden for your food, I know!).
Your winter crops were never my favourite veggies, I'm afraid, but I did catch a good Landline programme about Brussels Sprouts a few days ago - here http://www.abc.net.au/landline/content/2014/s4016261.htm if you're interested.

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Re: Backyard Gardening

Postby Ayu » Tue Jul 15, 2014 4:27 pm

Kim O'Hara wrote:I think I will put in some spring onions where the sweet potatoes were. There will still be still space for something else ... carrots? More beans? I'm not sure.


It depends on what kind of nutrient-user the topinambur-plant is. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crop_rotation
There are plants ("heavy feeders") who need much fertilizer or nutrients (like potatoes, cabbage and his relatives, tomatoes, pumpkins...
Then there are some plants who need medium amount of nutrients („moderate feeders") like carrots, onions, beetroot, salat... Carrots and onions go together very well: the onions banish the carrot-flies. Putting some onions between the rows of carrots gives best results.
And the third category of plants give fertilizer to the soil: peas, beans, peanuts... The family of Leguminosae.

So what you plant next depends on what you planted before.
:thinking: I guess sweet potatoe (Topinambur) is a "heavy feeder".(?) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Topinambur
Because, if our mothers, who have been kind to us
From beginningless time, are suffering,
What can we do with (just) our own happiness?
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Re: Backyard Gardening

Postby Kim O'Hara » Tue Jul 15, 2014 11:02 pm

Thanks, Ayu,
Your reference is to a different plant - my sweet potato is this one: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sweet_potato. It should have been a heavy feeder, I guess, to produce lots of leaves (which it did) and lots of tubers (I wish it would!), but that may not make too much difference in my situation because I am constantly adding compost and mulch to the bed.
Carrots and spring onions sounds good anyway. :smile:

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Re: Backyard Gardening

Postby Ayu » Wed Jul 16, 2014 10:04 am

Ah, good old wikipedia. :smile:

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Carrots & Onions
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Because, if our mothers, who have been kind to us
From beginningless time, are suffering,
What can we do with (just) our own happiness?
From 10th of 37 Bodhisattva Practices
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Re: Backyard Gardening

Postby Ayu » Sun Aug 03, 2014 12:47 pm

I'm cutting bushes, bushes, bushes... It is very exhausting, but on the other hand it is also satisfying, because the people are very content about it. My knowledge about bush-cutting and hedge-cutting is unmatched. :tongue:

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Ayus bushcuttings
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But now I'm looking forward eagerly to the holidays with my family at the seaside! :hi:

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Baltic sea
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Because, if our mothers, who have been kind to us
From beginningless time, are suffering,
What can we do with (just) our own happiness?
From 10th of 37 Bodhisattva Practices
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Re: Backyard Gardening

Postby Kim O'Hara » Mon Aug 04, 2014 12:30 am

It's Dry season here (cooler and dry) so nothing grows unless we water it. That makes gardening easier - we just have to keep things alive and do a bit of tidying up.
Our only other season is, naturally, the Wet - warmer and sometimes very very wet - when everything grows like crazy.

My tomatoes have fruit but it's still green.
Bananas have slowed right down but one new flower is developing so at least we will have one bunch ripening before the end of the year. I'm hoping for a few more, too. :smile:

Enjoy the beach, Ayu!

:namaste:
Kim

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Banana flower with new fruit developing above the bud
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Re: Backyard Gardening

Postby shaunc » Thu Aug 07, 2014 10:55 am

The bananas are looking good Kim, & it's great to hear that your tomatoes are coming along.
Don't laugh Ayu, hedge trimming is a very real skill.
Things are slowing down here real fast. The last couple of weeks I've been waking up to heavy frosts & temperatures ranging from -8 - -5 Celsius. The girls aren't laying too well & one died either last night or today. They're all feasting heavily on either broccoli that's gone to seed or cauliflower that's been damaged. In another month or so I'll prepare it for the spring.
I hope everyone else's luck goes a bit better than ours is at the moment.
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