Sunday, October 11, 2009

Easy peasy home grown guide!

Been extremely busy... not just with the new baby (sophia who is now 8weeks old) but out in the spring sun (or outside when it isn't raining) weeding, pruning, sowing etc.
So to get to the point. i thought i'd quickly share some things weve discovered and done!

Seeds & seedlings

While its great fun to watch seeds grow into seedlings, we see no harm in getting the crop/garden going sooner and doing both! Buy seedlings (from nurseries or bunnings) and seeds (any will do but if you're in it for a tasteful experience & abundance of crops go with or any other heirloom or organic veggie suppliers) I go with diggers from my experience with them, they also supply seedlings to bunnings, you can buy from them online and they are in my state.. so anything that grows with/for them will grow for me! To cut costs ive gone to the mark down section (usually right up the back) and bought many seedlings for 50c-$1. I still don't know if i have 6 chilli plants or if they are 6 capscium plants. (not that it matters) but its a downside of buying mark down stuff missing their labels! Other than that we have at least 3 different tomato seedlings growing well from the markdown and some digger seedlings (a $6 splash) of another 4 varieities including the tommy toe we had last year/early this year that made more than we could eat and made awesome tomato puree. Anyways my point is seedlings give you a crop at least 6weeks before your seeds will. (depending on type and how well you look after them from snails & toddlers!)

Easy raised beds/planter boxes.

We used some old fence/wood scraps laying around the backyard and more recently bought some pre-cut pine. The bought option came to about $52 in materials (the wood, screws & brackets) Hubby says he has done them the easy way which is using small metal brackets to hold them altogether instead of dove tail etc.

Our soil is bit to much on the sandy side... the top soil gets washed away and drains much to fast (not to mention sandy soil usually lacks minerals etc needed for good plants) so we have used composted cow manure & coir peat. Weve found the best source for coir peat is at K-mart (k-mart gardners choice brand) for $5 gets you a 5kg block which makes some 20litres???? i think. Not to mention its from New zealand and not Sri Lanka... so its a bit more local. coir peat is basically adding more organic material into the soil and also holds moisture!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

ABC Gardening Australia Expo

All 5 of us rugged up nice and warm and went on Day 1.(with the last expo/con we went to, we went on the last day. While we enjoyed the bargains to be had in the final hours from stallholders, we really did wish we didn't just have the choice of "leftovers". Which is what it felt like)

The crowd was small! Which was awesome. It had been forecasted to rain that day, it was really windy and freezing! (looked miserable too) But lucky for us it didn't rain!

Picked up a cute pansy ($2), sugarsnap peas seeds ($4.50), venus fly trap plant ($3), thornless blackberry ($6), raspberry ($6), 4 flowering tulips (for Tia) ($4), 6 cacti/succulent cuttings ($10) not sure if i missed something there.... next time i will have to put more money away to spend! I could have bought something from almost every stallholder.. lol! There were seeds, bulbs, flowers, fruit trees, trees, shrubs, cacti, grasses... inside there were products from lavender farms, demonstrations and samples on how to cook asparagus & mushrooms, bee farms... i could go on and on! ^^ (photos soon?)

I almost got a beautiful little japanese red maple tree and there was a cute pink chinese maple tree to (that Tia loved!) but the stall holders were to busy and taking forever... *sigh*

Trip home was rather bad... It was a friday afternoon 4-5pm... peak hour trains! For some reason during peak hour the disabled section fills up with bikes and alot of other un-disabled (or un-pram) people. So i figured it equalled up.. those who were lucky in 10 seconds to scramble into the disabled section made me cranky and us with the twin pram in the doorway (who couldn't make it further down the station in 10 seconds to the disabled section) now standing up made other people cranky!