Saturday, December 17, 2011

TLC for our tomatoes

We look like having a bumper crop of tomatoes this year, starting with our Beefsteak variety. Also growing are Romas and Gross Lisse varities plus numerous compost-derived specimens - all doing fabulously!

However, we've had a lot of blossom end rot plus fruit worm through them - the Romas have taken the biggest hit by the looks. Given their hybrid background the compost tomatoes are the least affected. We've done a big clean out and given the toms a dose of calcium nitrate in liquid form, hoping to remedy the remainder of the crop, which is looking decidedly healthier after two weeks of TLC! :o) Next year we will need to dose the soil more with gardening lime I think - not enough in ourno-dig bed it seems. Might also be worth tracking down some powdered or pulverised rock minerals to provide more trace elements.

tomatoes (fruitworm)
Beefsteak tomatoes with fruitworm.

In the other bed, our second planting of dwarf beans and the purple king beans are coming to an end - the warmer drier weather has meant a smaller crop, but my affection for them has not diminished in the slightest!

purple king bean (flower)
Purple King Beans in flower.

The cucumbers are flowering with little cucumbers on the way as well. Our corn is growing taller everyday too - we love corn, but again will need to keep an eye out for fruitworm as I've heard they love corn.

burpless cucumber
Burpless cucumber in flower.

The Perth weather is surely getting hotter and the days longer, so we are being more rigorous with watering and regularity is the key. A regular dose of liquid seaweed (or fish) emulsion seems to push the vegies along nicely too. A dose every fortnight seems to be having a positive effect.

So, bring on Summer and happy gardening!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The water's rising mamma!

Yeah baby yeah! Garden is loving this rain! Our timing on connecting up our water barrels was good too - that's 400 litres we didn't have before!

Thank you forces of nature and happy gardening!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Universal playground, Mueller Park Subiaco

We recently visited the new universal playground developed at Mueller Park in Subi. It's a wonderful play space for all ages and abilities! We've been filing away ideas for kids areas in our garden and just loved hanging out in this space.

The water feature was a hit with Clancy (plus a few bees vying for a drink) where she dropped leaves into the "stream" and watched them travel into the "puddle". Other kids were dressed for the water action too!

The other aspect I really liked was the contoured sandpits which enabled all to enter them for a play - there were crawling babies dipping in and out - the level of the sandpit was below the walkways, making it really easy for them to get into and out of it!

There were some musical pieces too - drums and hollow tubes linked underground across the playground - kind of like submarine walkie-talkies. Very cool!

The area is planted with native shrubs and trees and some grasses. Would also be nice to see some aromatic plants - herbs for kids to pick and taste for example.

A great space for kids parties too I reckon. We'll certainly be back for more of a play here!

At Home with Josh Byrne

At Home with Josh Byrne by margoc
At Home with Josh Byrne a photo by margoc on Flickr.
We visited Josh Byrne's home garden last weekend. It's amazing what you can do in a small space! The front garden is a water wise native garden and looks so lush. The retaining recycled limestone wall really gives the garden form and structure and no doubt acts as a bit of a water diversion to other parts of the garden. Clancy loved the sleepers, stepping along to different areas, one part with a sort of wishing well again made from the same material as the retaining wall - there was a sense of adventure about it all.

The rear yard is amazing: an edible garden and sensory feast using raised beds, pots, bins, a vertical herb garden, plus a sandpit and cubbyhouse for the kids, surrounded by aromatic herbs.

I'll say Josh certainly has an eye for design, using the space well to create areas of activity and relaxation - I especially loved the pergola overgrown with a passionfruit vine and the inviting lounge suite beneath!

Mostly, I wanted to see firsthand his greywater set up - very high tech (well it looked that way) - water is probably the biggest issue Perth gardeners face.

Well, happy sustainable gardening... it's going to be another long, hot Summer!