What Did You Do In The Garden?

digitS'

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If House Sparrows eat slugs, it has made quite a difference here at home. I seem to have it on good authority (probably Wikipedia ;)) that this is part of their diet. The slugs aren't as well controlled in my distant gardens and isn't true in my protected growing.

In the greenhouse, the slugs sometimes cause problems. Tiny seedlings can take quite a hit overnight. Down goes the bait!

Since the temporary hoop house has plants in garden beds, covered with the hoops and plastic film for several months, slugs can be a real problem. Irrigation with a watering wand or a sprinkler means that bait will become wet and dissolve into the ground. (Good reason to use organic.)

Once the plastic film is off, the slugs disappear. I attribute this to the sparrow population, which decimate my lettuce planting but, somewhat, protect the brassicas, here at home.

I have to say that I often see slug trails up the plastic film south wall in the greenhouse. They have regularly slimed their way up above 6 feet and higher. Plants aren't on the film, of course, but they have missed the route up to the containers on the benches. There are more unwatered places to attract them to the iron phosphate bait in the greenhouse and slug problems are usually in control.

Steve
 

Niele da Kine

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The raised bed gardens here are built of three layers of "concrete masonry units" aka "CMU"s. There's rebar or bits of old pipe or cut off bits of metal fence stuck in the holes to keep them stacked with dirt in the holes as well. Then lined with weed mat, soil sifted in, bunny manure, oyster shell and bio-char worked into the top layer and then marigolds are planted around the whole thing in the holes of the CMUs. I've seen slug trails all over the marigolds yet the marigolds aren't eaten and the veggies in the garden aren't eaten, either. I have no idea why, but I'm good with it. They're short marigolds so they make a festive border, too.

Yesterday, the weeds behind the raised bed between the sheep fence and the garden were all cleared away. The sheep were helpful nibbling up all the weeds stuck through their fence. Then a layer of old feed bags was put down and then some old floppy Trex decking. That's some sort of composite 'wood' that is used for building weatherproof decking they say, but when it gets old it gets pretty floppy for anything 'wood' if you ask me. It makes a great walkway when put directly on the ground, though. I still need to tuck in the edges and put a line of stone tiles across the back to make it more tidy and to help stabilize the bank.

So that will hopefully keep the weeds down between the garden and sheep fence. It was hard to mow back there and not much room to swing a scythe. It's also slightly sloped towards the garden so rain will run into the garden. Not that we particularly actually need more rain here. Got that little raised bed garden chicken proofed (I hope) and planted marigolds, corn, watermelons and lettuce.


0216210919c.jpg

The next project will be to clear away the Guinea/Reznor/Cane/Elephant grasses and build another raised bed. The next garden will be beyond this one where that pile of grasses are. That pile of grasses has already been knocked back a huge amount, but there's still some left to clear out. The sheep are tucked in under a bank of the grass, hopefully they will eventually eat their enclosure into a pasture. They've been at it since last August and have made great inroads into the jungle of grasses, but they still have a lot of work to do. I measured one grass stem at 18 feet/ 5.48 meters and that wasn't even a particularly long one, just one that was near where I had a tape measure.

These gardens aren't just for growing veggies, they're also for terracing the hillside as well as getting rid of the areas for the grasses to grow. It's too steep to mow easily, hard to walk on and as gardens it's much better than a massive bank of grasses.

Today's effort will be more war on grass.
 

digitS'

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I hope that you are feeling better soon, @Gardening with Rabbits .

You should have done an @ for me, GWR. I was just feeling sorry for myself while in the backyard and seeing the snow melt off the greenhouse with a yard full of sunshine. I couldn't think of a good reason to shovel my way over there and go in. Why bother?!

Onion seed was what I was waiting for in the seed orders. The first just came but no onion seed in that one ... Lo and behold.

I once made the mistake of planting seed in a greenhouse flat in January. That was bothersome, moving it around and trying not to allow the soil to freeze. I had plans to start seed 2 weeks ago but this cold and lack of sunlight would have made it futile and I had seen the forecast. Now, I'm impatient!

If you are sowing seed for transplants indoors, I think anytime this month would be fine. Latest date for bulb onions may be into March.

Nearing April, toss the bulb idea and go for shallots, direct-sown ;). Hey, you probably won't be sorry ...

Steve
 

Trish Stretton

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Yesterday I dead head both the bronze and florence fennel. I kept some of the bronze to dry for the kitchen.
Harvested a few more beets which emptied one end of a bed, once I pulled the cucumber out as well. This got weeded of as much convovulus roots as I could find.
Once all that was done I sowed down about 12 rows of black turtle beans, using an old pallet to keep the rows straight and another small bit to get them spaced properly.
Then it was down to the front yard to chop up yet more of the shrub prunings to use as mulch for the beans in an effort to stop those dratted blackbirds from digging them up.

The first lot of chickpeas had dried properly, so I put the tray on the ground and stomped all over them to break their pods then took them up to the lawn where I put a small tarp and had a go at winnowing them.
That was fun. I learnt that you really do need a bowl shaped container and preferably not plastic, cos the peas bounce.

I had emailed the arborist saying wow you guys must be busy, cos I hadnt heard anything...and they turned up yesterday to look at my poor Banksia tree. All going well the horizontal trunk should be cut out next monday, failing that it will be the weekend.

Another tray of San Marzano toms are now still out in the sun to dry.
 

Dirtmechanic

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I overseeded the lawn with a fescue I like. It will hold up in spring cold, the shade as the trees leaf out, and all but the hottest part of the summer. By then the warm season grass is up and running. I had been doing this in the fall the last couple of years but wanted to see what would come back on its own this year. Its actually done fairly well with long term establishment. This will be a year where I learn about grass plugging from your own yard. I have been nursing a big patch of St Aug that needs spreading and have a bunch of monkey grass that needs resetting due to root crowding. I am very sure there is some kinda George Jetson/Elon Musk kinda gadgetry that I will buy to help me, only to have my hopes and dreams dashed to the ground as I pick up my trusty, rusty shovel while casting the failed gadget aside.
 
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Artichoke Lover

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Tried to fill some pots but the bags of potting mix were still frozen. Weeded the berry patch. And worked on the fence. It should only take me another day to finish and then I can start prepping the soil for planting.
 

Gardening with Rabbits

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I hope that you are feeling better soon, @Gardening with Rabbits .

You should have done an @ for me, GWR. I was just feeling sorry for myself while in the backyard and seeing the snow melt off the greenhouse with a yard full of sunshine. I couldn't think of a good reason to shovel my way over there and go in. Why bother?!

Onion seed was what I was waiting for in the seed orders. The first just came but no onion seed in that one ... Lo and behold.

I once made the mistake of planting seed in a greenhouse flat in January. That was bothersome, moving it around and trying not to allow the soil to freeze. I had plans to start seed 2 weeks ago but this cold and lack of sunlight would have made it futile and I had seen the forecast. Now, I'm impatient!

If you are sowing seed for transplants indoors, I think anytime this month would be fine. Latest date for bulb onions may be into March.

Nearing April, toss the bulb idea and go for shallots, direct-sown ;). Hey, you probably won't be sorry ...

Steve
I think I ask you this question yearly lol. I hope your seed gets to you soon. I have to go through the snow to the shed and not enough energy for that. The sun is shinning here finally but nothing I can do yet. I think the shallot idea is a great idea. It will be a close call for onions for me. I wanted to get manure delivered and spread. I guess see how fast the snow melts and when I get well. I have had a low-grade fever on and off the last 2 days, so I need to rest, but so much I want to do. Thank you for the information.
 
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