I have conquered the codling moth!

One of my best efforts this year in the garden has been keeping the codling moth at bay.  Not one of the apples on the tress showed any signs of codling moth activity on the apples.   However, I did loose about 20% of the apple crop to the birds due to my poor netting technique.  Having draped the nets directly over the trees as tight as possible, the birds still managed to eat the apples through the net by using their weight to push the netting closer to the fruit. Next year I will build a frame over the trees to keep a good distance between the net and the fruit.

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Wicking garden bed progress

My initial wicking garden bed experiment conducted on a small scale did not go as planned.  When comparing the standard raised bed to the wicking bed, there were no differences between the two.  Some possible reasons for this was the soil type was a little heavy and of poor qualiy and did not draw (wick) the water from underneath (the water stayed at the same level for weeks).  The area of the soil was also a little small for the worms and the feed pipe was too small.  See the comparison photos below… Continue reading

Tomatoes and garden visitors

Finally the tomatoes are starting to ripen and we have harvested a good mix of yellow pear, tommy toe, mini Roma and Roma tomatoes to fest on.  When I compare the taste of each variety, I prefer the intense flavour of the mini Roma, closely followed by the sweet tommy toe.  The yellow pear seem to lack the real tomato taste, but are less acidic and add a good mix of colour to the salads.

Here are some picks of our recent harvest (about 3 kg in the past couple of days)  Continue reading

Sustainable living

We visited the green market on Saturday at Federation square to get some more ideas on sustainable living.  It was so good to see so many people with really good ideas on home to live a more sustainable life.  There was plenty of water wise garden solutions along with permiculture encouraging people to grown their own food.  See more info here Continue reading

The benefits of compost!

I have been increasing my efforts in making compost over the last couple of months in our home patch.  My motivation for spending more time and effort in composting comes from seeing so much food and other green waste around me going to landfill, which then has a major impact on our air, water and land quality. 

Check out the following stats from the australian bureau fo statistics for waste in Australia(http://www.abs.gov.au)

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Sunflowers and different composting techniques

Sunflowers

The sunflowers this year have grown really well.  I noticed it was time to harvest some of the seeds after we had a visit from one of our yellow crested friends.  He managed to make his way through half of one sunflower head before snapping it, along with another 3 flower heads off by the stem.  So you could say that he assisted in the harvest.

Pulling the seeds out is very simple – the hard part is preparing the seeds for eating!

So when do you know when the flower is ready to pick.  Well, wait for the birds…. or check the back of the flower to see if it has started to turn yellow.   The flower head will also be turned down under the weight of the seeds.

Here are a couple of pictures showing the process for removing the seeds from the flower.

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