A few jobs down & a wander through the patch..

Posted September 22nd, 2013 by Rob Bob : )»

A couple of jobs ticked off the list...
Thought it was about time I finish off a couple of jobs down the bottom of the patch this week..
The first was mulching up the mustard greens & digging them through one of the beds behind the chook shed..

This bed was heavily infested with root knot nematodes & I am hoping that the chemicals released by the decomposing mustard will gas the little blighters..

The lemon tree beside the chook pen was removed this week after much deliberation.. The trunk of the tree had started to split & had 6 or so borer holes around the base.. Not sure what will be filling the gap at the moment, might be one of the dwarf trees (fig or mulberry) or maybe another garden bed..

The first bed in the main garden had a few broccoli removed to get ready for the tomatoes to be planted..
The soil in parts of the bed had actually become devoid of life as most of the mulch layer had broken down & the soil left exposed in the sun & dried out.. I had a bit of a dig through looking for worms & didn't find any in the top 20cm or so..
Best way to fix this I thought was to add a few buckets of worm castings full of worms & a few litres of char.. This was raked through the top 10cm or so.. Both will help the soil to retain moisture & will help reseed some of the beneficial microbes that had died off.. The bed was then given a very generous watering to try & re-hydrate the soil..
2 large bags of horse manure was then added with a thick layer of mulch added on top of that.. Am fairly sure that the soil will start to improve over the next week or so & then should be ready for the tomatoes to go in..
I know that the girls enjoyed the clearing out of the bed as they got to strip the flowers from the old broccoli plants..

A wander through the patch...
Koo has taken it upon herself to let the girls out for a bit of a wander through the yard every few days..
Would love to let the girls out of the pen more often but they have a habit of demolishing garden bed very quickly as we found out yet again :D»
Our attention slipped for 10 minutes & they got to have a good scratch around a few beds enjoying the worms as they went.. No great loss as one was the bed with the mustard green manure & the other is not quite ready to be planted out in again yet.
I noticed the other day that the aphids have moved back into the patch attacking the daikon radish.. I was going to spray them with some soap spray but decided against it when I noticed how many lady beetles were on the plant..
I think if I let the aphids be, the lady beetles will have more than enough food to want to stick around & multiply.. As these plants are only being left to harvest the seeds I am not to concerned about the aphid damage..

Have found loads of the native bees again on the daikon & mustard flowers.. Also found a few buzzing on the flowers on the lime trees & lavender.. Hope these guys stick around a bit longer..

The blueberry bush down the back is loaded with fruit at the moment...
Was a bit concerned that the bush wasn't doing so great but it appears to of bounced back really well..

I am pleased to say that the gardens out the front are looking really good..
The Tigerella tomatoes have actually picked up so I think we might try & baby the plants through for a while longer..

The corn is going great guns as are the rest of the plants in the wicking beds.. The last bed was planted out with yacon this week..

Am very happy to report that I think this wave of rodent attacks in the aquaponics is over..
The system looks to have really kicked into gear with loads of new growth.. As the next few weeks are school holidays I am hoping to make a start on the alterations that I have planned for the system.. That is one job I really want to knock over as fast as possible..
The fish are also doing really well with the tank & water looking very clean.. A few will be coming out over the coming weeks just to take a bit of a load off the system during the move..

That's about it for this weeks look at the patch.. Has been a bit of a flat out week & weekend so am hoping I can hide in the patch tomorrow & knock off a few more jobbies..
Hope you all get a chance to play in the patch this week...
Rob..

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