Hi from Betty Boop NSW Au.

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself Here' started by Betty Boop, Jan 7, 2017.

  1. Betty Boop

    Betty Boop New Member

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    Hi All,
    I live in NW NSW Australia on 5 acres of sandy soil. The 5 acres run crosswise with a slight slope downwards. It's a high fire danger area.

    I am not very knowedgable in permaculture but have always believed in it.

    I have a compost hole in the ground, covered with shade cloth held down with rocks. It is 8 x 3 feet & 2 feet deep.

    Have a few bottle brush & wattles etc along the fence line. Some gum trees down one end of the 5 acres.

    In the house yard I have 5 small iron raised beds; 1, of them I planted newly bought rhubarb in...not doing well from the heat, so 2 days ago, I put tom' stakes & shade cloth around & over & they are hanging in....I think.
    2 of them I had silver beet in for years, with shade cloth over & around, they did very well then recently went to seed.
    1 I planted sweet pot' last year & now....great.
    Last one I have beetroot & kale type plants with shade cloth over & around...all OK.

    After years of covering every evening, the frost killed my Lemon, lime & mandarin trees, so Hubby (Mark) & I built a green house made from shade cloth to cover the remaining ones; 2 lemons, an orange & a lemonade. A couple of years ago I also grew in there 2 cherry guavas & 1 NZ type feijoa. All are going well. I have kept my chokoe vine alive all winter in a 10" pot. It is going berserk in there now !! Am now building it a small shade cloth house to grow it in.
    Have my tomatoes growing along the sunny side & they all have leaf wilt now....sad !!

    Along 4ft high house fence I have a small row of nectarine trees & 1 small peach (some of it's trunk eaten away on 1 side) all were attacked in spring by grubs from the millions of white butterflies we had for a month here. Next year I will completely cover them with shade cloth.

    Up the top of house yard I have a small potato patch. It does well. Just mulch between the rows with hay.

    Across the paddock I have grown in sandy mounds 27 lots of vines. They stretch over a 60 metres distance & I have the vines in mounds about every 4 feet. Pumpkins, squash, rock melons, cucumbers etc. 2 days ago I pollinated my FIRST vegy from them..a kent pumpkin. It's doubled in size & today it is about 2.5 inches in diameter. Exciting.

    Our huge very old apricot tree died in spring, I have no idea why.

    Soon have to grow, 2 apples, 1 pear, 3 figs, bought in pots.
    Also 2 Pomegranate, a few nectarine, a few peaches, 4 cherries, & several apricots, I grew them all from seed. I am going to research more & a few that will not like the bad frosts, I might put in the big black pots till they are bigger & put them in the fern house over winter.
    Mark & I measured out the distance for the fruit trees; around 6 metres, then Mark dug big holes about 5 feet deep with the tractor. I am going to fill them with old logs, grass clippings, gum tree wood chips & soil. Then plant the tree on top of it.
    Any ideas would be appreciated ???

    A couple of days ago I was researching & came across this wonderful site.
    And also, http://energyfanatics.com/2014/03/26/mycelium-definition-benefits-how-it-can-save-world/

    I read all about Mycelium...amazing. And that will be the way I will be going with my gardening. I am not sure if I found the Mycelium link on this site, but I think I did.

    To liven my compost up & make beautiful soil full of mycelium....Yesterday I bought a mushroom kit & some mushroom compost & 500 live worms.......which I WAS going to put in my compost hole with some old mulched gum tree (I have a pile of, from when the trees were lopped by the electricity people).

    NOW MY DILEMMA.....HELP....HELP. ..After reading last night about the temperatures for the worms & the mushrooms, I realise I cannot go ahead with my brilliant plans...
    ((Mark is (right now) planting a temperature gauge under my near composted end of the compost hole & late this arvo we can see what the temp' is down there ! ))

    So now I have to make my new PET worms a home.( I put a little water & some lettuce & tomato etc in the plastic bag with them last might. I had a peak in the box & pl' bag a while ago & some are crawling all over the scraps...so I am happy...at least they are alive..seemed lifeless yesterday.

    Any ideas to make a quick makeshift home for them would be appreciated. I will buy a proper worm house in a week or so.
    Thank you for reading, looking fwd to hearing from you.
     
  2. mischief

    mischief Junior Member

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    Wow!
    Hi Betty, I dont know very much about worm farms or mycelium, alothough I have also started trying to innoculate my back yard and glasshouse with mycelium of various types.The most recent is shaggy inkcap.

    Your Apricot may have died of old age, if it was big and old. Unfortuantely, they dont live forever.
    Welcome to the forum. I hope our 'worm guy' pops in to help you out.
     
  3. Betty Boop

    Betty Boop New Member

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    Hi Mischief, Thank you for writing. Yes you might be right about the apricot tree.
    I was reading some of your posts....about your marigolds. In my greenhouse I grew a few from seed & noticed today, that a few are chopped off....this arvo I moved a close by pot & under were dozens of little slugs. So I think they are the culprit.
    "mycelium of various types" I just googled up "shaggy inkcap", where do you get them from ?? I expect you collect them from around your garden.
    Over the years I have carefully picked out lots of little toadstool things & put them in the garbage. I think they are all mycelium....so I have a lot to learn.
    We are having a heatwave at the moment. I think I will have to pot all my rhubarb tomorrow & bring them in the house, as I might loose them all. Some have already died, they seem to do it instantly.
    I dug two wilting ones out of the raised garden bed & replanted them in my fern house (which is slightly cooler) 1 seems dead, the other all drooped on the ground.
    I would like to have some chooks, but later this year we would like to go away for a while. So we have to wait & get the chooks afterwards.
    The temperature in the compost heap was 29.8 degrees. I have to throw all my bright gardening ideas out the window & start learning from scratch. LOL.
    I must away now, have to google to see why one of my kent pumpkins leaves are yellowing. I haven't fertilised them yet, did give them some seasol, I am frightened to fertilise them in this heat.
     
  4. mischief

    mischief Junior Member

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    I get my mushroom spore/dowels from the mushroom gourmet website. (NZ). If you look in the supermarket at the flat mushrooms/ Portobello, you might see some brown dust on the underneath. I havent had any success in growing these so far from this but ou never know and you get to eat the mushroom that trhe spores came from.

    I dont know what to say about your Rhubarb except, make sure it is planted deep enough and has partial shade. Mine seem to do just as in partial shade where they are at the moment. They used to be in full sun and were just as good.

    Nah, dont throw them out, write them down as you go, then go back to them occasionally to see how different things are from what you thought to what actually happened. Its all a learning curve.
    Your compost is still 'working' then, so yep, not the right time to add worms or mycelium, wait for it to stop cooking.It will.
     
  5. songbird

    songbird Junior Member

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    i'm not sure if you are moving the rhubarb because of the
    cold or the heat?

    we grow it here and it doesn't mind cold at all.

    worms will do just fine in any old bucket, just cover it
    with an old (unholey) t-shirt and put a big rubber band
    around it and that will keep fruit flies out and the worms
    in.
     
  6. Betty Boop

    Betty Boop New Member

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    Hi Songbird, thank you for your message. The worms will be under control today, thank you. I found two styrofoam boxes & I will be putting them in today. I bought them to put in my compost, but learnt I could not, so it is all for the best as the little critters work wonders I've have just learnt.
    The rhubarb are dying from the heat. We are having a heat wave here. I potted them out of the raised garden yesterday. The temp' was 36 c degrees on the shady side of the house. I bought them into the house into the air conditioner. Put them outside yesterday evening & watered them, & bought them back in this morning. There was no where around the house that was less than 36 c. Today is supposed to be a few degrees hotter !!
     
  7. Terra

    Terra Moderator

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    Hi Betty welcome sounds like you have a few challenges
    If the cold is killing your citrus look for trifoliata rootstock trees , its the best rootstock for cold tolerance by a long way
    Look for sites that don't get as much frost eg near a brick wall or big water tank (radiant heat storage)

    Worms
    Lots of info out there but it wont always apply to our specific micro climate those small worm farms sold in hardware stores get too hot and too cold as they don't have enough mass to stay stable .
    Brian is a member here in the forum go to his site and read his info pages
    https://briansworms.com/
    I build big ones that go down into the ground a half metre so they can escape if they get too hot / cold / dry

    From Brians site quote
    "I obtained a second hand round stackable farm and began to study it. First thing I discovered was the instructions that come supplied with your farm is written in such a way that you will most probably fail and kill all your worms. They must be written by people who don’t breed worms and have no idea at all.. The solution is to soak the instructions in water and feed them to the worms."
     
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  8. Betty Boop

    Betty Boop New Member

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    Hi Terra, Thank you for writing & your welcome. I have just spent half an hour looking at what Songbird has achieved & I am very impressed & also with her ongoing flood challenges.
    I left the rhubarb inside last night to give them a chance to pick up. Some are looking better, others ALL the leaves are rolled, dried & crinkled. So I have to hope now that I can save them.
    The worms I put in the styrofoam container last night. I put liners to stop them falling through the holes, One end I put my partly composted garden soil. The other end some bought spent mushroom compost. Then I put the worms in the middle with a little new food. It will be interesting to see which they prefer. The other one I put under to catch the tea. I'll get a couple more same size containers later, to add to it.
    I'm really looking forward to seeing & learning more about YOUR worm farm Terra, sounds great.
    I love getting out & digging in the paddock for 2 or 3 hours, but I am being told off by my friends, they say I'll get sun stroke & Mark says "This gardening will kill you".
    Right now it is 38C deg on the shady side of the house under the tank stand. In full sun it is the top reading of 50C deg. So Mark has just come in & told me.
    I spent over 2 hours watering this morning, so today I am taking notice of all the warnings & staying inside.

    I can't wait to show you all some pics of our land, getting your tips & to learn how to get it improved & growing lovely fruit & vegys.
    I can't wait to get started, but the heat has put the brakes on me !!
    I would go out in the evening & plant my 3 figs, 2 apples & 1 pear tree (bought Dec 2015) & other ones I grew from seed, but I am terrified of the king brown & black snakes.
    I don't know how this site works yet, what the trophy points are for or how to contact a moderator, I am just blundering through at this time, it will all come in time. I don't have a lot of spare time, so that makes it hard.
    HELP HELP...Can someone PLEASE tell me which fruit trees to grow on both sides of my fruit orchard, that will handle all the wind....figs, apples, Pomegranate, pear, nectarine, peaches, cherries, apricot, cherry guava, NZ type feijoa, lemon. Have to get some plums also. ???
     
  9. Terra

    Terra Moderator

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    I'm near Monash south Australia so similar heat / cold but thankfully wind is not much of a problem here , my previous property of nearly 30yrs was called "Winndie" for very good reason . If the cold wind didn't get you the hot wind did.

    If you have wind problems there is a big part of your citrus trouble , new trees will need a circular shade cloth wind guard around them for a min 2 yrs they hate wind , cold and wet feet .

    Snakes don't like long handled shovels , seriously though , the best way to keep them away is to provide water for them well away from the busy areas , most times they are after feed (mice frogs ect) and water . So a pond for birds frogs and snakes would be a good move well back .

    Sort out areas they like to hide in such as piles of wood

    Setting up your food garden

    Buy Linda Woodrows book The permaculture home garden about $40 new , ive been food gardening all my life and learnt heaps from this book .

    It will teach you how to set up for ease of management and maximise production per hour spent make use of your sun and wind remember we are not getting any younger .

    Use your deciduous trees wisely don't plant them now plant them when they are dormant if you have bought some keep them in a sheltered spot until winter , prepare the planting hole now if you can

    If your planting citrus do that now while the ground is warm if you plant citrus into cold soil you will kill them 9 times out of 10
    If your keen on Citrus Bruce Morphett and Ian Tolleys book "Citrus for everyone"

    Track where your sun rises and sets now and it will be nth of that line in winter with the sun on a lower angle , its often said we should live on a place for twelve mths before we plant anything .

    So your Trees can provide late afternoon shady areas to protect softer plants

    Wind
    A fast wind break can be established that will last awhile out of thickly planted sorgum , wattle trees will last a lot longer (10yrs)

    Start a Thread in the Members section its a good way to keep a record of your progress

    My Thread is mostly at my old place the last couple pages are here I havnt updated for a long time I will stick some new pics up as ive mentioned in my thread ive had long periods where I have been locked out / cant sign in hopefully the glitch is sorted if not I will vanish again

    http://permaculturenews.org/forums/index.php?threads/terras-patch.11082/
     
  10. Terra

    Terra Moderator

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    With Lindas mandala garden system as you have space you can spread it out a bit more , her system is designed to fit in a back yard.

    Managing any run off water is a big part of your design , can you make use of water that runs down the road for example .
     
  11. Betty Boop

    Betty Boop New Member

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  12. Betty Boop

    Betty Boop New Member

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    Hi Terra, I have been reading your threads for about 3 hours. I'm nearly blind now !!!
    Your chook dome is a good idea. Someone said about putting it over citrus tree, another good idea. I have got up to all the threads about the snakes, so I am giving up, as it will probably take me 12 months to read all of yours.....thanks for the good ideas. You did NOT say it was you in the pic spinning the wool ??
     
  13. Terra

    Terra Moderator

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    Yep but I did say I'm not taking up knitting
    The chook dome is part of Lindas Mandala garden system we can turn "virgin gutless soil" into hi production in two passes of the chook dome its amazing how much organic matter the chooks can process keep the patch the dome is on damp . The nitrogen in the chook manure the digging they do and the microbes and worms from underneath work together ive seen over a foot deep of packed hay / straw disappear into the soil in a few weeks .
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2017
  14. Betty Boop

    Betty Boop New Member

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    Hi Terra, I have ordered the book you recommended; "Linda Woodrows book The permaculture home garden". Have you just become a moderater ??.....I did not notice the word under your pic before. I have been reading & learning heaps. Still very hot here, I heard you will be getting this heat down there soon.
    What is your overnight lowest temp' in the winter ?? My vines are coming along. The pumpkin have light green/yellowing leaves...so I read they need nitrogen.
    I have 5 kents on & 1 butternut. 1 rockmelon, a few watermelons & a few cucumbers.....I'm excited !!! I am preparing the holes for transplanting the figs etc when they are dormant....thanks for the tips. We cart the now potted rhubarbs out every night & back into the air conditioning around 8.30 - 9am.
     
  15. Terra

    Terra Moderator

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    Yes I'm a moderator again , I was before but something happened when the forum format changed and I couldn't log in , so all good again now .
    Our lowest overnight temps are around minus 5 usually we don't go much past zero .
    Lindas book is terrific a few years ago we had a few members that followed the mandala garden system .
    Saves a lot of walking around circular beds fit sprinklers
    Weeds and finished plants go into the chicken pen with a couple of steps and they eat all the bugs on these plants so keeping numbers down .
    Have been having a lot of trouble with plants not setting , usually the cucumbers swamp us , plants are healthy and vigorous but not setting , tomatoes as well .
    Heat hasn't been too bad usually only one savage day then a few cooler , so far no long runs of 40 plus .
     

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