Day Old Chicks

Spring Garden Update – October 17

Finally we’ve seen some rain this month (I think we’ve caught up for the entire year). Everything is thriving since the rain and finally our dust bowl backyard has grass again.

In the Aquaponics

We’ve harvested the last of our Leeks and Cabbages from the aquaponics and are now experiencing an abundance of lettuce. Hopefully we can keep up the lettuce supply because we’re definitely now in salad season.

We’re trying zucchini and snake beans in the aquaponics this year to see how they go as well. We’ve also replanted out some luffa and adding in Warrigal greens as an alternative to spinach which have been doing really well.

Our barramundi have grown so much that one grow bed isn’t keeping up with the nutrients and we’re getting a bit of an algae issue, so in the next few weeks we hope to add an additional grow bed which means more space for things to grow!

Barramundi tank aquaponics

Front Garden Beds

The sunflowers are putting on a show for us, we’ve had a bit of a fail with our corn not properly pollinating as the plants flowered before the silks appeared.

We’ve finally fixed up the zucchini garden bed by adding some more compost and a combo of other bits and pieces to improve the quality of the soil. We relocated the zucchini to the back garden bed whilst we did this and have since planted the new bed out with beetroot, rockmelon (which I know is the wrong season but I am giving it a go) and a nasturtium. I have a new zucchini almost ready to go which I’ll plant out soon.

Sunflowers in our front garden bed

We still have an issue with our tomato and the leaves curling. The plant is producing fruit, no yellowing leaves but just doesn’t look as good as it could and the growth is a little stunted. The surrounding basil was also not looking fantastic, and a soil test revealed the bed was alkaline to the extreme. We’ve made some adjustments as again another bed we didn’t get 100% right with our regular soil recipe¬†as we had run out of compost. Since the adjustments, the basil looks perfect but the tomato is still not looking it’s best. We’ll make a call on whether to just put it to leaf curl disease and pull it out.

The stray pumpkin vine looks to be a butternut and it’s already producing fruit!

Stray Butternut pumpkin

The fruit orchard

Sadly with all the beautiful rain we lost all our pomegranates. Pomegranates are suited to dryer climate, but we’ll keep persevering and hopefully we’ll get rain before or after flowers next year.

The blueberry is producing very well, Ivy usually gets a couple of handfuls each morning. Unfortunately I am missing heaps that are landing on the ground due to my inability to bend (hello 36 weeks pregnant). We should get a few more weeks of this but we’ll definitely look at getting a few more plants as I am not sure Ivy is going to cope when it finishes fruiting so would be nice to have enough to freeze.

Our Fruit Orchard (aka fruit trees in pots)
Our Fruit Orchard (aka fruit trees in pots)

The coffee bean tree has put on a beautiful display of flowers, hoping to get more than one berry this time around.

Back garden

After digging in our green manure crop we’ve since planted out our back garden with beetroot, beans, cucumbers and nasturtium. We also had a cucamelon but it didn’t survive the transplant, I am hoping to get more of these going as I’d love to try them. And we’ve also moved the sad zucchini into this bed. The cucumbers are just starting to flower and we’re training them up the trellis.

Cucumber starting to fruit
Cucumber starting to fruit

Seed raising

After ending up with an over supply of lettuce, I’ve slowed down on the seed raising front. I’ll probably gear up again in early December but most of what we have growing at the moment should last until January.

I wasn’t having any luck with my zucchini seeds (which were brand new) so I tried the baggy method (popping seeds into a ziplock back with damp paper towel and wait for them to sprout). Out of 5 seeds I managed to get one up.

Other bits around the garden

We had our first broody hen! Our Wyandotte Satay, our best layer, decided she needed to sit on some eggs for a bit. Which we weren’t too thrilled about.

After a bit of research we decided to go for surrogacy as my parents were looking to replenish their flock on the farm. We popped some day old chicks under her at night and she lovingly adopted them. For two and a half weeks everything was fine, until we noticed that she had started rejecting one of the chicks- quite savagely to the point where we lost one. We since moved them into a little brood box where they will stay until they get their full feathers (around 8 weeks), then they can head to the farm. You can read more about our first broody hen and the day old chick surrogacy here.

Day Old Chicks
Day Old Surrogate Chicks

What we have harvested

  • Lettuce, Lettuce & More Lettuce
  • Leeks
  • Warrigal Greens
  • Basil, Oregano, Mint, Thyme, Parsley, Rosemary

What we are planning for next month (and beyond)

Our baby#2 is due late November, bending is hard for me now so we’re probably just going to be sticking with maintenance for a little while, but our plans for this month are:

  • Adding a new grow bed to the barramundi tank
  • Plant out the zucchini (FINALLY)

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