My first attempt at grafting tomatoes turned out to be an epic failure. Seems like I’ve got the formula wrong. I added too much water into the tray thus making the plants too turgid, which creates a layer of water between the rootstock and scion significantly reduces success rate. Apart of that, I don’t really know what I am doing, especially its been more than a month since I watched it on YouTube. Turned out to be a real dodgy job.

After asking around on the LSB Forum, I’ve got more pointers. Find out more on Google.

This video is really useful. Possibly the best of many tomato grafting videos I have digested.

So, I’m going to try it out again. In fact, I have! My second attempt. I grafted Tomaccio onto Indigo Rose, and Indigo Rose onto Tomaccio. I made sure the diameter match up for both scion and rootstock. Misted it with calendula homeopathic concoction, and use a orange juice bottle with the bottom cut off as a cloche to increase humidity, and they go straight into the hot water cupboard. Hopefully they will take this time.

I have also sown more Tomaccio and Indigo Rose seeds, and a LSB Forum member is going to send me some proper grafting clip to use.

Camera 360

There’s some makeover in the raised vege beds this week. The green curly kale are starting to go to seed, though I have pinched off the flower heads, can’t hold them off for long. I took the last harvest, gave them a good haircut, and transplanted them into the forest garden along with some Cavolo Nero. Hopefully, some self-seeded kale from the forest garden next year.

Camera 360

All this freeing up of space means that I can start my square foot gardening! In goes Black Scorzonera, Carrots Purple Dragon, Onions PKLK for the root crops. Broccoli Sprouting Summer Purple, Broccoli Precoce Romanesco, Pak Choi Flowering, Kale Squire for brassica crops. And of course, taking into the idea of not sowing everything at the same time, I will sow Carrots Nutri Red and Carrots Rainbow Blend in subsequent weeks. Maybe another round of Broccoli after that too. Now, I get the hang of sow little sow often. I used to bang them all in at the same time and watch all of them go to seed.

Camera 360

Anyone has got any simple idiot proof recipes for Kavolo Nero? I am not exactly the right man if you talk about doing justice to awesome fresh produce.

Camera 360

I’m having peas for dinner tonight! Just look at the destruction the birds have done to the foliage! Interesting, a friend at work told me that she grew peas just by the chicken run and they never get attacked by birds. Do the birds stay away from the chooks?

Camera 360

I’ve got more peas in the greenhouse. Please remind me to let some mature fully for seed saving.

Camera 360

I can stop buying carrots now. Next week onwards, baby Carrots Nutri Red!

Camera 360

Also spotted this beautiful cos lettuce that has gone rogue.

Camera 360

Lovely Borage ready to flower and feed the bumble bees.

Camera 360

I am totally captivated by this beautiful daisy.

Camera 360

Blueberries flowering and fruit set.

Camera 360

The roses have started to flower. This is one of the white Austin roses.

Camera 360

One thing with roses that always creeps me out. Aphids! I remember when I was just a little boy, flipping through encyclopedias with full size pictures, and come across all the insects, and stuff, masses of ants, or just about any not so creepy crawlies and I get the creeps. Its just, shivers down and up and down my spines. So, when I inspect the roses, those succulent new shoots, to see them fully covered with aphids, and they are sort of doing the injection thing in sequence… Ewww… Creepy. Hope I don’t get a nightmare tonight. Something like an army of juicy aphids covering my hand and sucking the life out of me… gross!

Camera 360

Pears are in full bloom now. And the apple trees are just about getting into it with their delicate blush of pink whitish flowers. On the plus side, I have finally ended the confusion of who’s who between Hetlina and Monty Surprise. Dug into the old photos and managed to distinguish the distinguishable curves of the Monty Surprise.

Camera 360

I’ve also got around to do some tree training, tying down some branches to spread the limbs out to encourage a more fruiting tendency.

Camera 360

This spread eagle result of the hazelnut tree is probably the plastic surgery equivalent of tree training. It is just one difficult tree to get right. The leader is not growing straight up, and the second and only limb has been left to dominate for more than a season.

Camera 360

No sign of leaf curl yet on the orchard peach tree. But that tiny red dot on the leaf margin might turned out to be a leaf curl in progress.

Camera 360

My beautiful red foliage Nectarine Blackboy Mabel on the other hand is having a seriously bad case of leaf curl. It is obviously still weak, having been neglected in Block 1 last season, and a slap dash transplant Justin-style. I have stripped off all the affected foliage for now and will nurse it back to good health. Remember, Orchard Peach used to be covered in curly leaf too! Environment determines genetic expression.

Camera 360

The orchard cherry tree is just going for it. That’s plenty of flowering for a tree with limited structure. I wonder how it will sucker this season. I think it will need multiple pruning throughout the season for proper shape. Like a gargantuan bonsai.

Camera 360

This hazelnut thingy is very interesting. It looks like it belongs under the sea.

Camera 360

Kiwiberry from down South in leaf!

Camera 360

Here’s a view of the Orchard Cottage this week. I have also completed the roadside hedge planting with Eucalyptus gregsoniana and Eucalyptus moorei, that will close up the gap between the privet hedge. At this point, I think I can stop buying in plants. Now, I can start propagating some currants to plant all around the forest garden.

Camera 360

I’ve got rhubarb too! This went in to start filling up the Southern fence which I am developing into a hedgerow. I am also starting more rhubarb from seed! Not like I really know what to do with them, but I read somewhere a chunk of them beneath each Brassica is good for the them. And the leafs boiled up makes a really potent pesticide too! Again, in this hedgerow will see the addition of currants, and non-running erect berries.

Something interesting, I was out doing the soil temperature reading today. The hot corner reads about 16dC, the rest of the garden does between 13dC to 14dC. One of the hugelkultur bed reads 22dC! These beds are located on the Southern side of the house, gets direct sun sort of in the afternoon. The mix of used coffee grounds and compost is definitely working up some heat! The raised bed for avocado which is also behind the house but does not have coffee grounds in it is just reading about 13dC. So, hot bed explained. I need to add some used coffee grounds onto the avocado bed.

Camera 360

Caesar is the true guardian of the forest garden. He keeps the rabbits away. And he even chase after the possums too! I’ve seen him having a go at one before. He is one dog that is fearless about things that he has yet learned to fear.

Camera 360

And that’s me, getting back into running. Barefoot. I’ve tried really baring it, but the farm road is just too rough I gave up before the minute hand even ticked. So, here’s an investment that hopefully shows my commitment to run at least once a week. The method is simple, set the watch to countdown for 30 minutes, run into the valley until the countdown ends, turn around and run home. An hour, about 4km by my standard.

Advertisements