Spring is just starting. Yesterday, the wind was howling from the North, and that limited my outdoor time severely. Today, we had a mild breeze from the South, but overall a nice warm day that allowed me to take Caesar for a nice long walk through the rolling farm lands. We had no rainfall this week, a high of 17.2dC, and a low of -0.9dC.

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I am in the midst of re-reading Nourishment Home Grown by Dr AF Beddoe. It is a great book, I last read it about 2 years ago, and decided that now is a time to refresh my mind about it. This book presents soil science in a different way, and casts a different perspective on how we understand the different nutrients. One key take away is that the effectiveness of foliar spray is dependent on how healthy and mineralized the soil is, plants growing in healthy mineralized soil is better able to take in nutrients through its foliage. His book also made me realized the importance of Phosphate in the soil, and the use of RPR.

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I have already spread Gypsum and RokSolid around and I am now waiting for my 10kg bag of BioPhos to arrive in the mail. BioPhos is formulated from Reactive Rock Phosphate (RPR).  Using a world-first patented process BioPhos harnesses the resources of phosphate fixing fungi and bacteria. Naturally occurring fungi are selected and cultured by Landcare Research and added to RPR along with an organic nutrient.  As a result of the inoculant and multiplication of these organisms during a controlled composting process, the RPR is converted to a highly plant-available form: Polyphosphate. If all goes well, I will repeat this process in Autumn, which is usually the time to do this stuff.

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Apart from that, the book also mention the use of Sul-Po-Mag, applied between mid-Summer to mid-Autumn, which enhances the trees uptake of Copper, and reduced the splitting of the bark, or cankers, which we commonly see in stonefruit. Sul-Po-Mag stands for Suplhate of Potash Magnesia, I have asked my Elders and FruitFed guys before, but neither know where I can get my hand on them, as it will be a very useful horticultural product for stonefruit growing. I asked Google yesterday, and much to my surprise, PCG Wrightson Turf carries it, and they are using it on turf! Its called Patent Kali and it comes in 25kg bag. I’ll try to get my hand on a bag this Summer.

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There’s a lot more unsung knowledge in this book than I can talk about. The use of sugar or molasses to improve water retention. How about improvising that to seed balls making?

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The Spring bulbs are popping up readily now. Here, the first Earlicheer daffodil is flowering! Next season will be an even more amazing sight after the bulbs divides, there will be more flowers in a clump.

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Apricots are flowering!

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Look at these really thick asparagus shoots. I won’t be harvesting the thick ones as I prefer the more slender ones.

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Still eyeing the Cara Cara Orange. I am proud to announce that all my Citruses have survived the Winter! The ones grown in Hugelkultur beds on the South of the house have fared quite well too! My system is working.

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The tomatoes and capsicums. Bottom right, potatoes from aerial seeds. The only seeds that seems to be weak is the Tomaccio seeds that I have saved off the plant last season. I sow 3 sets, and only 1 weak seedling germinated, I might have to buy a plant from the garden center. I also have Sungold seeds, which I will sow tomorrow.

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The Orchard Cottage this week. There’s no reseeding of wildflowers being done at the end of last season, the self-seeded ones are starting to pop up now. I am going to over sow Lucerne in two weeks time. Along with Calendula, Cornflowers, Crimson Clovers, and Allyssum.

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