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Yep, it snowed, but nothing down to sea level here. The surrounding hills are white again, and it got really cold!

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From the frozen rain gauge, we can tell there’s 28mm of rainfall accumulation. A low of -4dC and a high of 9dC. It’s quite wet, and frosty, and cold. I have started uploading my weather data onto Weather Underground again, just the temperature and humidity of the Subtropical station.

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The frozen forest garden. Had a walk around Sunday morning to find out what are the areas that don’t get frost bitten.

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The subtropical area, clearly, didn’t made it this season, the tree lucerne will grow more dense and they will be able to do a better job next season, hopefully. Will see what made it into Spring.

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Frosted pattern. Pittosporum?

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Frosted hazelnut catkins.

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Frosted almond buds, will be interesting to see if those buds will be alright?

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The sign of a really harsh frost.

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Caesar’s paw, frosted.

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The rainwater catchment tank is frozen, the ice about 1cm thick.

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The raised beds are all frosted, the saffrons are enjoying the cold.

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Luckily I had the lemon and lime covered. And the waxeyes are enjoying a feast on the bird feeder.

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Without further ado, I have built the new door for the greenhouse, and put the old mikroclima frost cloth back on. Should last for another year or two.

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If you have too many old newspapers and magazines and boxes that you want to get rid of. Build a raised bed.

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The Orchard Cottage this week. Totally frozen. I’m running out of space on this site too, am considering if I should pay for an upgrade or start another chapter on a new site?

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Earlier this week we were reminded how treacherous winter driving can be.

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Rainfall this week, 12mm. We have a high of 14dC and a low of -3dC.

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It’s a really cold one this winter with plenty of frosty morning. The frost busted one of the irrigation timers, I have swapped a spare one in, and will check if the other one will still work. The frost bite the coffee plant hard, but did not killed it. All of the citrus plants does not seem to be fazed at all. And we will have to wait till Spring to see if the damage done to the Subtropicals are recoverable.

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On the projects, the greenhouse got the pebbles. I’ve got enough pebbles now for the Orchard Cottage. I’ll be getting in truck loads of eco mulch from now on. I think I’ll do some sanding on the greenhouse to smooth the surface down and reduce the friction damage to the mikroclima frost cloth.

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The windows for the giant cloche has been built today. There’s only 4 pieces of wood to each window with no other reinforcing needed. This is because I have the 2 shorter wood at a 45d slant to the other 2 pieces, and everything just locked into place rigidly. I’ll put the hinges on next week and all it needs is a wrap up with greenhouse film, some insulation tape, and filled with eco mulch. By Spring time, we’ll be in business.

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Hazelnut catkins. Is this the right time of the year for them to be doing this?

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One of the almond can’t wait for Spring.

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Again, I can’t say more about how much I appreciate how cold this Winter is. Finally, the big almond tree that has not gone dormant for a few Winters, has finally decided to shed its leaves and go to sleep! The Peachcot and some Apricots finally decided to call it a season after a few hard frosts. Some plants are just too hard basket. However, some of the apples along the Belgian Fence has decided to keep going and shows no sign of going into dormancy.

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The Orchard Cottage this week. Caesar made a few appearance here and there. I must say I am quite used to the cold nowadays having consciously conditioning my body to be able to withstand colder temperature without needing extra layers.

Pardon my England in regards to the title, I just can’t help it. Another killer frost on Friday with a -6dC in town. It definitely felt like Winter at night now. We are in the month of June now, Queen’s Birthday welcomes the Winter. I had a feeling this Winter is going to be a really cold one.

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This week we have 11mm of rainfall. In the sheltered Subtropical Station, we recorded a low of -1dC and a high of 15dC.

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With Winter starting, I have decided to round up all the pumpkins and ripen them up indoors. Apparently you can still help the pumpkin to color up with sunlight and warmth.

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Bringing all the harvest in means that I can now move those compost bags which I grew the sweetcorn and pumpkin in. I have to harvest all the raised beds then, so that I can top up the raised beds with the spent compost in the compost bags.

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Something else that I started doing as well is to cut back the privet hedge really hard. I pretty much took out half a meter of thickness from the hedge.

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It will make good mulch and firewood. I am also going to bring down the height of the privet hedge as well after I slim it down.

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I’m saving the seeds off my sweetcorn. And each cob goes into a separate bag. Here, Silver Platinum specimen 1.

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Silver Platinum specimen 2.

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Silver Platinum specimen 3. Stubby and not a bit on the yellow side. Seems to have a heavy degree of cross pollination with another variety.

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Silver Platinum specimen 4. Skinny.

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Early Gem specimen 1. The only one, I think we ate the rest.

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Golden Bantam specimen 1.

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Golden Bantam specimen 2. A pretty well crossed specimen.

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Golden Bantam specimen 3. Not a lot of crossing.

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Rainbow Inca specimen 1. Bendy.

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Rainbow Inca specimen 2. Seem to have cross with Silver Platinum.

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Rainbow Inca specimen 3. Good shape.

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Rainbow Inca specimen 4. This is a good looking one.

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Rainbow Inca specimen 5. Blue corn chips?

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Rainbow Inca specimen 7. I somehow skipped 6. 7 is as good as it gets. So much for saving the best for last.

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I have also seeds for Pumpkin Australian Butter. Its the tiny one a quarter the size of its big brother of the same variety. I prefer the smaller size single serve pumpkins.

Winter came, I’m going to start building the giant cloche next week. I am not sure if I will finish it completely right away, I might just build the structure, fill it up and grow the three sisters in there again next season.

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The Orchard Cottage this week. Caesar is really tired, he had a long walk yesterday, and had a good swim in the river today.

It was 5am in the morning and I was at work getting things ready. It was bloody cold. A checked on the web shows that its -4dC at the airport. No wonder the fingers are freezing. Luckily the work grounds are dry, so there’s no icing on the grounds. Its -1dC at home, in the Subtropical area, that’s a cause for concern. We shall see how the plants fare.

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9mm of rainfall accumulated this week. High of 17dC and cold of -1dC.

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Quite obviously, the bananas are quite frost hammered. It will take a few more days to assess the extend of the damage.

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The paw paws are affected too.

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Yet, this paw paw showed that some of its leaves are not affected.

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The tamarillos are partially affected. The leaves at the top are goners, but the ones in the middle are unaffected.

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The previous photo was on the more exposed side of the plant, but on the part well covered under the tree lucerne is quite unaffected.

So, I can deduce that the tree lucerne canopy concept is working, and the reason the bananas are quite significantly affected because they are still quite out in the open as the other tree lucernes are still young and have not grown densely enough to provide sufficient protection. Also to keep in mind that bananas are the more cold hardy of the collection.

The passionfruits that I have planted underneath a tree lucerne are completely unaffected. And so is the cherimoya.

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Another interesting discovery, these two quite exposed lemon and lime is unaffected. Perhaps, another good frost free spot behind the house to explore. Thinking of a banana circle with a tree lucerne smack in the center to boot. That’s thought for a late Spring project.

  • Banana – Basjoo – 5m – Japanese fibre banana
  • Banana – Pineapple ladyfinger – 5m – Small tangy fruit
  • Banana – Basjoo – 5m – Japanese fibre banana
  • Banana – Misi Luki – 4m – Creamy & sweet
  • Banana – Basjoo – 5m – Japanese fibre banana
  • Banana – Goldfinger – 3m – Very sweet, tangy, curved fruit

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The tree lucernes are doing a good job of sheltering the Southern side of the house against the southerlies.

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The Orchard Cottage this week. Crazy ideas borne out of thin air. Keep calm. Keep warm. I am thinking of making one of those Keep Calm posters, mine would say “Keep Calm & Jog On”.

This week has been snowy. Most of the wet weather were isolated towards Banks Peninsula. However, I was at the Christchurch Botanical Garden today, and remnants of hail can still be seen among the shady parts of the garden. All around, the Prunus family have started flowering, and so the display of Spring flowers have begun.

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Rainfall this week, 7.5mm. Weekly high of 16.7dC and low of -1.5dC. Some morning frosts as well. I had a feeling that this Winter is going to drag out into Spring.

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The woodlands at the botanical garden is awesome. I had an enjoyable walk in the garden today despite it being cut short due to the change in weather. A good Samaritan even warned me to get going as the weather is going to rain and my jacket is not going to help. My favorite part of the botanical garden is the Curator’s garden, which is the vege patch. The native garden is amazing too, just inspires me about native plantings.

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The conservatory is finally opened! And look, bananas!

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Back at the Orchard Cottage, the prune plantings are now completed. Prune plums are essentially European plums, smaller in size, packed with traditional flavors, freestone, much unlike modern Japanese plums. From left:-

  • Cheviot Prune – Sweet and juicy fruit with a dark blue skin. Very cold hardy. Pollinates with all other prunes and greengages. Great to eat fresh, bottle or preserve.
  • Italian Prune on myrobalan – The world’s most popular prune plum! Dark purple skin, egg shaped, freestone, fine textured rich flavour and very sweet. Self fertile.
  • Sugar Prune on myrobalan – An egg shaped, freestone with purple skin, yellow flesh and very sweet. It is an excellent dessert or dried prune, ripening in mid February. Pollinated by Greengage.
  • Stanley Prune on myrobalan – Stanley’ is late (Feb-Mar) European variety. It produces a purplish-blue freestone fruit with a green/yellow flesh. It is juicy and has a sweet, slightly insipid flavour. It is self-fertile and itself a suitable pollinator. The tree gets large and fruits young. A heavy cropper it prefers a cooler temperate climate. A prolific cropper and an excellent pollinator. Dark blue skinned fruit with sweet and juicy golden flesh.
  • Ahipara Prune on myrobalan – A very special plum found growing in a long abandoned orchard on the Ahipara Gumfields. It is a large egg shaped classic looking prune except it ripens earlier than all the others, in January. With a dark red skin, yellow very sweet sugary flesh and free stone it is an excellent plum. Self Fertile. Similar to the Victoria prune.

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The berry plantings are now completed too!  The spiny Worcesterberry being trained against the wall on the left, and the other trailing berries trained along the fence. From left:-

  • Worcesterberry – American gooseberry with large purple/green fruit between October and November. Mildew resistant.
  • Boysenberry Tasman – A mostly spineless berry with medium to large berry size cropping well and easily harvest. Deciduous.
  • Hybridberry Thornless Jewel (Hortberry2) – Large, firm conical rich dark red/black berries. Old fashioned boysenberry flavour, juicy and sweet. A boysenberry cross.
  • Boysenberry McNichols Choice – Berrys are medium to large in size, with a high yield, and a large number of berries per lateral. Excellent for your own picking and processing.
  • Loganberry Waimate – White flowers in spring followed by large dusky purple-red berries, excellent aromatic flavour. The receptacle is left behind when picked.
  • Boysenberry Mapua – A mostly spineless berry cropping well in late season. Large berries easily harvest. Deciduous.
  • Hybridberry Berry Delight (Marahau) –  Mouth watering large dark rich red fruit with a delicious boysenberry/loganberry flavour. This bramble is crossed between boysenberry and loganberry. Harvest when fruit turns dark red and are easy to remove in December and January.
  • Boysenberry Brulee – White flowers in early spring are followed by large firm conical dark purple black berries. Crops in December to January with heavy yeilds under the ideal conditions. Fruit are ready when they are easily removed.

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Like I said, some plants like to have an early start to the season, like this Almond All-in-One.

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How much do I not know about hazelnuts? Just found out these are the catkins, the male flowers. And there is supposed to be some red female flowers too, which is yet to show.

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The Orchard Cottage this week. Frosty morning. I might do some grafting tomorrow. Some guerrilla grafting with Red Leafed Blackboy Peach, Transparent Gage Plum, Whakapirau Gold Plum.

I have always been fascinated by the Fibonacci sequence, 1 1 2 3 5 8 13 21 34… The Golden Ratio, and how nature seems to follow its logic. Then, how do I, attempting to be the Da Vinci of gardening apply it to garden design? One way is to plant according to the outline of a Fibonacci spiral. I did saw some photos online of some raised beds designed in that form, but you will need a backdrop to fit it into, in other words, the application is very selective.

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Then, I started doodling, and figured out that it can be used for guild design. In this design, the Fibonacci sequence would probably be applied to the spread of a plant instead of its height. The one on the left follow a standard spiral form while the right just follows the sequence and more suitable if the smallest shrubs are not very shade tolerant. An example might go with, Comfrey (1), Comfrey/Gooseberry (1), Erect Thornless Blackberry/Currant (2), Apple on MM106/NSpy (3), Tree Lucerne/Alder/Acacia (5), Eucalyptus (8), Walnut/Pecan (13). Just an idea.

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Rainfall this week, 9mm. High of 21.6dC and low of -1.5dC. A couple of frosty morning but nothing too bad. A lot of plants are starting to move.

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The flowering plum is flowering full on. All the apple trees planted along the Belgian fence have been cut back to the first level, come Spring they will sprout new shoots and form a nice Y-shape.

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This asparagus is getting a head start. I will be harvesting this season despite expert advice. I believe there is a way around it, eat half, leave half, feed well.

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This is the preparation for the corn breeding project. The sweetcorn will be planted into 35L bags of compost placed on top of the weedmat with slits poke right through so that the wandering roots of the sweetcorn can go all the way into the soil. I will also be doing it the three sisters way.

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I unwrapped the tape around the apple grafts. So, this is how it looks like. It is amazing how nature works!

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I gave the Hybrid Tea roses a good prune. And then decided that I might as well label them up pretty and this is what I ended up with. Here we have Peace and Joyfulness, what a perfect pair!

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I figured out how to different the second year bluebells from the first year.

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This is the first year bluebells, just started to come out of the ground.

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The daffodils on the other hand are all popping up. These are the naturalizing mix.

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And this bumble bee is doing what bumble bee do. Chewing its way into the bee food.

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I didn’t realized how much I missed these lovely bugs until I see them again!

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I decided to prune that Almond Monovale anyway. I can’t resist.

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It looks better now. I will need to actively shape it this growing season, mainly managing the length of new shoots, and encourage it to branch out more.

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Lemon Meyer!!! Finally, I’ve have lemons! Maybe I will make myself that cup of honey lemon ginger tea tomorrow.

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This is the Cara Cara Orange. So, I must have done something right for the Lemon Meyer and Cara Cara Orange to set beautiful fruit. Now, just got to wait for the orange to ripened up. All the citrus have survived the Winter so far. We shall see what happens next Winter when I foray into sub-tropicals with the likes of banana, cherimoya, mountain paw paw, passionfruit, and tamarillo.

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The seeds of the Solanaceae family has been sown. This season, I’ll be grown Bell Peppers Rainbow Mix, Bell Peppers Jingle Bells, Tomato Black Cherry, Tomato Black Zebra, Tomato Indigo Rose, Tomato Small Sweet Orange, Tomato Super Snow White, Tomato Tomaccio B2, Tomato Tomaccio E2, Tomato Yellow Pear, and a aerial seed potato. Seed tray covered with mikroclima, if I use the plastic dome and the afternoon sun shines on it, it will be 40dC underneath. Sits it on the pet heat mat set on 25dC with a temperature probe monitoring soil temperature. I need it around 20dC. The peppers will take 8-20 days to germinate while the tomatoes will take 10-14 dys.

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The Orchard Cottage this week. Didn’t get much done. Just observing. I particularly enjoy the part where I was just sitting on a portable beach chair in the larger part of the food forest charging up on Vitamin D.

It had been a very frosty week with temperature going down to -3dC on most nights. We do need a few good frost to knock back on some bad bugs and get the plants to turn in for the Winter. Well, obviously, not everything likes the frost.

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Let me just do the weekly weather report first. Rainfall this week, 2mm.

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Frosty oxalis.

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Frosty strawberry.

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Frosty mesclun.

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Then… Ohoh! That’s where my subtropicals are supposed to go and its frosted all over. The good news is that the established tree lucerne did provide frost cover, so I just need to wait for the other tree lucernes to establish themselves.

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The Avocado Bacon is quite frosted. Avocado Hass is doing just fine on the other side. Seems like this side needs a bit of temporary protection.

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Defrosted. Not looking very good. Some new shoots are appearing though.

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After some VIP treatment. “Very Important Plant’. I think it will recover. After all, Bacon is hardier than Hass, and the Hass is just chilling away.

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Frosted Tree Fuchsia.

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Maybe this will help?

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On the other hand, the citrus that I have planted on hugelbeds.

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Just cool-as. Tagasaste Tree Lucerne works amazingly as a nurse plant for more vulnerable species.

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If you have watched After Earth (2013), this scene here with 2 Tagasaste Tree Lucerne cradling the NZ Pohutukawa in a rather exposed area and protecting it from the frost, is like the scene where the eagle cover over Kitai to keep him from freezing.

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A bit more planting today. More Tree Lucerne went in on the greater area of the forest garden. Apples, peaches, and prunes will be planted in between them later on. This will form the outer canopy drip line of the nut trees.

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Apparently, some seedlings don’t get frosted. Such tiny thing, and such great resilience.

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Did a bit more fencing. This is 99% complete. It just need a set of gates. This gateway is 2.4m wide, in case I need to get a tractor through in the future? This project can pretty much be put on hold until the ducks come in, in the future. Another season or two to go.

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Here’s to a very frosty Winter.

Had the first frost of the season on 27th May 2014, it went down to -2dC at 4:34am. The sub-tropical plants are still looking fine. Will they survive their very first Winter? I have setup the mister to start going off hourly for 60 seconds from 4am to 8am.

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Rainfall this week at 9mm.

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The amazing tasting Goldbar and Goldstrike Apricots are finally starting to go dormant. The almond trees are still holding the fort, the frost is a good trigger to set them off towards dormancy.

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The mesclun seedlings in the raised beds. They are growing, albeit slowly. I have got all the different mixes available form Kings Seeds in there.

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The brassicas. Flowersprouts, brussels sprouts, and sprouting broccoli. Had a feeling this will be a Spring harvest.

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Most of the strawberry transplants have taken well. There’s some that didn’t make it, which is an opportunity to introduce some new varieties when they become available. I think there’s already Seascape, Sunset and Camarosa in there. Would be adding other good outdoor weather resistant varieties in.

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Mulched the grape and lavenders with pebbles. I think it will be a good idea, better than bark mulch for this instance.

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What do you do when you can get your hand on a lot of spring onions cheap?

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Do a spring onion ring around the cherry trees. I stumbled upon them, saw the opportunity, grab it, not sure if it will work. I cut off the stalks and ate what I can, kept the vampires away for a few days. Kept the roots and the “bulbs”, a brief soak in seaweed dilution, poke them into the ground and put my hands together and pray that they will take. It’s a haphazard job that only takes some time and three gold coins. Flowering spring onion ring is the idea. Onion ring 😉 Hmmm… I am so lazy that I make planting holes by poking the garden fork in the ground, perfectly spaced, just the right size.

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The first apple tree has been planted on the mound for the Belgian Fence. This is the Apple Tropicana, deep red, waxy skin and white flesh that is tinted red. High levels of health-promoting anthocyanins are present in the fruit. The flavour and aroma of this apple is distinctively ‘tropical’ hence the name. Matures about late March. A really special apple that is well worth growing. The Belgian Fence will hold 69 apple trees, 35 of which will be crabapples. I have also planted elephant garlic in between where the apple trees were to be planted.

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The view this week. Its a bloody good view. I’ve just started laying the driplines in the swales. Calendula and cornflower seeds have been sown in the swales today. All bulbs planted, Christmas Lilies went along the South fence. I’ve moved some plants around too, remove the Manuka Trees, Cabbage Trees and Toe Toes from the duck area to further down the South fence. Reason being the fence in the duck area will be used to trellis the Kiwiberries, and I’ve also planted Jerusalem Artichokes along it. There’s plan to increase the density of the hedgerow on the South Fence with more Cabbage Trees and Lancewood. Not to forget, Gooseberry, Worcesterberry, and Mulberry.

Currently thinking about a forest garden design for larger acreage, and larger trees. Wildflowers for ground cover. Tagasaste Tree Lucerne mass planted in staggered grid as the pioneer, inter-planted with desired varieties.

 

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So, I did intend the title for this post to be “Haillelujah”, without much originality, until the Koanga Institute thing came along. I told the guys I am still waiting for the hail storm to hit between Labour Day and Canterbury AP Show Day. Well, last Monday was Labour Day. And we just had a steady drop of hail Friday evening. It’s raining down hail like cats and dogs pissing ice cubes all over. So now, let’s see when will the frost hits. Almost had one this morning with the temperature go just below 1dC.

Labour Day is the point where I start to harden off the seedlings that I started indoors. And its a harsh hardening process as all I do is to put the plants outside and leave them there. So, some of the tomatoes got leaf burn by the wind. Oh well, toughen up!

On the tomato story, Grafting 2.0 failed as well. Now on to the third try. I attempted to get hold of some rubber tube which is a bicycle spare parts for the valve core on the tire. Little did I know it was old stuff that when I got to the bike shop and asked for it, they looked at me as if I was a dinosaur. Yep, I had to eBay it from China. I used the tube for tube grafting. I am also getting hold of 4mm inner diameter and 5mm inner diameter tube as well, from China. Hopefully I will get some success this time. I’ll use this season as a practice season.

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I had this for dinner on Friday night. Nice firm, heavy head. Unfortunately I was unable to finish it. Among other things, a good piece of rib eye steak, peas, 2 gourmet desiree, 2 new season rocket, 2 new season jersey benne. Its a bit of a potato trial to find out how each taste like, or more or less, how new season potato tasted different from the normal stuff. I don’t think I will ever eat the normal stuff again. The taste is mildy different, but distinct, if that even make sense.

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Broccoli Romanesco is starting to flower. See the green turning purple, of a more broccoli form. However, I had a feeling it looks somewhat like broccoflower that we sell at the shop. Asked Google and found out they are the same. It is actually a broccoli and cauliflower cross. Will eat this soon.

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Ok, I ate it. Taste more cauliflower than broccoli. But more tender or tenderer.

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Leander (1982) – This is a large robust shrub, which bears larger open sprays of medium-sized flowers of perfectly symmetrical formation; their colour being a deep apricot. Shiny, dark green, disease-resistant foliage. It has a delightful raspberry scent, in the Tea Rose tradition. This is the original form of a group of similar strong and hardy, disease-resistant shrubs, which include A Shropshire Lad, Geoff Hamilton, Crown Princess Margareta and William Morris.

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Mrs Oakley Fisher (1921) – Hybrid Tea, bred by Cants of Colchester. Beautifully formed single flowers of warm apricot, opening to gold with prominent stamens. Continuous flowering.

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Jade plant, or also known as Money Tree. So, I took the bamboo out of that pot, and put the jade plant in there. This pot will make a very interesting bonsai specimen. The bamboo trio is very happy to be standing on their own.

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Corn hybridization project. So, one set of it is a hit. I will thin them down to one variety each after show day.

I discovered a new way to harvest comfrey leaf. Grow them many in a clump, plonk the rake over them and comb the leaf out. I don’t really worry about all the bruise and tear, its a tough plant to kill. Pretty much, just rough them up. Tough love.

I don’t think my worm farm is doing very well at all. I think more than half of the worms have escaped. There might be a colony somewhere under the house or in the wood pile. I can’t find much worms in the box. I think the mistake I had is feeding to much. So I rake the coffee grounds to one corner, and added more torn up newspaper as bedding on the other corner. And will be adding more worms. Apparently, I read somewhere else that I should not feed the worms for a week so that they can settle down. Will see how it goes this time.

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Potted plants. Lots of them. I wonder how will they turn out. If potted potatoes work, I might be able to grow new potatoes all year round in this frost free spot. The raspberry and boysenberry and blueberry are doing well. The flowering cherry is recovering from last season’s neglect. I’ve got some Colt cherry rootstock bundle up in a tiny pot too, I’ll need to pot it up soon.

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I spotted this dashing poppy among the wildflowers today.

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A view of the extended area of Orchard Cottage now covered in wildflowers. The gap in the privet hedge on the left is going to be taken up with low growing acacia and eucalyptus species.

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The weekly view of the Orchard Cottage. The growing things are growing into the paths.

Almost 60mm of rain at one go. And -0.3dC overnight. That’s not too bad. Just as I thought I would have to start irrigating the forest garden.

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So, after the rain, everything became greener and taller. There’s more poppy ready to flower, and phacelia too ready to start their bee festival.

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About bees. They are loving the flowering comfrey now. And they still love the lavender too! An interesting observation, the bees seem lethargic these few days, probably due to the cold. They are flying slower, working slower, and hanging onto longer at each flower. I can almost hear them say, “I’m to old for this”.

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Poppy wears a hat.

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Little pecan tree decided to wake up. Only the walnut trees are left asleep now. And Apple Mother is still asleep too, sound asleep!

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The grapes are doing what I am asking them to do. Matakana Gold and Iona is doing fine. Cardinal on the other hand is really weak, and Muscat Hamburg is just limping along. It might take another season before they find their footing and shoot away.

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With any luck, I will have TWO apricots to snack on this year. A Gold Bar and a Gold Strike, that’s it.

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After doing this gardening thing for some time, the one thing that still amazes me is the assortment of garden hand tools! Yet, from what the market has to offer, sometimes it just wasn’t good enough to do the job. I have got 2 daisy weeder, a short handle and a long handle, you are suppose to be able to lever out tap rooted plants with this tool but it doesn’t work all the time, most of the time I resort to spaghetti roll them out of the ground. Then, there’s the 3 tyne cultivator, which I have removed 2 tyne and just left with one, works really well for cultivating my raised beds. I truly enjoy single tyne cultivator, even had a long handle old school Victorian one. The latest addition is the weed extractor by Wolf-Garten. The way I plan to use this tool is as a replacement for the daisy cultivator. Using the edge to sever the stem from the roots beneath soil surface, use like a chisel. I could have just bought a chisel.

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These flowering plum somehow managed to creep into the hedgerow. They will be grafted onto next season. I have done all my stonefruit grafting on Friday. The apples are done today. I hope they will take. At least one of each variety, will make me real happy. Or at least one. Haha!

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I am germinating green coffee beans in a sprouting kit. Google says it takes 60 days for them to germinate. Well, I managed to get some movements in just 3 days. We’ll see how it goes.

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I don’t really have much luck with Citrus. Look at this Lemon Yen Ben.

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And this Lemon Meyer.

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And the Orange Cara Cara. I think this is caused by spider mite.

I suspect it is some form of nutrient deficiency due to soil PH. Whatever it is, I am on a mission to get them back to good health.

We had another 12mm downpour overnight. That’s giving everything a really good drink. I did some weeding around the garden, make some space for the roses beneath the trees so that they have some better chances of establishing themselves.

Emptied out the 200L worm farm bin too. There were still some tiger worms in it, I am not quite sure it quite work because I fed a mix of stuff, and some wrong stuff in it. So there are still some undigested stuff all over. Threw some into the compost bin, some I spread around the apricot trees. I have got a real purpose built worm farm coming in the mail soon, and I am going to feed them mainly coffee grounds this time.

Finally, on a side note, I have watched Passion of Christ many times, the first time I watched it, I was in college, I don’t really have many reaction to it. Nowadays, the scene where Mary knock things over and ran over to Jesus when he fall down as a child, will definitely make me burst into tears. A mother’s unconditional love for her child, the seed for a better world.

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