MIRRORS IN THE GARDEN
When I first planted these espalier fruit trees I didn’t quite realise how important direct sunlight is for the development of fruit….. Lesson learned, but now how do I fix it?
Rather than knocking down the neighbouring fence I’ve decided to try deflecting the sun back onto them using mirrors. So far what I’ve noticed as the sun pans through the sky so does the reflected sun beam across the lower levels of these fruit trees spreading the affected area. I’m getting flowers lower down the espalier rungs than I ever have before and the mirror appears to be far enough away as to not concentrate a sun beam and burn any new growth. I won’t say it’s a success until I get fruit on the lower rungs but so far it’s a definite improvement.
BEFORE & AFTER
Here are a few before and after pics of my weekends work. Replacing lawn with a rock garden works on so many levels for me. Less mowing, more options for plants.
My front yard will continue to be devoted to Australian native plants to attract wildlife to my garden.
The birds that already frequent my yard were very curious as the work was being done. Hopefully when it’s all planted out they enjoy their new space and tell their friends.
SOWING SEEDS FOR THE FUTURE.
Teaching my 20 month old daughter how to plant seeds.
Here she is planting some coriander seeds we collected from the last crop around the perimeter of my veggie patch.
Coriander will attract beneficial predatory insects to the garden but I can’t expect her to know anything about that yet.
Gotta learn how to plant before you can companion plant, baby steps.
Found the perfect use for the sticks that were to big to mulch from the tree I cut down last week.
It may look harsh, uncomfortable and uninviting and that’s the point exactly. Hopefully these make shift ‘scaredogs’ deter my dog from wanting to laze in my veggie patch on sunny days.
This should give my seedlings a bit more of a chance. Now just need to find something that will scare off the weeds.
It’s been a while since I posted but here is my latest gardening trial. This is a cheap simple attempt at aquaponics. Im trialling what I’ve learnt before I try a larger system. I already had a canister filter set up for this tank so all I have done is diverted the outlet hose to run through the PVC pipe grow bed. The filter is still in place to filter out ammonia and solids and the plants will now take out the nitrate. I started with just a small cutting from a spider fern which has doubled in size in less than a month. Decided to go cheap cuttings first in case it fails spectacularly. Also started with one plant to see what the system can handle. Aquaponics from what I’ve read is a bit of a balancing act as far as the ratio of plants to fish. As the spider fern is thriving I’ve added another cutting from an unknown indoor plant. Using shade loving plants at the moment until I have got the fish tank light mounted above them. Pot plants are filled with scoria from the garden. Water level is determined by outlet pipe height. Tank contains turtles, yabbies and gold fish.
For the past year or so a lady has been setting up all her lights and camera gear out the front of my house and taking photos of my flowers in bloom. I never see her but my fiancé tells me about it. I have been encouraging her to go out and say hello and she finally did. I got these photos of my native front yard in bloom.
Our cherry tree out back is covered in aphids! This is awful, at this rate there won’t be a cherry tree left. If anyone has any tips for (preferably organic) aphid removal, let me know!
Be careful with the garlic spray though as it doesn’t discriminate between good and bad bugs :)
Plant bronze fennel or coriander near the effected plants. They are great for attracting ladybugs and with them in your garden the aphids don’t stand a chance. Each ladybug can eat upward of 50 aphids a day!
The globalisation of our food supply has unexpectedly destabilised the climate we need to grow our own food. Ecologists estimate that about 25-30% of our greenhouse gas emissions are the result of us not growing our own food. By replacing our own energy to dig, grow and harvest our own food with non-renewable fossil fuels, it has been estimated to account for almost 50% of the additional CO2 that is destabilising our climate. Fossil fuels are used to plough the ground, sow the seeds, spray the plants, harvest the crop and then ship, often thousands of miles to market.
To stabilise our climate requires us to cut emissions by 60% over the next 50 years. By growing our own food we would meet half this target immediately
Clive Blazey - The diggers club