We did a test pick of the hothouse-grown garlic today. The bulbs are developing nicely, so it looks like they’ll be getting pulled this weekend.
It’s quite early to harvest, but the hothouse makes a huge difference to their growth rate and development.
No dig garden update...
Our '3-sisters' plot:
The Heirloom Sweet corn has reached full height and is starting to pollinate the ears. Meg's holding the camera above her head to get me in the photo. The tallest plants (almost 2m) are in the middle of the plot, as they grew higher chasing sunshine....
A few haricot (navy) bush beans survived the snail/slug onslaught when they germinated, so we added some very late snow peas, which are now beginning their climb up the corn. Considering it's the middle of summer, the snow peas are doing admirably in the shade of the corn.
All the initial pumpkin seeds failed to germinate, so some alternate varieties were sown in late December. We doubt they'll produce mature fruit before our first frost in April/May, but our fingers are crossed. There are currently 3 small plants beginning to get their first true leaves.
The raised straw bed garden (Tomatoes and Tomatillos):
The 26 heirloom tomato varieties are loaded with fruit and beginning to ripen. They love the straw bales.
The 4 tomatillo plants are much smaller than last year's plants (grown in our sandy soil). They really don't seem to enjoy the straw bales so much.
Garlic, garlic everywhere... after a few weeks of curing, today it was time to clean and sort the garlic crop. The best bulbs were braided, while the cracked or damaged bulbs were set aside for immediate use and preserving (jars of minced garlic, garlic soup, pickled garlic, etc).
This year's crop should be enough to seed the forest forest berms with garlic next year and also negate the need for us to buy any from this point forward.
Another attempt at the Fukuoka-Bonfils Winter Wheat method started today...
The entire area has been bird/rabbit-proofed.
If you look closely at the first pic, the canes in the ground indicate where (on the mini-been below) each wheat grain has been pressed into the freshly-watered soil, then barely covered with some leaf litter....
Although the area is meant to have a thorough covering of white clover, there's still a fair amount of grass and a few weeds (poor time-management on our part), but the white clover is in there, and we'll continue to pull weeds and remove rival grasses during Ng summer and autumn.
Once the wheat has germinated and reached 6" in height, the net will be removed.
More updates will follow,if this first stage is a success.
Yesterday, we finished placing vine guards on the new grape vine cuttings that have successfully sprouted. This will protect the young shoots from wind, wallabies and possums, and help train the new vines up onto the fence.
It looks like about a 90% success rate, with the chance of another 5% still having the potential to come good. We're overjoyed with such a great result. Just gotta keep looking after them... Project Stage 2 completed.
Next, Stage 3 involves adding sm...all mounds (think crescent moon shape) of soil on the downhill side of each vine, to limit water runoff, which is necessary only for the dry summer months.
Stage 4 will be the installation of drip lines; Stage 5 will be mulching, to keep the soil cool and inhibit grass growth near the vines, and we will also add some chook manure fertiliser at the same time.
Then we cross our fingers and irrigate, as needed, when we get to summer.