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The weekly round-up for 10 July 2022 is late! Only by two days, but in two days a lot can happen!
No time to waste, so let’s get straight into it.
I got lost in the garden and had the time of my life!
On Monday I finally had the time to get my winter seedlings started. The only reason I had to delay was at the start of the winter planting season we had – should say, have – a serious bush rat issue. He was going into the garden through a hole he made and eating everything. There’s a few habanero’s and capsicum’s still fruiting and he thought it would be great to pig out on them.
He’s still around, but clambering around on the roof and moving around from the front garden. I think he must have a den nearby.
The other garden issue I had was the Lucerne hay that I was using for deep mulch got really stinky and moldy. There was an insane abundance of flies from the bale and I still wanted to get it out, but needed to let the bale dry out some. I finally got through that and it dried out, but alas missed the start of winter planting as a result.
With so much success of my chili’s and capsicum’s fruiting, I think whatever I plant now will just have a slightly longer season into spring. And that is ok as I anticipate not all the current seedlings will make it, and so there should be enough space for everything.
I started radish, tomato, more capsicum, leek, cabbage, broccoli and squash. Today I actually transplanted them into a bigger container and I hope to get them into the garden in a few weeks. As long as they survive the transplant!
The seeds didn’t take long to start germinating. I planted them out today so I’m hoping the weather is ok and they don’t get too much shock. I deliberately got the soil ready last night and left it outside, with transplant planting happening today and I will leave them in the greenhouse overnight.
I also made some small improvements to the garden. I installed some garden stakes to lift the capsicum and habanero’s off the ground. It has not only opened up the space to more ground room, but will train the plants to grow up and fruit better. This reel shows me installing some of the stakes and what the plants look like afterward.
I used the following items from Amazon for my garden:
You can see in this reel they really worked well to lift things up off the ground. I am just saddened I didn’t get these earlier because I wonder if they would have deterred my rat friend.
And the elephant garlic from last week – well, they’ve already started coming up! I am beyond excited for these. I deliberately planted them along the back and sides as they will need some time to grow and I figure this is somewhere where they will be least bothered.
I don’t know if you can hear the sheer joy and excitement in my voice but I was beyond excited to see them come up after the rain!
I was also super excited to finally see some flowering from my azalea’s. I planted these last year and they have taken a long time to kick off. I blame myself entirely as I planted them into the ground in a dry period and didn’t water them as often as I probably should’ve.
The flower is gorgeous though and I have now ordered orange and a coral colour as well to add some more vibrancy to the garden. I’ve actually left them in their bigger pots in the garden because it will receive ample shade, sun and rain
I actually ordered more, and some other plants I want to get going in the entry way. I want the entry way to feel a bit grand, so I’ve ordered some Japanese box hedge and tiger grass for the front. I think I will be using the longer logs as the base of the flower bed at the front, to go at the bottom of the sheeting at the front fence.
For superior tubestock plants, I use Australian Plants Online. The quality of their tubestock is brilliant and they are based on the Sunshine Coast, QLD, so I know the plants are weathered for us.
The last garden thing I did this week was started ground planning for the flower garden. This was a project I actually polled on my Instagram stories as to which should come first – my flower garden, a beehive or fire pit. A lot of votes came in for the beehive and flower garden respectively, and little did I know that would actually happen so soon!
A friend came over the day after I posted that (he didn’t see that post) and I mentioned sourcing some beeswax from a local beekeeper and I showed him. He’s friends with one of the biggest honey farmers in Queensland and has done bees before so I knew he would appreciate it.
As we’re talking he said, “well remember I was going to bring a hive here. Would you like me to get you one instead?” I jumped with glee. I was so excited. “YES!” Will you teach me?”
My biggest concern with getting a hive was that I didn’t feel I had enough knowledge to manage one myself, and I didn’t really know anyone who had one that had the time to teach me or share accessories with, such as spinners or drums. It just so happens that he does have those things, and was willing to share and teach me along the way.
So turns out the flower garden was getting a start now! The beehive is coming in September, so I have until then to get my plan done and some soil into the ground.
Blog posts from this week!
Wednesday rolled around fast. I was feeling under the weather again for most of early last week and so I am glad I didn’t have a lot to do. I did get this post out though called 10 things I stopped spending money on – a brilliant post on some of the things I progressively downsized, sold or stopped buying when I moved onto a homestead.
Especially with the threat of economic issues as they are, this post is a great one for looking at some of the excess you may have or what habit you can change to make sure more of your money stays in your pocket.
The Social Media for Homesteaders did really well. So much so that I have now dedicated a page to it, where I will be able to add more parts of the series to it as I go along. I think I have a few ideas for other series I’d like to write.
If you haven’t read it though and would like to, I’ve added the page link to the Social Media for Homesteaders series below:
Trying to figure out how to use social media for your homestead can feel overwhelming, especially with so many options, and so many algorithms. This post introduces some core ideas about the need behind using social media to develop and advance your homestead as a brand.
We are planning our meat stockpile, and this time it will not disappoint!
Dad sent more meat updates and I am beyond thrilled. He is bringing his machine when he comes up and will do fresh sausages for us together. Him and I have done it before but my Kitchenaid just struggled through 10kg of meat. He has a sausage making machine which I haven’t used but when he comes here he will show me and if I like it I will buy one.
Last time we did it I recorded the recipe somewhere on my phone but who knows where that is now, so this will also be a good opportunity to get the recipe again.
We’re also on the lookout for another freezer because we will have about 50kg of charcuterie meat coming, plus we will do about 30kg of fresh sausages when dad arrives – and – I am hoping to get my meat hens relatively soon, and will need space for those.
Serge spoke with the butcher in town, and they can do a whole pig for $7 p/kg. That is significantly less than the current $14-15 price tag per kilo on pork. We have a friend who will go halvies with us, so we may look at getting some beef too. We would probably only need a 1/4 share between us.
Started the work on the coop and it is going to be palatial!
Work started on the coop. All I wanted to do initially was take the paling off the frames to fix them as there were some screws that needed tightening, nails to be removed, etc. So we did that on Sunday.
I essentially want to make as much of the coop as I can at the shed, with us just then transporting each piece over to where it’s being placed when we need to place it. This means each segment is likely to be covered in its own wire.
I may need to make a slight modification though, but I have enough materials to do so. The door I want to use is one we have from the house – an actual fly screen door that’s about 2.1m high. Rather than making an extra frame or a smaller door, this will be perfect to use on the coop. My coop is currently at about 1.9, so I don’t have to go much higher to ensure the door fits within the frame.
Adding an extra 30cm at the bottom is possible, and also probably better as I will add better wire down the bottom for fox proofing.
And finally we are moving the skinny tank to the other side…
This is a project that we have had on the back burner for a while. It’s something we’ve been wanting to do easily for the last 4-5 years!
We have a 1000 litre water tank. The tan sits on a large steel frame. Unfortunately though, the people who lives here before us have it in the position it currently is, which we haven’t yet moved but are going to.
The issue with its current placement is that whenever there’s a storm, the downpipe gets knocked about as it has to go across the pathway. If it was on the side opposite to where it is now, the downpipe could effectively go straight into the tank as opposed to being like a bridge from the house to the shed.
This improvement will make it infinitely easier to manage during storms. So Serge started removing the brickwork yesterday and has concreted around the grey water tank today. Tomorrow or the day after he will go and get a whacker packer to compact the ground, and pick up some road base type stuff for the tan and frame to sit on.
This will significantly improve storm management for the coming wet season, so it’s a great idea he has the time to do it now.
We had a wonderfully productive week last week and I am so thrilled we got so much done. This week I anticipate getting the two frames done for the coop. Then I need to measure the garden frame section and see how big of a space that will take, as I may not need to fabricate the third panel I have in my plans. I’d like to get some wiring by the weekend to wire the frames, and it looks like we may need to buy posts, but that is not going to be expensive.
All in all, lots of work around the homestead and I am surely feeling a sense of accomplishment after a prolonged wet season that had many delays in us being able to get through anything. I am just glad work has kicked off again and we are in motion.
Until next week!