Hi there!

I’m slowly working towards some simplicity within the home, but hey! It’s a lot of hard work!

I love having a go at growing my own veges and always use herbs fresh from my garden. I try to plant from seed whenever I can and have learnt to save and share my own seed for the following year. I make Award Winning preserves and pickles; and my husband brews Award Winning boutique beers as well. I love to stockpile and try to limit quick trips to the shops. I dabble in bread making and enjoy making my own stocks too.

I enjoy feeding my family good hearty meals, nothing like those tiny restaurant stacks you have to look for on the plate. My husband maintains our vehicles and machinery and we both enjoy fabricating on a small scale mostly relying on metal & timber recyclers for any materials needed.

While I don’t always have time to reply to comments, I love reading them. I hope you enjoy your stay and I hope you learn something new because I love sharing what I learn, and I'm always looking for another new skill myself.


Friday, September 23, 2011

On my mind...Sacrificing fruit for good roots.

I must straighten this back up too
after the horrible wind storm we had the other day.

Many thanks to Rhonda at Down to Earth for this concept.

This is a Friday photo feature that anyone with a blog can join. To take part, post a photo on your own blog, write a short caption explaining it, and link it back to here from your blog by saying you're part of "On my mind". Please write a new post, don't link to an older one. When you've done that, come back here and add a comment below, with  a link to your blog.

Yep, this one is going to hurt....I was looking forward to having oranges this season, but I have learn't that in order to set your new fruit tree up for a good life....it's best to sacrifice the first fruit so that the energy goes into the root ball, and not into growing fruit. This sets the fruit tree up for the following years to be a much healthier, happy plant.  Ohhhh, it's going to hurt....My little Seedless Valencia Orange is full of fruit, but what Richard says in the gardening course........makes so much sense!

So Richard, if your reading this..this post is for you..to show that I am a good student,
and I do as I am told....lol

Dwarf seedless Valencia fruit ALL GONE
:(  equals  :) next season
I also sacrificed the lime flowers too......so it can grow and become stronger. Ahhh, no point worrying about it now...can't glue 'em back on...lol....Oh, if your'e wondering about the size of the pot....It's not permanent...It's going to be planted in the front garden once it is built.
Sacrificing the fruit buds.
I'm such a good student.....hmmmmmm, all that fruit that could have been.....will be on my mind today.


I have two types of rats in my garden at the moment.....
one feral, and one not so feral named Rusty.

I'd like to tell you about a little thing that happened in my garden yesterday......

Every morning, Rusty comes out with me to the garden, I go out there, just to check on things,.....water the mushroom compost...and take stock of what still needs to be done....Rusty, on the other hand, comes out with me...to hunt for lizards, and anything else smaller than her. Her motto is....'Anything smaller than me, on MY property...MUST DIE'..... she even takes cockroaches out of the house to kill.

Rusty is a good hunter too...never giving up on a scent.....staying so focused she becomes out of breath from searching every trace smell left behind by 'Anything smaller than her'. Sometimes it's cats, sometimes it's a rat....mostly it's just lizards though.

Yesterday, while on our morning walk around the garden....Rusty's behaviour told me that a rat had walked along one of the big black tubs.....I had a few trays of Tomato seedlings sitting in the tub to protect them in the horrible wind storm we had.......The tub is full of soil, waiting for some of my seedlings...........

Well, Rusty, my darling dog who I tell ..."Is the most beautiful girl in the whole world"....decided upon herself to remove the Tomato Seedling pots from the top of the black tub....so she could jump up into the tub for a better sniff and hunt. One by one she had stretched her neck far enough that she could grab the pot by the top with her teeth...and dump it on the ground. There were 6 pots on the ground. I had a mess to clean up, and some seedlings to save.....

Meanwhile Nanna (my Mum) yells out her window...."Can you come and put my slippers on for me"....and as I had just finished cleaning up the mess....I guess she heard me yelling at Rusty....so off I went and helped Mum with her slippers.......
By the time I got back......there were another 9 seedlings and their tubs dumped on the ground....and one very dirty Rusty Dog! I yelled, I ranted, I raved....I even threatened her with a cane close by, by tapping her on the rump with it. Not very hard...just enough to give her the message, that it is serious. ( this is the first time too for such a tap, so she didn't know what hit her......no pun intended here).....

So........... she goes around the sink area, to avoid me......and back to the Tomato Seedlings....with that; I gave her another whack; on the bum this time..and a little harder too.....sure; I don't think it would hurt her much...but it would give her something to think about. 

I work too hard to have it all tossed on the ground....so after cleaning up the second bigger mess....and saving what I could save...I realised there was no way I was going to stop Rusty from hunting for the rat that had long gone....but had left behind a trail of scent to annoy her anyway....So I relocated the pots to another area.
Different varieties of tiny tomatoes.
You may think I have lots of Tomato Plants...and be wondering what I am going to do with them all....surely they aren't all for me?.....No they're not! This is what grew when I planted seeds....so I will give them all a chance....
  • Some I will keep for myself...the strongest of them all...probably about 4 of each variety...they are all the mini tomatoes....
  • Some I will donate to my local Community Garden......
  • Some for an elderly couple up the road............for their grandchildren when they visit them.
  • Some I will sell on the trade table at the Garden course........( a new idea of Richard's)
  • and Some I will donate to freecycle..........

They all get a chance, and I get to share....win win for everyone.

Do you have any 'First year fruit'.....will you be sacrificing the fruit so your citrus can develop a nice big healthy root ball? 

Do you have any rats of the Rusty variety? what did you do to keep them from being a rat?!


  1. LOL Nelly. Love the story on Rusty. I was a little apprehensive reading at first. I thought you were going to show a picture of Rusty with the rat in it's mouth. Brrrr! That's my biggest phobia, rats. YUCK! I've got 2 little canine rats. One's an 11 yo Mini Foxie named Bonnie and the other is Willy, an 8 yo Mini Pinscher. They're very cheeky. Little Bonnie used to get into all sorts of mischief when she was younger, ripping pages out of books and ripping toys apart (her toys). She likes playing with the kid's soft toys now but just to get a bit of attention. They're funny, aren't they? LOL

    Anne xx

  2. I just got a mandarin tree that I'll be doing this to as well. I also understand your frustration with the tomatoes - our new pup likes to "help" in the garden too!

  3. waaah waaah waaaaah I really don't want to sacrifice the first year oranges on my new dwarf orange tree. It looks like its about to put out lots of flowers. I know you are right...but still. Thanks for another entertaining post Nelly.


  4. I shudder to think of rats, Narelle...Little Rusty was certainly following her genetic programming that day!

    Come at look at this tree, 400yrs old!
    Love from coffeee/Sue


  5. Anne: I do let Rusty and Cindy kill the rats if they catch them...A good rat is a dead rat....they don't pierce the skin, but they do try to break every bone in a rats body...yuk yes....but good dogs.

    Darren: Yes, they always like helping....or sometimes I get a soft toy dropped at my feet...apparently I play in the garden too much..lol

    Donna: You know you should do it...It makes sense...I had heaps of future fruit on my citrus trees...but for a better yearly crop..I have done what needs to be done...go on,....do it...for the future of your crops.

    Sue: That is one huge old tree....thanks for showing us....I love seeing nature in all it's glory. I do sometimes wish Rusty and Cindy weren't soooooo Genetically Programmed....heheh

  6. Your title intrigued me... I had to come over from Rhonda's blog and find out just what kind of rat you had!!
    Yes our pets can be a little too helpful at times.
    Really enjoyed my visit, it is a pity it is so close to school pick up time, because I just want to keep on reading.

  7. Well done Narelle for doing your homework , cheers Richard the PRACTICAL GARDENER.

  8. Your Rusty sounds like quite the character and I loved reading your story. Our cat, Shelby, did the same thing, only I was sitting at the kitchen table planting seeds in little peat pots. When I came back inside after taking my little pots outside, Shelby had gotten into the box of peat pots and destroyed two of them---dirt was everywhere! Didn't make me happy to clean up the mess, but she LOVES digging in dirt and the temptation was too much for her I guess!
    Have a great weekend!

    visiting from Down To Earth

  9. really ... do I really have to remove all of those little lemons?? Its living in a pot does that make a difference?? Waah.

  10. Hi Kim: Thanks for popping in from Rhonda's blog....hope you find some interesting reading and come back soon....Off to check out your blog now too...thanks for the link.

  11. Richard: thanks...see it's not just me who is apprehensive about this...lol, but hey; be proud of your student.

    Denise: I think cats have a thing about going to the toilet too in fresh soil....if it's easily turned especially....I have a neighbours cat that does, every time I turn the soil in the front yard...Yuck!...My Rusty and Cindy are the biggest hunters, they just can't help themselves...lol, but they are very funny too....

    Tammy: Yes, you should do it...for the future of your citrus...you will thank yourself in the long run.

  12. I left one on. The biggest one. I pulled all the new flowers off but left one bunch of blossoms too. I'm working my way up to it ...


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