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, October 21, 2011

Gardening 101 for November

I have signed up for a 12 month Gardening Course. You can view previous months by clicking on the month of September and October. It's early days in the course as yet, but before I know it, I will have a whole year of local knowledge up my sleeve....which is Brilliant, I must say. 
Richard the Practical Gardener is the best teacher. I always come home with lots of notes, and lots of homework for the following weeks....until we return for another lesson...... If you don't have a similar course where you live, ASK for one...I'm sure if enough people keep asking, something is bound to happen. It never hurts to ask!

Has it been 4 weeks since the last gardening meeting? So much has happened since then...and not just in the garden either....I sometimes feel like a chook running around with it's head cut off....never knowing which direction I'll be going in next. I've been to Brisbane for a week, and soon I'm off to Victoria for a week...I need to get as much done as I can in the garden before I travel.

My Liquid Fertiliser is doing great......
You may already have one started and not even realise it. Have you got a bucket laying in the back yard, full of the last episode of weeding...and it's rained since.....and it smells as if you are actually avoiding tipping it out, because you know how much it's going to stink.....????

Yep that bucket is full of Liquid Fertiliser.....How many of you have poured your money down the sink or into the compost, then gone to the nursery to buy the same product in a fancy bottle?  I know I have tossed a few in my time,....but up until now, I've never been vigilant enough to keep feeding my plants on a regular basis as yet....so at least I haven't spent more money too.  
I'm making my own  Searles Liquid 5IN1 Plus® which is suitable for all plants, including vegetables, fruits, flowering plants, indoor plants, ferns, orchids, roses, lawns etc......So you can see by the list, that once you make your own, you will never need to buy ANY fertilisers ever again! It covers everything in your garden!   .............
I've added to my Liquid Fertiliser ...

  • some 'ash' (potash) (from the neighbours fireplace)
  • some 'blood and bone'
  • some 'manure' possibly sheep, cow and horse (only use the ones you already have) 
  • some 'fish meal' possibly just a fish carcass, (although Lake Illawarra prawns are cheap at the fish market now, so maybe just some prawn shells.)
  • some 'seaweed' from the beach.....(I have my own seaweed solution) 
  • some 'worm castings' and 'worm tea' from my worm farm
  • some lime to neutralise the mix so not to burn the foliage
  • milk thistles on top are supposed to stop the stinky smell....so I'll try that too. 

I keep adding my weeds to the mix. It's a good way to USE your Wandering Dew, Onion Weed, Oxalis and other nasty weeds in your garden that you don't want in your compost.
Yesterday I strained a jug of this stinky liquid into a container....(to remove the larger particles, so that it will go through the pressure sprayer). Once strained...I used just over half a cup of 'MY 5 in 1'.....to a 5 litre pressure sprayer. I then went around the entire garden and sprayed all the leaves of all the plants.  Even though I can't verify the manures...I can honestly say it is the closest I can get to an Organic Liquid Fertiliser....and it's free! 

Macadamia trees 
If your Macadamia leaves are looking a bit yellow, it may be lacking in Magnesium
now is the time to fertilize with Epsom Salts by adding 1 teaspoon to a bucket of water
then water the tree with the entire bucket.

Rock Orchids are placed in a container with wet cotton-wool. This allows the roots to develop.
Established plants can now be mounted onto timber for Hanging Displays.
Rock Orchids flower for about 2 months.
The plants only need to be wired or glued until the the roots establish a firm grip to the timber.

It's also time to prepare for those nasty bugs visiting in your garden...If you haven't already put up your DAK pots to trap fruit fly....It's best to get it done now. I still have a few more to hang in the back yard.
From an earlier post ......Set up DAK Pots about 2 - meters from your fruit trees to deterFruitFly , use soft-drink bottles and add Vegemite, Sugar & Water. The male fly will hang around the DAK pot trap, and get tired and drown....The female can only lay eggs in your fruit if she is mated....So if all the males are hanging out at DAK City....there's no hanky panky and egg laying. 
 Molasses, Water & 2 coffee beans..one lady in the class suggested this recipe
as the female is attracted to the coffee.....
Thanks Sonia...I'm going to try both and watch closely.
Vegemite, Honey, Sugar and water....to attract male Fruit Fly.
Coffee Beans to attract the female fruit fly.
These two Dak pots will help the Feijoa tree and the Berrie's bed (hidden from view in this pic)

To deter Cabbage moths on your brassica's...make up a spray by pouring boiling water over leaves of the Pyrethrum plant...and leave to steep overnight. 
Decant into a spray bottle and spray both sides of your Brassica (Cabbage family) leaves. 
Clearly label your jar and your spray bottle.
The spray won't kill or detract the Cabbage moth, but when the moths' eggs hatch into tiny caterpillars, it is them that will be killed by the Pyrethrum. You need to keep this up fortnightly.

I will also be tackling aphids and scale today.(the sap suckers)..
with a mixture of .........
2 cups of vegetable oil to 1 cup of pure liquid soap, blended two together until the emulsion becomes white. Dilute 1 tablespoon of this to 1 litre of water and spray over 
insects such as scale and citrus leaf minor. 
It is recommended to only use this in milder weather as the oil film over the plant can burn the leaves. 
My Fejoa tree has some scale, so it will be treated appropriately and also a ring of Vaseline added to the base of the trunk...to prevent scale climbing up the tree.

My Rose bush has recently developed a type of powdery mildew and black spot as well. 

To treat Black Spot on Roses....use 1 litre of soapy water and 1 litre of skim milk mixed together well. Spray on the foliage every couple of weeks, covering both sides of the leaves and the stems.

To treat Powdery Mildew on Soft leaf vegetables .... mix the following
4 teaspoons of bicarbonate of soda
50ml white oil
4 litres water
Mix well, and spray on foliage when needed.

A Garlic Spray can also be used as a general insecticide.
Crush several cloves of garlic and mix with 2 tablespoons of Paraffin Oil. Leave this to steep overnight. In a separate container, mix 500ml water and 1/3 cup of grated natural soap. Strain the garlic mix into the soapy water. Store in a glass jar, preferably refrigerated and clearly labelled. 
This needs to be diluted as 10 to 1 with water (1 part garlic/soap mix to 10 parts water) then misted over your plants. If you find this is not effective, dilute it less. It is not a contact spray, as it needs to be eaten by the pests. It can also work as a deterrent.

Here's some other things happening around here at the moment.

New beginnings

 Khol Rhabi can be planted out into larger pots before going in the ground.

Don't use the original Vodka bottle like I did.
It's too hard to get the rind out.
Rejuvenated Lemon Extract using fresh lemon rind.
This will make lovely xmas presents
along with my Vanilla Extract
My Lemon Extract       has been strained and rejuvenated with fresh lemon rind

My Citrus Cleaner is ready to be strained....so all I do is strain the old peels out of the vinegar, decant that into the container I have in the laundry marked Citrus Cleaner....and begin a new jar.

Here is the bottle of ready made Citrus Cleaner...plus the new jar of citrus cleaner in the making. The lemon juice is frozen in muffin pans which fit half a cup...once frozen, the half cups are added to a plastic bag in the freezer for stockpiling, ready for jam making in summer.

When harvesting worm castings be careful to gather any worm eggs you may find....here is a close-up of what worm eggs look like...they are easy to spot once you get 'your eye in'......also

I'm slowly harvesting my Calandular petals to make tea and my Calandular Cream for cuts and scrapes.....Once the flower is in full bloom, I just pick the petals, leaving the head of the flower behind to grow into a seed head. Every few days I am picking more petals...and I only started with two small plants.

This basket is where I let the petals dry....I just keep it in the dining room near the window....You can see the petals at the back are fresher than the ones in front....When the whole basket is dry, I decant them into a glass jar. I've nearly filled a jar already...and the plant still has a long summer ahead.

My Mini dumpling pumpkins...and Mini golden pumpkins have been planted out. Old Tyres cost nothing at your local tyre store.....I've also collected more tyres to begin another planting of potatoes after harvesting my potatoes a few days ago.

Mulch everything, this helps keep the moisture in the soil on hot days
My Currant vines are only new....as the fruit appears and ripens, I am picking each one and storing them on a saucer in the kitchen....once they all dry out (dehydrate) I will store them in a glass jar to be used later in one batch of cooking....at least I will have a small harvest to use in baking later...rather than just snacking on them while working in the garden. (There's plenty of other snacks in the garden)

Long Beetroot...more slices per root. which is great for smaller spaces

  Lettuce can be planted out into larger pots before going in the ground.

Celeriac (root veg)..great for salads or as a mash
Above...the first planting..Leave unused seedlings in a bunch to slow their growth,
and plant them out at a later date for a later crop.

My one Poppy plant is out in flower with another bud on the way.

Are you going to make your own Liquid Fertiliser in the future? 
Maybe you have other natural recipes for treating your pests and diseases, that would like to share.


  1. Well, welcome back to blog land..I hope your travels were wonderful! I love your gardening class so intriguing.... Hope all is well in your land.

  2. Wow...what an interesting post nellymary...i always learn so much from your 'how to's'! This one is just at the right time for me as i seem to have all those gardening pests at the moment and more so will be trying out some of your sprays....don't suppose you have anything that keeps wallabies away?

    Sounds like you are enjoying your class and we all get to reap the benefits too so thank you!Hope you get everything done before you need to travel again. Enjoy your weekend...Jode x

  3. This was a great post - so helpful.

    When I first moved here, there was a horrifying amount of ticks in the back yard. I used granules and potent liquid chemicals more than once which cut the population a bit. I couldn't get rid of them so gave up using the backyard. Then, to get rid of some old garlic (maybe 3#), I cut it up and spread it all over the backyard. Ticks gone. Now I spray each year with organic liquid garlic just for safety.

    Here's a mix that worked for aphids under the tomato leaves. Whiz up a lemon, some garlic cloves, a peeled onion (root end removed), a tiny amount of cooking oil, and water in the blender. Strain through a cloth and mix with a couple drops of Ivory dish soap and enough water to fill a two gallon sprayer. Spray the tomatoes (under leaves too) every 3-4 days. After third application, no more aphids.

    That's it. I love the liquid weed fertilizer. Looking so forward to your next garden hints.

    brenda from arkansas

  4. What an information-packed post! :)
    I shall have to make notes :)
    Good luck with your gardening course, it is a wonderful idea.

  5. Hi Narelle,
    please be carefull with use of old tyres as they do contain cadmium and other nasties and you don't want this leaching into your produce. polystyrene boxes from the fruit shop make a better alternative. love your blog. keep up the good work.

  6. Thanks for a very informative post, Nellymary! I'm going to look into those long beets for next year's container garden.

    Your vodka bottle reminded me of the time I poured part of my first batch of homemade detergent into a longnecked bottle, not realizing it would gel!! :)

  7. wow what an amazing amount of info in one post have to come back again to this one.

  8. Welcome back Narelle!
    Goodness you are a wealth of information. I'll be taking notes as well.

    word verification 'expert'....seems fitting!

  9. Wow, I´ve just found your blog and you have such a wealth of information. I´m sure I´ll be learning so much along the way, I have already copied this post so I can deal with all my garden pests the green way just the way I like!

  10. Thanks for such lovely comments from everyone. I'm hardly an expert though, hence the reason for the garden course. I've just finally recognised what isn't working and looking for ways to correct them all......who knew I had a green thumb under there.....Seeing as I could kill anything a few years back.

  11. Wow, girl, you are amazing!! Any details on making your lemon extract?

  12. I love the enthusiasm shared in blogworld......especially the inspiration to try different things.
    Lemon Extract is so simple.....just the same as vanilla extract....
    Pour a bottle of cheap vodka into a wide mouthed jar and fill with lemon rind, allow to steep for a few months, then strain and replace the lemon rind with fresh rind, and allow to steep again. Makes the most lovely Lemon Extract for all your cakes and desserts. Fantastic to add a teaspoon to rice when cooking too, or use when lemon's are out of season....
    This lot is going towards xmas presents for my baking friends along with the Vanilla Extract.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...