The weather over the weekend was stunning. Perfect for walks on the beach with the pooch and gardening – and we did lots of that!
Those spuds we planted last weekend are shoving aside the dirt already – so I doused them in manure tea today for a bit of added encouragement.
The strawberries are growing like mad. I’ve eaten the one that I photographed last week and yes it was great thank you! I’m pretty excited about these berries as I haven’t grown them before. Not that it is rocket science mind you .. They are like anything, give them some TLC, protect them from the pests and hey presto!
We have a chook that I have called Gladys – which was my Mother’s name. She had such a great sense of humour and would probably laugh knowing that I had a chicken named after her.
Well Gladys is clucky, which literally means she wants to play Mum. They will sit on a nest devoid of eggs all day when they are clucky, which while diligent is basically a waste of time. Theirs and yours. In this time they will get mites, often go off their tucker, hog a nest, stop laying eggs and generally become a nuisance. So rather than put up with her mad antics for the best part of a couple of months we opted to let her sit on eggs. So deciding on six as the magic number, I popped these into a box with hay and then placed this in our hutch. At night I grabbed Gladys and placed her gently into the same box. A quick check in the am to see if she was still in the box .. no problem she was glued to those eggs. These will be Collin’s first offspring. How exciting. 21 days and then chirp chirp …
As Gladys sits so tight on her eggs, morning and night I have to physically remove her from the nest so that she will eat and drink. Evening times, I let her out for a dust bath and then chase her back to the hutch. Once on those eggs again she fluffs up, screams at me which basically means I’m good and can leave her be for another 12 hours! Oh the joys of wanting more chickens. If you haven’t done the chick thing before, then I would be cautious about removing your chicken from her eggs. There is every likelihood if you do, that she will abandon them. Me? Well, Gladys might be nuts, but she is very predictable 🙂
Our garlic and onions are doing famously – I’m weeding these beds regularly and hauling out the masses of greenery that seem to pop up over night. The buckwheat which I was sure wouldn’t have enough time to flower before it gets dug back into the soil, has tiny white buds starting to form. Brilliant!
Trees in the orchard are losing their blossoms and some are already boasting midget fruit.
I still haven’t hung the codling moth trap yet – I keep meaning too …
If you recall that pic of the olive tree that I posted last week, it just so happens that the culprit responsible for the damage is the caterpillar of the Puriri moth which is New Zealand’s largest. The caterpillar can spend up to 5 years munching away quite happily within the tree. For those that don’t know, the moth itself is a beauty. A monstrous velvety green insect that has a wingspan of up to 150mm. I’ve only seen a couple in the 10 years that we have lived here. Where is our olive grove? Planted right next to our native forest of course, and guess what’s growing in there?
I sprayed about 80 fruit trees yesterday which included all our olive trees. Big job Julie! I used about 360 litres of water mixed with seaweed fert, spraying via our ATV mounted unit. I wore a fair percentage of the stuff mind you, but that’s to be expected when there is a breeze. There is one thing about standing at the base of a tree spraying .. you see lots while you do it. Bugs, birds, lichen, dirt, blue sky, mist from the spray gun … branches dipping in the wind, grass, trees, flowers and lots more things that need to be done. Damn!
While I was busy watching nature, hubby was chopping out dead trees and clearing the duck pond of azolla which is a nitrogen fixing water fern. Perfect to use as a mulch in the garlic bed.
And this pic is for you Mr Bonner!
Until next week – bye from us at Frog Pond Farm and
Happy gardening …