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Click on a thumbnail picture below to see the full size version. 74 Entries.
Thursday, August 31 View Page
Hello! I'm new here. I'm posting from down under. This is a picture of my soon to be summer garden where I will have two giant pumpkins plus many boring ordinary pumpkins and some other stuff too. At the moment it's a work in progress but by this weekend there will be some windbreak up.
 
Thursday, August 31 View Page
Picture this time?
 
Thursday, August 31 View Page
How about this.
 
Thursday, August 31 View Page
This is the sand I grow stuff. Yes, It's actually sand! The clay content is about 2%.
 
Thursday, August 31 View Page
Here are some Jarrahdale pumpkins from last year. I've never had so many in one place before.
 
Thursday, August 31 View Page
And how about a 3.9 kilogram cauliflower from winter last year. I didn't intend it to be a big one but it seems the hybrid variety I used enjoyed the prevailing conditions quite a lot.
 
Friday, September 1 View Page
Windbreak is up. Only took about an hour. I am now ready for battle!
 
Friday, September 1 View Page
This is my pump. There's a pump under that rubbish bin (well I've got to keep the rain out somehow). The water comes out of the pump, goes through a non-return valve, goes past the fertiliser injection point, goes through the filter, and then goes out of whichever valve is currently on. It's worked really well for my garlic crop this winter so I'll see how it goes over the summer now.
 
Friday, September 1 View Page
These are my fertiliser tanks with the fertiliser injection pump (a Grundfos dosing pump) attached to the side of the little corrugated iron shed just to the right of the tanks. Each tank has potassium nitrate added to it. Then I also add Mono ammonium phosphate to one of the tanks, Calcium nitrate to another, and magnesium sulfate and trace elements to the last one. The fourth tank was meant to contain only trace elements but that didn't quite work out... Due to the extremely low fertility of my soil I fertigate whenever the irrigation is on. So everyday basically.
 
Friday, September 1 View Page
it's a bit hard to discern but this is a picture of the neighbours shade house that they use to grow magnificent tomatoes. Just as some background info my climate here is Mediterranean with cool wet winters and very hot, dry summers. Usually in summer it is not unusual to get a week where the temperature is well above 37 degrees Celsius (98 F). Often there are weeks during February where the temperature is above 40 degrees Celsius (104 F) every day for a week. Then the next week brings a cool change where it doesn't get above 35 degrees celsius. Nonetheless it is possible with good irrigation to grow stuff quite well down here.
 
Sunday, September 10 View Page
Okay now I'm really ready. Except... I'm not. I still have to put the plastic mulch over the second pumpkin patch.
 
Sunday, September 10 View Page
So this is what I have done thus far. I have placed plastic mulch over the patch to reduce evaporation of water from the soil; in my hot climate I have to do everything I can to minimise water loss. The drip tape is placed half a metre apart. This is quite far apart for sand but the plastic helps the water spread across the surface so I get even coverage.
 
Sunday, September 10 View Page
Here's another angle. The patch is about 10 metres by 8 metres. At some stage I'll get some planks set up so I can walk across it. In the meantime I have found that rolling across it lengthways works quite well! As the plants grow I'll cut little holes into the plastic for the adventitious roots to grow into. And I'd better acknowledge that the person who originally had this idea was either Ian or Stuart Paton. I think they attempted a plasticulture in 2016 but it didn't quite work out.
 
Sunday, September 10 View Page
here are some boring normal sweet peppers that I am growing in the boring normal part of the garden. Now while I'm here I'll explain my watering arrangements. I apply my irrigation according to the evaporation that occurred the day before. So say I had 10 mm of evaporation yesterday (that's quite a lot but it can get up to 11 here) and i want to apply 100% evaporation replacement I then apply the equivalent of 10mm. In order to know the output of my irrigation system i measure the output with catch cans. So i stick a tub under a couple of drippers in the drip tape and measure how much water comes out over 10 minutes. This is getting quite long so I'll continue in the next post.
 
Sunday, September 10 View Page
So continuing from the last post I have calculated that my drippers emit 1.185 litres per hour. As my drip tape has emitters spaced every 20 centimeters apart (lengthways) and I have two lines of drip tape per metre (widthways) this means that I have a 10 emitters per square metre. Thus my output is 10 x 1.185 which is 11.85 litres per hour per square metre. As 1 litre per square metre is equal to 1mm my irrigation system is thus 11.85 mm per hour. So in order to apply 10 mm of irrigation i have to run the irrigation system for (10/11.85) x 60 = 50 minutes. The other consideration is that my sand doesn't hold moisture very well so I split the application into five applications of 10 minutes each. Smaller applications help to keep the water in the top foot of soil where it is readily available to the plant. And from my past experience with pumpkins last year it works very well and results in a dense mat of roots in the top foot of soil.
 
Sunday, September 10 View Page
here's the garlic I grew this winter. I've picked about half of it now. It's very hard work.
 
Monday, September 25 View Page
seeds are up and growing quite nicely. I have two 1801 Berren's and 2 Podrazo's. I don't remember the size unfortunately. However, I do know it is the seed derived from a self of a 2009 Wallace. I started them in a greenhouse and have since moved them outside to harden off. I had to briefly move them inside for a bit a few days ago because of some hail and nasty weather. Nasty weather at this time of year is really unusual. Normally it's hot and dry by now. I will plant the seedlings out on the 30th of September.
 
Saturday, September 30 View Page
Well I had to give up on the plastic after the wind got involved one stormy day a week or so ago. Instead I've sown some lupin and peas to act as a green manure. As the pumpkins progressively expand I will spray the green manure. Ideally the pumpkin vines will then grow over the dead lupin and pea straw. The straw fulfills two purposes: it covers the sand and reduces evaporation, and it gives the tendrils on the pumpkin vines something to hang onto when the wind blows. I only planted the lupins last week but they've already germinated in abundance and are ready to rip.
 
Saturday, September 30 View Page
Ready to go!
 
Saturday, September 30 View Page
In. Horrible ugly foot for scale.
 
Saturday, September 30 View Page
Last one was a Berrens. This is a Podrazo. I gave them a little mycorrhizae when they went in. I also gave them some when I planted the seed. From this day on I will fertigate them everyday. I'll also give them preventative fungal and insect sprays once a fortnight in good weather, and once a week in humid weather (I've already sprayed them once).
 
Wednesday, October 4 View Page
Lupins and peas have all sprung up. You can see the little pumpkin plant at the other end.
 
Wednesday, October 4 View Page
One of the podrazo plants ticking away. The first leaf is a bit munted. Temps have been quite cool with most days now and for the next week averaging around 20-22 degrees celsius. Lots of cold wind too. But sunny and dry nonetheless.
 
Wednesday, October 4 View Page
The same Berrens with my hand next to it. Not bad for less than a weeks growth since transplanting.
 
Wednesday, October 4 View Page
How about some rhubarb. The leaves are big, real big. And thick too. The stems are ridiculously red too. I'll have a photo of them later.
 
Thursday, October 5 View Page
A nice Berrens. it's funny how the cotyledons on this one bend down while the Podrazo cotyledons are flat. I've also just realised I've been doing the date wrong in my diaries.
 
Monday, October 9 View Page
I've already got an axillary shoot a the base of the first leaf. it's getting in early.
 
Friday, October 13 View Page
A Berrens
 
Friday, October 13 View Page
The same Berrens only now with 100% extra hand for scale!
 
Friday, October 13 View Page
Nice axillary shoots. In other news I'm only applying fertiliser at 50% strength. in a few days when that third leaf has just got bigger than the second I'll increase the rate to 75%. The irrigation rate is also only at 45% of evaporation so I will increase that to 60% at the same time.
 
Friday, October 13 View Page
Capsicums. They look pale but they really aren't.
 
Friday, October 13 View Page
Some Tomatoes. Most of these are just for eating but I have a few Big Beef F1 that I'm going to try and grow big. A few years back I grew a 2.6 pound tomato by accident from a Big Beef so I'll see what I can do when i actually try to grow a big one.
 
Friday, October 13 View Page
The cover crop is coming along nicely. Soon it will be time to kill it.
 
Friday, October 13 View Page
The wonderful rhubarb again.
 
Friday, October 13 View Page
Look at those stems eh. Nice and red.
 
Friday, October 13 View Page
Oooh yes
 
Wednesday, October 18 View Page
A podrazo looking nice. There was some horrible weather over the last few days with 50 km/hr winds and lots of rain. In the next few days it will warm up to 32-34 degrees celsius but there is also meant to be thunderstorms as well. It's really weird.
 
Wednesday, October 18 View Page
Tensiometers for measuring soil moisture. They are at three depths: 20 cm, 30 cm, and 60 cm. The three depths are so I can adjust watering to keep all the water I apply in the irrigation in the top 30ish centimetres of the ground. Most of the roots are in this area so I don't want water to go below that because I would be wasting water and fertiliser.
 
Wednesday, October 18 View Page
This is a closeup of the 60 centimetre tensiometer showing that the water tension is close to 100 millibars. In sand this is very dry so it means that I'm not getting too much drainage.
 
Wednesday, October 18 View Page
A Berrens. it's bigger than the podrazo. Notice the yellow speckling. I've never seen this much before.
 
Wednesday, October 18 View Page
Extremely yellow.
 
Wednesday, October 18 View Page
The view over he two patches. Cover crop is still hammering along. The weeds are starting to come up too so If I start killing off the cover crop over the weekend I'll be knocking out a lot of the weed population too. Then all I have to do is not disturb the soil surface lest I bring more weed seeds to the surface where they can germinate.
 
Tuesday, October 31 View Page
Everything is growing well. The lst week has seen some miserable cloudy cool weather but the next week is warmer with a top of 33.
 
Tuesday, October 31 View Page
A kent pumpkin. The kent pumpkin is an Australian special. it's the same species as the butternut (C. moschata)and has nice medium sized fruits that are very sweet. The plant in this picture is currently taking it's time and producing lots of side shoots. So while it looks like there are two plants in the picture there is only one. Don't mind the muck on the leaves; that's just copper fungicide.
 
Tuesday, October 31 View Page
Another kent pumpkin. Note the wheat next to the black plastic mulch. That's to give the vines something to hang on to when the wind blows.
 
Tuesday, October 31 View Page
A Jarrahdale pumpkin. Similar to the Kent pumpkin it is taking its dear old time growing side shoots. I think it's interesting how the giant pumpkins seem to go vining after 3/4 leaves whereas these non-giant pumpkins will produce 4/5 or 6 leaves before producing vines, thus allowing them to have more side vines.
 
Tuesday, October 31 View Page
Inside shot of the Jarrahdale plant. You can see the fifth leaf forming in the front and centre, and all around are little side shoots.
 
Tuesday, October 31 View Page
A Triamble pumpkin. This is another Australian special and was bred in 1928 or something. They have the hardest skin of any pumpkin I've come across and store without any moisture loss for about 10 months. With some moisture loss they could probably store for over a year.
 
Tuesday, October 31 View Page
How about a nice Berrens. It's growing well.
 
Tuesday, October 31 View Page
And another Berrens. Also doing well but notice how the bastard wind broke one of the young leaves.
 
Tuesday, October 31 View Page
Podrazo is slower than the Berrens' but has a fatter stem.
 
Tuesday, October 31 View Page
Various side stems and male flowers are developing well. Soon I'll do a bit of internode covering on the vines. I'm going to mix a bit of potting mix with some mycorrhizae and place that over the internodes to encourage the adventitious roots.
 
Tuesday, November 7 View Page
A green garden in an otherwise barren sandpit.
 
Tuesday, November 7 View Page
Kent pumpkins are on the cusp of moving out with their vines.
 
Tuesday, November 7 View Page
A Jarrahdale pumpkin that is moving out.
 
Tuesday, November 7 View Page
A triamble pumpkin plant that is moving out. You can't really see it in the photo but the main vine decided to grow vertically instead of horizontally. This photo was about two days ago so the vine has almost layed down now. So, while the triamble wanted to be tree in it's rebellious adolescence it grew up eventually and realised that it needed to be a prostrate vine.
 
Tuesday, November 7 View Page
This is a carolina giant rockmelon (or whatever they are called). It's certainly more advanced than the normal charentais melons so I'll be watching it eagerly for flowers.
 
Tuesday, November 7 View Page
A watermelon doing its best. What variety is it? Well I'm glad you asked; it's a sugar baby watermelon. It's a "small" variety (9 kg isn't small) with beautiful flesh and tiny seeds that are great for spitting great distances.
 
Tuesday, November 7 View Page
Some of the normal charentais rockmelon. Apologies for the sideways photo, just detach your head and hold it sideways. I think that will do the trick. You'll be dead, but at least you'll have seen the photo properly.
 
Tuesday, November 7 View Page
Mind you, if you detached your head you still wouldn't be able to see the last post because your head would stop working immediately. Oh well. Oh and here is a photo of a capsicum fruit.
 
Tuesday, November 7 View Page
Tomatoes are flowering like there's no tomorrow.
 
Tuesday, November 7 View Page
Right, now for the big pumpkins. This is a podrazo. It's a funny one this one as it was determined to have a ribbon vine. Luckily after a few nodes it took a good long look at itself, decided it needed to get its life into order, and became a normal vine.
 
Tuesday, November 7 View Page
This is the green manure. I'll have to spray a bit more this weekend as the pumpkins keep getting bigger and bigger.
 
Tuesday, November 7 View Page
A part of a Berrens. Bearing in mind this photo was taken two days ago the vine is actually about two feet longer now. The weather at the moment is very hot (36 degrees today) and very sunny so the plants tend to grow by a lot every day.
 
Tuesday, November 7 View Page
Just over two metres out. It's a little bit too early so I'll remove it. Either way I'll have a flower pollinated by the end of November, which is only about 8-9 weeks since I planted them.
 
Sunday, November 26 View Page
Berrens. It does not like hot dry Aussie conditions. Humidity is key. I've already had about a billion female flowers, some on successive leaf nodes but I've removed them all as the plant was too small.
 
Sunday, November 26 View Page
Podrazo It is a sturdier plant than the Berrens. It has also had a billion female flowers but the plant has been too small.
 
Sunday, November 26 View Page
Garden looks good. I have jarrahdale pumpkins set, and watermelons and rock melon set too.
 
Sunday, November 26 View Page
A nice Jarrahdale pumpkin.
 
Sunday, November 26 View Page
Tigerella tomatoes.
 
Sunday, November 26 View Page
Tigerella tomatoes.
 
Sunday, November 26 View Page
Purple capsicum.
 
Sunday, November 26 View Page
An Allsweet watermelon. These are beautiful watermelons with crisp red flesh and tiny seeds.
 
Sunday, November 26 View Page
Kent pumpkins. They are about a week away from flowering.
 

 

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