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PostPosted: Wed Nov 11, 2015 6:36 pm 
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Dapper Duck
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andrewschooks wrote:
sue55 wrote:
I need help

Mr sue55 has informed me that he has entered ME in HIS work tomato growing competition. (he doesn't do gardening). Apparently we will be given a punnet of tomatoes (same variety, same source) and are allowed to use any growing technique but cheating.
Any hot tips, secret family techniques greatfully accepted.


Tomatoes are gross feeders. They love heaps of fertilizer and water.

If it's an indeterminate variety it's well worth pruning the branches off, so you're left with a single stem. Then also remove any lower leaves that turn yellow or get disease. The fruit will be better quality.

I struggle with large tomatoes over summer in Brisbane, but cherry types still grow well in the heat and humidity. Not sure where you are, but large fruited types tend to get a bit unhappy if there are too many days over 35oC in a row.

I would try companion planting if allowed because this is great for some vegetables as they can benefit eachother or the original or main plant by attracting beneficial insects or deterring pests etc.. here is a useful guide from Yates on this matter -> http://www.yates.com.au/vegetables/tips ... dkdesSk.97
Also natural fertilisers such as Seasol or Dynamic Lifter seem to work a treat and plants love them and thrive. Good luck!
sue55 wrote:
I need help

Mr sue55 has informed me that he has entered ME in HIS work tomato growing competition. (he doesn't do gardening). Apparently we will be given a punnet of tomatoes (same variety, same source) and are allowed to use any growing technique but cheating.
Any hot tips, secret family techniques greatfully accepted.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 13, 2015 3:17 pm 
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Old Mother Goose
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Plenty of companions in the surrounding gardens so that's covered. I often wonder if I pull up beneficial 'companion weeds'? I guess there's a fine line between companion and competitor. Pretty sure that as competitors, the weeds would win (especially the Marshmallow)

Tomato plants are doing well, 2 in pots and 2 in the garden. All have their first flowers (2 are already yellow so I removed 50% of the others) pruned off the lowest branches and the first laterals and mulched with composting lucerne. Watering with worm wee and the seaweed/fish stuff and will cleanout the fish pond filter this weekend. (don't want to over do the nitrogen)

Now a light question - we live out of town so no street lighting, domestic lights etc. Would there be any advantage in putting a solar spot above the plants to speed up growth and flowering/ (? wavelength?)
Will do the paper bag and apple or banana thing to speed ripening when the time comes.

Never realised that I was competative - the incentive/contract (from mrsue55) is an other ute canopy coop.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 13, 2015 3:33 pm 
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Wise Wyandotte
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The best and easiest way to increase light is to space the plants wider and make sure they are staked. The way to maximise photosynthetic gain is to maximise leaf area and minimise water stress.

(Solar lights are inadequate to do anything for plant growth. You need something like sodium vapour lamps for that & massive amounts of electricity to run them).


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 13, 2015 4:27 pm 
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Old Mother Goose
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Thank you, that's what I thought about the Solar Lights. Plants have plenty of natural light - 2 in pots on the paving (no shade) The ones in the vege garden have a 1 m high gal. fence to the east.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 13, 2015 10:42 pm 
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Wise Wyandotte
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So just keep the mulch, water and nutrients up to them. Tomatoes are gross feeders, so they'll take a lot of feeding.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 26, 2015 11:37 pm 
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Proud Rooster
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The things growing most in my garden right now are green grasshoppers mating & green grubs! :grarshop
Most arvos I go round & grab a heap of hoppers getting them 2 for one sort of deal due to them mating & take a handful to the chooks.

Today, needing a break from my rural pursuits, I spent a pleasant restful arvo with chooks in tow in the garden.
I decided it was time they learned to catch their own hoppers & grubs because being ex-commercial, even though free range, they never learned that art.
They caught on easily but were just as happy to await my outstretched hand bearing gifts :fead

It is so sad that in the not too distant future I will probably have to dispatch them due to being ex-commercial layers. :clnava One black hen died recently from bumble foot which was past treating successfully & the red hen seems to have stopped laying, thankfully because she was at the point of needing intervention of the drastic kind. She seems recovered now but not laying which is fine by me.

They are so personable & gentle & they engage in 'conversation' with me. They are happy to 'work' with me in the garden. I sit & pull a few weeds & they get right in there where the weed came from & check for critters. Or if I cluck & hold a plant a certain way they know to look for hoppers & jump up for the treat.

It has been so hot recently & I am somewhat drained due to working outside most days. :undersand To the west of my vegie garden there is a massive spotted gum tree so the whole garden & orchard has shade coming across by 3pm making the green couch grass very inviting to sit on between the beds. It was nice to just sit in the shade with a gentle breeze & do almost nothing while in the company of other living beings that didn't expect anything from me other than some simple treats. They were happy to walk right over my lap or stop atop my knees for a better view of the world.

When I was weeding around the fruit trees they got right in to 'help', then had a drink at a runnel from the hose. A really pleasant few hours which I should do more often.

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going through the process of getting organic certification for my property but horse & chook worming throwing a big spanner in the works

Favourite saying: Madness is doing the same thing over & over, but expecting a different result! -Einstein


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 14, 2015 10:23 pm 
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Prime Pekin
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Dang I'm with you Clissa!. ;-)

Just hangin' on a summer's day with chooks pottering about (and over) you is bliss to me. Water the garden - snip a bit of overgrown plant life, share it with the girls, and then just plop down beside them for a rest.

Pity of it is with life so busy 20 mins is about maximum these days.

But they are a good 20 mins :)


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 15, 2015 9:57 pm 
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Proud Rooster
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Location: Pomona, Sunshine Coast, Qld
My cluckles have been ranging far & wide recently.
They trot along behind me as I collect dead fall from around the wider house paddock (1.5ac) to burn in the big fire pit.
If I'm pruning shrubs I have to watch where I put my feet because there'll be a chook right there by my ankle!
I'm teaching them to 'look up' for a feed of green grasshopper rather than scratch in fresh garden beds.
There is so much food 'on the wing' right now in my garden.
These chooks being ex-commercial birds are not educated in the ways of home bred chooks that know all the different ways to catch a feed.

This arvo I found a funny thing in one garden bed. As I watered without glasses on, I thought I saw a funny looking mushroom that looked a bit like yellow jelly.
Once I donned glasses I realized it was a shell-less egg just sitting ever so neatly in a little nest of lucerne green mulch. It has it's firm outer skin so it never broke & I could easily pick it up.
It's obviously Pauline's. I thought I had stopped her laying because she has shell gland problems.
She is hanging in there well enough but does walk like a penguin.
I took a photo before frying it for dinner. It was a very well formed egg, no extra moisture in the white that runs a bit when broken into the pan. It held together quite high rather than go flat when broken. I took the outer skin off as I turned it into the pan.

I also got this twisted carrot pair when I pulled a few remaining carrots that were just 'bunged in' willy nilly 3mths ago. I first pulled the darker orange carrot which broke, then I drove my fingers into the soil to pull this larger one out & got the rest of the dark orange carrot too!

So it was a real meal of oddities for dinner tonight.

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ClissaT

going through the process of getting organic certification for my property but horse & chook worming throwing a big spanner in the works

Favourite saying: Madness is doing the same thing over & over, but expecting a different result! -Einstein


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 15, 2015 10:03 pm 
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Golden Swan
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Those carrots were holding on tight!

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 16, 2015 7:29 am 
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Golden Kingfisher
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Haha, great pic!

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 16, 2015 7:57 am 
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Old Mother Goose
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I think it's sad. These are the things that some people never see.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 16, 2015 8:35 am 
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Golden Kingfisher
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Here are some pics from my garden today.

Pomegranate flowers - very Christmassy! I recommend the pomegranate tree as a lush looking, fairly fast growing plant that needs little water and produces lovely flowers!

Image

...and of course pomegranates! Here is a baby one.

Image


Our basil was struggling with insects and sunburn, so I've weeded around it, pruned the pomegranate tree a bit (it has a slightly weeping habit and was draping itself over the garden bed) and made a 'hat' for sun protection.

Image

I planted 4 kinds of tomatoes and have no idea which this one is. Shouldn't have thrown out the labels....

Image


Looks like we will have a good crop of figs this year.

Image


The quinces are also doing well.

Image


In this bed are potatoes and zucchini, with some Ballerina (vertical growing) apples in the background.

Image


A bee at the chicory flowers.

Image


Leeks flowering (these self-seed every year).

Image


A bunch of mixed herbs.

Image

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 16, 2015 10:01 am 
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Proud Rooster
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Location: Pomona, Sunshine Coast, Qld
Wow you have a fantastic garden for Canberra Cocoa!

I love the look of pomegranate flowers, so vibrant & sort of inviting or friendly. I always get this feeling when I see them. I must plant a pomegranate tree here now that I own this property. I think they would do well here even though I am sub tropical, I am in a rain shadow & on a stony ridge with little soil which is quite poor.

My horses ate my fig trees! One day I will get more but the fruit fly tend to get them first.

The chicory flowers look good enough to have in the flower garden too.

I also have rampant (e)shallots which is great as half my garden is populated by 'volunteers' as Jerry Coleby-Williams calls them. Most of my vegies are open pollinated organic seed from places like Diggers so I just let everything seed, then collect some seed to save & let the rest come up in the garden or feed to the horses. Then I transplant what I need & dig the rest in. I also take a lot of seed out to the horse paddocks & spread it around including lots of herbs which are good for them.

As I looked at your photo of the quince I realised what I thought was a pear tree that was here when I moved in 8yrs ago is actually a quince. No wonder the fruit seemed a bit bitter until almost rotten on the tree!! :D
I must pick them much earlier now & make quince jam (or quince sauce which is good for xmas meats).

When I was a little kid in grades 1&2 I used to walk to school with the girl who lived through my back fence. Every morning when we met in her back yard, her Mother used to pin a little posy of chamomile flowers wrapped with foil upside down on our uniforms up near our shoulder. She said it would help us learn better. I'll never know if that is true or not but I do seem to have a knack for 'knowing stuff'.

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ClissaT

going through the process of getting organic certification for my property but horse & chook worming throwing a big spanner in the works

Favourite saying: Madness is doing the same thing over & over, but expecting a different result! -Einstein


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 02, 2016 8:57 pm 
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Old Mother Goose
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Picked my first crop of Red Currants, nearly 1.5 kg. I made a Red Currant, Hazelnut Meringue Tart for New Years Eve.

Also picked Black Currants and much fewer Gooseberries than I expected - The Silkies, 'they know nuffin'


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 02, 2016 10:01 pm 
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Wise Wyandotte
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Wow! Awesome looking currants! I'm so envious of you being able to grow them.


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