The progress results are as follows:

They get watered with dirty dish water/grey water and wee from the night bucket, and they are loving it:

That is from the oldest end. got lots of plants in pots some from the bit of garden they had here either to be used onsite or sold at garage sale.

This is from the added on end, near the spuds.

did you note the hose for the washing machine water?

The Harvest

The garden is looking a treat hey? we have been eating silverbeat and broccoli for about 4 weeks now, mostly at least 4 nights a week. The tank in the right background is an 1800 litre tank we bought to use as a back flush tank for our salchlor pool, this is to enable us to settle out the sediment in the water then we can utilise that water for gardens etc.,.

We put all and any kitchen scraps under the mulch between the plants, this has no effect of nitrogen interference, however now that the mulch is breaking down and needs topping up we are now simply putting those same scraps on top of the old mulch between the plants and covering those scraps with a couple of handsfull of sugar cane mulch, the end result the garden is still being fed and the mulch gets topped up, and the worms are as happy as pigs in mud.

The cabbages have all headed up very nicely indeed and continue to fill out & the cauliflowers are getting real serious about getting heads going as well, we have one collie at 6"s across looking real good

Just a close up of the next broccoli to be picked for the first time (that's it on the right), one of the earlier plants has now been picked 3 times and another 2 times, and if you note in the left foreground of the earlier pic' there is another broccoli developing nicely there as well. that silverbeet/chard in this pic' has been picked around 5 times now and a couple of others in the bed have had 2 & 3 picks

That's it for now, we hope this has inspired you the reader? If so please pass it on to others, even if you are not inspired pass it on hey chuckle. A Straw Bale Garden would be a great school holiday project for the kids, even in a school ground scenerio?

We've had to trim our Web page back in this section as it is a popular section understandably. We simply cannot afford the extra costs, we had gone to our internet gardening family seeking help in the form of donations, but if nothing else it would seem gardeners are not a generous group? We are not wealthy people on a high income, we are pensioners getting by, if living costs and internet costs continue to rise this site will no longer be featured.

On an Eco' Friendly note:

We produced good quantities of good fresh food, using minimum input after initial construction of the garden bed.

We also produced this produce using Re-cycled water from various parts of the home + whatever rainwater fell on the bed over that period which amounted to an app' average of 40+mm (less than 2"s)per month.

We do however use a homemade Laundry detergent and an 'Earth Friendly' dishwashing detergent (no dishwasher used here).

The Herb Garden, just outside the Kitchen door where it should be.

Then 2006

The herb garden now 2009:

The garden was created out of a pile of clayey soil derived from construction work on site, all that was added was organic matter and gypsum, the medium no longer ressembles its original self. We have enough variety for us growing(thyme, origano, italian parsley and rosemary) though we will add more at some time. WE grow our sweet basil, mint and cullinery pelargonian in pots and other spots in the garden for the basil whatever suite, the mint will never go into an open planted position.

and now the tank

The tank on the same side, now just over 1/2 full (25,000 litre capacity)[since that time has provided all of our water usage with the help of 5 X 220 litre plastic drums and has never gotten below 1/2 full], currently only used for drinking but soon will connect it to the house and use it there for periods of time. These modern Macmansions don't allow for selective connection to certain areas of the home, so it's a case of "one in - all in".


Now to this years first project a new garden bed, using the same principals as previously but instead of bales of hay we are using biscuits/slabs/slices of hay. As usual all the cardboard from xmas and wrapping and lots of newspaper got used this time so currently we have no paper/cardboard left, but more will come.

So far 4 or 5 bales have been used with 20 bags of mushroom compost and 1 bag of horse stable manure, when it is complete there will be around 60 bags of mushroom compost used + 5 bags of horse manure and another bale or 2 of sugar cane mulch to mulch the lot. We will most likley plant some more Sweet Corn in it for now, but basically this bed will give us our first plantings of Brassicas, while we reposition the other older bed. There is no decision on permanent edging yet! But that is the beauty of this system we can get the beds established and be growing and eating crops while we mull over the edging issue too easy hey? Later observations the addition of horse stable manure seems ot have been too high in nirtogen so the plants became very suseptable to bug attack, which will happen with excess nitrogen.

This time we have opted to hire an 8' x 5' box trailer so we can pick up the mushy compost ourselves even driving to Woodford and the hire costing $30 for the day the cost of 50 cents per bag (60 bags)[that was the then price,latest price is $1AUD a bag now hey? so the farmer has turned something that used to cost him to dump into a nice little earner] will still give us a saving as resellers are charging around $3 to $4AUD per bag for the same stuff, my guess is because they take this bi-product in bulk they get a better deal and for most truckies it is a back load as well.

finish date 11/01/07

The Sugar Cane Mulch is now in place, so the bed is finished.

Final washup goes something like this:
The bed is 6 meters long and 1 meter wide a good size for a garden.
It took 69 bags of mushroom compost
6 bags of horse manure
and sorry not sure here but about 6 large bales of S/C mulch.

With this amount of compost we are anticiapting that this bed won't need any topping up for around 2 years.

THIS PLANTING:28/01/07, just over 2 weeks after the bed was finished, we let it fallow so some of the heat would dissipate prior to planting.
4 Zucchini 'Blackjack' 2 plants in each bed
4 Tomatoes 'Ox Heart' 2 plants into each bed
4 Capsicum 'Sweet' (Sweet Chilli Peppers) 2 plants into each bed
6 Sweet Corn Plantings all together in the new bed

Taken 10/02/07 the corn is growing a treat as are the zucchini's, already producing fruit, also planted in this bed some more snake beans and the rest of our perennial leeks. And no! that is not powdery mildew on the leaves, we are well aware of what powdery mildew looks like and yes we can get it, but generally on the plants when they are at their lowest ebb from a full season of production. The colouring is actually in the pigment of the leaf and can be there from the first leaf, also seen on the type of pumpkin we grow, and it also has nothing to do with being planted into a new medium, we get this patternisation every planting season in the seedlings we buy. The best preventative for powdery mildew early on in a plants life is well drained medium to promote a healthy root system thus a healthy plant, full sun exposure, and in an open postion with lots of air movement, also root zone watering helps as foliage watering seems to create its own issues and is realy not necessary. The picture is of the newer second bed we created and this is the first plantings into it within around 2 weeks of the bed being completed


Great results again so far:
Picked around 15 zucchinis so far, already given 5 away (if we ate one a night is about all we can get through)
The snake beans are back on the boil picked another dozen today, and heaps of flowers on so heaps more beans to come.
Remember that Red Pawpaw we planted at the end of December well it has a mass of flower buds today, and it is just over 1 meter high maybe 1.4m.<.br> All the corn is in flower and plenty of cobs developing.
Our pumpkin continues to grow rampantly giving female flowers every day but today the most by far with 8 or so to be hand pollinated, and guess what today was the day the male flowers were scarce!
Got some more white cucumbers growing again as volunteers.


On the 09/03 we planted seedlings:
For the brassicas this is an early planting, we are going to try the remedy that has been posted around the traps, about using molasses and a marine type liquid fertilser as a foliage spray to keep the Cabbage Moths at bay (recipe on our 'Remedies' page).
Getting more zucchini than we can eat, the snake beans are also producing ahead of our use rate, and have eaten our first cobs of corn, all I can say is delicious.

So far the above remedy is not working for us, getting quiet a few grubs and caterpillars on our young brassicas.

Today 26/04/2007 - picked our first Pumpkins today, 2 around 2.5 kilograms each they are about the smallest the rest will come off the vine soon, so more follow up to come. Next year we will grow our own saved seeds we have had very good results with, these are the one we bought with us from the property.

We cannot emphasize the importance of mulching (aside from feeding the soil), we have had some hot days again since our last period of rain last week, and the Zucchinis and Pumpkins have hardly wilted in the noon day sun.

Here is the Photobucket album for our winter 2007 pic's: Winter Garden


This is what the presentation garden looks like now taken from the opposite south/east end, it has grown to 10 meters in length from the original 6 meters.

And from the north/western end as in the original pic'.

A nice head of broccolli happening, we have already picked one larger from another plant and have also picked some second "pick" heads as well, everything happens nicely.

we are trying our instant potato patch in the back yard this season, they seem to be doing better than in the front yard as last season. why the difference my figuring is that the plants at the healthies looking end get that much more sun, so next year we will grow them in a n-w/s-e position instead of this n-e/s-w position. Also i figure there is no need to build the mulch up to around 20"s up to say 12"s should be more than enough to stop U.V rays turning the spuds green.

Thanks to the lack of generosity the DONATIONS button has been removed, so as not to cause anybody any embarrassment - THANK YOU.

Home page ------ ------ back to top