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Nancy in Pátzcuaro

Gardening: (2016– )

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9 hours ago, haresfur said:

Are you using capacitance sensors? We found some cheap ones were all over the map in terms of calibration, which was disappointing. I'm about to test some Time-Domain Transmission sensors but at about $300 AU a pop, they aren't exactly cheap.

Check these out:

https://vegetronix.com/Products/VH400/

I don't know if they ship to Australia, but in the US, they're about US$50 each...  I've found that they've have been pretty reliable so far...

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8 hours ago, KennethT said:

Check these out:

https://vegetronix.com/Products/VH400/

I don't know if they ship to Australia, but in the US, they're about US$50 each...  I've found that they've have been pretty reliable so far...

 

Those are the ones that didn't calibrate well (I hope the person calibrating them did it right). I think they would be fine for many purposes, though. Lucky for me, work is paying for the toys.

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It's almost never bad to feed someone.

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31 minutes ago, haresfur said:

 

Those are the ones that didn't calibrate well (I hope the person calibrating them did it right). I think they would be fine for many purposes, though. Lucky for me, work is paying for the toys.

One thing to keep in mind with these is that the output is an average of the moisture it sees over the entire length.  For what I do with them, I don't care about the average moisture, but instead only care about the moisure at the root ball - so I bury the sensor laying horizontally exactly where I want but the flat part of the blade vertical so water won't pool on top of it and affect the readings.  I have a couple of these and when I first got them, buried them side by side and found them pretty consistent.

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It was 2 years ago when we talked about retiring to the countryside in an effort to become as self sustainable as possible. We bought the property around 12 months ago, and finally moved permanently 6 weeks ago.

 

The abundant fruit trees, raised veggie beds, a chicken run, frog pond and spring fed water supply were all factors that made this property attractive to us. One of the first improvements we made was to install a 25,000 litre rain water tank. Australia is currently experiencing a drought, and although we are in a high rainfall area, rain over the past 12 months has been less than average and brown is the predominant colour in the landscape.

 

Here’s the mango tree, I reckon there’s about 40 mangoes and they should ripen in a few weeks. The netting is to prevent the critters from getting the fruit before we do. Lots of mango chutney coming up!

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These mandarins are sweet and juicy little things. We’re not big jam eaters, so any ideas for alternative uses would be awesome. In the foreground are a tamarind grown from seed which will go in the ground soon, and a curry leaf tree which will stay in a pot.

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These are two golden passion fruit, received as a housewarming gift and planted last February. We’ll plant an understory in here soon, any suggestions ?

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All the garden beds and the chook run were completely overrun by weeds. Gradually, (when it’s cool enough) we’ve been weeding, improving the soil and planting seeds. This bed has okra, eggplant, unpronounceable Chinese vegetable, gross lisse tomatoes, Madagascar beans, radish, lettuce, cucumber, beetroot and kale.

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We also have both white and black mulberry trees, two different orange trees, a lemon, a lime, a kaffir lime, a cumquat, a peach, a jaboticaba, an avocado, an olive tree, two papaya, a lemon myrtle (Australian native), a pomegranate and several bananas. We moved with many large pots brought from our previous city home, a tamarind, a native tamarind, a Davidson’s plum (another native), two curry leafs, two bay trees, a lime, a Meyer lemon and six pineapple (one of which has a nearly ripe fruit).

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Then there’s the bunya pine (small hand for scale). These cones can weigh up to 10 kilos and seriously hurt if you’re unlucky enough to have one fall on you. This is bush tucker food, the nuts are roasted and ground to make flour for bread. Guarantee there’s other uses I don’t know about yet.

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I’ve never been much of a gardener but I’m learning !

 

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As someone who in various venues has had an abundance of citrus  - I treat them as the acid in my cooking and as visual art enjoyment in bowls. Dark now. Will post a few of my heavy bearers tomorrow,  Those cone things are beautiful but sound like a bit of a hazard.  I used to bring a passion vine expert in to do a talk for Valentine's Day. Very handsome guy who traveled the world looking for new types. Ours http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/pdffiles/FP/FP45700.pdf I just let sprawl. Some butterflies are hyper attracted. Needs no underplanting - I just let it be - well util it chokes out something else!  As you noted the locals are a great info resource.Hardy Passionflower Seeds (Passiflora incarnata)

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like @heidih I like to use citrus as the acid in sauces and salad dressings.

 

Also, passion fruit can be trellised or espaliered and it will really expand the plant and how many fruits you get.

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8 hours ago, sartoric said:

The netting is to prevent the critters from getting the fruit before we do. -------!

 

Good source of off-grid protein?  :-)

 

dcarch

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@sartoric 

 

outstanding garden

 

I see a lot of hard work that will be paying off for quite some time.

 

i had a vegetable garden some time ago , in two parts

 

and the Best Tomatoes in NewEngland

 

loved working in that garden 

 

better than PsychoTherapy

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2 hours ago, KennethT said:

Also, passion fruit can be trellised or espaliered and it will really expand the plant and how many fruits you get.

 

Good point. Our commoner has useless fruit for eating purposes but the tasty varieties do benefit from more care.I picked up some from a flea market vendor who spoke no English so could not tell me the name of her variety. The scent of the fruit was glorious. In a fit of gluttony we ate them in the car on the long drive home and I did not save seed!

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2 hours ago, heidih said:

 

Good point. Our commoner has useless fruit for eating purposes but the tasty varieties do benefit from more care.I picked up some from a flea market vendor who spoke no English so could not tell me the name of her variety. The scent of the fruit was glorious. In a fit of gluttony we ate them in the car on the long drive home and I did not save seed!

I am part of a couple hydroponics gardening groups on Facebook.  There used to be a member from Indonesia who had a small hydroponic farm on the roof of her building that she would sell the produce to her neighbors.  One of her crops was passion fruit - at one time she mentioned the name of the variety, but it was in Bahasa (Indonesian) so I don't know what it would be called here. But she showed pictures of how she grew it, and she espaliered it on a trellis about 20 feet high and 20 feet wide!  it was amazing how many fruits she got from it.  Here in NY, they go for about $5 each (retail) - I was considering growing them indoors in my warehouse!

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5 hours ago, KennethT said:

like @heidih I like to use citrus as the acid in sauces and salad dressings.

 

Also, passion fruit can be trellised or espaliered and it will really expand the plant and how many fruits you get.

 

Hard to see in the photo, but we have strung wire between the stakes for them to grow along. 

Good idea about salad dressing !

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5 hours ago, dcarch said:

 

Good source of off-grid protein?  🙂

 

dcarch

 

Pretty sure your comment is tongue in cheek, but seriously, imagine trying to skin a flying fox or possum. Err, I’ll have the lentils thanks.

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@heidihwe’ve become mad seed savers. I have tomato seeds, butternut pumpkin, corn, apricots and various other little dishes of seeds scattered around drying. The passion fruit might not need an understory, we want to take advantage of the enclosure and improved soil. Trying to make every square inch count !

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This is the guy I mentioned about passion vines  https://www.lbcc.edu/staff-highlights/passion-garden Passion fruit starts just after minute 7  - looong but he s a "passionate" speaker worthy of a look and educational 

 

 

My citrus are super late and even Thanksgiving cactus just starting to bloom. We had extreme heat then way cold but with slow gentle rain. Stressed but resilient  plants. My nasturtium patch is coming up and there are other patches here and there. . The tender leaves are good eating.  

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@sartoric The Aussie one start at round minute 20 in the second link lecture

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10 hours ago, dcarch said:

 

Good source of off-grid protein?  🙂

 

dcarch

 

The bats and parrots don't tend to stick around

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It's almost never bad to feed someone.

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16 hours ago, haresfur said:

 

The bats and parrots don't tend to stick around

 

Unless you have someone like my brother in law around who hand feeds the cockies, kookaburras, and lorikeets. The cockies tap on kitchen window if he is late!

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5 hours ago, heidih said:

 

Unless you have someone like my brother in law around who hand feeds the cockies, kookaburras, and lorikeets. The cockies tap on kitchen window if he is late!

 

but they don't end up in the fruit basket like the bugs! 😀

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It's almost never bad to feed someone.

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If it will ever quit raining, I am ready to get my yard guy to come down and put in my raised beds for my garden. I'm planning on three, maybe four, beds, about 6 x 12 feet. One will be a tomato bed, possibly with a couple of pepper plants at one end. One will be an asparagus bed, something I have always wanted. One will hold a couple of hills of yellow crookneck squash, a couple of hills of zucchini, a couple of hills of cucumbers, which will be a gracious plenty to provide for summer eating and some preserving. If there is a fourth, it will be for me to plant some spring peas and some Kentucky Wonder green beans, since I can find the dang things no where else. 

 

I will be planting herbs in the flower bed just off the back porch, for ease of quick harvest when I'm cooking. As that is on the north side of the house, I'm hoping the cilantro and parsley will last a bit longer; it used to suffer badly in the sun on the west side of my former house.

 

I have nearly missed the window to plant trees, but I want a pear tree and a fig tree. May have to call a nursery tomorrow and see if we can get those in before spring gets here.

 

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Don't ask. Eat it.

www.kayatthekeyboard.wordpress.com

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My warrigal greens are going to town. I need to move them to a bigger pot or take some cuttings. These are an Australian & New Zealand native. They have cool little yellow flowers that grow from the base of the leaves. I've only cooked with them once and they seemed pretty tasty. You are supposed to blanch them to remove the oxalate.

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It's almost never bad to feed someone.

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I grow that plant here under the name New Zealand Spinach.

i Eat it raw in salads...the small tips.  The  larger leaves I use like regular spinach.  It seems to like very rich soil.  Last year a rogue plant started in the compost bin and it was the best plant ever.

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Love it - always cook. Farmer Market folks often have it.

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Love it - learned something new - warrigal greens!

 

Sadly at a balmy -14 prior to the windchill, there is no outdoor gardening at the moment, besides visually planning a new addition to my front yard veg garden transformation, evolution; extraordinaire.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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17 hours ago, Okanagancook said:

I grow that plant here under the name New Zealand Spinach.

i Eat it raw in salads...the small tips.  The  larger leaves I use like regular spinach.  It seems to like very rich soil.  Last year a rogue plant started in the compost bin and it was the best plant ever.

Warning!

They will take over your garden. Don't plant too many.

 

dcarch

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7 hours ago, dcarch said:

Warning!

They will take over your garden. Don't plant too many.

 

dcarch

 

I'm thinking of seeing how they do as a ground cover out front. I have an unused raised bed, too.

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It's almost never bad to feed someone.

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