Oztion – A great range of plants and seeds

I’ve recently found a new Auction website for Australian’s.
Under normal circumstances I don’t refer sites like this to my readers, but I can’t help but show you the great selection of seeds that are on offer in the Home and Garden section. At the time of writing there are over 4000 items in the Plants, Seeds and Bulbs section.

I like the range, and the prices are cheaper than the ‘other’ auction site.



Yes this is an affiliate link, but I will only get paid (a whole $2) if you sign up and buy something or sell something.
If you feel that I am not worthy of the referral, then type www.oztion.com.au into your browser and enjoy the range 🙂

Blogged with the Flock Browser

Tags: , ,

Life on the edge

Last weekend we packed our ute and headed bush to Lawn Hill National Park in North West Queensland, Australia.

While enjoying a weekend of walking and canoing through the gorge a couple of photo’s were taken…
I can not believe that some of these plants survive!


Lawn Hill National Park
Lawn Hill Gorge

Lawn Hill National Park

Fig Tree on the edge

Lawn Hill National Park
Nature’s vertical garden

Lawn Hill National Park

Twisted Fig Roots

Lawn Hill National Park
Waterfalls

Lawn Hill National Park

Vertical Garden

Lawn Hill National Park
Lawn Hill Gorge

Blogged with the Flock Browser

Tags: , ,

Perfectly Spaced Peas

Fork in lens..While planting out pea seeds around my passionfruit vine (companion planting experiment) I was using my garden fork to loosen the soil surrounding the vine without disturbing the roots too much.

After reading the pea packet (it is a habit to read the packet, I know how to plant peas) I noticed that the spikes on the fork were about 5cm apart.

All I did to plant the seeds was stick the fork into the soil down 3cm, remove it and insert an end spike into the last hole. I then planted the seeds and backfilled.

They’ve began to come up and they are all perfectly spaced and will begin providing my passionfruit vine with nitrogen from their roots!

Blogged with the Flock Browser

Tags: ,

Horse Manure in the garden

Poop HillI’m one lucky gardener…
I have a friend who has two horses, and they create a lot of manure!

After preparing my new garden beds today, I went down to raid her paddock of it’s manure to put on my garden. While I was down there, the lady who has three horses in the paddock next door said that I was more than welcome to help myself to any manure from her horses any time.

Heaven!

Here is the tip, horse owners have lots of manure and many of them don’t have much to do with it (they are into horses, not gardening!). If you know someone who owns a horse, ask them if you can ‘clean’ their paddock for them. If you don’t know anyone, try visiting your local race track or horse center and ask them if you can take some manure off their hands.

Make sure you compost the manure for at least a month, turning weekly, to allow the nutrients to settle down and to ensure that any worming agents in the manure have decomposed. You can also spread it over a garden bed that is not being used then cover it with straw.

Happy manure hunting!

Blogged with the Flock Browser

Tags:

Curl Grubs

More Posts from Homely CapersDSCF2048

I’ve recently worked over my vegetable garden to plant out my tomatoes and cabbages. During the dig a large number (read 30+) of curl grubs (see photo) were discovered in the 4 square meter garden bed.

Having done a little research, they might be the cause of my problems last season in growing capsicum and pumpkins.

Curl grubs are the larvae of many different beetles that live in your garden. At my house the adults are black and eat the dog poo off my lawn (should I miss a pile). They don’t tend to roll it into balls like the common Dung Beetle, they just hollow the inside of the pile out and leave a dry dog poo shell for me to pick up.
The larvae of the beetles live in the soil in my vegetable garden, presumably all over my yard, and nibble away at the roots of my veggies and other organic material.

These beetles primary role in the environment is to break down organic matter into new soil. They do a great job at this and reducing my dog poo pile is appreciated.

The life cycle of the beetle is as follows.

The life cycle is one year, eggs are laid into soil or compost in spring, newly hatched larvae feed on organic matter while older larvae feed on roots and organic matter.

Larvae spend one winter feeding in the soil and pupate (turn into beetles) in the following spring. They move close to the surface when they are about to pupate (that’s when I get them) and hollow out a chamber to grow. Once they have turned into a beetle, they wait in the soil until they can dig their way out to go and eat and mate then lay eggs.

What to do to get rid of them in the veggie patch?

After looking in some books in the library I found that you can either poison them, dig them up and remove them or introduce some nematodes.

Poison:
Products like Carbayl and Chlorpiriphos are excellent at killing these buggers off, but at what expense to the soil? I found two earth worms in my garden yesterday, the first since I moved in, and I’m not keen to see them and their family poisoned.

These poisons may be regarded safe to use in the garden, but who really knows what effect they will have on the soil, the plants growing in it and the end user (you!).

Dig and squish:
Each time I cultivate the soil I look for them and put them in a container on the side. By simply removing the bulk of the population I have killed off a generation of beetles to come and lay in the soil. To dispose of them I flush them down the toilet, or if there is a Magpie in the yard I will feed them to it. You could always just jump on them!

Nematodes:
The CSIRO in Australia has found that a specific breed of nematode will get inside these beetles larvae and eat them from the inside out. The nematodes don’t eat roots of plants or kill anything else.

For me, I think I’ll stick to digging around my plants to find them and kill them off one by one! 

Blogged with the Flock Browser

Tags: ,

Dodgy Plumbing

DSCF2047Whilst out gardening the other day I found a large wet spot in my garden. After a little investigation I found that it was coming from the pipe that connects the water main to my house.

A few things went through my head, termites love water and they will be attracted to the spot right next to my house, how much water was I wasting, how long had it been running and how much extra was my water bill going to be.

What made me mad was that the leak was coming from a repair somebody had made to the pipe after they had stuck their shovel through it prior to us owning the house.

Being black Poly pipe it is relatively cheap (~$4 per m), yet they went to the trouble of making a clamping device, lining that with tyre tube rubber and clamping it over the hole.

After buying two meters of pipe ($8) I dug the pipe up and found that there were connectors on both ends of the offending section ($25 cost saving in connectors).
All it took was to unscrew the broken pipe, trim the new pipe to length and screw back together.

As far as I’m concerned it was a simple and cheap repair made difficult by somebody trying to save a dollar making a clamp.

Tell us about any dodgy handyman  repairs you’ve found in your house.

Blogged with the Flock Browser

Tags:

How to Stop Dogs Digging in the Garden

I have a number of passions in life, but two of my top four are my garden and my dogs.
At the moment I have a Dachshund Cross and a Pedigree German Shepherd, they are the greatest of companions and I would never be without them, although they have found that they like digging in my other passion (the garden).

The background is that I have decided to turn my fairly empty gardenless back yard in my new house into a lush green haven, I’ve set out some edging and have put in some great looking plants.DSC01522

Problem – the dogs like digging up the new plants, chewing all the leaves off and leaving the roots to dry in the sun. They then dig a hole beneath where the plant was.

Solution – Fence the area… I have fenced the area off with barrier mesh but German Shepherds can easily jump a 5ft fence and Sausage Dogs squeeze beneath.

Solution 2 – Lock the dogs up while I’m not home…

Solution 3 – Smack the dog… I’ve tried once and did not like the experience, she did it again the next day.

Solution 4 – Spray the area around the plants with a mixture of Hot Paprika and Cayenne Pepper to put them off the scent…

My friend told me this one, she said that dogs sometimes dig for the scent of their owner or the smell of the freshly dug dirt. The spray of hot spices puts them off.

I’ve began this method today, I will keep you posted on how it goes.

Solution 5 – Any other ideas out there?

Blogged with the Flock Browser

Tags: , ,