My worms have been going gangbusters so I have several kilograms of high quality vermicompost for sale of trade. On ebay it goes for $20/400 grams but I'd be thrilled to get $10/400 grams or to trade for interesting plants.
Today is good friday and i have:
- Set up xiaomi plant sensors with homeassistant
- shoveled the compost from the old bin over the gardens, and set up a new bin in new location
- harvest the first feijoa. They were so heavy they broke a branch on the tree.
Chop up the kamo kamo.
Remove seeds. (Save these to grow for next year)
Leave skin on.
Roast with sprigs of rosemary at 180C for about 40 minutes (until soft) It's okay to do this the day before
Remove skins (easier if the kamo kamo is cool). place in pot with chicken stock and garlic. Puree with a stick blender until smooth. Heat slowly on the stove. Pour over pasta.
For extra points, serve with steamed pūhā
I planted some broccoli at the start of spring.. I grew fast, made long stems and quickly turned into yellow flowers. I conclude the first spring summer months aren't good for brocoli.
So I've got some new seedlings in now, in the heat of summer, hoping that by the time i put them in the garden the weather will turn more autumn.
I like to automate the calculations, analysis, and plain old remembering what has happened in the garden.
Some of the challenges in my garden is knowing when it's too late to planting something, if it will cope with the weather conditions here, and working out what is killing the tomato. The broccoli went into the on seed, I think because it was planted too early.
Remembering what I planted where, to properly crop rotate, would be useful.
I've mostly been a summer gardener, so knowing what to plant for successful winter gardening would be great.
We've been rock and rolling with 7.7 Earthquake at midnight and i lost count of how many 6-pointer aftershocks - and a tsunami evacuation.
Super tired, this morning we went home for about 90 minutes sleep - and then went looking for something normal (instead of our wavy shaken up house). School is closed, the city cordoned off. We ended up at the garden shop, it having the only cafe open on a Monday.
They'll mostly go into the large garden bed we need to dig (frame is built). They'll need wind shelter. We've got a high winds warning for tonight (YAY! more disasters) so the seedlings are sheltering behind a north fenced. The winds are nearly always northerly here, but a north fence of course also blocks the sun from the north - so it'll need something better.
Kūmara has been part of the staple diet of people in te Motu Kairangi for hundreds of years - so i figure it should grow here. I come from a long long line of potato growers, so maybe the genetic skills are transferrable.
I planted 4 kūmara into pots, with sand above and below, and left in a sunny spot on the deck. These should sprout and make tupu (i think this is "slips" in english).
We've just made some minor updates to the website. These are mostly behind-the-scenes, enabling our next round of improvements.
- Fixed broken emails
- Minor gem upgrades
- Build process improvements: Check PR author is in CONTRIBUTORS.md under Travis, Check for "forgot to commit Gemfile.lock" in CI, Block external URLs in feature tests
- Add support for Bootstrap alert types
- README file update for Freenode IRC
One trellis is finally done:
Since I did end up deciding to plant an Opalka tomato after all (because I went to the Sheep & Wool festival, and someone there sells seedlings), I really did need to get on the ball about finishing at least the trellis that's in that bed.
As I previously posted, my beds are 3x8 ft. The trellis is placed one foot in, so something can be planted on both sides, and then there's 1ft left for non-climbing plants.
Here's how I made the trellis:
- 5 pieces of 1/2" electrical conduit (or "EMT") (this is usually 10ft long)
- 4 1/2" 90º connectors for conduit
- 4 pieces 2ft 1/2" rebar
- 16ft of 4ft high welded wire fencing
- Garden wire / long twist ties / cable ties / heavy wire
- Cut 4 of the pieces of conduit to 8ft long.
- Hammer rebar into the ground so 1ft remains above ground. You want one at each end of the bed, and then 2 centered with ~1/4" gap between them.
- Measure the distance from the inside of one rebar to the inside of the next. It's not exactly 4ft.
- Cut the last piece of conduit so you have 2 pieces, each the length of the rebar gap.
- Put a corner piece on each long piece of conduit.
- Put a short piece of conduit between so you end up with two very large squared off U's
- If you got the kind of connector where you tighten down a screw to keep it all together, tighten nice and good
- Carefully lift one of your 4ft-wide sections and slide the tall conduit legs down over the rebar. Do the other.
- Cut 2 8ft long sections of welded wire fencing.
- Use your wire to attach one section of the fencing along the top rod of the trellis and down the sides.
- Place the other section of fencing against the bottoms of the legs, and wire it to the sides.
- Wire the top and bottom sections of fencing to each other.
- In the center, wrap your wire around both uprights and the fencing to add stability.
You could probably attach the fending to the frame before standing it up, but I did the frame like two months ago. You'd still want to lash the two uprights that are next to each other to each other.
Why two 4ft wide sections? I didn't trust an 8ft horizontal run without support. And why 8ft tall? Opalka tomato is an indeterminate variety, meaning the vine just keeps growing until winter kills it. Consequently, it very much outgrew my 5ft tomato cages before, and I wasn't too sanguine about 6ft being enough height either.
And in other news, we've started picking up 1ft square pavers to redo the paths around the beds, because the mulch paths are full of dandelions. The car can't handle the weight of bringing home enough for the entire garden at once, so the plan is to just pick up a handful on each trip to the garden center. Please ignore all the weeds in this photo. My plan for this year is to work on pavers / building beds / double digging the permaculture food forest, etc. Heavy labor more than actual plants.
I've just uploaded some more recent photos of my plants. The parsley is still going strong, having seeded itself in a second spot along the box. One patch has died back a bit - I clearly need to pick it and use it more often. The chives have also died back a bit, again probably because I wasn't harvesting enough. The aloe vera has tripled in size - if anyone in the area wants some, there's plenty. Along with a ton of geraniums, which apparently love my dry soil whenever I forget to water.
You may have noticed that things have been very quiet with Growstuff for the last year or so. This is primarily because I have been dealing with some serious health issues that left me unable to manage Growstuff, or even to spend much time online, since early 2015. Things are looking somewhat better these days, but I’ve realised that I’m not going to be able to give Growstuff the attention it deserves. The time has come to step back officially and put the project in the hands of people who can take better care of it than I currently can.
Miles, Cesy, and Maco, three of the developers on the Growstuff project, will be taking it over from here on out. All three are experienced open source contributors, and Miles and Cesy were two of the very first coders to join Growstuff in 2012. I will be shutting down Growstuff-the-business (which was founded in the hope of being able to pay people to work on the project, but sadly didn’t pan out) and the open source project will become a community-run one. I know that Miles, Cesy, and Maco will do a brilliant job, continuing to build the Growstuff platform as well as maintaining Growstuff’s traditions as a supportive and welcoming open source community. I wish them all the best.
For any future enquiries about Growstuff, please contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for supporting Growstuff.
Our next release has just gone live. Let us know if you spot any issues. Emails from comment replies still aren't working on the main site, but https://talk.growstuff.org is working fine, or find us on Github, Gitter or IRC.
- Crop approval flash alert for wranglers upon sign in
- Added Bootstrap accessibility plugin
- Removed redundant code from our crowdfunder last year
- Remove warnings and debugging puts from rspec output
- Add capybara-screenshot to assist with feature testing
- Use standardized & translateable strings for the photo show page
- Stop hard-coding strings for pagination
- Refactor photo controller create for readability
- Updated Gemfile.lock for Code Climate inclusion
- Add code climate to README
- Add config/factory_girl.rb so that rspec doesn't fail with a confusnig 'Could not find mapping for #
Ok, I'm late on posting this because I didn't think about it at the time, but remember how I planted 4 fruit trees and a nut tree in fall 2014? Well, they're not supposed to bear fruit for 2-4 years depending on variety. So I was surprised to see that this year, the peach actually blossomed!
We've just pushed a load of new features and bugfixes to the site, thanks to @pozorvlak for deploying, as well as all our coders - we had several new contributors this time.
- Thumbnails of crops should now show on a post where you reference a crop
- You should be able to unsubscribe from notification or community emails with one click
- When posting, the focus (where your cursor is) should automatically move to the subject field. If the post is a reply or a comment, it should go straight to the main content.
- When you delete a photo, you should now get a message flash up, instead of not knowing whether it had succeeded or not
- When replying to a private message, you now see the message you're replying to for handy reference
- You can now search from the places index page
- We're now starting to track how long a seed takes to grow to a mature plant. This is in the early stages of collecting data at the moment - eventually you'll be able to see a prediction based on other people's experience with that crop. For now, there's a pretty progress bar.
- Posts and comments now show when they were edited, if they're edited
- Member profile page now shows date of last login
- Add placeholder to harvest screen's plant part select box
- Display available seed count on crop pages
- Redesigned navbar
- Sunniness icons on planting pages, for partial shade, sun, etc.
- Places pages show nearby seeds and plantings, not just members
- Added link to owner's profile from seeds', plantings', and harvests' index page
- Harvests, seeds and gardens have a new card-based design
- Limit the vertical space taken by crop varieties in sidebar
- Display only the active plantings on the garden page, where finished plantings aren't helpful
- Photo view page now links back to the harvest or garden it is a photo of
- Thumbnails now have a background so we don't get odd effects with transparency
- When signing out, you get redirected to the last page you were on, if it's something public, rather than always to the homepage
- We've supported alternative and scientific names for a while, but you had to add them after creating a crop, not at the same time. Now you can do it all in one go.
- Make it clearer which fields are required and which are optional when filling in various forms
- The members page didn't flow very well on different sizes of screen - it now does so better
- A link to Open Service has been added to the footer
- Notifications are now paginated, using our new trial pagination gem
- Posts at the bottom of the homepage were all saying they were "1 minute ago", because they got cached straight after posting. They now say the right date.
- We added tracking seeds as organic, heirloom or GMO in the last release. Now this information is added to the CSV and RSS output, so other apps can use it.
- Automated testing improved with poltergeist
- Robots are now discouraged from visiting our staging site
- Switching to a new way of handling secret keys that makes it easier to progress from dev to staging to live
- More automated tests added
- Our test data (database seeding) is now improved, so our testing will be more realistic
- Maco is now a committer! Update the docs accordingly
- Performance improvements of some database calls
- Developer improvements (tweaks to .gitignore)
- Refactored some automated tests to make them faster
- New versions of various gems and other upgrades
Let us know of any issues you find! We hope to make releases a bit more frequent in the future. Search is also now working much better, with Elasticsearch turned on.
Hey everyone, I'm very excited to join the community at Grow Stuff.
I'm a twenty-something gardening enthusiast from Melbourne. I have a couple of years of experience in the field and huge desire to learn and develop in this sector. I'm interested in herbs and I grow my very own vegetable garden in my 10 000 square ft yard.
Recently, I decided to turn my hobby into a business. I started researching different ways to get into the gardening business. Since I haven't worked in management before I'm more inclined to settle for a franchise business than start everything from scratch. I have extensive knowledge in the landscaping sector as I worked several years in garden design and landscaping.
I'm open for any suggestions and advice on starting my new landscaping franchise.
I have an itty bitty house. It's about 650 square feet, and equator-facing windows are:
- over my bed
- inside my shower
- actually double-doors that open inward into the kitchen and anyway anything in front of them would block the fridge and the dishwasher
There are two sunset-facing windows:
- over the kitchen sink
- over the couch / anything on the floor there would block the basement stairs
There are no window sills.
I intend to put a shelf over the sink for some herbs, but it'd be really nice to be able to have bunching onions, shallots, and garlic in the house. Any ideas for getting away with trying to grow these in the house? The bunching onions probably don't need much sun, but anything making bulb needs some. Would "well, it's in the house, and some sun comes through the windows" be enough?
Germinating some cosmos, marigold, rajma beans and eggplant seeds in the paper towel method, how long does it take?
Started germinating day before morning still no signs of sprouts. Does the paper towel method take this long, especially for marigolds and cosmos?
Hello Melbourne Gardeners,
I accidentally bought a full sized Nashi Pear last month from Mount Taloepia Nursery instead of a dwarf.
Does anyone in the vicinity want to swap? I'd love a dwarf nashi but would consider a nectarine or anything else, really.
It's hot this weekend - after a brief first Spring we are skipping second Spring and going straight to Summer. It's beautiful, blue and hot and today, at least, the poison wind seems to have died down. I've spent the morning ripping up all the weeds that appear to have exploded in the last week. I swear it was a bleak barren wintry courtyard last weekend. I've sorted through what has survived my callous indifference: the rugged sorrel, mint, lemon balm, more self-seeded parsley than I would have thought possible under the instant grass and thistle, the garlic and one hydrangea. Good work, little plants.
Bananas have taken off. Both doing well. They only have about a month before the weather starts getting a bit cold, nights are already getting down to 50F some nights. Will have to think about frost protection soon.
Grapes that survived are doing well. The one I had to cut back, while it's still weaker than the others, has recovered significantly and no longer looks to be at the end of its rope.
Fig is fruiting and has 13 unripe figs on it. I hope they will ripen within the next 3 weeks because the weather will begin to cool down in october. I can't believe the fig is fruiting so well the same year I planted it! Next year I am gonna plant a tiger fig. Always assuming the Kadota fig does not die right after leafing out the way the bareroot figs I planted did. I have to say the trees I planted this year are doing so well I am going to try to mostly plant trees in may from now on instead of bareroot trees.
Suebelle white sapote is doing all right but its growth has slowed down a lot. I think that the white sapotes are not too fond of the HOT weather. The new bigger white sapote, which the nursery has identified as McDill, has been drooping on hot afternoons. I may move it to the part shade on the south side of the house, which has cooler afternoons and warmer nights. It set one fruit so far (still flowering, plenty more chances) but that fruit turned black on one side and I think it will die.
Some of the seeds I saved from the festival of fruit are sprouting! I didn't label them well (honestly didn't expect them to sprout and I didn't have any labels handy and I just wanted to get everything planted) but I believe that I have either two lychees or a lychee and a rambutan, some ground cherries (which will probably not live, but I saved more seeds to plant when it is actually spring), a jackfruit, two of something puzzling (small sprouts that aren't lychees, puzzling because I didn't plant two pots of any one thing that should have such small sprouts), and one pot with two of something I'm pretty sure is the pineapple guava sprouting in it.
I don't expect the lychees to do well because it's really too cold for them here and I think they're pretty sensitive to salts and won't like our soil or our water. But it's fun to sprout them anyway. They have already reached the bottim of their peat pots and need deeper pots to grow in.
Oh and I have a random seedling growing in the compost planter. See I have this one huge planter that I got for $10 for planting root vegetables that need space but won't survive the predations of critters if I try to grow them in ground. I grow sweet potatoes in it some years. What I do is, every fall I empty it out into buckets and fill it with all the partially finished compost I have in order to make space in the compost bins. Then I add as much of the remaining soil as I can fit on top, and use the rest to enrich the other beds. In the fall I plant alliums in the layer of soil. They don't grow down into the unfinished compost too much, and the compost gets plenty of water and stuff and finishes over the winter and the spring. Usually the alliums die abut the time to plant sweet potatoes, but this year in early spring I planted parsnips and stuff that would be done around the same time as the alliums. But a kadota squash vine volunteered from the compost, and I decided to grow it instead of sweet potatoes. Now in addition to that I have one small piece of sweet potato that grew randomly, and a parsnip that I left to get really big, and what looks like a peach seedling.
I might just let that seedling grow in the compost planter and buy a new planter to be the new compost planter.
Arkansas Traveler is fruiting heavily now. The flavor is excellent. Got about 8 lbs of fruit this weekend, gave most of them to my landlady and her other boarder who lives in the big house with her. Unfortunately his dog got into them and ate them (yes, all of them. No, they did not stay down). That was the main crop from the plant, too, alas. I expect to get another 5 lbs over the course of the next month or so, though. It's worth noting that Arkansas Traveler kinda comes ripe all at once. Or at least this one did.
Many fruits on the beefsteak tomato are bright red now but the stems aren't loose. I picked a couple and they weren't that sweet. I don't know if they'll get sweeter or if this is just fundamentally a boring commercial style tomato. I'm not all that impressed.
Of this year's tomatoes I'd grow San M and Arkansas Traveler again, but I don't think I'd grow San M if I didn't plan to do a lot of cooking and maybe some canning. This summer I haven't had a lot of energy for cooking (been doing other things with my time and energy, useful things, but not cooking).
Our lemon tree is well invested with Gall Wasp so is going to need a very hard prune to get rid of it all.
I recently heard that Biodynamic Paste (aka Tree Paste) is excellent to paste only heavily pruned trees to promote wound healing.
I believe it is made of poo from a lactating cow, clay, lime, and a few other ingredients that I can't remember.
Does anyone anywhere near Fitzroy in Melbourne have any of this? I can buy it only in vast amounts online, and plan to prune this weekend......
I got nearly 10 lbs of fruit from my San Marzano tomato last week, and the first three Arkansas Traveler fruit came ripe this weekend. Beefmaster is still thinking about it; I fear I'll receive a late glut of Beefmaster all at once. The yard long beans are doing great and I just picked my third bunch.
Three of the four surviving grapes are doing great. I think a gopher may have eaten the roots of the fourth though, or else it REALLY can't handle hot weather. Two days ago, I noticed that the tip of the leader was a little floppy; today every leaf on the entire vine looks like somebody cut the stem and left it in the sun to wilt. I gave all the vines extra water today, especially since I didn't water yesterday. I don't think it'll make it, though. I strongly suspect gophers because the wilting was just so sudden and complete. I could cut it back to just a few leaves in the hopes that it'll re-root, I suppose.
A couple days ago I noticed a tiny fig on the Kadota fig tree I planted three months ago. Young fruit trees often have a fruit or two set on them at the nursery, perhaps partly due to stress from outgrowing their pots, so I figured it was probably one of those and it might be a good sign for the tree being old enough to bear next year but it didn't necessarily mean anything.
Today I went out to check on the orchard and there were several more. Enough that this looks like an ACTUAL CROP. I'm having a hard time believing this tree is going to fruit, for reals, the same year I planted it, but that seems to be the case.
The other trees are doing well. I thinned the new branches on the Suebelle white sapote down to my favorite three.
At the CA festival of fruit, I purchased a big (15gal? 30gal? Freakin' huge) white sapote from Bonita Creek Nursery. The guys there didn't speak much english (according to them... I thought their english was great and a hell of a lot better than my spanish, which is basically non-existent despite repeated efforts), and they also couldn't remember what cultivar it was except it was "not Suebelle" (confirmed by lack of fuzz on the leaves) and they told me it was "very sweet" and "good fruit." It had 2 fruit nearly ripe when I got it and lots of unopened blossoms.
One of the fruit fell off during the drive and ripened off the tree this weekend. It was a good sized fruit, a little bigger than the ones usually at the farmer's market, and green skinned with just a hint of yellow blush. The skin was very thin, no unpleasant bitterness to either skin or fruit (even the part where the fruit bruised a bit), and with a stronger burnt-caramel flavor than the farmer's market fruits. I'm quite satisfied with my purchase; many cultivars' fruit won't ripen off the tree. That and the other characteristics should at least be able to narrow the cultivar down.
Anyway the second fruit, still on the tree, is becoming soft to the touch. I believe I will pick and eat it tonight or tomorrow. As if they were only waiting for the last fruit to ripen, the flower buds on the tree have opened, so I may get a winter crop as well, if I can keep the tree happy.
This spring it will be time to decide whether to plant it or keep it in the big pot it's in. I know white sapote do better in the ground, but it's such a huge tree it'd be a pita to plant, and if it's flowering and fruiting in its pot, it might be better not to mess with what works.
I also planted two bananas - Raja puri (bareroot) and blue java (potted) - for the greywater system. Right now they're on drip irrigation while they're getting established, but eventually they'll be hopefully getting 100% of their water from greywater. Raja puri, of course, is doing nothing - bareroot bananas can take a bit to stop sulking - but blue java was already putting out a new leaf before I transplanted it, so I'm hopeful that it will establish quickly. I hope raja puri does come out of its bareroot sulk and root, though, because I hear it's a great cultivar.
- New crop request form! This makes the approval process easier on the crop wranglers.
- Search now checks alternate names (such as coriander and cilantro) and scientific names (not yet available - see below)
- Seeds have organic, GMO, and heirloom options, along with and how many days until maturity
- You can now attach photos to your garden
- On the member page, members can be sorted by name or by how recently they joined
- When logged out, visitors will see a note at the top of post pages, so first-time visitors can see what Growstuff is all about
- Wranglers now see a "wrangle crops" button on the crop listing page
- You can no longer claim to have fewer than 0 seeds.
- The page footer height has been tweaked.
- You can no longer follow yourself.
- Crop wranglers will no longer see an error page if they leave out the Wikipedia link when adding a new crop.
- Some formatting bugs with the homepage and browse crops have been fixed.
- Sometimes users would see an error page when they tried to follow other users: this should no longer happen.
- Users should no longer receive an error when trying to download harvest data.
- Harvest photos should now provide a link back to their harvest after attaching the photo.
- Static content like the page footer is now stored in a CMS, for easier maintenance.
- We're now storing all harvest weights as kilograms in addition to whatever unit you put in, with conversion handled by ruby-units. This will let us give harvest totals more easily in the future.
- Users can now search by alternate names, scientific names, and partial names, with the matching handled by ElasticSearch (not yet available - see below)
- Travis CI now pushes successful builds on the dev branch to the staging site on Heroku, so merging a pull request to dev automatically deploys it to staging.
- Lots more features are now covered by automated tests.
Sadly, it looks like the search features will have to wait a while until we can work out how to install ElasticSearch in our production environment, but we've written the search code in such a way that it can be turned on later with a configuration switch.