Hi from New Zealand

mischief

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Jags, gotta have tough chickens to survive Texas heat! But I did put their coop on deep shade.

So you have volcanic soil that eats organic matter? I get it, we have sugar sand here. I call it living on the beach without the ocean.

Plant clovers, they fix nitrogen in the soil, cut it down after it goes to seed and it makes a nice Matt of organic matter. Even after our Sheep eat it down, there is still enough to put a lot of organic matter in the soil. Then the Sheep walk around making seed deposits wrapped in fertilizer pellets! LOL
hehe, I dont have room for sheep. I did consider rabbits at one point and may look at that again next year- I have too much to do as it is without adding anymore Things.

The woodchip I have got has mostly broken down.
I dipped into the pile that was in the shade over winter and got shade in the afternoon over summer. I was amazed at how much of it was actual soil, lovely black sticky soil with alot of big bits in amongst it.

I honestly think we need to add alot more carbon to the soil, so I also do the chop and drop mulch method.
This year, I will see if this will work. The last 18 months-2 years were spent mostly working crazy hours with on calls which meant I never had a real schedule to work with.

One thing I did today, was add some Burgandy mushroom dowels to a couple of beds- the one with my old type strawberries and alot in the bed that has sweet corn coming along. According to Paul Stamets, they like corn..so we now watch and wait to see what will happen.
 

mischief

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with really sandy or mineral soils i always recommend a bit of clay to go along with that organic matter as it will help hold moisture and nutrients but also keeps other OM benefits around longer (worm pellets with a bit of clay in them will clump and stay together longer as compared to just sand - this means if you have very fine sand or silt that will help hold it in place longer so it doesn't blow or wash away). if you mix a little in with the sheep food they can do the distributing of clay for you through time. a little minerals won't hurt 'em. :) it doesn't take much to make a difference in any garden.
I dont have access to clay so I try to use what I either have or can easily get.
I had to get a tree cut down, so lots of woodchip and the tree fellers were looking for homes for truck loads of the stuff, so I got truckloads of the stuff.
I tried innoculating this with mushroom but it didnt work, so it was back to the drawing board, ie, studying.
My first book was 'Mycelium Running' by Paul Stamets. I'm waiting for the next one to arrive. (dont have a good book store locally).

I Have managed to find a couple of NZ native mushrooms, but so far these need to grow on our 'Cabbage tree', which I just happen to have and it does need to be thinned out.
I have some dowels slowly getting coated in mycelium and once thats happened I can drill holes and insert them.
That will be type number two.
The supplier does have an NZ type ****aki mushroom, but is still in the process of building up a supply, so I'm in line for that one too.
 

mischief

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Welcome from Alabama. I don't remember anyone mentioning that we love pictures! :D
I'm hoping you'll share more on your beekeeping. We've been planning on adding bees for a while now. Maybe this spring now that my husband will be retiring.
I hope what you're able to plant and grow translates well. It'll be very interesting to see what things are the same, and what's different.

How much land do you have to work with?
Thank you!
I recently, accidentally, learnt to upload pics onto a forum, hopefully it will work here too. I'm more low tech, but at least I dont have to keep asking my kids how to copy and paste anymore.

I have a 1/4 acre property, with most of the land in the back yard. I also 'have' to look after about 8m's wide stretch of council land but half of that is taken up with my driveway. Thats an odd shape compared to most, curving up from the road in front of the house and going up the sun side (north) side of the house to the back yard. Still enough room there for trees though.
I like trees.

Up until recently, I have been concentrating on planting trees, mainly fruit, but also natives. Havent had much time for much else so its been Guerilla gardening in my own back yard type thing. I'm running out of room for trees now, just the odd spot to fill. Last year though, I didnt have to buy any fruit for the first time.

My head hangs down now, I feel like my green thumbs have turned a little black. I managed to fry a lot of my seedlings on Sunday.

Looking forward to sharing about my bees, I spend way too much time watching them cos they are just so fascinating.

I think we all pretty much grow, or try to, the same sorts of things. At the moment, I have my bed of shallots- does have the odd spring onion that were bought from the supermarket, when I realised they had roots on them, I chopped the bottom part of and planted them. These are now flowering which the bees and bumble bees visit,

I have one bed so far properly laid out and edged that so far has 6 beefsteak tomatoes, there were 6 cherry toms, but my dog decided to lie ontop of one. Thats half the bed, the other side has my sweet corn which is only about an inch high at the moment.

I have various things tucked away here and there while I get more organised.
 

milkmansdaughter

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It will be nice hearing about your garden growing while ours are at the end of our year. I've got the last of my peppers to pull in tonight, and house plants to move inside. We're expecting a killer frost tonight.
 

mischief

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I have tried so many times to grow peppers-capsicums but havent been all that successful. Chilies on the other hand seem to do okay.

We have another 3 weeks where we can get the last frost for the year. Because it has been such a warm winter, I dont expect it to happen.

As promised, here are some pics of my place. The first one is from the other side of my driveway, looking at two of the trees my nana grew from seed and gave to me in 1996. Apple and Christmas plumP1000135.JPG
Second one is looking up the driveway as it goes up alonside the house.P1000137.JPG
This one is from my parking area looking towards the courtyard. The paving is what got done this week because I was fed up with the weeds growing along there.P1000124.JPG
This is the courtyard, its bit messy at the moment and looks fantastic when the wind anenomes are flowering up against the water tank. I just planted a Banana behind the Oak leaved Papaya. Should have enough shelter there to do okay. Its been in a planter bag a bit too long.

P1000125.JPG
Turning left we come to the paved sloped path I did last summer/autumn. The new bee hive is on the garden at a flat section of the path P1000126.JPG This one is the back lawn looking towards the original bee hive. I have a shade clothe over the roof cos it upsets me when get stuck on the roof when its raining. The next one is looking from a mound of dirt I asked my neighbour to drop over the hedge when he was excavating for his workshop...supposed to have removed the grass layer first, but

P1000129.JPGP1000133.JPGP1000135.JPGP1000137.JPGP1000124.JPGP1000125.JPGP1000126.JPGP1000127.JPGP1000129.JPGP1000133.JPGP1000137.JPGP1000135.JPG
 

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flowerbug

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I have tried so many times to grow peppers-capsicums but havent been all that successful. Chilies on the other hand seem to do okay.

We have another 3 weeks where we can get the last frost for the year. Because it has been such a warm winter, I dont expect it to happen.

As promised, here are some pics of my place. The first one is from the other side of my driveway, looking at two of the trees my nana grew from seed and gave to me in 1996. Apple and Christmas plumView attachment 12555
Second one is looking up the driveway as it goes up alonside the house.View attachment 12557
This one is from my parking area looking towards the courtyard. The paving is what got done this week because I was fed up with the weeds growing along there.View attachment 12559
This is the courtyard, its bit messy at the moment and looks fantastic when the wind anenomes are flowering up against the water tank. I just planted a Banana behind the Oak leaved Papaya. Should have enough shelter there to do okay. Its been in a planter bag a bit too long.

View attachment 12560
Turning left we come to the paved sloped path I did last summer/autumn. The new bee hive is on the garden at a flat section of the path View attachment 12561 This one is the back lawn looking towards the original bee hive. I have a shade clothe over the roof cos it upsets me when get stuck on the roof when its raining. The next one is looking from a mound of dirt I asked my neighbour to drop over the hedge when he was excavating for his workshop...supposed to have removed the grass layer first, but

View attachment 12564View attachment 12569View attachment 12555View attachment 12557View attachment 12559View attachment 12560View attachment 12561View attachment 12562View attachment 12564View attachment 12569View attachment 12557View attachment 12555
looks great to me, plenty to keep you busy and well fed. :)
 

Britesea

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an easy way to add a bit of clay to your soil is to work in kitty litter- the old fashioned kind that doesn't have perfumes or "clumping" in the title. It is actually little pellets of clay, so if you work it in while everything is pretty dry, it won't clump up and make an impenetrable mass.
 
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