I planted garlic cloves in late April and they are just showing their first leaves. April is the best time to plant garlic but it can be planted until mid June when the soil temperature cools . I bought the cloves from my local Fruit & Veg shop. Most garlic from the supermarket is imported and treated with growth inhibitors so it won’t start growing on the shelf or in your garden . Organic garlic doesn’t have this problem but I bought WA grown, so I wasn’t sure if it had been treated. Those new leaves tell me its fine. Imported garlic is also treated with methyl bromide, to kill pathogens, insects or weeds on the garlic .
I went to Star Swamp Bushland Reserve this morning, looking for quenda diggings. Also known as the Southern Brown Bandicoot (Isoodon obesulus fusciventer), these little marsupials were released at Star Swamp and Dianella Bushland after trapping in Ellenbrook when land was cleared for housing. Dr Geoff Barrett from DEC will be talking about “Quendas and Translocation” on Sunday 28 July at 3pm. Come along to Henderson Environmental Centre at Star Swamp, Groat St, North Beach to find out about the reserve’s newest residents.
I’m drinking rainwater again after 6 months of tap water. After my tank ran down over summer, I didn’t set up the filter again until now. Why did I take so long when my favourite drink is rainwater??
Everlasting daisies (Rhodanthe chlorocephala subsp. rosea) provide beautiful spring colour in the garden and I plant them every year in June. I’ve had more success starting the seeds in seedling trays and then transplanting the young plants because snails love to devour them. Every year I let the flowers go to seed and they fall into the leaf litter, ready to pop up the following winter. This year there are so many plants growing before June has even started. I’m looking forward to fields of pink and white come spring.
I planted Moon and Stars watermelon seeds from The Diggers Club last year, at the start of summer. I planted them among sunflowers in the empty block behind my house. It’s sand but I spread some compost before planting the seeds. While the sunflowers were growing I hand watered and the sunflowers grew well, but only one watermelon plant came up (from 2 or 3 seeds). It was very small for quite some time, but while I wasn’t looking it grew enormously.
Now the plant is about 3m x 3m, showing no signs of slowing, and has three fruit developing. I haven’t watered out there all year. There’s been more rain than usual this autumn, but not much fell in April and there was pretty much no rain in January and February. The summer was one of the hottest on record for Perth, and the heat continued into autumn, with 30°C+ days in April. I wonder how the plant survived, let alone thrived.
I haven’t tasted the fruit, so I don’t know if the harsh growing conditions will affect the taste, and I’m looking forward to my watermelons ripening. But I don’t know how to tell when the fruit is ripe, can anyone help me?
I found this pretty little beetle on a teatowel hanging on my washing line this morning.
Its legs were caught in the threads of the teatowel and while I took photos, it lifted up its legs one by one, trying to extricate itself.
I helped the beetle onto a leaf, it got it’s bearings, and buzzed off to new adventures.
I’ve been asked for an update on the woolly bush hedge I planted behind my house. The back of my house faces west, very bad in terms of passive solar design, because when the back verandah was enclosed, some clever person put in a wall of windows. Every summer afternoon my back room bakes, lightly toasting the rest of the house. It’s a nice place to pass a sunny winter afternoon, but for half the year my house is unpleasantly hot. A hedge of locally endemic plants was my solution.
It took two years, but at last here is part II: Return of the Cannibals. Yes, my frogs are cannibals. I once caught a cannibal in the act, froggy froze at my approach but those little legs hanging from his mouth kept wiggling *sob* (sadly I don’t have a photo)
Every garden really needs a water source for wildlife – it’s important not just for frogs, but insects, birds and lizards – Happy Earth
A couple of years after putting the pond in my garden there were no frogs in sight, so I got some motorbike frog tadpoles (Litoria moorei) at the end of October last year to move things along.
My friend has frogs hopping here, there and everywhere in her two garden ponds (one with a waterfall!?) but the frogs never had tadpoles. Every spring she would get motorbike frog tadpoles through the Frog Watch tadpole exchange program. Tadpoles shouldn’t be transported far from their parents to limit the spread of disease (chytrid fungus). My friend lives three suburbs from me, the furthest taddies should be transported on the Swan Coastal Plain. (In the Hills they should only be transported two suburbs away.)
Sheeba the dog died three weeks ago, 11 December 2010. She had a malignant mast cell tumour on her leg. She was only sick for a week before I had her put down, but after the infection on the tumour improved she was back to running around for a few days, just not quite as much as b4. Unfortunately we didn’t go for one last sk8, bike ride or beach trip together, but there were a few tennis balls to chase. And I let her sleep her last night on my bed.