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August Prepping

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KiwiMum View Drop Down
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    Posted: August 07 2021 at 3:04pm

This month I'm focusing on improving the soil in my vege garden as it's mid winter here. I'm convinced we have food shortages coming and will see big prices rises as a result. My seed order arrived yesterday so now I'm planning my attack. 

The first thing I'll be sowing will be onions. We can't buy onion sets here in NZ so onions have to be grown from seed so I'll be sowing them as soon as the moon changes. For the next 2 months the far end of our dining table will be covered in plastic and then trays of germinating seeds before they then get moved out to the greenhouse.

"Once you've decided that something's absolutely true, you've closed your mind on it, and a closed mind doesn't go anywhere. Question everything. That's what education's all about." ~ David Eddings
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Technophobe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 07 2021 at 3:41pm

We had big problems with our water supply earlier this year, so I am well behind with everything I planned for this season.  Watering with buckets was both exhausting and time consuming.  Collecting rainwater sufficient to water our polytunnel was even worse.

That is all sorted now, but we had to call out the experts THREE TIMES!   During that period, I did not prune my tomatoes.  Anyone got a machete?

Now we are back to normal (albeit broke) we are building raised beds again for next spring.  The ones we built last year, from builders crates, used sacks and waste wood, have been a roaring success.  We have one small bed devoted to spinach, and there is no way we can eat all of it.  Other than the asparagus (too young to harvest this year) all of them have outperformed expectations several times over.

We are plotting what to do with the field we bought back;  the general idea was for an orchard, with the very best grazing we could plant underneath for our geese.  Since plotting this, we have gone vegetarian full time, which rather removes the point of keeping geese.

The rest of this month will be harvesing squashes for storage in the barn, spinach for blanching and freezing and potting up nut trees for planting out in the orchard next year.  Oh and trying to work out why only one of our bell peppers germinated this spring.  -  I had to buy plants in!

The orchard will need protecting from wind and a thick hedge of leylandii do a really great job at this.  We are currently too broke to buy them though.  

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KiwiMum View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote KiwiMum Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 07 2021 at 11:23pm

Are you sure about the leylandii? They are very thirsty plants and will outperform your fruit trees when competing for water. They are also expensive to maintain.

"Once you've decided that something's absolutely true, you've closed your mind on it, and a closed mind doesn't go anywhere. Question everything. That's what education's all about." ~ David Eddings
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote EdwinSm, Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 08 2021 at 1:41am

I have started my first try in propagating some black currants and red gooseberry bushes by layering low hanging branches [That is bending then down, pinning them there and covering part of the stem with earth so the it is 'tricked' into creating new roots].  It will be next year before I find out if the this has properly worked.  

A lot of this last week has been spent on the damage a hot dry summer has created...cutting out a number of dead bushes, adding compost to areas that seem too shallow - our garden in on a hill side with about 1/3rd of it covered in bare granite rock, so in some places the earth layer is very shallow - in  others it is basically sand and small stones from the moraine deposited as the last ice age retreated.  We also have several elephant sized boulders to add character and structure to the garden!   But it is all a good geology lesson.

The need for more currant plants is that I planted some in the top part of the garden and they just cannot get enough water (even if I water each day), so I need new plants for a different part where they can get more water (It is banked up to stop the flow of rain water down the hill if there is a very heavy down pour, allowing more water to seep into the root area.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Technophobe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 08 2021 at 3:22am

I have had leylandii before and know their foibles.  The strip of them we have planted is on the south side of a track up to higher fields, so it only shades our roadway.  We rather hope they dry that track out; it will make getting up to the high fields easier.

The ones we have yet to plant will line the roadside (West of the field, where the majority of the worst wind comes from) as the other two sides (North and East) are already wooded.  A strip of rosa rugosa will come as the next row inwards and the inside row will finish up with nut trees.  The west side of the field is also the lowest and quite boggy;  our rainfall is heavy for most of the year.

Wind is always a problem here and protecting the fruit trees and bushes from it is a priority.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote KiwiMum Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 08 2021 at 1:55pm

We have the same problem with wind. It comes off the Southern Alps and onto us. Our Nor'westers are hot and dry and can last for up to 5 days at their most extreme. The problem we have with them is that they dessicate everything and on some years they dry out the leaves of deciduous trees so it looks like Autumn. Windspeeds are about 90km per hour in a good strong wind and have been up to 170 kmph in extremis. 

We've fenced our orchard to keep the hares out and then planted a mixed hedge to baffle the wind. The Nor'wester only blows in the spring and summer and occassionally the autumn but not the winter so it's blowing when the trees have leaves. It's known to make us all irritable in this region and not just because it's so hot and strong but it brings with it positive ions that make people grumpy. 

As I write this though. it's snowing.

"Once you've decided that something's absolutely true, you've closed your mind on it, and a closed mind doesn't go anywhere. Question everything. That's what education's all about." ~ David Eddings
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Technophobe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 09 2021 at 5:30am

I sympathise.  Our wind burns the vegitation brown in Sumer and smashes all sorts of stuff in Winter.

Hares are less of a problem here.  Human beings have a "right to roam" in the UK, the rosa rugosa are for that problem.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote EdwinSm, Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 09 2021 at 6:53am

Originally posted by Technophobe Technophobe wrote:

Human beings have a "right to roam" in the UK, the rosa rugosa are for that problem.


I had wondered if you were using it to keep people out.  I think they are similar (or the same) as some of our wild roses and they have serious thorns, and thick long reaching branches.    But at least the thorn bush has pretty flowers that you and pollinators can enjoy and colourful hips in autumn.  

Can you add blackberries to the mix (also can have wicked spikes and climb everywhere)?

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Technophobe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 09 2021 at 10:26am

Yes!  We have blackberries already - where they are in the way.  :(    Digging them up and moving them is on the list of things to do, but they are huge and this will take oodles of time and multiple scratches.  We are putting it off for now - ok we wimped out!

I am almost certain ours are the same roses as yours.  They fit your description and Bernard's sister planted them;  both she and Bernard dreamed of NZ and longed to return, so they planted things that remind them of 'home'.  

I make rose hip syrup for colds and the rugosa are covered with hips every year.  They are also into world domination - (BIG TIME!)  and spread like an oil slick.  Hopefully the leylandii will help keep them in check.  Fingers crossed I have found the ballance.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote KiwiMum Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 09 2021 at 12:57pm

I make rose hip syrup too from the dog roses that just sprung up randomly here. My anti-people barrier is worcesterberry. I managed to get hold of 6 plants a few years ago and have been taking cutting ever since. If you haven't seen one, they are lethal. The grow about 2 m tall and about 1.5m wide and have thorns on them that get to 1.5inches long. They also grow down to ground level and supposedly, once you have a hedge of them established, even rats won't come through it. I'm working on a 300m hedge around our orchard. I've got about 100 m to go. 

They look lovely, the berries are delicious and the birds love both the berries and the bushes. In winter when all the leaves are off you can see lots of birds nests in them because they are safe from predators in there.

If they didn't look so out of place here in the countryside, I would plant a pyracantha hedge to keep people out. The thorns on the pyracantha carry some strange bacteria and being pricked by them nearly always leads to infection which would be a perfect deterrent.

"Once you've decided that something's absolutely true, you've closed your mind on it, and a closed mind doesn't go anywhere. Question everything. That's what education's all about." ~ David Eddings
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Technophobe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 09 2021 at 2:08pm

The thorns on the rugosa roses are quite small, but fantastically numerous and dense.  Not a milimeter of the bark is free of them.

Now I have some interesting herbs which grow in my garden naturally from the wild (atropa belladonna) and some planted by my predecessors (aconitum napellus).  These were the main ingredients of the fabled "flying ointment" used by witches in the middle ages.  Used together in said ointment, they were absorbed into the body through insect bites and the regular skin abrasions of hard physical work.  This produced some pretty dramatic hallucinations and most specifically,  a sensation of flying.  The medieval witch was not flying on her broomstick to the sabbat, she was giggling away in her kitchen, - totally out of her box.  

I might drop a few seeds in among the rosa rugosa,  Get some of those juices in a scratch and no one would return to the 'haunted farm'


The atropine has an antidote, which also grows wild here (foxglove).  The aconite has none, but borax mitigates some of the effects.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote WitchMisspelled Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 10 2021 at 4:09pm

Ramping up on my prepping in a big way.  Not because of Covid, but because of storms/climate change.  And a small situation here in my apartment building where some old pipes went bust and we were without any water for two and a half days.

I've checked my rechargeable batteries, but still need to pull out my notebook solar panel  hang it from a hook in my window and give it a test run.

I donated a bunch of near "best buy" expiration non-perishables to a local food pantry so inventory is necessary to see where I need to fill in and perhaps expand considering the forewarned delivery issues. New sprout seeds and perhaps another sprout jar are a must. I've also never really considered ramping up on canned and dried fruits, but now re-thinking that.

Spending a lot of time re-thinking declining an invitation from my brother to join him and his wife (both retired) to move to a small farm in New Hampshire.  Huge change and I'd lose a chitload of autonomy.  I just don't think I'm ready yet though.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote carbon20 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 10 2021 at 4:15pm

Originally posted by WitchMisspelled WitchMisspelled wrote:


Spending a lot of time re-thinking declining an invitation from my brother to join him and his wife (both retired) to move to a small farm in New Hampshire.  Huge change and I'd lose a chitload of autonomy.  I just don't think I'm ready yet though.

My mother has just uprooted after 52years ,moved to be near my brother.....

My advice,move ,build a "granny flat " on the property....(your autonomy)

'nothing ventured nothing gained...."

Take care all 😷😉💉

Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.🖖

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote KiwiMum Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 10 2021 at 6:32pm

I'd agree with Carbon on this one, build a granny flat. Make it a reasonable distance from the main house and give it it's only little patio and garden that fenced off. Then you'll have independence but also companionship, and you can work together to be more self sufficient.

"Once you've decided that something's absolutely true, you've closed your mind on it, and a closed mind doesn't go anywhere. Question everything. That's what education's all about." ~ David Eddings
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Technophobe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 11 2021 at 3:14am

If I could afford it, I would be building "kiddie flats" for our ofspring...

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote WitchMisspelled Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 13 2021 at 2:31pm

Thanks for the input.  My issue is that although I adore my SIL (I've often told my brother if anything happens, she gets me in the divorce), my brother is more than just a little bit of a controlling jerk.   You know the type... buys you almond milk instead of regular milk before a blizzard because it's healthier for you... lets your housecat out in the door because "it'll be okay and it wants to be outdoors" with the racoons that would disembowel her when she tried to be friends. 

The invitation is concrete but the terms are very vague at present  as they haven't even sold their old house and bought that small farm.  I told him I'm not committing to anything until I know what my space would be like.  Their timeline was to travel in 2021 and sell in 2022.  So knowing my brother, unless my SIL puts her foot down because my niece (their daughter) is planning a baby in 2022, it will likely be 2025 before I know anything.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote EdwinSm, Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 13 2021 at 10:11pm

Maybe with a few more years under your belt you might want to reconsider.  As we get older we have to depend on others more   


ps I see they have added a corvid symbol with a mask.   

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Penham Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 27 2021 at 5:31pm

I bought some seeds the other day, getting ready to plant a fall garden. Then will save some for next spring. 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote WitchMisspelled Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 31 2021 at 2:10pm

Originally posted by EdwinSm, EdwinSm, wrote:

Maybe with a few more years under your belt you might want to reconsider.  As we get older we have to depend on others more   


ps I see they have added a corvid symbol with a mask.   


I think I'm just on the cusp, yanno?  

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