Gardening

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Re: Gardening

Postby johnsmith » 01 Dec 2019, 17:15

I'd use the poly over glass. Safer and will last longer. It'll get just as hot as glass.

It will go ugly though, even if it is UV protected. My skylight is UV protected poly, and it looks like shit. Good for me that I can't really see the poly unless i climb up on the roof. :bgrin
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Re: Gardening

Postby HBS Guy » 01 Dec 2019, 18:01

As long as light gets through and heat stays inside.
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Re: Gardening

Postby HBS Guy » 03 Dec 2019, 18:55

Hmmmm chickens are carnivorous but in winter no worms etc.

To 13 chickens—1 tin of sardines. Bit of calcium too.

Dry kibble for puppies, small pieces, chooks will eat that.

Light in the run/coop—stops chickens realising it is winter.
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Re: Gardening

Postby HBS Guy » 03 Dec 2019, 18:57

There is a hilarious YouTube out there: cat pacing a mouse, not sure what to do, then in comes a chicken. . .


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Re: Gardening

Postby johnsmith » 03 Dec 2019, 21:13

HBS Guy wrote:Hmmmm chickens are carnivorous but in winter no worms etc.

To 13 chickens—1 tin of sardines. Bit of calcium too.

Dry kibble for puppies, small pieces, chooks will eat that.

Light in the run/coop—stops chickens realising it is winter.


why dog kibble? why not buy chicken feed and give them that instead? Surely it's cheaper than dog food
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Re: Gardening

Postby HBS Guy » 03 Dec 2019, 22:58

They need animal protein, not available in winter is why.
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Re: Gardening

Postby HBS Guy » 04 Dec 2019, 14:53

Having decided to rearrange the “orchard” to accommodate 3 rows of 6 trees of cider apples I have to have 4 posts placed in what was Row 6 at one stage and is again leaving 4 posts pretty useless—but no, aha! Four more posts—I can net the whole fucking orchard, vines, apples, pears! Once something is actually done changing your mind is $$$. This is, oh I dunno, 4 x $15 for the posts, 1/3 rental of auger and 1/3 of labor something between $125–200 wasted. Except not wasted—netting! Phew!

Leaves just a narrow 5m wide strip of backyard. Oh dear! Lawn? Nah, didn’t want lawn anyway pffft!

Do something with shrubs, roses growing over rose bows, couple more peach trees, natives (not the type that bursts into flame) etc with a winding footpath (gravel) sort of, errrrr winding along the plantation, nice bit of statuary (no longer at end of the big pergola) here and I want a couple garden gnomes there. I know they are kitchy but I would love a male gnome smoking a pipe or fag with a nervous glance. . .to where Mrs Gnome, rolling pin in hand, is tracking down Mr Gnome: anybody who has succumbed to then quit the foul tobacco habit will understand this, to anyone else it is a little humorous domestic drama.

Will design what I want in terms of heights/colors/flowers later, maximising the appeal to walk the path strongest when sitting in the gazebo, another for when sitting under the big pergola on a lovely warm day (I think Tassie has 2 of those a year? :roll :bgrin . Beds of perennials, some stepover apple trees etc and on the far boundary the apple tunnel. Be good.
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Re: Gardening

Postby HBS Guy » 04 Dec 2019, 14:56

Side yard for veges and vines and raspberries and blueberries in the front yard.
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Re: Gardening

Postby HBS Guy » 05 Dec 2019, 05:55

Hmmm been thinking about trees to buy and selected Golden Harvey, 3 trees. A great eating (desert) apple, even more important makes a great strong sweet cider! That’ll do me!

Filling in the data sheets I noticed one thing: Granny Smith is a great pollinator. Group 3 so can pollinate groups 2,3 and 4. Since it is not fussy about chill hours (it first grew in the Sydney suburb of Ryde after all!) I planted it in the position closest to the house. Pick a granny in March—nice acid cooker, pick it in June—well-flavored eating apple. Stores well too. French Crab is thought to be one parent

Once in the house and collecting fruit I am going to try growing some trees from seed, see if I can find a nice one—you may see the Jovial Monk Pippin in the shops. Wouldn’t bet on it tho.

If a tree ripens at a certain time—usually a 2 week period—it doesn’t mean that ALL the flowers open in that 2 weeks. Some will be early, some will be late so a pollination group 3 tree can pollinate group 2 & 3 apples. A crab apple flowers for a very long time so can pollinate practically any apple tree. Must be a white-blooming crab tho.

Gotta love some of the names apples etc were given black in the day. “Bloody Ploughman” is one—a Scottish apple with red stained flesh. Since I collect Worcester porcelain maybe I should get a Worcester Pearmain?
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Re: Gardening

Postby HBS Guy » 05 Dec 2019, 08:56

Cox Orange Pippin is the best eating apple. What is a pippin? A promising apple tree found in the wild, cultivated and adopted as good.

Peasgood Nonsuch, Hubbardston Nonsuch, hmmm. Nonsuch is not the same as “none such” it means the apple is beyond peer, no apple coming close in taste and texture.
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Re: Gardening

Postby HBS Guy » 07 Dec 2019, 17:56

Vines—21m along back fence
15m down northern boundary, trellis a bit high so fence doesn’t shad the vine
2-3 m down the southern fence—maybe more, need to get my sun readings!
18m in between the cider apples and perry pears

Side and front yards—will see.

Shiraz with 5-10% Malbec.

More along the pergolas—muscat, try making a liqueur muscat!
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Re: Gardening

Postby HBS Guy » 07 Dec 2019, 18:05

56m of vines, 1.5m spacing (crappier the soil closer the vines can be.

Equals 56/1.5 = 37 vines plus whatever on pergolas front and side yards. 32 Shiraz, 5 Malbec. Maybe some grenache?
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Re: Gardening

Postby DonDeeHippy » 07 Dec 2019, 19:05

HBS Guy wrote:56m of vines, 1.5m spacing (crappier the soil closer the vines can be.

Equals 56/1.5 = 37 vines plus whatever on pergolas front and side yards. 32 Shiraz, 5 Malbec. Maybe some grenache?

what kind of harvest can you expect from that amount monk ? seams you will be drinking lots of wine to enjoy your harvest :purple
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Re: Gardening

Postby HBS Guy » 07 Dec 2019, 19:43

Probably 20L finished product. Depends on side and front yards etc. Maybe instead of apple tunnel 3 rows vines?

Would like to try the making liqueur muscat!
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Re: Gardening

Postby HBS Guy » 09 Dec 2019, 22:33

I DO like wine made from this grape—and it loves a cool climate!

https://www.wineaustralia.com/sauvignon-blanc

That and muscat, grow them on the pergolas.
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Re: Gardening

Postby HBS Guy » 10 Dec 2019, 13:47

OK, got my 3 rows of 6 trees and don’t have to move any posts

From each set of 3 trees (1 sharp, 1 sweet, 3 bittersweet, 1 aromatics/pollinators) I can get 90-100 litres of juice, 80-90L finished cider.

Won’t be quite that much, maybe half the aromatics end up in the cider, some of the juice will get bottled as juice.

Even half of 90-100L juice is fine, 5 x 50L = 250L, 5 litres a week :beer :beer :beer :beer :beer :rofl :rofl :rofl hic!

Some to drink quickly, some to seriously cellar and bottle age.
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Re: Gardening

Postby HBS Guy » 10 Dec 2019, 14:46

Had set aside space beside the kitchen for a indoor herb garden, can go in the greenhouse!

Need a laboratory: bench with fireproof lacquer, good light, extractor fan.

Need it to measure free nitrogen (grapes) and titratable acidity and pH. Also—refractometer to measure sugar level in apples and grapes.

Free nitrogen—a Ramsay set (lab glassware,) retort stands, burette and bunsen burner.


Heh—make a Van der Waals static electricity generator, apply it to door knob of lab door—keep it safe! zzzt!
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Re: Gardening

Postby HBS Guy » 10 Dec 2019, 17:18

Merlot can be table or wine grape—plant on pergola etc, means can plant a few more shiraz!
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Re: Gardening

Postby HBS Guy » 16 Dec 2019, 10:07

Want to grow some grapes? Nursery here with a few varieties:

http://www.woodleanursery.com.au/retail%20grapes.pdf

I guess in Tassie that Sultana grapes, which need hot summers to ripen, are not suitable. A couple others are and can dry into sultanas while the big Muscat grapes can be dried into raisins.

One experiment I would like to do:

1. Press 10-20Kg black Muscat

2. Add yeast

3. Let ferment to 5-6%, rack off the lees

4. Add a suitable amount of brandy (or home made alcohol) to stop the ferment keeping lots of grape sugars.

5. Rack, bulk age (in wood? I do have a 20L wine barrel)

6. Rack, bottle, bottle age.

So make my own liqueur muscat. Be fun.

Want to buy a 20L still and buy an extra head for the still—be able to reflux or pot still. Pot stilling carries across the flavors, e.g. pot distill a batch of cider into apple brandy. Very useful if for some reason I end up with a glut of bittersweet cider apples. (Can’t eat those cider apples, edible but definitely NOT palatable! Not useful for juice either.)

Make some 99% ethanol, grow a mj plant in a cellar—make hemp oil to cure my aching joints!
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Re: Gardening

Postby HBS Guy » 16 Dec 2019, 16:27

117 row spreadsheet of what I can plant, trees/vines I need to buy etc. Phew!

Some table grapes can be dried into raisins or sultanas. Maybe just put them on trays in the greenhouse? Or else my dehydrator.

Will have to visit that nursery I linked above and discuss with then some vines would suit what I want.

Next year will start working on understory plants: black and red currants, gooseberries, pepperberries etc.
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Re: Gardening

Postby HBS Guy » 16 Dec 2019, 18:59

Regarding yields, 142Kg grapes makes 100L juice with 7-10Kg of grapes from a vine. 32 grapevines then yield 224Kg of grapes (using the 7Kg figure) so 224/142 = 160L.

Apples—while I have semidwarf apple trees I keep them pruned so will use dwarf trees as a guide, about 5 x 100L juice. Some will be bottled as juice.

About 20 perry pears, dwarf, espaliered, similar yield to the apples. Some perry pears (Green Horse) make great preserved pears, some (beurre bosc) can be eaten or cooked.

I am not intending to drink all this by myself! :purple :yellow :purple
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Re: Gardening

Postby HBS Guy » 16 Dec 2019, 19:42

I would imagine that with my “lovely” soil the above figures are the high side. Even half tho will be fine.

The grapes need manure, cow or chicken—they do grow a huge amount of foliage, a lot of which will have to be pruned off. A couple nice YouTubes on growing and pruning etc grapevines by this guy:




For the table grapes I will pinch off the bottom third of the bunch—the rest of the grapes will grow bigger. For wine grapes—size doesn’t matter so the bunches will be left as is.

Red wine grapes need to be crushed before being pressed. People think the crushing should liberate litres of juice—just need the grapes to split a bit where the stem was, and the stems separated. Ferment—press down the cap or pump fresh must over the cap. A week or so later—press, separating pulp from skin. A Tassie winemaker said they leave the wine on the fruit longer than on the mainland—colder, I guess.

White wine grapes are pressed immediately.
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Re: Gardening

Postby HBS Guy » 17 Dec 2019, 07:39

If I thin enough grapes from bunches of table grapes I can make verjuice! Trying to look up how to can it (or bottle it, more appropriately.) I have most of a carton full of little 150ml jars (and the lids!) which would be an ideal way to use it. Might buy another carton of those jars before I head to Tassie. (The jars are in a nice steel cupboard I brought home when I closed my shop—can’t find the key so I think I will shortly have to ring a locksmith to put a new lock in—have my tomato machine and parts of an icecream machine in there!)

Crude method here: https://www.giverecipe.com/homemade-fresh-verjuice/

Better one here: https://honest-food.net/how-to-make-verjuice/

Seems grapes oxidise (turn brown) even faster than apples. I will buy a fruit press before I head off to Tassie for good, that should separate the juice out easy enough! This website doesn’t say how to can it tho, does offer freezing as a way to preserve it.

This site talks about verjuice being pasteurised before bottling. Methinks I will can it in my 150ml jars then waterbath process 1 hour to pasteurise or heat the must to 60+°C, fill into the jars, water bath process 8 minutes. Need a rubber jam funnel, small size.

One of the sites above recommended a second filtering of the must using a paper towel. Now I have something much better: coffee filter papers. In the larder here are about 100 of them. Will be sure to take them! (Don’t ask me why Mum bought so bloody many!)

Verjuice can be made from red as well as white grapes, wine or table grapes. Reading the websites—wineries to trim the bunches to improve the final flavor of the wine! So LOTS red verjuice!

Lots of adventures await!
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Re: Gardening

Postby HBS Guy » 17 Dec 2019, 14:42

Work has finally started on my pergolas and posts for a new row of perry pears and for the vines. Photo shows string line, auger, apple trees, posts in the background etc. Work that should have started in the middle of October :bgrin But, it is happening so I am happy. Posts will be cemented in place then an irrigation system will be put in place.
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Re: Gardening

Postby HBS Guy » 17 Dec 2019, 15:21

The tree by the bloke holding the spade is a John Downie crabapple I put there to pollinate the tree by the auger which is a Bramley’s seedling which is triploid. Out of the picture on the right hand side is a Granny Smith—those two should pollinate the Bramley’s seedling alright. The last apple tree, on the small pergola but in line with the trees on the big pergola, is a Sturmer Pippin and the John Downie should pollinate it OK.
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