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What's New With Farmer Pete: August.

Updated: Aug 1, 2021

Is Spring In The Air ?

It's been a busy few weeks at Springfield. After a couple of bad frosts and icing over the small ponds I have convinced myself an early Spring is around the corner. Head down, bum up time.

First job, move the four bulk compost bins we put in 2 years ago that were made out of pallets. Steve and I found a great spot for 4 new, larger, hard wood compost bins with massive recycled corner fence posts. They look great and function fantastically!

Second job, put in 3 new veggie beds (7m long by 1m wide), perfect for this year's summer vegetables, especially tomatoes and capsicums. I put them right where the old compost bins were - worm heaven! Then tomorrow, the drip irrigation goes in.

Third job, fire up the heat mats so that I can get a head start on germinating summer seeds. The giant Greek Malarka seeds are already popping their heads through the seed potting mix. It's hard to get your head around a 2kg to 2.5kg tomato coming from such a small seed. The heat mat helps to hold the soil temperature at 22℃, the preferred seed germination temperature for tomatoes.

Outside, the soil temperature is still only at 11 ℃, so the heat mats are necessary to get a head start on seeds this time of year. You could also use a very warm window sill or warm corner in the kitchen.

To my surprise, the first peach blossom appeared yesterday. Seeing this, I sprayed all my stone fruit trees with a blend of hydrated lime and blue copper sulphate to get on top of the leaf curl that was evident on my 20 miniature fruit trees early last year.

Today we also saw the lucky-last of the 1000-odd trees and shrubs go into the ground that Native Grace planted in the bottom paddock. Of these, 90% are natives; a mixture of gums, paper barks, wattles, casuarinas for the glossy black cockatoos, and hundreds of flowering natives for our hungry bees. They have created a nut grove, citrus grove with finger limes in the centre, and a couple of fruit groves with even more miniature trees and a dozen varieties of apples lining the entry to the labyrinth. I am particularly excited about the bush tucker beds that I will be keeping a close eye on. Hopefully we have planted enough for both us and the rabbits. Once summer is with us I will get a drone up to capture a photo for the December newsletter. It's been a busy week, a hot steaming bath with a handful of bath salts is definitely in order.

- Farmer Pete

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