Building stuff to use and infrastructure

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Grow Box

Plan and the tools and material. Constructing a frame to cover with hardboard on most sides. The bottom compartment contains the globes that generates heat and fans The Thermostat to choose the exact degrees Celsius that the box must be The Front is covered with perspex.On top 2 LED Cool light are added. The bottom shelves is a tray made out of a thin metal plate so that no moisture drips on the globes. Another modifications is the self made from reeds/ bamboo so that the air can circulate if need be.

Building our own Tunnel from Recycled and Green stuff

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Old tunnel with drooping netting Each center pole is like a umbrella with supporting arms for stability. Drilling a little hole for the wire help to get the construction more straight After three weeks of sewing and patching - one net roof of 15+m x 5M
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Now we have safe place for the cabbages and lettuce that the birds love to destroy . Cauliflower

Our Padstalletjie -

A very heavy mine trolley that became a trailer Construction out of bamboo, wire, bird wire and lots of wiring. Using pliers and a drill Green netting - Recycled Plastic roof - shelves made of sifdraad / duifdraad. Even a sprinkler system in the roof if you want to use it for a nursery.

Admin and Planning

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Save Seeds and PLANNING seasons

One of my greatest worries was that I would not be able to keep track of the needs and information of individual plants and will not know how to lay the garden out. Some helps with this

You need a good system for your seeds. On the left is my envelops sorted into 9 different categories. The box on the right I use sort seeds into different planting methods. I saved my own seeds and hope to use them in this season. Some vegetables I did not particularly like so I will not continue to plant those. 9 categories of plants sorted into families: ex tomatoes, melon and pumpkins, lettuce and cabbage, roots, herbs etc. Info include: picture of plant, months so sow, fertilizers to use, planting method, temp of germination, height and needs of the plant etc. The plans have colours representing plant families and is very easy to use. The plants automatically adjust to right spacing so that you know how many plants you need in a garden.
The planning is done on http://gardenplanner.janesdeliciousgarden.com/garden planner/gardenplanner.html#

Good Results

2014 - The year of the seeds

k k Lots of seed harvested: from evening primrose, 3.5m tall sunflower, potatoes, mielies, many types of dry beans and green beans - purple podded pole beans, lots of tomatoes that are still going because the winter did not kill them off and we put some straw around them. The Yellow Pear tomato in full productions still (August). More mielies, pumpkins and buckwheat and Johannes have his own stash of chilies that he harvest every week. Parley, lettuce, fancy lettuce and ROCKET. Even soya. Some good results, some not so good, but we managed to harvest seeds even where we thought there would be nothing.
k The 2 greatest battles: soil and weeds, and birds and hedgehogs! Birds love all things sweet, and mielies and sunflower. Hedgehogs love potatoes, no matter how deep they are buried and any pumpkin or watermelon leave of flower - will clean a whole plant in one night. Monkeys love the pumpkins and are just plain destructive. Need to cover the fruit again with bag: peaches, mangos, grapes, - the litchis look very promising and the avos are in bloom again. So this will be a new year with its own challenges, blessings and hopefully lots of wonderful harvests! k

 

Fertilizers

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Fertilizers and foliar feed

Bone Meal, Vita Veg, Vita Fruit, Vita Green, VIta Grow - Talborne Organics Bio grow products -general fertilizer and organic insecticide made from plant material Vermicast - or worm compost/manure, from which worm tea is made. Soaking the manure in a nylon stocking over a period and then spraying the organism rich "tea" on leaves or soil
Talborne plant food also great for every need in the different families of plants.

Dried Banana Peal and Eggshell

Magnesium in Banana skin: The average banana contains about 460 milligrams of potassium while the skin of those bananas contains 40% of that potassium. That is about 180 mg of potassium per peel. Magnesium helps strengthen plant to form fruit and flowers. Dried banana skin - pounded. Hundreds of dried peel here. 180mg x100s. Other nutrients in peel: Potassium 42% more than other organic substances; 180mg per peel. Phosphorus: 3.25 % of the peel. Calcium: 19.2 milligrams per gram of fresh peel. Manganese 76.2mg / g. Sodium 24.3mg/g. Also magnesium and sulfur. But has not Nitrogen - for complete fertilizer needs to be combined with Nitrogen rich source. Collect Eggs and dry them first before adding it will the collection of dried egg shells. All plants heed Calcium and the earthworms also. The disappear very quickly after the first few watering

Vermicompost, Vermicast and Worm farming

Using this type of bin - with a lid - bore holes on the bottom and high on the sides. Layer the bottom with cardboard and newspaper take some of the old bedding of the worms to place in the bottom to start a new bed for the worms
Add worms Place the whole box on wood or bricks Add a lit (I use the lid of the box with small block in the handle pockets to lift it a little bit for air circulation
Caring for your worms: The right type of moisture level - I just sprinkle some water over the top once or twice a week - especially after I added the food: Feeding: I keep it simple 1. I use my own compost (well cooled and old) - or even better - manure that I soak in a ice cream container! 2. Eggshell powdered up: Just add it to the top layer. This help with new population Harvesting the vermicast: you need to separate the worms from the compost: throw the bin out on a black plastic in the sunlight. 2) after 10 minutes skim the top layer off because the worms dig themselves in. 3) repeat this un till you have a small part left and just build a new bin with that little heap. Be careful not to throw away the little egg that contains the new baby worms.
Use the compost for Swum Tea: Great stuff You can spay the Swum Tea once a week or every second week on all your plants for foliar feed or soaking the soil to add organisms  

Worm Tea

Borrowed these pictures: This guy weighs the durmast / worm compost Fill a bucket with water add a air to the water
I have 2 air stones bought from a pet shop   I do not add the compost directly but put is in 2 stockings and bind it to hand in the bucket
Keep going for 48hours You can use everything into a watering can  
This will work well for soaking the soil because you add the vermicompost as a mulch also Some uses a stockings or bag, like a tea bag when brewing the tea. I use a stocking from the beginning and do not need to do the the filter step and use it directly in the spray can If you do not have electricity or air stones you can use a bag. And hand stir it 2x a day by lifting it up and down a few times
You can filter you workmate through a stocking into a storage container. You can store your Workmate for some months Use the filtered tea in your spraying can Spray your flowers

Last Update 2018