Thursday, May 27, 2010

We had an owl in the garden!

It landed in the tree near us while we were looking at the moon. Awesome!!!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Soil bacteria is the new black for gardeners.

There is more and more talk recently of adding soil bacteria to increase productivity and disease resistance.
It is an interesting time in horticulture as more poisons are removed from the arsenal of biocides and more natural methods are being reintroduced. Combining traditional methods with modern technological knowledge has the capacity to increase soil and human health, stopping the need for chemical fertilisers by creating fertile soils that are more active and full of carbon.

Biochar is an example of a soil ameliorant that can increase the health of a soil by providing somewhere for bacteria to lurk about. The large surface area provides sites for cation exchange, where nutrients are held and released around the fine root hairs of plants.
Bentonite clay and humus from composted organic matter also provide sites for nutrients to stay around the plant roots and organic matter also holds water. These characteristics are important in sandy soils, especially, as nutrients and water can easily leach away without the addition of organic matter, humus, compost, manures or minerals. You don't need to use all of these products but it is important to add some form of soil enhancer to help the new plant grow.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Uni meltdown time.

Although I am not highly intelligent nor highly daft, I am not very good at maths. I am okay once I know what I'm doing, but some of the concepts are confusing and very hard to grasp, if you're not used to thinking that way. I have been tackling an intro to stats unit at uni this semester. I have done better than I suspected but now with the exam looming and last assignment due, I have been feeling quite unsure. There is a pretty good chance that I can scrape by, despite the fact that I am ignoring one section of the unit. Hopefully it won't be in the exam too much (it will def. be in there).
My preservation instinct will kick in and I will start to revise properly...soon.

Last week we bought some endemic species to put in the garden. We included a tuart tree, which will hopefully get to grow for a long time. When planting the natives, I just mixed in the top soil that was formed and didn't add too much fertiliser, just a bit of minerals that I like to add here and there. I enjoy adding a little bit of habitat to the local landscape.

We have been getting many kinds of honeyeater birds in the garden lately. They love the trees and the smaller shrubs. So many places to hide out.