Friday, May 24, 2013

Home made mouse trap.

We've had too many rodents in the garden. Any time we planted brassica seedlings, such as brocolli or cauliflowers they would disappear overnight. So we decided we needed to have a round of trappiing agin. We don't use poisons as they kill other animals that may eat the sick mouse/rat. There are some poisons that do not cause secondary poisoning but they are still pretty toxic and a nasty way to die for the little beastie. Racumin is one that is safer to use but we'd still rather not use that method.

Attracting raptors to your garden is great, if you can figure that out.. our place has too many trees sticking up, but there may be an owl who visits while we're not looking.

I decided to try a home built mouse trap that drowns the mouse.

It's very simple. You need a tub, a bottle (I suspect a glass bottle would be better, as it would harder for the rodent to grip as they fall in), a towel or other piece of cloth to drape over the bottle to hold it in place, and some peanut butter or freenut butter (made from sunflower seeds, it's excellent and won't kill peanut allergy kids).

I set it up so the towel drapes down to the ground next to mousey's house. It caught a mouse within a few hours.

Simple, and along with my other non-snap traps we're sorted out half a dozen of the little rotters in the last few days.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Worm cafes/worm towers.

We like our worms to be free. They can leave if anything happens and we stop feeding them, rather than in a raised worm farm, where there is no escape.

We have started making and using in-garden worm 'cafes', a piece of repurposed pvc, which can be found at roadside chuck outs.
You will need a saw and a hole saw.

Cut regularly spaced holes in the pipe to allow worms access in to the yummy vege scraps inside. This is messy and makes pvc dust so be sure to do it somewhere you can sweep up.

You can file the insides and outside of the holes so that the worms don't get damaged crawling into their new favourite resaurant.

Dig a hole in the garden, somewhere easy to reach and dig the pipe vertically into the ground, removing the soil from inside.
Once you have installed the worm tower start putting kitchen scraps in there, not too much at once, though.
Avoid putting large amounts of onion or citrus in there if you can as the worms avoid these foods. Include some paper or cardboard as bedding for the worms so they have somewhere to rest between feasts. 
the inside of the lid
happy worms hang out near the surface under a well-fitting lid

Make sure you have a lid that fits well so that rodents can't get in and steal your worms away and to keep the moisture in.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Blueberry and passionfruit growing problems

In Perth is might be a good idea to water twice on hot days. The fruit dry up on the stems and there is a lack of new growth, while the leaf tips dry off, showing lack of consistent watering.

Passionfruit problems
There are a variety of reasons why passionfruit don't flower successfully. The Nellie Kelly factsheet above provides a variety of solutions.

Over-  or under-watering?
There is a simple description on this blog post that says almost exactly what I would say, so I will post it. I hope that's okay with you guys at Greenridge Landscaping.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

International Permaculture Day

Today, we showed off our messie old garden to people. It was a bit scary having so many people come through at once but it was okay in the end. We gave a few dragon fruit cuttings away and some kang kong. Chatted to lots of old and new friends at the local farmers market. A lovely day.