Last week in Ligaya Garden #6

So much is happening, both here and out there in the big world that we thought it worth doing a little catch-up every Sunday and publish it on a Monday, Oz time.

All of the posts will be listed here on this page for your elucidation and convenience.

Spring colour
Spring colour in the front yard

The last week has been busy. My ongoing health problem took a step back and gave me more focus and drive than I’ve had in a long while. Marlon and I took advantage of it and got a lot of work done around the place. With all the extra effort, I did crash twice and had to spend a whole day in bed on Thursday.

It’s definitely Spring. Flowers are out everywhere, pollinators are busy (in our garden, it’s hard to believe that insect species and numbers are plummeting).

We’ve got a few bird nests too, Doves have decided to nest above our bedroom window. They remember to remind me that they’re there every morning, just after it gets light. Then, they pop out to the power line from where they can poo on Marlon’s car.

Plum flower
Plum flower

Weather is warming, 26°C the other day, 30°C, yesterday. I reckon it’s going to be a hot Summer, so am checking the drip irrigation early and getting the subsoil damp in preparation. Based on last year, we should only lose a few soft annuals. I reckon it’ll be a walk in for the rest.

As long as we keep the water up to the fruit trees, we should get a good harvest. The trees know it’s Spring already and you can just feel the sap moving and the buds bursting.

Athena
Where did that lot go?

We’ve redone the solar setup. The pole and raised solar panel have been removed, clearing up a whole corner which is now space for the wood bins.

Athena likes it because she can get closer to our neighbours dog, Rosie. It’s a dog thing – they’re best of friends through the fence but can’t stand each other in person.

We’ve changed the panels on the North end of the house to 2x200W + 1x120w + 1x50W giving us a potential of 570W. At the moment, we’re only running the 120W panel. I’m trying to scrounge the proper cable and connectors to finish the install properly.

Solar
Batteries, all tidy and inside

The batteries and inverter have been moved into the cupboard in the toilet wher we were just storing junk. I made some sturdy shelves to support the weight of the batteries and added lots of ventilation holes. Having the batteries inside will help stop the issue of overheating that we had last year. They’ll be at least 10°C cool where they are. That, plus the toilet exhaust fan runs frequently during the day – exhausting any fumes (from us or the batteries) and keeping things a little cooler.

Because the panels on the North side shade the wall much more heavily than the shadecloth, hopefully, that will keep that wall cooler (the Sun is on it nearly all day all year around). I’ll use the old shadecloth to shade any gaps left.

In preparation for Summer aquaponics, we’ve shortened the run on the pipe beds by about 6 metres. They were just too long and some plants hardly saw the Sun. Also, it took too much water from the sumps and caused the system to frequently run a bit too close to empty. We’re definitely keeping the beds though, Cherry Tomatoes and Basil just love them.

The PVC pipe that was used for the pipe beds will be re-purposed into two, experimental, vertical strawberry beds.

Because we redid the frame and the positioning of the solar panels, I decided to clean out that little work area and install a heavy duty bench and some shelving. Now my little garden work area is tidy and usable

One exciting event was that we were on Community TV with Adaire doing a little gardening segment. There were some technical issues but we managed to make to through

The regular posts have been continued. I haven’t done a Helping Hands around Gawler post for a little while but am chatting to folks who offer free food and services, so there’s a couple more in the pipeline.

My ‘fragments and weirding‘ series has a #2 now.

Ligaya Gardening Tips is up to #8 now with a new one on ‘watering in Winter‘.

A family with a garden near Gawler where we experiment with sustainability.

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