Backyard to food forest

DivingTemptress

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Hi Andrew
the bunnies are adorable !!! and the garden is looking quite lush. A walking tour video sounds like a grand idea ... be sure to include before and after perspective because you have done so much in a very short period of time. It is a true showcase !!!

Kudos to you, Bro !
P J, the Dirt Diva
 

DThille

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I just went through the thread from start to finish. Well done! As someone else noted, I almost got sore / tired looking at the accomplishments. I think our North American culture would be in a lot better spot if most people would have a yard like yours, getting exercise, sun, fresh air, and fresh food that they know where it came from.

Derek
 

AndrewB

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It's warming up here, summer is still a ways off, but it's meant to be pretty hot this this week.

The plants are loving it, the bees are finding it a bit warm though, so are outside the hive so it doesn't overheat.

The chickens finally started laying this weekend. It's interesting how their temperament changed instantly once they laid their first eggs. They are much friendlier now. I just have to get them to lay in the coop more often, rather than the random places they get into.

I'll start working on some shade for some of the beds this month before the real heat arrives. The summer here is pretty harsh, although it's meant to be a wet one, so I'm expecting some good growth from everything.

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Sunflowers are doing well, I also have jerusalem artichokes in this bed, which are starting to catch up.
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So many radish flowers. They don't seem to die back, just keep on flowering & getting bigger!
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This is the pollinator bed I planted, it's going great now, I've seen all sorts of odd insects, I rarely have my camera though, so haven't been able to get a photo.
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Comfrey is well established around the base of the fruit trees now.
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Plums are growing well, I wasn't expecting any fruit from the first year, but over half of the trees are loaded.
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These are my carrots, they are about 7 foot tall at the moment
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Yarrow is going fantastic, this is one of my favorite beneficial insect plants, I also use the leaves in cooking & tea.
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One of many artichoke plants around the place, they are huge, this one takes up half of a 3mtr x 1.5mtr bed. The chickens like them for the shade & shelter they provide.
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DivingTemptress

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Holy Grandiose Garden, Batman !!! All this since March ????? I am so impressed !!!

Will you come and visit Andrew .... you have a magic touch
P J, The Dirt Diva
 

AndrewB

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Thanks PJ, I would love tour around helping people do this. Despite the large amount of manual work (which I very much enjoyed), with good backyard access & a mini digger, I could probably recreate the bulk of this in a few days with some help.
 

DThille

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Thanks PJ, I would love tour around helping people do this. Despite the large amount of manual work (which I very much enjoyed), with good backyard access & a mini digger, I could probably recreate the bulk of this in a few days with some help.

That sounds like the beginning of a landscaping business.... ;)

Derek
 

AndrewB

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Hi all, I won a competition!

@stevo posted on here at the start of the year about a bee garden challenge he was running on his website https://www.nativebeehives.com

I submitted a before & after shot of the section of the garden I set aside from this & won! There are also some great entries from other people, so I encourage you to go check them out.

There are some really cool prizes which I will show off as I get the chance to use them.

I got some root pouches & Olla pots from Up on the rooftop, the pots are terracotta, you bury them & fill with water, then the water slowly seeps into the soil so you don't need to surface water. I've planted this one out with half a dozen varieties of basil.
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This bee hotel is adorable, hopefully it will get some residents. I have seen a few native bees around the place on the many flowers, the whole garden is filled with insects & birds now.

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The garden is really healthy at the moment, I'm waiting for things to die back so I can harvest seeds & plant the next crops, but they just keep going!
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I harvested this beauty today, 4.2kg Romanesco Zuccini. I'm trying to find a good recipe to use it for now, as its too big for the fridge!
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Chickens are great, & laying every day, rabbits are happily making thier way around the bag yard converting grass into fertilizer & the bee hives are going strong.

I found fruit fly in a few of my apricots, so pulled all the fruit off & fed it to some very happy chickens. I've made some traps & got a recipe from another local gardener
for a potion that's meant to attract them. I'll report back if it works out.
 

Marika

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Congratulations Andrew, a well deserved win, your garden is looking AMAZING!

I haven’t been on the forum for months and months, so this was a nice post come back to :heart:
 

Vicky

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that is absolutely fantastic Andrew, you have done an awesome job, I know you've got yourself some other 'projects' going already but I really hope that you find a few places to just sit and enjoy your backyard and all the furry/flying things in it :) Maybe while munching on some of the yummy produce from your garden at the same time :cheer:
 

AndrewB

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Thanks!

I was in the front yard this morning, planning it's next stage & there is a bit of lawn that I dumped some compost on earlier in the year. Its really nice & healthy. The natives around the fence line are taking off & will give some privacy in a year or two. I'm thinking that i'll leave this lawn section as a little clearing in the chaos so I can sit & enjoy it. The backyard is way too full now.

I spent a few hours today collecting seed from various things, mustard is so productive. I half filled a 410ml jar from only 3 plants. I'll be planting a lot more of this in the future.
 

Robbie

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Congratulations Andrew well done much deserved. Mustard i hadn't growen untill this year i think I have about 20 plant doted around the yard was eating in salads and stir-fries before they went to seed they were massive and the bees just smashed the flowers. Will be growing again next year, will also be saving for a flow hive for next year. I have the perfect spot for it just need to convince the wife lol.
 

JoshW

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Well done Andrew, well deserved win that is - all your hard work paying dividends.

Do you mind sharing the fruit fly trap recipe? My boss lost all his peaches to them and sure he would love to have a try.
 

AndrewB

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Sure, I don't know if it works yet, but this is it:

1L water
1.5 tablespoons of cloudy ammonia
3 tablespoons of sugar
1 tablespoon of vegemite
1.5 teaspoons of vanilla

Mix well & let it sit over night, then use at a rate of 3 teaspoons to a litre of water in the traps.

I used plastic juice bottles for the traps & drilled small holes around the top, small enough that bees can't get inside.
 

AndrewB

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Hi all, its been a while. I've got a few days off this week due to victoria going into lockdown again, so started work on a horizontal bee hive.

I love my flow hive, but once you have a couple of supers on top, it's a lot of work & disruption to the hive when you want to do an inspection. This will hold 30 frames, so the equivalent of 3 10 frame langstroth boxes. But with the advantage of not having to stack boxes up, it is incredibly awkward trying to avoid squishing the bees when restacking boxes after an inspection.

It will also be better for handling the extremes of hot & cold that we get here. It is double walled, with insulation between the plywood, so keeping temperatures stable will be much easier for my furry little friends.

Hoping to finish it off tomorrow, I just need another couple more sheets of ply for the roof.

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Marika

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Fabulous work Andrew, hope it helps to solve the issues you’ve had with the flow hives
 

Heizen

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What do you think about decorating your backyard with a bit of light from the solar lights. These types of solar-operated lights do not brightly light up, so they won’t, in any way, lure insects in your place.
They help keep insects and bugs away. You can freely embellish your indoor and outdoor spaces without the need to worry about annoying little creatures to invade your place.
 

DivingTemptress

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Sure, I don't know if it works yet, but this is it:

1L water
1.5 tablespoons of cloudy ammonia
3 tablespoons of sugar
1 tablespoon of vegemite
1.5 teaspoons of vanilla

Mix well & let it sit over night, then use at a rate of 3 teaspoons to a litre of water in the traps.

I used plastic juice bottles for the traps & drilled small holes around the top, small enough that bees can't get inside.
Congrats on your win and all your successes so far!!! I have no idea what cloudy ammonia is, but I actually have a tube of vegemite gifted from an Aussie friend, so will try this out.

Happy Gardening,
P J
 

JoshW

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Congrats on your win and all your successes so far!!! I have no idea what cloudy ammonia is, but I actually have a tube of vegemite gifted from an Aussie friend, so will try this out.

Happy Gardening,
P J
Hi PJ, try regular ammonia with a bit of liquid soap if you can't get cloudy ammonia.
 

HelenCate

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I actually have a tube of vegemite gifted from an Aussie friend, so will try this out.
I use that recipe minus the Vegemite. Works great trapping Queensland Fruit Fly (Bactrocera tryoni). Not sure which species you have there.
 
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