Hey all, I hope you have had a good week!
We have been trying to settle into our new routines and I feel, doing quite well. The Gorgeous One has really been missing the logistics of organising our market runs and has instead decided to manage the logistics of organising ME….Now, to be fair it has still been raining heavily and the tractor has no tyres, so I guess you have to have something to do with your time. By the way, do you even know how much tractor tyres cost? And did you know that our model of tractor has to get its tyres flown down from TOWNSVILLE? Annnd that they are the last two tyres of their kind in Australia? I digress…
Before you jump to conclusions, it’s actually been really good! Or come to think of it, maybe I’m just being good? Anyway. Essentially I now have set days for cooking, computer stuff, family time and farm time. Here’s a basic breakdown – Monday, Tuesday are my cooking days. Wednesday and Thursday are computer and business days. Friday, Saturday training and experimentation days, and Sunday family day. The current idea is that I will finish the work side of things by 1pm and have the afternoons in the garden, so far this has only happened twice but we will get there!
On to the good stuff from this week and today's topic…. Gardening on a shoestring budget (a.k.a I have no money to spend on plants *insert waaaahhhhh emoji.) The gardening stuff- It’s that fun time of year, pruning time! Basically it’s the time to give your trees a haircut and get them looking sharp for next year’s growth. Truth be told I might have gone a bit gung- ho this year and some of them look quite sad, kinda like when you cut your fringe way too short. But I tell myself the brutality is necessary and so much cheaper than therapy. I pruned our rose, apples, pears, quinces, grapevine, bay trees and hibiscus with hand shears and and Gorgeous One has pruned (with chainsaw) pretty much everything else. Yeah. Teamwork.
So we ended up with quite a few good-looking offcuts and I was hit by inspiration. What could be better than making your own FREE TREES?! I decided to pull out the little golden jar of “rooting hormone”. Yes, yes, hubby always snickers a little at this one too. Rooting hormone is essentially something you dip your cuttings into so they strike (grow) roots and make free plants – this by the way, is a very scientific definition.* recipe below
So I’m very excited, and I’ve probably done it all wrong cause I read instructions much like I read recipes. More of a guide than a hard rule. I now have, proudly jammed into soggy compost filled pots the following, lovingly dipped sticks from my grapevine, wisteria, roses, and an assortment of fruit trees. I’m becoming a bit obsessed. By the end of pruning I might end up with just a giant garden of sticks …. But I’m really hopeful come spring!
If you have checked out our Instagram or Facebook you would have seen that I planted out some chokos a couple of weeks back and JOY. They are growing. My father in law calls them the “poor mans pear”, McDonald's calls them apple pie filling, but you get the gist. Anyway, they have been diligently sending out their tendrils as good climbers do and searching for something to climb. Which I, as an inexperienced choko mumma, had neglected to supply. I was going to go to Bunnings and get some stakes, but then I had another brain wave! Out again came the jar of rooting hormone and trusty pruning shears. This time I cut fairly long thin branches from the pears and pecan tree, dipped and shoved into the planting hole. Ta-da! These cuttings are mostly for providing a growing support stick to get them up to the wire around the chook-mahal (our chook shed) so I don’t really expect them to grow, but you never know your luck!
So there you have it, the potential for free trees and free garden stakes is endless. I'm currently eyeing off other people’s trees and gardens whenever we go out and carrying my pruning shears in my handbag. I feel like a garden ninja, but maybe just slowly turning into a crazy plant lady.
* Rooting Hormone recipe (make in a large jar or 2ltr milk bottle)
1/2 x litres water.
3 x cups of willow leaves -lightly crushed.
Pop into container and give a good shake. Leave in the sun for a week, then move to a dark place for 2 months. Strain & Decant into smaller jars for storage and use.
Have a great week!
Love Mel xx