About a week and a half ago in Perth I heard the first cicada for the season. It was a really warm day in amongst others that had brought showers.
Today, after a few days of rain and then a hot Spring sun that made the air steamy, I heard the first cicada for our garden here in Albany. Oddly enough, I thought this was going to be the case for some reason. I woke up thinking it was about time and that if we had a hot day, I would hear it. That first cicada that wakes up to let us know that Spring is here – and Summer is on the way.
As I type this, it is evening and there is a gentle shower falling outside.
Capturing my observations and thoughts of and around the garden has not been absent from my mind, it is just problematic to get it down and onto the blog when there is so much else going on around the place. Still, I get pieces down. And the cicadas first call is usually never missed as I endeavor to record it each year.
I also have an update on the tagasaste that I grew from seed. This past year and particularly the last 6 months, they have leapt up quickly. They are about 14 foot high now.
Over the first few weeks of September I really got into the garden and continued the foundations for the hothouse. This provided a nice organised area to throw in a heap of weeds, biochar, twigs and sticks and some soil from the vege garden. It also used up the multiple piles of stacked pavers left over from renovations enabling a little more room to move around the garden.
Spring is always a time to take a bit of an audit on what plants have managed to survive the winter and the substantial level of neglect that accompanies it. This year I was once again grateful to see that most survived. The odd fruit tree or avocado from seed, but most of the cherished trees were healthy enough to get re-potted and given some of the freshly procured compost from the bio-reactor.
Even the paths got a tidy up and the very, very wild pepino bushes got a severe prune to allow sun to the fruit in an effort to speed up ripening and removed them from the vegetable gardens altogether. I have planted cuttings and propagated cuttings into some of the uppermost swales to see how they go shading out the kikuyu further up.
As mentioned above I also emptied out the first bioreactor. I hope to post on this separately, but here is the post from when I filled it and below is an image of the contents.
The dark material is the compost scattered over the top of the fresher pile with woodchips. The contents of the compost had lots of fine carbon, worms, worm castings, worm cocoons, fine young worms and much, much more soil life. It was also interesting to note that a particular type of woodchip was covered in fungal growth more than other woodchips. I am looking forward to seeing how the fruit trees go with some of this incorporated into their pots and used to mulch them.