Author Topic: Australian Gardening Thread  (Read 16922 times)


deborah

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Re: Australian Gardening Thread
« Reply #301 on: December 12, 2016, 01:04:48 PM »
That's fantastic!

Freshwater

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Re: Australian Gardening Thread
« Reply #302 on: December 12, 2016, 03:44:25 PM »
Oh my god, was beginning to think carrots were the holy grail, well done! We have a few replanted heads growing but who knows what we'll get. Sometimes an inch of carrot, sometimes a rotten mess.

We have 4 x little finger eggplants! Just waiting for them to get a teeny bit bigger.

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Re: Australian Gardening Thread
« Reply #303 on: December 12, 2016, 04:05:40 PM »
So was I! So much joy from  such a common little vegetable :D.
Well done one the eggplant, I've never tried to grow them since none of us like them much.
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Re: Australian Gardening Thread
« Reply #304 on: December 12, 2016, 07:02:26 PM »
Two of the eggplants have been nibbled! Will be making possum proof cage number 3 at the weekend.

Picked a caterpillar or two ff the tomatoes today and chucked one partially eaten one. Srsly, wildlife, just leave me a few scraps, ok?

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Re: Australian Gardening Thread
« Reply #305 on: December 13, 2016, 05:00:30 PM »
I have been checking my sprinklers to make sure they're working, since I only turned them on a few weeks ago and we've done some digging etc. Well, this morning I found that slugs had actually climbed inside the sprinkler heads! I can't get them properly out, either. Any ideas?

deborah

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Re: Australian Gardening Thread
« Reply #306 on: December 13, 2016, 05:06:01 PM »
What about turning on the sprinklers at full blast?

englyn

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Re: Australian Gardening Thread
« Reply #307 on: December 13, 2016, 06:14:52 PM »
Can you take the sprinkler head off and sink it in a bucket of water overnight?

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Re: Australian Gardening Thread
« Reply #308 on: December 13, 2016, 07:47:23 PM »
Whatever you do, DON'T undo all the connections and decide that applying sucking pressure with your mouth would be a cheap, easy and effective way of getting the little buggers out.

Don't. Just don't. And I don't think I need to remind you not to ask me how I know this...

PS In case you do try it, be assured that it IS in fact a cheap, easy and effective way to unblock the pipes. Just not ultimately very pleasant.

englyn

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Re: Australian Gardening Thread
« Reply #309 on: December 14, 2016, 11:34:48 PM »
EEEEWWWWwww haha!

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Re: Australian Gardening Thread
« Reply #310 on: December 15, 2016, 12:26:32 AM »
Thank you for the highly specific advice, Primm - it didn't even occur to me, I was trying to poke them out with a stick. Heh.

The pressure from sprinklers being on had already smashed them up inside the sprinkler heads. I have lots of spares, so I'll put those on and see if I can soak the remains out of the stuffed ones. It's an irrigation system, so I don't think I can change the pressure they spray at, but I will check for later.

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Re: Australian Gardening Thread
« Reply #311 on: December 17, 2016, 03:07:05 PM »
Glad now I don't have a watering system, we have slugs! After this big dry I was considering it.

Harvested the first cherry tomatoes today. Since I can't eat them and they are quite a bit of work to process I haven't grown tomatoes for 2 years. This year I sowed a few random seeds from  an envelope marked "heirloom cherry tomatoes (I'd saved the seed in previous years). I put them in 2 large self watering pots and have kept the reservoirs full.  I wasn't sure how it would work but they are going ballistic and still setting flowers despite our hot weather. The first ones harvested are deep purplish (black) large cherries.  Its a lucky dip, I'm not sure what shapes and colours I will get :).  Looks like this will be an annual event now: DD eats cherry tomatoes like lollies.
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Re: Australian Gardening Thread
« Reply #312 on: December 21, 2016, 11:51:09 PM »
How's your garden doing in the heat, everyone?

Everything else is holding up well (tomatoes are so happy!) but yesterday my blueberry bushes had a few crispy brown leaves, and the newly-planted avocado trees were drooping. Should've thought to water them on Tuesday night ahead of the 42 degree day, but oh well. I think I'll construct some shade cloth protection for the vulnerable plants before the next really hot day.

deborah

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Re: Australian Gardening Thread
« Reply #313 on: December 22, 2016, 03:15:34 AM »
I have been weeding and shifting mulch in the early mornings. Need more (mulch not weeds). So far, so good. We get hot while we're away at Christmas - yikes!

happy

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Re: Australian Gardening Thread
« Reply #314 on: December 22, 2016, 03:43:45 AM »
So far so good with the hot days. I'm a bit worried as we will be visiting family for 2-3 days at Xmas,  but not much I can do other than mulch the bits unmulched, and water well before we go.

Cucumbers  are producing steadily now, corn is finally gaining ground, and beans are happening.

I had one raid from  the wallaby, who decided to jump the soft wire lattice fence about 4 feet high that I had put up recently. Pulled the fence down and squashed some of my newly germinating pumpkins  grrr. Fence repair at least was quick and easy and its back up. Hopefully it got a fright and won't come back.
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Re: Australian Gardening Thread
« Reply #315 on: December 23, 2016, 01:39:00 AM »
We've left our plants to the whims of the weather, though our cat-sitter might give them a bit of water. The slugs have ceased their attack on my irrigation, now I just have to fix the parts certain plants have strangled.

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Re: Australian Gardening Thread
« Reply #316 on: December 30, 2016, 04:28:45 AM »
How are everyone's plants going over the silly season? Ours are doing well, but the native violets I attempted to transplant have dissolved into the sand. We had a stupidly high water bill I suspected was the irrigation coming on too many times, and sure enough when DH checked I'd managed to set it to go through its cycle 3 times each watering day. Whoops.

deborah

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Re: Australian Gardening Thread
« Reply #317 on: December 30, 2016, 04:45:18 AM »
My fingerlime is dying. I bought it, and it looked good - it was putting on new leaves, creating fingerlimes... But we had a heat wave while we were away, and my neighbour says that she's lost three plants since she started putting on the mulch (that SHE recommended). SO I don't know whether it's the mulch (still hot?) or the weather. But everything else is going gangbusters! The beans have climbed to the top of their trellis, and are invading the peach tree, the tomatoes have FLOWERS.

HappierAtHome

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Re: Australian Gardening Thread
« Reply #318 on: December 31, 2016, 05:01:42 AM »
No flowers on my tomatoes yet!

Today I potted up some seedlings we were given for Christmas, potted some tomato seedlings I started from seed, and generally tended to the potted plants with fertiliser and mulch. If I'm up to it tomorrow there's still plenty needing to be done...

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Re: Australian Gardening Thread
« Reply #319 on: December 31, 2016, 07:52:54 PM »
My fingerlime is dying.

Sad to hear this.. its disappointing when this happens. I've always been going to plant one.

I sowed lots of lettuce and now its looking like I might even have a glut soon :)
Harvesting: cherry tomatoes, lettuce, basil, cucumbers and beans.
Coming on: more carrots, boy choy, silverbeet, mo' lettuce, leeks, shallots, corn, pumpkin, sunflowers
Planting: beans, making sweet potato slips again.

The 4 carrots I grew turned out to be a short fat orange, parisian heirloom, a yellow one: small and an odd shape, and 2 purple ones - one a good shape and other was forked but otherwise ok. Level of difficulty: hard. Price to buy:cheap!
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Re: Australian Gardening Thread
« Reply #320 on: January 01, 2017, 09:58:26 PM »
I've got some seeds coming up! I found a great way to make my own seed-raising mixture: borrowed a friend's soil sieve, and went to town with:

1 part sieved dirt
1 part sieved compost (this was my grandfather's woodchip pile, it's been rotting for about 3 years)
1 part sand
1 part sieved aged horse manure

A bucket of this mixture will raise a lot of seeds! I have lettuce, zucchini, watermelon and marigold coming up. Once the zucchinis are a few weeks old, I will transplant them to a raised bed.

happy

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Re: Australian Gardening Thread
« Reply #321 on: January 01, 2017, 10:51:54 PM »
So amazing when seeds germinate. I never cease to get excited.
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Re: Australian Gardening Thread
« Reply #322 on: January 02, 2017, 02:27:24 AM »
Spent the last day of leave making shadecloth shelters for my avocados and blueberry bushes. Blueberries are already quite scorched and the avocados are showing the first sign of sun damage. I'm hoping I've caught the blueberries before it's too late for them...

For the record, staples work much better than needle and thread for constructing shelters out of shadecloth and wooden stakes :-)

englyn

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Re: Australian Gardening Thread
« Reply #323 on: January 03, 2017, 12:31:23 AM »
So amazing when seeds germinate. I never cease to get excited.

I am also excited!
All my dwarf beans came up, and a punnet of amaranth (or was it malabar spinach. Something odd that I'm trying for hot-weather leafy things, anyway). I'm using large punnets that spinach came in and taping over the holes in the lid to make mini terrariums, which is keeping moisture in nicely and making for great germination rates.

Freshwater

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Re: Australian Gardening Thread
« Reply #324 on: January 03, 2017, 03:10:31 AM »
So amazing when seeds germinate. I never cease to get excited.

I am also excited!
All my dwarf beans came up, and a punnet of amaranth (or was it malabar spinach. Something odd that I'm trying for hot-weather leafy things, anyway). I'm using large punnets that spinach came in and taping over the holes in the lid to make mini terrariums, which is keeping moisture in nicely and making for great germination rates.

I cut plastic bottles in half and put them over small pots to do the same, works a treat. I even got some dill seed to come up that I thought was dud. Unfortunately I got just one lettuce and one eggplant using the same method but it is 2 yr old seed.

I harvested some finger eggplant from bought seedlings and we roasted them last night with a chicken. They looked good but boy were they bitter. They were just edible after roasting them for 45mins. Had all the leaves off our one lettuce tonight, hopefully it will grow back. We have grubs in our big tomatoes but they haven't touched the cherry toms so that's good.

We have a capsicum almost ready but no joy from the zucchini, the male and female flowers are hardly ever open at the same time so there's only been one opportunity for me to help nature with my little paintbrush. Not sure how many plants you need on the go for success, I've got three.

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Re: Australian Gardening Thread
« Reply #325 on: January 03, 2017, 01:19:43 PM »
I've had the same problem with zucchini also. They are supposed to be easy to grow, so I tried them a couple of seasons in a row when I first started out. Not much luck. I decided not to try any more, since we don't like or eat much zucchini, so a zucchini glut would be a bad thing.
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HappierAtHome

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Re: Australian Gardening Thread
« Reply #326 on: January 05, 2017, 03:48:06 AM »
I'm contemplating ordering some garlic from Diggers, as my first foray into Autumn and Winter crops. Seems like it's reasonably low maintenance from planting to picking? Which could be perfect for me.

I've had a brainwave and realised that when we redo the fencing in the front yard, there'll be a perfect spot for a passionfruit vine or two, AND it's a space that's otherwise a bit difficult. Success!

My zucchini is producing flowers but not setting fruit. Meh. Flowers are starting to appear on tomatoes. Basil is going well. Eggplant seedlings are dying.

englyn

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Re: Australian Gardening Thread
« Reply #327 on: January 05, 2017, 07:46:29 PM »
My zucchini is very happily fruiting :D Have to look every couple of days before they get huge.
It has been very easy to grow in my patch, no hand pollinating required although it is surrounded by squash plants so that may help. And we love zucchini, I wish I'd planted more (I only had one survive out of 4 seeds or something). I have some new seedlings ready to go though.

Capsicums, though, I think they still hate me. How big are the plants supposed to grow before they flower? I don't think 15cm tall is it.

HappierAtHome

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Re: Australian Gardening Thread
« Reply #328 on: January 05, 2017, 07:57:07 PM »
Is it too late for me to start more zucchini seeds? I have a good patch where I could grow three or four plants together...

Capsicums, though, I think they still hate me. How big are the plants supposed to grow before they flower? I don't think 15cm tall is it.

Mine (last Summer) grew to about 20cm and produced one or two small, bitter little fruit. Ugh. I feel better about how expensive they are in the shops now that I know how hard they are to grow.

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Re: Australian Gardening Thread
« Reply #329 on: January 05, 2017, 08:21:59 PM »
I am impressed at the vegetable growing successes and attempts. I planted marigolds to make the yard pretty. I hope they didn't die while I waited over our 40C days to plant them. They still look green.

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Re: Australian Gardening Thread
« Reply #330 on: January 05, 2017, 08:46:27 PM »
My zucchini is very happily fruiting :D Have to look every couple of days before they get huge.
It has been very easy to grow in my patch, no hand pollinating required although it is surrounded by squash plants so that may help. And we love zucchini, I wish I'd planted more (I only had one survive out of 4 seeds or something). I have some new seedlings ready to go though.

Capsicums, though, I think they still hate me. How big are the plants supposed to grow before they flower? I don't think 15cm tall is it.

My capsicums must be 25cm Max and they've got biggish fruit. Not tasted them yet tho.

Congrats on the zucchini! Well jell.

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Re: Australian Gardening Thread
« Reply #331 on: January 06, 2017, 04:11:31 AM »
I'm contemplating ordering some garlic from Diggers, as my first foray into Autumn and Winter crops. Seems like it's reasonably low maintenance from planting to picking? Which could be perfect for me.

Yes garlic is low pretty maintenance. You need a slightly alkaline, not acid soil. Once planted mulch well to keep the weeds away.  You need to keep the patch weeded, as it doesn't like competition.
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Re: Australian Gardening Thread
« Reply #332 on: January 07, 2017, 04:45:05 AM »
Out of 12 marigolds and 10 Mondo grass, I think I've only got 3 dead plants! They're hanging on by a thread, but the weather was not kind to newly planted plants. Next up is deciding on a small tree to provide shade from the corner of the courtyard - something easy to maintain that provides a little shade, and can grow in the existing planter area (a space 1m wide and a few metres long).

englyn

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Re: Australian Gardening Thread
« Reply #333 on: January 08, 2017, 06:09:38 PM »
Oo I love picking trees. How tall do you want it? If you want a really small tree look into pincushion hakea. It's beautiful and fairly foolproof, however, it thinks it's a bush, so you have to prune the bottom branches pretty hard to make it be a tree shape. Fast growing, too. Otherwise consider a lemon or lime tree. Or if you want your shade seasonal, an ornamental pear or plum (bonus: lovely blossom; if plum don't get the column shaped kind, they're useless ime).

HappierAtHome

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Re: Australian Gardening Thread
« Reply #334 on: January 08, 2017, 06:21:33 PM »
I'm contemplating ordering some garlic from Diggers, as my first foray into Autumn and Winter crops. Seems like it's reasonably low maintenance from planting to picking? Which could be perfect for me.

Yes garlic is low pretty maintenance. You need a slightly alkaline, not acid soil. Once planted mulch well to keep the weeds away.  You need to keep the patch weeded, as it doesn't like competition.

Thanks! I'll test the soil pH this week or next and order my garlic :-)

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Re: Australian Gardening Thread
« Reply #335 on: January 08, 2017, 08:19:01 PM »
Pretty much every day this week we cut something from the garden to eat. Feels good :) Spinach, lettuce, toms, eggplant, spring onions. The last three were all plants from bought seedlings, I think that's the way I'm going to go next year. It still works out well cost wise.

My zucchini are just about dead, total waste of effort. The pumpkins are also unhappy, one died and two are still growing. I forgot about some new tomato seedlings and they are a bit dead. We had a caterpillar attack on our mature toms but I think I'm on top of it because we're getting some uneaten fruit now. However the plants' green growth is dying, I will try a feed and see if they come back.

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Re: Australian Gardening Thread
« Reply #336 on: January 09, 2017, 03:39:29 AM »
RE the tomatoes and caterpillars. Once you see the tomatoes starting to form, put a brown paper lunchbag over the bunch and hold it on using a twist tie. Keeps out caterpillars ( make sure there are none on there already), fruit fly, possums,birds and wallabies reasonably well.  Its a bit labour intensive as you have to take the bag off from time to time to check if they are ripening, but well worth the effort in my neighbourhood.
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Freshwater

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Re: Australian Gardening Thread
« Reply #337 on: January 09, 2017, 03:52:24 AM »
RE the tomatoes and caterpillars. Once you see the tomatoes starting to form, put a brown paper lunchbag over the bunch and hold it on using a twist tie. Keeps out caterpillars ( make sure there are none on there already), fruit fly, possums,birds and wallabies reasonably well.  Its a bit labour intensive as you have to take the bag off from time to time to check if they are ripening, but well worth the effort in my neighbourhood.

Thanks. I will try this on the new ones. The big ones seem to be doing ok now. I pick them as they are just turning orange, otherwise they have teeth marks in them by the morning!

happy

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Re: Australian Gardening Thread
« Reply #338 on: January 09, 2017, 03:59:27 AM »
Possums seem to be able to sense they are ripening at the earliest change of colour...ask me how I know!
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Re: Australian Gardening Thread
« Reply #339 on: January 09, 2017, 08:38:32 PM »
Spent the last day of leave making shadecloth shelters for my avocados and blueberry bushes. Blueberries are already quite scorched and the avocados are showing the first sign of sun damage. I'm hoping I've caught the blueberries before it's too late for them...

For the record, staples work much better than needle and thread for constructing shelters out of shadecloth and wooden stakes :-)

Unclear yet on whether the shelters are assisting the avocados, but the blueberries are doing much better than they were. There's a heap of new green leaves growing out from where the scorched leaves have been dropping. This is good because I really didn't want to have to start from scratch again with another $100 of bushes.

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Re: Australian Gardening Thread
« Reply #340 on: January 10, 2017, 01:24:49 AM »
Oo I love picking trees. How tall do you want it? If you want a really small tree look into pincushion hakea. It's beautiful and fairly foolproof, however, it thinks it's a bush, so you have to prune the bottom branches pretty hard to make it be a tree shape. Fast growing, too. Otherwise consider a lemon or lime tree. Or if you want your shade seasonal, an ornamental pear or plum (bonus: lovely blossom; if plum don't get the column shaped kind, they're useless ime).
3m tall, needs to be easy to maintain. It's to go in the corner of the courtyard, in the soil. Very, very sunny spot. I think it's maybe more of a "tall bush" than a "short tree" we might be looking for, but I'll take a picture and make a sketch to post here tomorrow.

englyn

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Re: Australian Gardening Thread
« Reply #341 on: January 10, 2017, 01:52:41 AM »
Oo I love picking trees. How tall do you want it? If you want a really small tree look into pincushion hakea. It's beautiful and fairly foolproof, however, it thinks it's a bush, so you have to prune the bottom branches pretty hard to make it be a tree shape. Fast growing, too. Otherwise consider a lemon or lime tree. Or if you want your shade seasonal, an ornamental pear or plum (bonus: lovely blossom; if plum don't get the column shaped kind, they're useless ime).
3m tall, needs to be easy to maintain. It's to go in the corner of the courtyard, in the soil. Very, very sunny spot. I think it's maybe more of a "tall bush" than a "short tree" we might be looking for, but I'll take a picture and make a sketch to post here tomorrow.

Yes yes any of these then. Usually a very short tree is ~5m. But any of these'll run about 3m & don't need much more effort than enough water & a good prune once in a while

deborah

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Re: Australian Gardening Thread
« Reply #342 on: January 13, 2017, 08:31:07 PM »
I came home after less than two weeks away. SO is good at watering, but no good with the identification of ripe fruit. No apricots this year.

The vegetables are going gang busters. Everything is looking so much bigger - especially the capsicums, which had been looking like they were trying to win an award for the least growth for the past couple of months (so much so that I planted them out in the hope they would finally get past the two leaf stage).


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Re: Australian Gardening Thread
« Reply #344 on: January 15, 2017, 01:17:33 PM »
Yum! they look delicious Happier!
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Re: Australian Gardening Thread
« Reply #345 on: January 16, 2017, 07:58:46 PM »
Yay deborah! Yay happier!

How do I plant sweet potatos? I have one growing in the pantry and a spare patch of earth so may as well...

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Re: Australian Gardening Thread
« Reply #346 on: January 16, 2017, 08:54:32 PM »
...Bung it in the ground and see what happens.

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Re: Australian Gardening Thread
« Reply #347 on: January 17, 2017, 01:37:04 PM »
Yay deborah! Yay happier!

How do I plant sweet potatos? I have one growing in the pantry and a spare patch of earth so may as well...

You can plant it as is, or cut off the section that is sprouting and plant that.
Or you can grow the shoots to leaves by cutting a section and suspending it above water with the base just submerged, and then plant that.
Or once you have leaves on the shoots, you cut of that shoot, now called a slip and keep it in shallow water until it grows roots, then plant it.

I did the last method last year and it worked well, but the wallaby ate it, so no yield.

The slip method is supposed to reduce the risk of fungal and other diseases, but I have no point of comparison to verify that personally.
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Re: Australian Gardening Thread
« Reply #348 on: January 17, 2017, 03:43:54 PM »
Yay deborah! Yay happier!

How do I plant sweet potatos? I have one growing in the pantry and a spare patch of earth so may as well...

You can plant it as is, or cut off the section that is sprouting and plant that.
Or you can grow the shoots to leaves by cutting a section and suspending it above water with the base just submerged, and then plant that.
Or once you have leaves on the shoots, you cut of that shoot, now called a slip and keep it in shallow water until it grows roots, then plant it.

I did the last method last year and it worked well, but the wallaby ate it, so no yield.

The slip method is supposed to reduce the risk of fungal and other diseases, but I have no point of comparison to verify that personally.
I just stuck it in the ground, I pulled it up to check and it went kind of gross, so I pulled off the grid stuff and replanted it elsewhere. That was months ago, do I just dig it up whenever?

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Re: Australian Gardening Thread
« Reply #349 on: January 19, 2017, 02:35:43 AM »
The books say when the ends of the vines start to turn yellow, or at the end of the season when you get a frost i.e. I guess in Autumn. I still haven't got a harvest - but my slips are nearly ready to plant for attempt no 2.
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