Skinflint Sunday: Be Productive!!!

This is an old clip but I just saw it for the first time today when David2 showed it to me.

Yesterday was a long day. I was wheelbarrowing soil into the wicking beds till 9.05PM. That night I slept the sleep of the just and it was good.

The day started off well. There’s been an unexpected bonus to driving my father’s car around. I’ve kept the seat in the position he drives in and the radio on 3AW, to remind myself constantly that this isn’t my car. If it wasn’t for that, I’d never know that they have a gardening show on at 8AM on the weekends. I decided to call in and ask for advice as to whether I should plant out the garden beds straight away, or whether I should green manure crop them and not look to plant anything for a few months. Their advice was to plant immediately.
Later that day my sister gave me a ring. Her husband had heard me as he was driving. What are the odds?

Anyway, it got to be 10AM and there was still no delivery of dirt and sulphur, let alone anyone taking the ph 10 compost out from the garden beds. I rang them. Clearly I’d been forgotten, with the guy in the office telling me he’d call back, with a phone call 15 minutes later to let me know someone would be there at 11.

It was a big job. By 12.30 he’d finished emptying the beds. He warned me that the boss would not pay overtime, so the rest of the job might have to wait.

The upshot was that when the boss rang, we arranged for the topsoil and the sulphur to be dropped off and I’d do the work myself. Otherwise I’d have to wait a few more days and I didn’t want to do that.

This pile of topsoil was twice as large yesterday. Unfortunately it’s been rained on and the appearance is very muddy. I’ve been doing other things today instead of finishing the job.

I finished the little wicking beds in the driveway. I put all of the worms I fished out and saved into two of the beds and layered up topsoil, dynamic lifter pellets, topsoil, aged manure/coffee grounds and the topsoil and mulch. From now on the only fertiliser going into these beds will be pea straw/lucerne, worm castings, worm wee and home made compost, so I thought I’d give the whole system a kick start with the other things.


Light was fading fast as I turned my attention to the other beds. I’d put the pelletised fertiliser on them so I decided that they needed a good layer of topsoil on top so the rain wouldn’t dissolve them. I kept going, asking David2 to switch strategic lights on inside to light my way. Every wheelbarrowload of soil I moved was one less I’d have to move tomorrow!


I’m growing 2 pots of Jerusalem artichokes. They were pulled out and repotted with topsoil. I don’t know if we like these… never tried them… so this might well be the only year we have them here. Opinions seem to be divided as to whether they’re good to eat or not.
Next to it is a pineapple sage I bought on Friday. The leaves really do smell of pineapple! Amazing.
A week on, here’s the two pots I planted with a Tommy Toe tomato, 2 basil, 2 beetroot and heaps of radishes. I started to mulch, then realised that’d be like putting down the welcome mat for slugs while the plants were still so small, so I stopped. Didn’t bother to take the mulch off, figuring that the plants will just have to live dangerously. I had topsoil to move!
Evan4’s Stevia plant became pot bound, so I plonked it in here with a Chocolate Mint I also bought on Friday. (It tastes like an after dinner mint…. sort of.) I figured that an after dinner mint and a sugar substitute plant go together.
Remember a couple of weeks ago when I proudly blogged about how lovely my French sorrel looked? Three dark brown grubs ate it. I should never have mentioned it; then it would’ve been fine…
The chickens were appreciate of the protein boost from the grubs, though.
I also bought some watercress. Liz talks about watercress a lot and when I saw it I was tempted to sneak a leaf and taste it just to see what all the fuss was about.
SO nice! Reminded me of the mustard plant I bought that the wicking beds killed. I think it’ll be beautiful in sandwiches and salads. Another wicking tub on the way, methinks!

I also had to dig up and repot the ginger I bought about a month ago. This is a bit of an experiment, seeing as Ginger is supposed to be a tropical plant. I’m not mad about ginger but my Mum loves it, so I thought I’d give it a go. There are a few little buds forming on the tubers, so I’ve moved it into a sunnier spot and we’ll see how we go.

Oh! Speaking of experiments: The Great Pumpkin (and sunflower) Experiment is still proceeding. The pumpkins are slowly putting forth green leaves as the recover from the compost and the sunflowers are popping up. The pots are desperately needing mulch as the potting mix doesn’t seem to retain much moisture, so I’m watering twice a day if the soil feels too dry. I hope I get some pumpkins out of this! I’ve never had much luck with them.

Murphy’s here for a few days while my parents are up in Swan Hill.
That’s why the gerls are this side of the chicken coop fence on a weekend. (For newer readers, Murphy killed my first two chooks last year, so now we don’t take chances.)
Look! Clucker Tucker! The arrowroot I planted behind it almost a month ago has finally sent up a shoot. It’s all happening! Imagine me racing around waving my hands over my head in great excitement!!!!
Or not. But you’ve got to admit it’s gratifying to see a plan starting to work.
This Cavalier would never eat a chook. He ate a dehydrated apple piece this morning though.

You realise that this enormous post is really an effort not to go out in the drizzle and finish layering up the wicking beds? I’m being productive!!*sigh* It’s drizzling and the soil is muddy. Do I HAVE to???

Earlier today, in a similar frame of mind, I made soap. This is Goats milk, calendula and lemongrass. I also made some Goats milk and lavender soap as well. Roll on Christmas!

This entry was posted in chickens, gardening, pets, Skinflint, soap making, vegetables, wicking beds. Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Skinflint Sunday: Be Productive!!!

  1. Liz says:

    I love that feeling of being really tired and then sleeping really well – just lovely! I hope you enjoy the watercress – its supposed to have any number of health giving properties aside from tasting good! That soap looks marvellous!

  2. Bev says:

    In another year, when all those beds are filled with edible goodies, you’ll look back at these times and laugh!

  3. river says:

    Well, it looks like things are coming good again, well done on the wheelbarrowing!
    I love pineapple sage! Did you know the flowers are red? The leaves are lovely in a tea with lemon balm, a touch of mint, lots of ice cubes.

  4. libby says:

    I was given some tomato plants unexpectly so had to quickly plant them in the pots i used last year…. so glad i didnt empty them out, that would have stuffed me up!! something has been eating some of the little seedlings i was given though grrrr. the wicking beds look awesome!

  5. Sal says:

    I love your garden. And your energy. Pass me some of those pills, woman!!!
    Seriously though, the soap looks great! And can you believe I have 2 of those same white wire baskets here at my house, being laid to waste.
    As of tomorrow, they will now be put to good use, for my chook food! Yay!! Idea stealing, thanks!! πŸ™‚

  6. Jayne says:

    Oooh, I shall keep a lookout for Stevia plants, didn’t realise they were available πŸ™‚
    Yay for the clucker tucker sprouting!
    After this weekends rain everything should be growing in leaps and bounds at your house! πŸ™‚

  7. Ellen says:

    I think you deserve a medal, hoicking all that soil onto your vast array of wicking beds – you deserve to be basking in your own garden of Eden this summer, eating fresh organic food, the fruits of your labour.

    The soap looks great. Thank you for the timely reminder to start making some for Christmas.

  8. Mrs Bok says:

    Wow you’ve been busy! Your wicking beds look fantastic! How have you done yours? Sand in bottom?

  9. They look wonderful, and no wonder you slept the the sleep of the just.
    I think I have wicking bed envy…

  10. Jan says:

    Jerusalem artichokes are sort of like water chestnuts to look at. They make a good soup and are also nice well scrubbed and crunched in butter. A word of warning; do not eat very many at once or you will rue the consequences next day. (or even earlier!!)

    Be careful where you plant them They multiply like rabbits.

  11. Catherine says:

    Oh I hope that after all this work that the garden beds work. Surely they will you have put so much time and effort into them. HOpe your parents enjoy Swan Hill. The weather is amazing here at the moment. ; – )

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