"Self-sufficiency does not mean 'going back' to the acceptance of a lower standard of living. On the contrary, it is the striving for a higher standard of living, for food that is organically grown and good, for the good life in pleasant surroundings... and for the satisfaction that comes from doing difficult and intricate jobs well and successfully." John Seymour ~ Self Sufficiency 2003

Saturday, 29 October 2016

It's that time of year again... (part 1)

... when the garden works it's magic :D

Our washing machine is in our garage.

Rather than use that soapy waste water on my veggies, we planted 3 rose bushes just outside the garage, and they are loving the soapy water.

For comparison, these are the garage roses...
The outlet pipe from the washing machine can clearly
 be seen on the left hand side of the rose bushes.
 and this is a rose bush by our patio which doesn't get as deep a soaking as often.
Not as well watered nor as often.  The difference
 between the two rose bush moisture portions is clearly
 visible in their floral display.
Even though there are three bushes by the machine outlet, and only one in this garden bed, you can clearly see how much fuller the laundry water roses are.

Plus, I don't feel guilty "wasting" the laundry water on the roses either.  In fact, I''m grateful for the patch of colour that waste water provides.

Then, on to my fruit trees.
As the plums are already prolific this year
 it was time to bring out the foil pie trays
The good old dependable plum trees are laden with fruit once again, and a few of the hard unripe plums were showing signs of impatient birds.  So it was time to bring out the aluminium pie trays once again.
This front tree is so laden that I need RMan to
 make me a supporting tripod to help bear the
 load of  the growing fruit.  It looks like there
 will definitely be plum jam on the harvest menu
  this year  :)
There is so much fruit - and although I don't mind the mouse birds having their tithe, I'll be dammed if they can scoff the lot like they did last year!!

These trays work so bloody well at deterring the birds - they don't like the noise which is produced when the tray hits the branches and trunk, nor do they fancy the shiny reflections caused when the trays bounce around in the breeze.  I reckon it is the most eco-friendly bird control there is.  Just bear in mind that if you have a windy day here and there you will need to go out and untangle the string / trays from the branches.  But that's not the worst thing, 'cos it ensures that you check the advancing ripeness of the fruit at the same time.

If you have a bird eating fruit / veggies problem, please try this :D


Dawn McHugh said...

Our fruit trees are in a big net cage, we get such high winds that any bird scares I tried just got blown bout and tangled up

possumqueensa said...

Ohboy water restrictions kick in on Tuesday in TWK. No hoses, no sprinklers, no automated watering systems. It's buckets and watering cans for us. We're going to have Popeye arms!

Dani said...

Dawn _ I tried covering our berries with bird net in years gone by, but the mousebords are so small they squeeze in between to net holes. My only hope is the foil trays...

Dani said...

pqsa - We are, aren't we! That's why we have purchased and schlepped 4 trailer loads of mulch from the sawmill in Swelllendam. It'll be something to help the fruit trees and veggies at least.

Harry Flashman said...

The drought here is so bad, I've been carrying all our gray water from the kitchen out and putting it on my shrubs and broad leaf trees. No sign of it getting any better.

Dani said...

Harry - Water is the one resource that man cannot increase. The more it is wasted (on things like fracking, etc) the more trouble mankind will face in the future.

I know it's a hassle to schlep water round, but you're setting a wonderful example for your kids - when they're home. I also think that the authorities need to sort out the evapouration on the large dams - sort of like the millions of balls which were release in LA. (http://www.discovery.com/dscovrd/tech/millions-of-shade-balls-to-prevent-evaporation-in-california-reservoirs/) I'm not made about plastic, but they're on the right track. Hopefully somebody brighter than you and me will apply their minds and come up with a more sustainable solution.

Sol said...

When we get where we are going to, at a new house, I will deploy the pie tins for soft fruit as we lost most of our strawberries this year. Your plums look amazing

Dani said...

Sol - I can't wait to eat them, but they're still a little hard.

I look forward to "seeing" where you end up...

The_Croods said...

What a great post, thanks for sharing - I'll remember this next year!

Dani said...

The_Croods - Welcome and thank you for taking the time to leave a comment. Trust me - these foil trays work a treat at deterring birds from the ripening fruit :)

Leigh said...

Wow, look at all those plums! I only got two plums this year and I'm thinking perhaps our soil is too acidic for them. Have you ever mentioned anything about your soil type and pH? (I can't recall if so).

Dani said...

Leigh - We also have acidic soil. But we feed our fruit trees with a seaweed solution and alpaca poo, and they have plenty of mulch to prevent them from drying out in the summer heat. I always battle with apple trees, but I think that's also partly due to the not cold enough winters...

Tania said...

Your plum trees are producing exceedingly well Dani! I haven't planted plum trees here but I definitely would like to, they make the best jam!

I will have to try the tray method for deterring the birds around here. They can be a jolly nuisance when it is fruiting time. Thank you for the tip :)

Dani said...

Tania - As long as you give them plenty of mulch, and water naturally, then plums shouldn't be a problem.

Trust me - the foil tray method works a treat :D