Prickly-Cucumber.JPG (39314 bytes)Week 3 February 2008: No rain this week.

We spent some time moving sheets of corrugated iron from one part of the garden to another. We use the iron as an organic herbicide. We leave it on the ground for about six weeks. When we move the iron the ground is bare. All the grasses and weeds have expired because they have been starved of light.

We started digging holes in the freshly exposed ground and then planting and mulching followed. Some purchased plants went into the new holes including Grevillea gaudichaudii a naturally occurring hybrid from the Blue Mountains.

Beneath one sheet of iron we found a large centipede curled around a large number of juveniles. I ran to the house for the camera to photograph this rarely seen event. Unfortunately on my return mother and children had burrowed into the ground. See: Maternal Arthropods to read our thoughts on the maternal instincts of so called lower animals.

We potted-on seedling Hakea bakeriana, Hakea constablei and Hakea propinqua this week. They are all New South Wales species.

Last year we grew some Prickly Cucumber vines. This year a feral seedling appeared in one garden and this week we started to harvest the fruit. They are large cucumbers that are very prickly and resemble hand grenades (see image). Although awkward to handle they are rather tasty.

We have an area that has become infested with Coolatai Grass and this week we brush cut some of the obnoxious grass and then sprayed with Glyphosate. We are planting as the grass dies. This area has been called our Coolatai Garden and hopefully in the future it will demonstrate a method of how to overcome this introduced weed.

Olearia elliptica is flowering furiously at the moment. This is a local Daisy Bush that has sticky foliage and white flowers with yellow centres.

This week we pruned a large Hakea drupacea with the chainsaw. The plant had become rather tall and was blocking our view from the lounge room. This is a western Australian species that is supposed to have scented flowers. We have a number of specimens that are over six years old. We are still waiting for them to flower. On the positive side they have prickly foliage and small birds use the plants as nesting sites. The plant we pruned should grow denser and hopefully its drastic amputation will trigger flowering.


Garden Diary