Week 3 March 2006: Rain = 2.5 mm
Some time ago we acquired a couple of strawberry plants. They sat in a pot and were lost amongst all our other plants. This week they were rediscovered and we removed some runners and planted in a pot with reasonable potting mix. This time we will look after them and hopefully they will produce fruit and add to our cultivated “edible exotics”.
We discovered an Ant-lion larva in a basin of potting mix. The larva is about one centimetre long and armed with a fearsome pair of jaws. We have received a bite from one of these insects in the past. This specimen was handled with care, photographed and returned to a patch of sandy soil where it rapidly dug a typical Ant-lion pit.
Lots of tomatoes ripened this week. Tommy Toes and Moneymaker were the most prolific. The Tommy Toes came up from seed left in the garden from last season whilst the Moneymakers were planted with some native plants.
Saw a garden spider this week that seemed to have a bad case of arachnid acne. Closer inspection revealed that the many small lumps in its body were baby spiders being carried around by mother.   
One morning every week or so is spent watering new plants with grey water. We are surprised how many plants are able to be watered without emptying our 2200 litre (500 imperial gallons) grey water tank. We collect the water from bathroom, laundry ad kitchen. Our plants thrive on this diet of recycled water.
This week we had contact with a scientist stationed in the Antarctic. He has a hydroponic set-up and grows vegetables for the people on the Antarctic research station. He was having trouble growing chillies. We were able to give some advice on growing chillies from cuttings. Sodium lights are used as the light source for this most southern vegetable garden.

Garden Diary