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Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Feeding Grapevines, planting out more Spring seedlings and not getting it right every time

Now that all the grapevines have flowered and set fruit it was a good time to give them a light feed of fish emulsion. We had picked up a few 5 litre containers of the emulsion at the last Tocal Field Days event at a good price. Not wanting to overdo it only one container was poured into the holding tank which contained 3-5000 litres. One pump was started on the dam to get the water splashing into the tank and mix the emulsion then the drip irrigation system was started for the 150 vines. There has been no rain for two weeks and the vines have not been watered for three weeks. The idea is to add some nutrients into the soil for the vines but to over stimulate the growth and possibly get a crop of grapes that that do not have sufficient intensity of flavour. Grape vines seem to produce their best wine fruit when under a little bit of stress and working hard. By watering heavily today it is hoped the moisture and nutrients  will spread deeply into the rocky underlay and encourage the roots deeper.

The timing worked out perfectly. returned from over the river after two hours to find the water was just running out and the vines could be turned off. Topped the fuel in the pumps and started both to fill the tank overnight.

Had a good strike of corn seedlings for a second planting. Out went some Cucurbits and a Watermelon seedling that friends have left us as well as another Okra. Still outstanding is the Bitter Melon a great addition to stir fry, Zucchini, more beans and some other varieties of Rockmelon and Watermelon. Well maybe this can be classed as succession planting rather than germination failure.

One particular podcast Episode 1210 from was playing as work progressed during the morning. Worth listening to for all those attempting a self sufficient lifestyle. All does not go according to plan every time. Conditions change (we are dealing with nature after all) and sometimes you need to step back and review what is being done. A lot of things we do are automatic based on prior experience and occasionally we get a surprise when it doesn't work.

Rarely to we talk about our failures. Do we believe people don't want to hear about our failures? Are they only interested in out successes so that they can replicate them?  Should we also mention our disasters and demonstrate out fallibility? Use the failures to demonstrate how to recover from a problem?

Having presided over more disasters than you can poke a stick at we could flood the ether with our stories.

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