Tag Archives: self sufficiency

Wattle – Pioneer plants & Nitrogen Fixers

Every tree needs at least one pioneer plant. Pioneer plants grow faster than most trees and are usually short lived, but they provide shelter for the growing plant and if you choose nitrogen fixing plants, they will also provide fertiliser. I’ve decided to go with wattle. I may add others later.

Did you know there are over 800 species of wattle?!!I’m in love with Acacias!

So I jumped on ebay and this is what I purchased. My decisions were based on price, ability to tolerate frost and wet conditions.

Acacia howitti (Sticky wattle)

acacia_howittii

Acacia pendula (Weeping wattle)

Acacia pendula

Acacia spectabilis (Mudgee wattle)

Acacia spectabilis

Acacia cowleana (Halls Creek Wattle) – Edible wattleseed!

Acacia cowleana

Acacia pycnantha (Golden Wattle) – Our national emblem, I had to have that.

Acacia pycnantha

Acacia myrtifolia (Myrtle Wattle) – Unique with red stems and cream flowers

Acacia myrtifolia

Acacia stenophylla (Shoestring wattle/river coobah) – Lives up to 50 years

Acacia stenophylla

Like I said originally, my poor husband.
– I need a greenhouse
– it would be silly to have all that wattle and no beehive, right?

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A special post for Luis in Boston

Hi buddy, mum tells me you’d like to make some seeds grow into a plant that will end up giving you more fruit? Well I think that these would be the best where you live which is all covered in snow at the moment.

Apple
Pear
Cherry
Peach
Nectarine
Almond
Mulberry
Apricot

These all can get to be big trees but if you put them in a pot on your balcony they will probably stay small enough. But the best thing for you to plant if you like them I think is blueberries.

Tell mum they like acid soil so she should tip her tea leaves and coffee grounds on them. Tell her to buy you some punnets of blueberries, eat them but keep the seeds ( they’re quite small so be careful) put them in a pot filled with potting mix and keep them moist -not wet, not dry until you see leaves growing. This might take a long time so be patient because it will be worth it. When you grow your own blueberries mum can make you blueberry muffins and stuff.

Let me know what you decide on and how it all goes buddy, we can do this together.

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Seed to seed – a New Years resolution

When my family grilled me about my New Years resolution this year I spontaneously said I would plant 365 trees this year. I have no idea where the thought come but it was said and witnessed and akin to a ‘pinky promise’ as far as my kids were concerned.

So driving home from the festivities I decided that the trees should be of the edible variety and that they would grow from seeds that I have kept from food we bought to eat.

Now I know that seeds don’t necessarily grow plants true to type, but where’s the fun? I like mystery and I love watching plants germinate. We may get some duds, but we may get some good plants or better still something fantastic.

Anyway these are my rules:

1) 365 trees/large shrubs to be planted before 2015
2) all must be seedlings from food eaten throughout the year
3) measure of success will be when plants grow and produce their own seed
4) planting to keep in line with permaculture principles.

New Years Day

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Avocado preparation, all unfortunately Hass but I will collect more as the seasons pass. We eat a lot of avocado but it gets frosty here and they generally don’t do well, so I’m hoping for a strong seedling.

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Kiwi fruit pulped and cleaned. This apparently works, but I will have no way of determining the sex of the vines so will need to plant multiple ones.

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Mango seeds, some were old and dry so I have no idea if they will work but no harm in trying. I punched a hole through the seed and started a 14 day soak, changing the water daily.

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Made a wicking garden bed for a germination of smaller seeds.

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Used ‘Baggie’ method to start germinating apple and pear seeds in the fridge. Also tried pine nuts and passion fruit at room temp.

Seeds planted in mini wicking bed (left overs from Xmas)
1) cherry
2) date,
3) pomegranate
4) green kiwi

Kids curious but remain largely undisturbed. I need a larger kitchen bench.