Monday, September 8, 2014

Bamboo and baths

Listening to the wind outside, I am so grateful for a warm and comfortable home. After living homeless (by choice) for many years in my past I can never take some of the comforts we have for granted. I spent some time today doing a bit of orchid spotting in the bush today and driving home I had to dodge a lot of tree branches on the road.
I am waiting for some promised rain to wet my seedling beds but a quick look at the forecast on the computer just now shows that they have downgraded the amount to only 6ml. With this warm weather continuing I think I am going to have to start my watering regime within the next week as I have some beds seeded but they are drying quickly.

 This is how part of the back block is looking at the moment. A lot of the beds are waiting for some seed but although the weather is warm I am still worried about planting so soon. I have given in though and sowed a couple of beds of carrots and beets, and I have some pots in the shadehouse with seeds sprouting that I will be able to plant soon.

This is a picture of my poor Black Asper bamboo. It is the only big, clumping bamboo with edible shoots and good culms for building and making stuff that will grow in my winter conditions.

Although it looks poor just coming out of winter I am expecting to see new shoots soon and it should start growing well this year.
The biggest stems are 6ft tall from last year and they should grow a lot taller this year. They are slow to get going, which is why they are so expensive in nurseries.

I have two other plants, one that is only just surviving on J block and one in a pot in the polyhouse as a back-up. I am hoping that after two more years this one will not only be big enough to supply shoots and wood but I will be able to take growing materiel from it to sell.

I chose this species not only because it should grow here and not spread, but because of the quality of the wood and shoots. After a lot of investigation I found that the edible qualities of many bamboos are very variable, and so is the wood quality. This was the only one that has non-splitting wood and shoots that are edible without much preparation. A good all-rounder if you have the space, but I don't expect that it will grow to the size that it does in warmer winters, which is about 30 metres.

I plugged and filled up two of the baths I was given yesterday but I went out this morning to find that one is leaking. I will have to shovel all the dirt out of it tomorrow and redo the silicon around the hole. I will try to get a pic of the filled baths tomorrow.

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