Saturday, September 25, 2010

Not much craftiness

I've spent the last few weekends in the garden, getting everything ready for spring, so I haven't managed to do very much crafting at all in quite a while. With all of the Christmas swaps coming up, I'll certainly have to change that!

But I'm really excited about getting my vegie gardens going again, and looking forward to all those fresh tasty vegetables. I already have an abundance of herbs including parsley, rosemary, oregano, chives and mint. I am hoping the coriander and basil I let go to seed last year will self-seed and grow back on their own. And in the last couple of weeks I've planted spring onions, lettuce, rocket, English spinach (to be harvested and eaten while still young in salads), silverbeet, leeks and cucumbers. A snail ate most of my cucumber seedlings before I came up with the idea of making cloches out of plastic Diet Coke bottles cut in half, so this morning I planted some more seeds in pots on the windowsill including more cucumber, two types of pumpkin, zucchini and two types of tomato. I'll transplant these in the garden when they're big enough.

My biggest excitement today was when I was out planting, I found a swarm of tadpoles! My house is very old and near the outdoor tap there is an odd concrete culvert-type thing. The pipe which drains the water away is a couple inches above the base of the culvert, so it is often filled with sludgy water. Well today, it was full of tiny tadpoles! I've heard a frog in there before, but haven't managed to spot it, so don't know what type.

I was worried they wouldn't all survive there, being so many of them in such a tiny bit of stagnant water, and also having two big lizards living in the garden right there. So I decided to put some of them into a fish tank and see if I can raise some of them myself.

So off I went to the nearest aquarium shop and the very helpful young man sold me some algae-type flake food and some stuff to de-chlorinate tap water to fill the tank with, and also gave me lots of good advice. He said when he used to keep tadpoles, he would soak lettuce in boiling water to soften it, chop it up very fine then freeze it in tiny portions, to feed them with. He also discussed the finer points of water aeration and tank hygiene with me.

So I have given them a little of the flakes, and a little softened, chopped up bok choy (as I didn't have any lettuce!). I've been watching them for a while now - I am quite anxious about them - and a couple of them have become brave enough to have a nibble at the food. They are so tiny though, they are hard to spot unless they are moving, and most of them are hiding in the gravel and under their decorative rocks.

When they're a little bigger I'll take a photo! At the moment their bodies are smaller than the head of a pearl pin, so they would only be little specks in a photo.(The pic is above is one borrowed off the web - my tadpoles are much smaller and cuter!)


Anne Heidi said...

Oh how exciting, it sure sounds like you'll have fun watching the tadpoles grow. And your vegetable garden sounds lovely! Wish we could grow all those vegetables here, but our summer is too short and not warm enough... sigh....

AnitaS said...

It is nice to work in the garden in the hope all will grow. We just are cleaning up the garden because it is autumn. All leaves are turning red alraidy. It is nice to see the live of the tadpoles.