Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Rainy days

Been raining the last few days and has been forecast to do so for a few more days. Temps in the mid 20s. Feels more like spring than the summery weather we've had recently. I prefer photos on a sunny day but I'm back at work tomorrow so might not have another opportunity for a while.

Due to the angle of the sun these pots in my entryway aren't getting as much sun as earlier in the season. What I might do is put the mint pots out around the garden as they are supposedly a good deterrent for pests.

This is spearmint, that I rooted from my wife's dessert garnish a few weeks ago. So I now have three mints plus lemon balm. 

I think we picked the majority of our sugar snaps a few days early. I didn't realise how much better they taste when they start really bugling.

Chervil. Has an interesting taste. Like my sunflower and sorrel, this was planted from a "microgreens" collection.

Just noticed this morning - first flower buds! This is the sweet banana.

Kohlrabi around golf-ball size now.


A lot of effort and space for what's going to be a pretty small meal (unless I eat the leaves too). For comparison from the same space as one of these could probably get a dozen turnips or even more carrots. Still, was fun to try just once.

Rainbow chard is bolting. We'll eat it this week.

Lemon and lebanese cucumbers. I'll try to train one each side of the trellis.

Eggplant and capsicum bed. All looking pretty healthy.

I've moved some of my herbs to the full sun tower.

I might be able to move these into the shaded one as they are growing prolifically. From memory last year when I had it in the ground, the Vietnamese mint grew the best in the shade.

My green curled Kale has bolted, so I've cut it out. We'll enjoy some apple and kale juice with it.

Planted beans here in the back where the peas didn't make it. Hot banana chilli. I've planted some purple beauty capsicum seeds here too but they might be too far behind to give me any fruit. We'll see.

Getting a sizable harvest of broad beans.

You can see how leggy the one closer to the mailbox got compared to the bushy one which gets more sun. However it's still producing good pods and is getting more sun now as the angle of the sun progresses.

Radishes and my transplanted shallots. You can also see my celery seedlings in the middle row. The rat is still around, but I'm covering everything valuable. If all he does is eat my radishes I don't mind so much.

This is an African horned cucumber or "Kiwano". Looks like the rat tried one of the cotyledons and didn't think much of it. I'm covering it now just in case. I'm only planting one as I watched a YT video and the vine can get quite big.

These are the covers I've improvised for the Pak Choi and they're working so far. I know rats can climb, but it's unlikely they'll climb into something like this I think. 

Shallots in pots are looking good, bulbs seem a good size. I cut off a few flower spikes. Hopefully the tops will start browning soon.

I really overplanted this I feel. They're big enough to harvest now though, so I'll try to thin them out that way.

I checked below the surface and the paris market carrots are looking quite good. My cut and come again leaf lettuce is going strong.

Sorrel is doing well. Mizuna is bolting, but it did pretty well here, if not getting very big. The other seedlings as you can see are pretty leggy (choi san and chinese brocolli). This is shaded most of the day. It could be that not much will grow here but I'm still trying various things. I might have better luck starting seedlings then burying them up to first leaves.

Transplanted rosemary cutting. My prostrate rosemary mostly died over winter / transplanting, there's only one shoot with new growth. It's going to take a while to regenerate. In the meantime though I've started this one, which is the regular tall growing variety.

Lots of flowers on my raspberry column. The new canes grow inside the trainer, the old ones are attached to the outside. So far so good. 

My harvested garlic. Unfortunately they are pretty small as I had to harvest them early and they had competition from tree feeder roots. I should probably move them out of the rain.

Main bed is more or less fully planted. I didn't want too much this year as I want to be able to cheek for roots in Autumn. Then I'll plant the root vegetables here for winter.

You can see the irrigation system I've put in. It will require some tweaking as the green tricklers don't really cover a very big area, so I'll either need to add more or replace them with something that does. I was going to use drip hose but it seems cumbersome to move around. 

Here you can see all my companion flowers. I have several blue borage plants, poached egg, marigold, alyssum. They sat in seed trays for weeks because I was waiting on the garlic to dig over the bed so they are pretty behind and obviously no flowers yet.

Blue borage.

My yellow squash plant doesn't look great. Leaves already seem infected by something. I have planted another one just in case.

Okra seedlings.

These are from the worm castings, either pumpkin or cucumber. Impressive how far it shot up - maybe 15cm. But the roots are still at the bottom so they don't put out roots along the stem. This tells me that leggy seedlings in this family probably can be deep planted though.

I dug over the nature strip, sifted it down to the finer stuff, added some new potting mix and transplanted my Nasturtiums here. I've read they don't transplant well but I'm hoping I get lucky. I also broadcast snapdragon seeds here, so we'll see how many come up. Hopefully not too much as I'll have a lot of thinning to do. Once things have come up I'll put the coarse stuff back out as mulch (mostly wood chips, acorns and leaves).

I also added a liquid groundbreaker here. It's questionable whether it works or not but I want to encourage the hedge roots this way, and not towards my bed.

On a nicer day I'll take a photo from the other side.

My rainbow chard is doing well. I think I have a least three different colours. In the front is red chicory.

The swiss chard is bolting, so I've planted some new ones.

Spinach looks a bit pathetic but I'll give it some time. This is close to the hedge and west facing so is also shaded most of the day.

I broke the top off the corn on the right but it seems to have recovered.

The corn in the front row are clearly a more vigorous variety. If I'd known that I'd have planted them the other way around. The ones in the back were some dollar store variety, and I only got 1 of 2 germinating for most of the holes.

I've planted the climbing beans here now too.

Lemon tree. It's a bit of an ugly shape and pushing out new growth at the bottom. It's loaded with buds though. I've removed the stake as I want the "trunk" to get stronger and it's reasonably sheltered here from strong winds.

Lemongrass with a tiny new shoot in the middle. I probably won't try to overwinter at end of season, I'll just make a new cutting next spring.

My lime bush is covered in baby limes. I don't even seem to recall the flowers, let alone bees around. Lots have fallen off for some reason but that's okay but there are still lots left.

My blueberry plant looks good but the fruit not so good. I suspect the ones going blue now are still those who got frost damaged. They appear to shrivel/rot instead of plump up after turning blue. Newer ones though look more plump and healthy. It wasn't a good variety for our region, but we'll see. It might provide a nice crop yet.

Chillis growing slowly.

Sunflower has a long way to go.

I've decided to keep the worm farm covered with a tarp now we're approaching summer. It will also prevent too much water getting in during rain so I have better control over things in there. I have essentially two tubs full in there, so next warm and sunny day I have off guess what I'll be doing... oh joy.

Still have a bunch of seedlings. Some more basil, African cucumber, witlof, chervil. Apparently the chervil make pretty flowers so I might plant them out for that reason. Didn't realise witlof was such a complicated thing to grow. Maybe I'll just eat the baby leaves in my next salad.

Looking forward to the sun coming back!

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