Monday, 23 November 2015

Baby vegies

 Another happy morning in the garden. Very nice weather this week, plenty of sun but not scorching hot.

Well well, this cucumber is finally sending out some tendrils.

Baby lebanese cucumber.

These transplanted tomato suckers now happy in full sun, so should almost have adequate root growth for transplanting to the whiskey barrels. The sugarsnaps will probably come out in a week or two, there are few or no new blossoms but the existing peas will provide one last harvest.

Baby sweet banana capsicum.

Potatoes almost ready to be topped up.

This is the white cucumber, it's looking especially prolific.

On the Wee b little pumpkin there are three or four baby gourds!

First blanco lungo cylindrico zucchini. Don't ask me how it got pollinated with no male flowers present before the bloom. Ants? I had a seedling mix up so was confused for a bit as to why these were so pale and long as I thought it was the black beauty!

Borage flowers are so pretty even before blooming! Beautiful purple and red hues.

Squash should be ready to start climbing the trellis soon.

Okra looking better. It even has its first flower pods I believe. I removed the crowding borage and tomato leaves so it should get more sun now.

Baby marketmore cucumber.

There's some encouraging growth from branches I removed on the hedge. I will give it a foliar feed on my next days off. I will need to top it again too I think.

Pruned many lower leaves off the tomatoes. Keeps any off the ground and should give the basil and companion flowers a bit more dappled sunlight.

Probably 50+ tiny lemons on our lemon tree. I'm hoping to get 20 or so to maturity. Still can't see more than 2 on the lime tree.

The soil level in the corn bed has dropped at least two inches. The corn is a really heavy feeder - although there was much trench compost/green manure here, so it's also from that breaking down and settling.

Baby poblano! This bush is looking like it's going to be one heck of a producer.

Many more ripe raspberries - birds haven't seemed to attack it yet, even the wattlebirds in the nearby oak who were pinching the blueberries. A bit of leaf damage too - I think it's sun scald? I'll cut them off when I have more leisure. The moisture meter shows this one drying out fairly quickly - the potting mix is from last year and has no coco coir in it. So I'm giving this a water in between running the irrigation every 2 or 3 days.

This is the black beauty zucchini. So far the growth habit is compact but I expect it to get bigger. Has its first fruit too.

Climbing beans, bush beans, kiwano, shallots, celery and buk choy which really enjoys the afternoon shade.

These potted shallots will be harvested on the weekend. They're probably about 3cm diameter which are easily the biggest so far.

Marigold finally about to bloom. I'll need to start them earlier next year.

This poblano has gone yellow so either I bumped it or the plant has decided to ditch it. Shame.

Eggplant flowers. The large black beauty flower should open any day now.

These parsley seeds finally coming up. I'd almost written them off. Can't have too much parsley.

Dill, rocket, ageratum, corn salad (bolting) in this morning sun only area.

Neighbour's jasmine. Is it attracting or stealing the bees? I can't decide. But there are fewer bees than last season so far. Hopefully when more of the flowers bloom this will change (I can't wait for the sunflower head to form).

This is why we do it! Our own baby potatoes, sugar snaps and mint made a very nice dinner this week.

Thursday, 19 November 2015

Late spring update - flowers and fruits.

We're in a bit of pre-summer heatwave this week. 36 C or so a few days in a row, plus hot winds. It should cool down a bit tomorrow. But it's been a good test of my irrigation system.

This is the first zucchini flower of the season! Unfortunately there are not yet any male flowers for it to be pollinated. I'm thinking this is why they often recommend growing two plants.

The plant is already huge though. It's doing a good job so far growing "up" the support, even sending out some tendrils to latch on to it. At some point it'll tip in one direction or another and at this point I'll probably need to soft tie it.

Okra doesn't look too good, especially the smaller one. I removed some ratty looking leaves from it. I think the other one will make it but it's a bit shaded from the tomatoes/borage. We'll see. I can probably afford to clip some more of the lower tomato leaves.

Late planted snow peas - they might actually do okay being shaded by the pumpkin and zucchini.

Borage flower heads ready to open. Now I know how big these guys get I'll be better with my spacing next year.

After several attempts my button squash plants are looking really healthy. It should be easy enough to train them up the trellis. More snow peas here too.

The chard and spinach really appreciate the shade - they only have to cope with direct sun for a few hours in the middle of the day.

Cucumbers doing a good job of climbing the trellis with minimum help from me.

Wee-b-little pumpkin. The main vine is growing in the right direction, so I should be able to attach it to the trellis eventually. It does look though that even with the trellis it's going to run out of space pretty quickly.

More cucumbers this side, also doing a great job climbing.

The trickler irrigation system is doing its job and the beds hold moisture well. There's no sign yet of the cucurbits wilting on hot days like last year - although I suspect this was more to do with transplanting them and not having great root systems developed by the time the really hot weather arrived.

My wall of tomatoes. I was a bit worried about blossoms on some of the lower trusses not opening but they appear to be setting fruit. The one on the far left is a really short variety. I forgot to take photos of the fruit but there are some interesting varieties from the looks of it.

The basil and flowers underneath are quite shaded. Again learning experience for next year. I think the basil doesn't mind light shade (in the capsicum bed, the basil getting light shade is happier than the one in full sun) but this is a bit too dense.

Eggplant and capsicum bed loving the sun. Eggplants are almost up to the second tier of their cages. Not pruning them is helping them grow tall rather than bushy I believe, which in the tight spacing I have is what I want. At the moment they are not shading the capsicums which is great - my angles are working well.

First flowers opening up too. Looking forward to the big one opening.

This is the other zucchini. It's catching up bit still much smaller so a variety I might grow more of in future. It has its first female flowers but they haven't opened et.

This chard was started last autumn and hasn't bolted. I have planted beets in this bed and have seedlings as extras if they don't all come up.

My chillis. Something still eating the new leaves of my hot wax on the left, I will need to give it a good spray with Natrasoap probably tonight. I think only the jalapeno hasn't flowered yet.

Blueberry under netting. A bit disappointed with the fruit size and yield - so many lost to frost. I clearly need to take better care with feeding it and protecting it from frost next season.

Lemon tree with lots of tiny lemons. It's leaning over so I might need to stake it again.

Lime tree on the other hand had relatively few blossoms and I can only find 2 limes on it so far. I wonder if it is not getting enough sun here. Hopefully I've missed something and there are more limes hidden. My neighbour's lime tree (different variety) has many baby limes.

I've harvested a lot of rocket seed, and some have even self seeded here.

I think the cos lettuce is not going to make it. It's just too hot. Spinach looking a bit sick too, not enjoying the heat. I think I'll grow more paris market carrots.

Shallots are nearly ready.

I transplanted some runners from my strawberries upstairs here. They took a while to root but they look good now.

Leaf lettuce still going strong but likely to bolt soon.

Speaking of bolting - seed pods on my choy sum that I didn't harvest. They were spindly and insect damaged so I just left them.

Bit of a mess really. I have red veined sorrel seeds now so I'm going to remove one of the regular ones. I have miner's lettuce which supposedly likes full shade so I'm going to grow that here instead. Although rocket isn't doing too badly.

Tomato sucker seedlings getting some light sun now. I might end up planting these where the peas are now behind the sweet banana capsicums, should be adequate space in the whiskey barrels. Then they can sprawl on the fence.

Buk choy wilting in the sun, but producing well. The broad beans is still flowering! Onions are getting bigger but still have a long way to go.

Celery looking healthy. Beans climbing the fence. The kiwano is starting to climb too. On the left out of shot I have started some bush beans.

This hot wax looking much healthier now, not going to catch up to the potted one but should produce well. More climbing beans.

Loaded with sugar snaps, the plants will probably pack it in soon though. Lime sulfur prevented a premature death from powdery mildew. Sweet banana capsicums have their first very small fruit.

Kale is tall. Unfortunately Kale is not delicious, I have decided. Supposedly it tastes much better in winter.

These are the lemon cucumbers, which seem to have no tendrils. So I have to clip or weave them.

Mint enjoying the full sun! We have chocolate mint, spearmint (grown from a dessert garnish), sweet mint.

Greek oregano (from seed), marjoram (wild oregano) and Italian oregano. Tarragon, chives and garlic chives below. The chives are coming back slowly.

My lemon thyme died - I will need to buy a new seedling as I really liked it. Prostate rosemary is growing slowly. The bush rosemary cutting is still alive but not looking brilliant. I might relocate them as I don't think they enjoy the saturation from the rain being at the top of the tower - I think they prefer a drier soil.

Beets, Jimmy Nardello capsicums that I'm starting way late, cucumbers that seem to have failed for some reason (too damp?) and my attempt to germinate frozen birdseye chillis from last year (which appears also to have had no success).

I moved the endive back into the shade. One died too, from its original legginess. I don't even really know what to do with this but I suspect it's probably better grown in the cool season.

I'll need to start some new coriander soon. Went from too much to too little.

Lemon balm seems to prefer the light shade.

Oh yes - I have ripe or ripening raspberries! Doesn't seem the birds have spotted them yet, I hope not because netting them while there are still unpollinated flowers would be a shame.

New potatoes have finally sprouted. I'm not sure where I'm going to put these once they are tall.

Sunflower is nearly 4 feet tall. No sign of the flower head yet. As this was a "microgreen" sunflower I have really no idea what variety it is.

Corn is looking much better, and the new corn shows no sign of problems. I'll start them less early next year. One of them seems to have some kind of curly/twisted leaf problem. Maybe I'll just cut it back.

Amazing how seedlings have the will to live - this is sending out shoots after some insects ate the top off the young seedling - of course it'll be more like a bush bean now but that's okay.

The one I am most looking forward to - my raised bed and potted poblanos - have followed the same growth pattern and look almost identical.

Macro shot of alyssum flowers - if you look closely, there is a tiny guest in the middle one.

Tomato flower.

A fly - covered with particles of something... eww. But fascinating all the same.

This guy was in my lettuce. I think this is a native stingless bee, or it could also be some kind of wasp. Never know what you will see outside. No blue bees spotted yet this season. Lots of skinks (small lizards) spotted though.

Thanks for visiting and happy gardening.