Thursday, 25 February 2016

Late summer, season winding down

Apologies there hasn't been an update in a while. Late summer has been much hotter than early summer and it's taken it's toll on the garden and sapped my energy a bit. I also added a timer to my irrigation system, and so don't need to spend as much time out there as I used to. Which is sort of a pity, but it's nice that the plants get adequate water during the hot spells and don't suffer if I forget or am away. I also lost a lot of photos in a memory card crash.

Spider mites hit a lot of the crops hard - wiped out the initial cucumbers, really attacked the beans and eggplants too. I started more cucumbers but only the Lebanese have produced much so far, the others aren't doing too badly though. Powdery mildew also started after we had a week or so of steady rain. I'm doing what I can to prolong the season a bit but since I want to start root crops early autumn, it's not a problem that they won't make the frosts.

I've harvested 5kg of tomatoes this week and more ripening every day. I haven't even minded that the rats have taken a few.

The later grosse lisse didn't have blossom end rot. I guess my emergency lime fix either worked, or the regular watering fixed it. The green zebra have been a huge producer.

Assorted capsicums and chillis. I harvested all the ripe habaneros (for hot sauce) and razz (for freezing) so that they can put on another flush before the end of the season.

These are the sucker tomatoes in the back. Suffering a bit from powdery mildew and rats on the fence but not doing too badly. I hope to keep these going until the frost. Sweet banana capsicums still producing and ripening.

Green beans hit hard by the spider mites, but still producing lots of beans. They're a nice green bean but a little squeaky if not really cooked well so I probably won't grow this variety next year.

Tarragon, baby beets in pot, coriander and an empty pot I harvested coriander seeds from.

Mints that I let flower for the bees. I will regenerate them over winter in a greenhouse.

Kale still going - still not eating it. :-|

By the time the Kiwano started flowering the spider mites had pretty much killed it. It still has some green foliage up higher but it's pretty much done without producing a single fruit.

Celery. I suspect it's going to be on the stringy and tough side. Grown more as an experiment. But we'll see, I'll probably harvest the first one soon.

Getting some good scarlet runner pods in this second flush, this time the ants didn't nip them all off. I'm going to let them mature and harvest them as a dry bean.

These later started cucumbers are doing okay, have produced a few cucumbers. I am also growing a flat yellow butter bean that my mum gave me and they are very tasty, so I will let some pods mature and save seeds and grow more of this variety next year.

More evidence of my laziness. Several things I have yet to plant out like buk choy. In there is also leeks, two types of kale, red veined sorrel, cabbage and an unknown flower I bought on impulse and couldn't figure out where I wanted to plant. At the bottom I am growing lettuce and spinach in the shade. They are covered in spider mites but they don't seem to be affecting them much - I'll give them a soap spray soon though.

Cos lettuce, new spring onions, old spring onions.

Strawberries, cos lettuce, Paris market carrots.

Another view of the strawberries. These are doing better than the balcony ones which I cut back - good foliage to fruit ratio.

I think the potatoes are nearly ready. Never flowered but are starting to die back. And have noticed a few spuds near the top so I gave them another layer of straw to protect them from sun. Looking forward to having the walkway back!

Capsicum and eggplant bed.

The supermarket seeds from the yellow capsicum has been the best producing so far, but on the small side. The chocolate beauty has produced maybe 4 or 5 so far.

Eggplants affected by the spider mites but I am still getting new flowers and some fruit.

The California wonder have been very elongated. Not sure if they grew that way because of the conditions or if it was in the seed, but nothing like what's on the packet.

The ancho poblano in this bed is over 6 feet tall.

Cucurbit bed.

Still getting zucchini from the original black beauty plant. Some powdery mildew but not too bad.

Herb pots. Doing pretty well. The lemon thyme finally took off.

The raspberry canes are very tall. The sunflower has been pecked to bits by local rosellas.

Chilli row.

Seem to have a blossom end rot or sun scald thing on the red cherry. Could just be they are overripe.

Lots of new jalapenos - these have turned out to be my favourite when ripe - so much better than when green.

Pot poblano is full of new fruit.

The caysan took a while but is now putting on a lot of fruit. Hot wax has produced quite a lot of fruit and I've been letting them ripen.

The Jimmy Nardello has grown quickly and produced some fruit, as I was surprised to only just discover (camouflaged by the light green leaves). They seem on the small side though and the leaves are probably meant to be a darker green. We'll see how it goes.

Lemongrass. I'm glad that I over-wintered it from last year but not sure this variety produces very thick stems, so I might go with one transplanted from the store next season.

Lemons starting to ripen, and new flowers too!

Fennel bolted. Going to make the most of it by saving some seeds. I'm sure the pollinators will like it. I'll start some more in Autumn.

Lime bush over 2.5m tall and no fruit or new blossoms. Not sure what's going on with it. Maybe it takes a few years?

Corn all harvested, just leaving it for the moment for the beans to climb. Going to save some rattlesnake climber beans.

Lots of basil for freezing and pesto.

The tomatoes have been hit hard with blight and powdery mildew. Not a problem really as harvesting plenty of healthy fruit and more ripening every day. I want to pull these no later than mid first month of Autumn to plant my carrots, leek transplants, parsnips.

This has produced probably close to 100 tomatoes.

Black cherry still putting out new suckers and spilling over elsewhere. The remaining grosse lisse look pretty good (the fruit, not the foliage).

Cut back the blueberry, it's coming back nicely now. But I have been too lazy to transplant it to a bigger pot. I will have to do it though, can't wait for next season.

These yellow and black ladybugs eat the powdery mildew - but clearly don't have enough of them to keep it at bay. The fungicide spray (Potassium Bicarbonate) does a pretty good job. 

New yellow button squash. 

This is as big as the Okra got - with maybe 10 pods all up. Still enjoyed eating them. Next year will make sure they get a lot more sun.

Late started marketmore.

I've neglected the chard. Need to harvest it more regularly but have been tending to go for the beans instead.

This was a supposedly slow bolting lettuce. Unfortunately also very slow growing.

Habanero in the back. The strawberries in the front were completely cut back, hoping to get some more in Autumn.

The razz in the back. Harvested all the ripe ones, hope to get more flowers soon. I will grow this one up here next year because it's so compact and less risk of getting blown off the balcony.

Thanks for reading! I hope to post an update after the cleanup and preparing for the cold season.