Monday, 7 March 2016

Autumn revival

Pleasantly surprised that some of my plants are making a bit of a comeback in Autumn. I should say that it doesn't feel like Autumn yet as we've had about a month where the daily temperature has been over 30 degrees, so still very much summer weather. We're due a week or so of rain soon (although still over 30 degrees) which will be good for some things and bad for others as it will no doubt spread mildew spores everywhere but that's okay. Season is coming to an end soon anyway.

First, showing off a bit of what I've done with the produce. This is why we do it!

Green zebra passata with fresh herbs and roasted garlic. Pasta made up fresh too.

Here is how I preserve my chillis for cooking. I freeze them first so they are hard, then vacuum pack them leaving plenty of excess so I can reseal again in future. These are the razz and caysan chillis which are my favourite for general cooking. 8 and 7 in heat respectively.

Here's the habanero (which tumbled off the balcony) which had its ripe fruit picked a few weeks ago. Plenty of new flowers and ripening fruit. It dries out quite quickly now which is not just the heat but also I think the root system was damaged.

I cut the strawberries back, and it seems that some remaining fungus has killed some of the new growth but I am getting enough that I'm satisfied. I'll give it another spray next time I prepare the fungicide.

Cut this one back too but not as severely. New fruit is healthy.

This basil took a tumble off the balcony too. I need to take some cuttings for over wintering.

The razz and other strawberry trough. 

As hoped lots of new buds following removing all the ripe fruit.

Balcony view of the Autumn garden. The heavily tracked lawn area not looking too good but easy enough to patch fill. I won't need to use it as much once I harvest the potatoes and get the walkway back.

You can see I cut back the tomatoes in the planter quite a bit to focus on the remaining fruit. Rats are back and has been climbing the fence walkways and pinching cherry tomatoes. I don't really mind for the moment as I have plenty.

 The sweet banana is still producing new pods and getting taller. I would prefer a fleshier larger one so I'm going to try the Anaheim variety next season.

Cut the beans back as they're dying off (spider mites mostly). Not sure whether I want to plant peas here or not, I think I'd rather leave the soil so I can rework it more easily but that means waiting until next spring for peas. I suppose I can always pull them out if I don't want them. I'm not sure if the spider mites would go after them or not.

There's still some healthy kiwano vine growing in various places as well as fruit that's getting bigger, so who knows? I might get something edible after all.

Letting the scarlet runner bean pods dry, they're a really nice purple colour inside.

Yes that's a bolted buk choy that never got planted out. I am so lazy. The red flower in there though seems really happy. The kale and leeks and red sorrel etc. will still be good. I can start new buk choy easily enough.

Despite the spider mites these yellow butter beans are starting to do pretty well.

I've got a feeling the celery is going to be bitter and stringy but it was a fun experiment. Still, it might surprise me.

Sorry about the blurry photo. This shaded area has kind of been neglected - I'll be transplanting the red sorrel here and growing claytonia and mizuno when it cools down a bit.

I'll give the potatoes another fortnight and then harvest them. I think they are ready. I am hoping for good size, good yield and no scab.

Getting a few strawberries a day from this one pot. New spring onions look good so I'll be able to empty that and plant something else there. Cos pots should supply me with lettuce through Autumn.

You can see the poblano is still getting taller.

As you can see the eggplants have some new growth, flowers and fruit after barely any for last few months of summer. The spider mites have been on them but I suspect something might be eating the spider mites (actual spiders? I've spotted a few on the leaves) and keeping them at bay enough to get some good growth. So it's a really nice surprise.

 Looks like my biggest bell capsicum so far, a chocolate beauty. Has produced few fruit but great flavour.

Original black beauty zucchini still looking good and producing a few zucchini. The fungicide spray worked well on the powdery mildew.

New lemon cucumber producing some fruit finally. I have really missed these snacking cucumbers.

Yellow squash.

 New marketmore cucumbers nearly ready too.

New okra flower, still producing, harvested two okra from it today.

Pruning back and spraying the tomatoes has stopped the spread of blight and mildew mostly, enough so the remaining fruit can ripen.

The closest I'll come to huge award winning tomatoes! No BER either.

Lots of black cherry still to harvest, should pick another batch and freeze them.

I finally repotted the blueberry, in proper ericaceous mix. Upgraded pot size 25L to 40L. The roots were fine and matted so it was quite root bound. I hacked them back a fair bit. Hopefully this will mean bigger blueberries next spring.

Corn and bean bed. More evidence of my laziness, I'm not even really eating these beans but I'll be happy to save the seeds. The corn stalks have all fallen over.

This corner is very green. I've let the fennel flower as the bees like it and I'd like to save seeds. The lime bush is tall but bereft of limes this season. Hopefully next season after cutting it back.

Fennel flowers.

The chilli pots.

New clusters of red cherry chillis.

Lots of new jalapenos - will be a torturous wait for them to get to size and ripen as they are so delicious. Will definitely grow several plants next year.

Potted poblano is laden with fruit. Have to figure out how to cook them as grilled/stuffed I just didn't like the flavour as much as I'd hoped.

I've frozen about 30 caysan and it's still producing more and more. Will keep me supplied for cooking until next summer.

Jimmy Nardello. No signs of ripening yet but still, good growth. Probably didn't need to plant two in the one pot. I think I identified what were harlequin bug nymphs crawling over this and the caysan - I sprayed them off with a jet spray and haven't seen them come back.

I hope to keep this cherry until frosts but it's really overgrown its cage. Maybe I'll get another jumbo green cage and snap it around.

Glad that the chard is doing really well in this shaded area so I know I can grow it here. Beets don't look too bad, probably could do with some more feeding.

Yellow butter beans climbing the deceased sunflower.

Herbs doing pretty well, except the regular chives. Maybe I just need to cut it back.

See you next update!