Monday, 16 May 2016

Autumn clean up complete

I wasn't going to do another post this month but it was too nice a day today to not get out with the camera. We had a lot of rain a week ago but the last few days have been sunny and warm. We had one night min of 0 but it couldn't really be called a frost. Certainly not enough to kill anything.

Chillis up on the balcony. Hard to believe it's mid May and these plants are still going and still ripening nicely. Next season I plan to do all the hots (5 in total) up here, and probably use this space to harden off my seedlings.

Habanero, razzmatazz, caysan and nardello.

Mini cabbage, bought as seedlings. They've already put on some nice growth.

Garlic. Thinking of planting more. Sweet banana capsicums still haven't come out, will do it before the first heavy frost.

Mint, lemon balm and coriander enjoying the autumn sun. Mints were all cut back heavily a few months ago. I'll see how they go over winter in this sheltered pot and decide which need repotting early spring.

Strawberries getting eaten by parrots. These were all transplanted runners which I'll probably use next year for the balcony pots.

Still waiting for the store bought shallots (left) to sprout but I am hopeful they will.

Inside the greenhouse covered beds the brassicas are doing well and the mizuna and spinach has finally sprouted.

Main bed, things growing very slowly due limited sun (even the sunny part is only for a few hours). Most of these will be not be ready until mid spring just in time for the summer crops to go in.

The kiwano vine and beans have been removed. I'll let the vines dry out and fall off on their own. I didn't sever the stems of the Scarlett Runner as there's a chance they may shoot new growth next spring. I have also planted peas and broad beans here. I just hope the rats don't find them.

I found a surprise kiwano over the neighbour's side of the fence, the ripest of the bunch. This is an east facing fence and the kiwano clearly needed all day sun from both sides, so if I ever grow it again I'll need to keep that in mind.

The celery was harvested too. I cooked most of it, it was probably the equivalent of one bunch as the stems were thin and hollow, but taste wise no complains. I'll let the celery leaf sprout from the bottom and see how it goes with the frosts. The onions look good here despite only dappled sun, I can see a few of them forming bulbs. There is also self seeded corn salad here - I pulled a lot out thinking it was a weed but there are still many plants remaining.

Under the tarp is most of this season's potting soil in tubs, which I will re-use next year after amending with compost and fertiliser.

Sorry about the blurry photos. The miner's lettuce has sprouted (I probably sowed far too many of them) and the sorrel is growing happily here in the shade. I did notice those spot gets an hour or two of reflected sunlight from an upstairs window this time of year, so that's nice.

Far side this chard isn't going to do much until spring, at which point it'll probably just bolt. Hopefully I get some production before that happens.

This bed is now a compost of the annuals, leaves, coffee and scraps. I will plant either potatoes or corn here next season, and not until late spring at the earliest, so it should have plenty of time to break down. If it doesn't break up as fast as I hope I'll plant potatoes as I don't think they need very fine soil.

Compost tumbler has been moved off the lawn to this spot. It's still a bit chunky but hopefully will be ready by spring, at which point I'll use it to top off the beds and then start up a new batch of leaves, coffee grounds and scraps. There is good population of volunteer red wrigglers in there to help it along.

The line up of remaining pots to maximise sun for the winter. The lemongrass (which has had a haircut) will be harvested before the first heavy frost. I'm debating whether I'll grow it again next year as it takes all season, takes up a lot of space and is fairly cheap to buy.

Lawn looks great, going to mow it this afternoon, probably won't need mowing again after that until spring. Those are bean seedlings from some dried pods that must have been mowed over, and there are even some corn seedlings popping up.

Topped the hedge for the final time before next spring.

Some good new growth from the cutting back. I'll wait until early spring (when this side of the hedge will get sun again) and then give it a light trim to encourage branching from this new growth, as well as the front.

That's all for now. Probably won't be an update for a while as things grow very slowly this time of year, except in the greenhouse beds.

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