Friday, 23 September 2016

Warming up

The weather has improved although it's still quite cloudy, good weather for transplanting seedlings.

All the eggplants, chillis and capsicum seedlings.

Tomato seedlings already starting to get a bit crowded, growing fast.

Fenugreek has germinated, first time trying this.

Bolting parsley and garlic - bit worried the parsley is crowding the garlic but it still has plenty of time.

Unfortunately the rat has destroyed all my pea starts, severing the stems. I don't know whether or not they will produce side shoots or not. I'm going my best to catch or poison them but no luck so far.

The Chinese broccoli is looking good, except the one the rat bit off the growing tip, not sure it's going to recover. I need to make some more of these little cages to protect the peas, beans and other things the rats like to destroy. Maybe I should put some spike strips on the ledge too so they don't traffic across it.

Covers have come off the brassica beds and I chopped and dropped the bolting mizuna and rocket. The kales are going to flower too. Hopeful that the beets will produce and not bolt, looking good so far. Still taking some small florets off the broccoli but it's about ready to come out too. Have some spinach here also doing quite well.

Kohlrabi are getting bigger and starting to bulb out slightly.

Leeks look fantastic, several quite thick. These were planted deep so should be a thick white stem below the surface.

The carrots seem to be a bust with most of them sending up flower stalks. Will need to plant them much earlier next year in Autumn or wait until late winter. On the plus side, I don't need to wait anymore so I can probably clear this bed to plant out the nightshades mid October. I am hoping it hasn't been too root invaded this year, so that I don't need to dig it over, just top it off. The turnips have already come out because they were going to flower too. I have a few nice lettuces too.

Potato bed is breaking down nicely, I will plant the seed potatoes here end of the month.

Blueberry is looking great and I have moved it here so I can net it from the birds. Bees not too good at making it through the net yet but if I get them accustomed to go going under they should be able to find their way through soon. When it's finished fruiting I can move it back out of the way and get the lawn back.

Up top I have buk choy and pak choy starts, new beetroot starts, spinach starts and basil which hasn't come up yet. Below I have rainbow chard and the only sage I managed to germinate this year.

Broad beans are producing their first tiny pods and continuing to flower. The celery looks really good and no flower stalk yet so should give me a decent harvest before I pull it out.

Lettuce starts doing nicely.

This pot of strawberries is coming back nicely. I hope it's not too root bound - if so I'll use these as transplants instead.

Coriander and tiny Paris market carrots either side. Shallots starting to separate.

New lime leaf and flower buds. I think I will definitely get limes this year as there are hundreds of flowers.

Florence fennel ready to harvest, no sign of bolting yet. I have already harvested one and it was really good. Another thing I can grow successfully over winter other than cabbage family.

Thankfully the rat hasn't touched these peas. The minutina has been fun to grow but it's pretty tasteless so I won't grow it again, at least not here.

Raspberry putting out it's second year growth now. Netting it is going to be hard, maybe if the birds have nothing to land on nearby they won't be able to pinch as much fruit. I could try netting each individual fruit cluster too but that could become tiresome.

Budding meyer lemon flowers.

Chard is starting to bolt, fine by me as I would like to dig over this area before planting. Last year I direct sowed some things here and they became very leggy, my thinking is if I can get them started well in modules first they might tolerate this part shade area better. So I'm going to put more chard here, some beets, spinach and some buk choy. It's a tricky area because it's in the shade all morning until it's in the hot afternoon sun.

Herbs really taking off. Chives and tarragon, prostrate rosemary looking better than it has in a long time, lemon balm, chocolate mint and sweet mint. 

Sorrel producing a lot now too.

I'll let these spring onions flower for the bees and I could probably use some more seeds too.

On the balcony the volunteer strawberries are growing very slowly, I should probably give them a liquid feed a few times a week as it's going to take a while for the blood & bone to break down in the potting soil. They probably don't need the cloches anymore. I have tried mulching with pine bark this year because the straw would blow away and I think it has powdery mildew spores.

Very proud of the cabbages, ready to harvest now.

Sadly these are bolting before getting very big. I don't think buk choy likes to be transplanted, or it could just be the time of year I started them. I will be more careful with my starts not to disturb the root ball too much. Still they are a useful size for eating so I'll eat them in the next week. I have sown some more seeds in the pots, although I will be using these pots for the hot chillis this year when it warms up a bit more, I can pull the buk choy as baby plants if they aren't very big yet. Or I could just let them grow with the chillis until they are ready to harvest.

Overwintered razzmatazz looking a bit beaten up but I'll trim it and re-pot it in a few weeks.

That's all for now, thanks for reading.

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