Back from Holidays – Happy 2016
We’ve been away for 3 weeks and got back late Tuesday night. After spending Wednesday recovering we finally had time to do a few things around the garden this morning. When we left, our region hadn’t had any good rain for months, the landscape was brown an bone dry, our tank was 1/4 full and the temperatures were hot and dry (average 34*C). Thank goodness Dave finished the irrigation in the front and at the back. By the time we were back from holidays, our region had several days of substantial rainfall, the tank was full and the ground was soaked, with the paddocks starting to turn green again. The days and nights have also been pretty cool (ave 15*C).
Everything in the first bed is growing well. Harvested 2 zucchinis, spring onions growing well, sunflowers covered in flowers of many different sizes, harvested 12 heads that had started to droop and lost their petals. Sunflowers stringed together and lying on outdoor table to dry.
Potatoes are thriving, they’ve filled in most of the bed on the west side. The coriander has gone to seed on the east side, nasturtiums doing well on either and wooly vetch has started to spread through the bed. It’s not causing any issues yet but will keep an eye on it.
The eggplants are doing very well. Some are double the size of the other plants. The chillies and capsicum are ok, there are some flowers but I’m disappointed with their size. The dwarf beans are struggling with insect attack and don’t look healthy at all. Hopefully a little fertiliser and pyrethrum will do them some good. I had to pull out some of the vetch as it was starting to smother other plants.
The borage is extremely vigorous and overshadowed the tomatoes on the east side. Some of the flower heads have been damaged by an infestation of what looks like fruit fly. I pruned the most badly affected borage flower heads and chopped the borage overshadowing tomatoes on the east side, which are still the size of seedlings. The tomatoes on the north west side are doing very well. I suspect they’re cherry tomatoes, which do spectacularly well everywhere. The parsley is also growing well.
The effects of the November frost seem worst in this garden. The pumpkin is growing but has not spread out much, the corn hasn’t gotten much taller but there are many heads of corn, a few with brown hair silk already. The climbing beans are barely surviving, only one looks like it will have any kind of crop. Dave pulled two out that had completely died. The whole bed was looking overgrown with weeds so Dave pulled out the big stuff while I went around and got rid of the grass. It looks ok now but it will be interesting to see if we get an edible harvest from the corn.
Cucumber and Snow Peas
3 of the cucumbers are doing really well. There are cucumber fruit growing on the first one. The snow peas looked terrible. Many fronds were turning brown with black spots of fungus or mould on them. I pulled out two plants and cut the unhealthy fronds from the others. Hopefully this will allow air and sunlight in to kill the mould/fungus.
The Rest of the Garden
The plums and cherries have cherry slug on them again. I might try sprinkling ash over them tomorrow so we don’t have to use pyrethrum in case we hurt our bees. Speaking of bees they look good, all very busy doing their bee thing. We did have 3 nectarines on our tree before we left. One has disappeared and the other two were rotten where they’d been bitten, probably by cockatoos. The rest of the fruit looked great so hopefully we can successfully grow some next year. The mint is growing but still looks haggard from the frost. The rhubarb isn’t looking too good and I’m not sure it will survive.
Dave cleaned out all the hay from inside the coop and piled it up in one spot in the pen. We didn’t get to cleaning the dust out before we left. Will have to brush out the dust and pressure hose the inside, then spray with pyrethrum and dust with mite dust or diomataceous earth to make sure we clean the whole place out before getting another lot of chickens. The apple tree is huge, it will be great for the chickens even if we don’t get any fruit off it this season.
The natives look like they’ve survived. The banksia has dark tinged growth on the tips, from close up it looks like the start of flowers. The weeping wattle have grown a bit. The callistemon has light green tips, I hope it’s new growth and not some kind of deficiency. The grevillea hasn’t grown much.