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Growing local

Hi Everyone,

Thank God for the rain!! My garden has been without decent rainfall for about 6 weeks now and everything was struggling to stay alive.  Watering was taking a big chunk of my time and things that I wouldn't normally water (the established apple and peach for example) had to get watered as well as I was worried about how they were travelling as my grass was D.E.A.D.

I had a problem with spider mites on my mango tree.  All the new growth was going pale and burnt looking and when I looked underneath, all these little spidery looking things.  Sprayed with sulfur and will respray soon but hopefully with the rain as well, I've knocked them on the head. 

Melons are going well.  I'm having a lot of problems with aphids and powdery mildew so I've been using eco-oil with the eco-fungicide every two weeks or so and that's enough to keep things in check yet still have heaps of ladybugs. (I have got one old sacrificial cucumber plant that now serves as a nursery of sorts)

You can see something has had a chew on my moon and stars watermelon on the left so I'll probably lose that one.  I have heaps of baby melons though so as long as my dog doesn't steal them and use them as soccor balls like he was prone to do with my last lot, I'll have a whole bunch of melons in a couple of weeks.

I'm kicking myself!!! I've had 5 beautiful capsicum plants all summer long, pumping out capsicums that would get to about egg size and then be stung by fruit fly and go rotten -> so total harvested ZERO!!  I was reluctant to net them as I thought they wouldn't be pollinated but then I read in Gardening Australia magazine that they raised some under cover and wind is enough to pollinate.  Just to make sure, I give mine a little shake when I'm down there, but the results speak for themselves.

There are heaps more on the bushes but look at this unusual whitish one.  It could be a white diamond which apparently change to peach then red when ripe.  I'll be watching closely :)  I don't seem to have any of the cherry types or long skinny ones among the 5 and as the rest are green and look like this, they probably go red and be a typical cap. If any one wants seeds from the white one, I'll be happy to save some.

I've had some unusual flowering.  My cumquat flowered when expected in spring but I didn't get much fruit set.  All of a sudden, it has now reburst into flowers.  I'm wondering if it will still set and ripen the fruit in winter at the normal time?  The semi mature fruits look a bit odd amongst all the flowers.I've also seen a new flower spray on my adonis muscadine grape.  Don't they usually only set flowers/fruit in spring after dormancy?

Isn't great when you find something unexpected??  I had planted a chilli that I got from one of our garden visits and hadn't really been paying attention to it but honestly didn't think it was doing much.  I was laying down a weeper hose the other day and this is what I saw.  What a nice surprise :)

And finally, I'll leave you with a photo of my cosmo forest.  These are self seeded but are nearly as tall as me.  They are very pretty but need to be cut back as they are seriously shading the citrus grove trees but I don't want to do that until this horrid heat has passed.  Maybe in two weeks if we keep getting some rain, I'll risk it.

Happy gardening folks.

PS think I just made my final fruit tree purchase from daleys -> just bought the reed avocado I'd been wanting.


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Comment by Rob Collings on March 7, 2016 at 11:16

Nice going for the dry Summer's end Susan, hopefully the fruit fly will cease cycling soon.

Comment by Phil on March 4, 2016 at 7:53
Definitely wasn't Shangrila for me Lissa! While the property was huge the soil was even worse than my backyard, steep and dry.....I'm currently looking at a much more promising acreage on the opposite side of town which is ex-dairy and has lots of water. Much smaller of course though.

20 year potted cumquat constantly producing - that's impressive Dianne. I know who to go to for cumquat advice now.
Comment by Christa on March 4, 2016 at 7:37

The melons look good Susan, nothing like sinking into a nice melon. My capsicum are the poorest example of a plant, it looks like they will contribute to the compost heap.  I notice that the big Bunny hardware has net sleeves for sale.  You cosmo garden is lovely, especially when it self sows, have you any of the white sensation cosmos, apparently they are a great beneficial insect attractant.

Comment by Lissa on March 4, 2016 at 5:42

Phil - how did you go checking out that property up at Gympie? Don't see any excited news about finding your Shangrila at last.

Comment by Lissa on March 3, 2016 at 18:38

I've sent you a PM Susan :)

Comment by Susan on March 3, 2016 at 16:55

Thanks everyone and Elaine - I feel for sure its warming.  Andrew, I bought it the beginning of last year so 1 year in the ground and they had 4 little bunches of fruit this summer that I ate and now the unexpected fruiting now.  They are a muscadine variety so that might make a difference.  Good to know about the cumquats though mine is a Nagami and I have never had more than one flowering and setting of fruit until this year.  No worries Dianne, I'll pick one for tonight's dinner and save the seeds. Speaking of Garden visits though, Lissa can you email or text me the address individually?  I'm still not getting garden visit emails for some reason. 

Comment by Dianne Caswell on March 3, 2016 at 16:47

Oh Susan, We will have fun at Daley's in May, won't we, I can hear Graham saying now. Where are you going to find room for that? Your garden is looking wonderful, you really have been putting in some extra hours with watering by hand and it shows. I am going to put some photos up today to show a little of what the garden is looking like now after the Garden Rescue.

My Standard Cumquat that has been potted up for more than 20yrs now and is never without either fruit or flowers and often both.

I would love some white Capsicum seeds. I have a pot full of Bell Chilli Plants if any one wants me to bring them along on Saturday to GV. Did anyone need seedlings of the Long Red Chilli that Lissa has near her back door. I will bring the seedlings in wet newspaper and Coir. Oh, I also have more Perennial Capsicum Seeds.

Comment by Phil on March 3, 2016 at 7:56
Similarly my potted cumquat tree flowered about a month ago and has lots of fruit growing. The seasons are really messed up lately but at least we got some decent rain yesterday.
Comment by Lissa on March 3, 2016 at 5:12

Ah, you know it's not your final purchase from Daleys lol.

Your melons are doing wonderfully Susan. Fancy the dog stealing them to play with.

Wish I'd gotten around to netting the mini caps....the ones out the back get ruined by FF but!! found a plant out the front is now cropping and they are perfect.

Comment by Andrew Cumberland on March 2, 2016 at 22:12

My cumquat has re-fruited too, and I also lost most of my capsicums and bell chilies to fruit fly.  The blighters are even hammering my cherry toms!  How long have you had the grape in Susan? I'm on year two and have never seen a flower. 

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