Summer is here and it's brought the rains via thunder and lightening storms. Found out the other day just how important these sorts of storms are to life on earth from THIS ARTICLE.
Sure enough, the garden has erupted in growth since the storms, especially the Choko vine (below) which is now covered in tiny fruit.
Lightning creates “nitrates” which among other things, fertilizes soil, helps plants grow and builds DNA and proteins in our body. When a lightning strike occurs the lightning races down to the ground at extreme speeds. During this process it splits nitrogen molecules in half. The nitrogen immediately wants to bond with another atom and usually does so with oxygen, (this creates nitrates). With approximately 40 strikes per second all over the globe, (over 3 million strikes a day), a lot of nitrates are made so we have no worry of running out of this vital resource.
Dinner tonight from the garden, chicken casserole with chillis (both hot and decorative for colour), potato, swt potato leaves, eggplant, okra, parsley and some of the zuchinni with a bit of added garlic and Taro.
So glad I've tried growing Rhubarb. I've roasted some with sugar wrapped up in a little parcel and boiled some with sugar in a saucepan and find it tastes very different from the nasty bitter stuff that my mother used to dish up on a regular basis. Only two plants have survived but they are giving me enough stalk to eat once a week.
Growing here with them are corn, silverbeet, Brazilian Spinach and chives.
The new front garden has been very productive, providing me with silverbeet and herbs especially. The low chill Nectarine, White Satin, is growing very well. I've added some red Papaya plants from Bunnings....seeing as Joseph's donated ones have died on me again. Sorry Joseph :/
Two of the Tamarillos in the front yard just won't give up. This one has been cut right back twice now but still continues to put out new growth and provide me with lots of fruit. Some hail damage visible on the large leaves and fruit.
The two Pomegranates are growing very well but are yet to set any fruit. Had a few flowers last year, so hoping for something better this hot season. Pineapples still pineappling. Just have to be patient and wait for them to do their thing in their own time. Two years at least til fruit.
Tahitian Spinach or Celery Stemmed Taro, two common names for this Colocasia gigantea. I've eaten some of the stems from leaves that were damaged in the recent hail storm, cut up into 6cm lengths in a casserole. Really very nice - sweet and tender. Reminded me of asparagus.
Incredibly busy time of the year for my work (aged/disability respite) so very little time to spend in the garden. Found myself outside watering around 8pm last night as the corn, for one, is starting to look thirsty again. I don't like late afternoon or night watering plants as it encourages fungal problems but it's necessary sometimes as water is vital to a good crop.
Apart from that I'm getting a lot of produce from the garden and eating many of my own veg every night. Most of the veg lend themselves to roasting, including the zuchinni.
Flea Beetle damage to the leaves. I roll the little sods between my fingers each day, to try and stop the life cycle of laying eggs at the base of the plant to pupate in the soil and come out in droves to demolish the plant.
Almost into another new year. No rain for the last couple of weeks so back to watering every few days. Corn is not doing so great this season but I blame myself for not putting more effort into the bed. Not much compostable material (grass clippings and garden clippings) due to the dry so the material put into the bed was a bit woody.
The cuc seed sent by American Ray have proven very worthwhile growing. Here's just a part portion of the crop so far. Sweet and delicious...but I cannot find the name. The tag I placed beside the seed out in the bed has faded to a blank. The Suyo Long cucs on the other hand have not thrived (thriven. throved?)...didn't do well. There will be seed in there but just not worth saving.
Beautiful ginger - much loved by the Blue Banded Bee.
Buddha Belly Bamboo trying to make a comeback. I had plans to smother it with hot composting grass but my mower guy must have retired himself. The Tahitian Spinach (type of Taro) in the pot isn't doing as well as I hoped. Needs more water and shade. Will have to be moved eventually. The Babaco in the front pot is also looking a little yellow with curled leaves. Have dosed with magnesium.
Have today redone the middle bed with more corn seedlings in the hope of one more crop. The last crop wasn't big but the cobs were good, and they were very tasty. Cucumber seedlings replanted in the front Bed 3.
Lovely weather, cool and a bit overcast, but no good rain for a week. The soil is quite dry.
A good Dragonfruit harvest this year! I've eaten two already and there are lots more forming - 12 flowers on my side of the fence and many more on the neighbours side....going to waste :/
Fruit Fly caught in the act of trying to impregnate one of my Tamarillo fruit (middle fruit at the bottom). No doubt the hail damage is making it easier for this ultimate pest to do it's deed using the soft spots.
Warrigal Greens or NZ Spinach as my father calls it. Grows wild on the foreshore at Bribie. The cutting for this one was nicked from the foreshore Sandgate way while I was out walking one day. Schuh! Now it's growing so well I'll have to start using it a bit more in cooking. Spoiled for good fresh greens :D
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