Evil neglect

My garden has turned into a jungle. I've hardly even cleaned it up since we got back from holidays. There is hideous flowering grass! Arg. We chopped the flower heads off, but it's all coming back already. I really need to get our hard edges sorted out and put some proper turf in - I know I keep saying that...

Our pumpkins are dropping all their fruit again. Sigh. I'll try more calcium again I guess, and I had better check the pH.The climbing beans finally died, so there's not much in the garden except 40 million sweet potato, jerusalem artichoke coming on and lots of cucurbits which are actually failing to produce.

Jerusalem artichoke flowersA few parsnip managed to make it through (I realised I'd pulled a few lots of germinated seedlings out! lol), there are a couple of bok choy, the capsicum is still fruiting although it is being hammered by the fruit fly (I can't be bothered bagging them - i should probably pull it out so I'm not growing fruit fly), the horseradish seems to have enoyed the hot weather (I haven't pulled it up yet so i don't know how it's going really) as it's spreading from underground rhizomes. I had been warned that you can't be rid of it once it gets going. I figure I don't mind (famous last words).

There are various onion family things still in - garlic, red onions and brown onions, bunching onions, some leeks (although they got crowded out by marigolds and have gone to seed). I think i've lost my chives and rhubarb to overcrowding from the cucurbits, but the asparagus seem to be bravely poking through.I still have miserable nematode affected celery which I really should have pulled out months ago!! I shall have to get the molasses out. There is still a remnant swede and a hopelessly confused cauliflower!

Perennial basil is flowering nicely, as is sweet basil which survived the summer.Some tiny beetroots and carrots are still in but will be very woody and horrible. Hardly any corn survived and it's water starved and tiny despite all of the rain, but the peanuts seem to have done well - we shall see when we pull them up. The yacon doesn't like lack of regular water and being crowded out, obviously, but the bamboo has done well over summer.

The chooks survived well thanks to a friend who comes by when we're away. I lost some ornamentals to overcrowding as well - lamb's ears and Ajuga were both killed by the mexican marigolds, who have had a lovely time.The girls got a giant trampoline for christmas which is awkward because there's nowhere much to put it - so we've had to reconfigure some of the paths and kill half of a flower bed. It works OK - although it's harder to dump stuff in the pawpaw banana circle now.

The cassava has grown nicely in the heat, we lost some pineapples and others came on well, and the turmeric has shot well despite how much i harvested last year. I think I lost the galangal though.

I have lots of passionfruit and eggs for pavlovas again, and the lemongrass has gone crazy so now I can use it for a chop-and-drop mulch/ bedding for the chickens.The pigeon pea came back beautifully after my savage coppicing, and the sweet potatoes driveway is way too insane - we can eat sweet potatoes every day for 3 months I would guess.

Sweet potato driveway

Nevertheless, to get us through I am buying vegies from food connect again - I need to plant some more stuff up. I'll put a few things in now (bad sort of time for most of it) and then do a big renewal planting in mid March. There's still enough for a stir fry (nothing much in the way of salad though except mung bean sprouts), but the girls are fussy about too many greens - I need to get more actual vegies in before they'll eat it with pleasure - so I'll stick with the vegie box for a month or so probably.
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  • I think it lasts for a few weeks if kept somewhere cool and dark once harvested, but you're better off having a living larder and keeping them in the ground. They rot like potatoes. They'd keep for ages in the fridge. You can't freeze them. I think we'll be able to harvest this patch for quite some time (maybe months) - and any that are left behind will sprout again (probably around September), although it's good not to grow them in the same spot for too long. Nevertheless I'm going to try because they fit so well there and seem to like it. So I'm just going to top-dress the patch (after it all dies back), probably with blood and bone and dynamic lifter I think, and see if the next crop is happy enough. I've seen designs with them used as perennials, so fingers crossed.
  • That sweet potato driveway was an inspiration! Can you store it... like pumpkins I mean? I have a few things coming on but will be having a drought (again) very soon as I haven't done the successive planting thing doh!
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