Tackled Bed 2 yesterday very early before the heat got too bad - pulled out the remaining carrots (all very long and thin, slightly chewed at the top - snail?rat? but usable), and used the celery as green matter (never did grow big and thick but used quite a bit in casseroles). The toms can stay - they don't mind being buried under a bit of compost.
Now for the fun part of finding something to grow in it. Checking my seed I don't have much suitable for this time of the year - just some rocket and radish, so will probably buy some seedlings.
Bed 3 (left) with Lebanese and Chinese Snake cucs is going great guns. I spend a few minutes each morning encouraging the tendrils to climb the frame. Lots of fruit developing and I get one every couple of days for eating (Lebanese only so far).
Bed 1 is becoming productive already - the corn should be all pollinated, the cherry toms are starting to produce and the Fordhook Giant silverbeet is a delicious delight almost nightly for dinner. Have to pick off the caterpillars most mornings as they want to share it with me! The rockmelon in this bed is growing very well and producing lots of little yellow flowers. My experiences growing melons from seed has not been hugely successful, so hoping these bought seedlings give me a better result.
Below - the Ceylon Hill Goosberry bush is flowering :) Fruit would be wonderful. Such a pretty little bush and grows easily from cutting (I have a few more dotted around the garden this way).
Below - Fordhook Giant silverbeet. Don't know what it is about silverbeet but I can eat it until the cows come home with gusto :) This grows so fast I have plenty for dinner each night but must pick off the caterpillars daily to stop too much distruction.
Layers of green material (celery has had it's day), lucerne, minerals (dolomite, granite, basalt), Organic Xtra, molasses pelletised organic fertilser ex Brian Stepenson. All topped off with a thin layer of garden soil for planting seedlings/seeds in.
Two little bean plants from Jennifer happily doing their thing on the left and I did leave the Amish Paste tom plant as it's still producing some fruit.
Planted today in this bed: corn "Kelvedon Glory", spring onion "Toga", dwarf bean "Snap Bean". kohl rabi "Olivia" (Nathan gave me one of his recently and it was delicious roasted - never eaten these before), beetroot "Detroit 2" and "Burpees Golden", silverbeet "Fordhook Giant", lettuce mixed, parsnip "Hollow Crown", carrot "Purple Haze" and "All Year Round", salad rocket, climbing snake beans from Florence - brown and black seed (names unknown), climbing bean "Purple King",
A bit of rain has filled the tank and encouraged the seeds to do their thing. Corn has been cropped and it wasn't a bad haul. The "Sweetcorn" produced smaller plants and cobs, and "Gold'n'Pearls" a larger plant with larger cobs.
Below - All the dogs were keen to enjoy some of the crop with me - Hugo is "guarding" the haul, patiently waiting for me to share a cob with each of them.
Below - Gretel has managed to nab someones elses cob as well as her own. Note the "paw of possession" and guarded body language. Don't you dare try to take this off me!
Hugo is such a gentleman about his food, unlike the girls who are utter pigs.
Below - Kelvedon Glory seed from Bunnings doing well after two weeks. NOTE: This grew exceptionally well and strongly. Yet to develop cobs. Later...due to all the heavy rain during pollination the end crop wasn't as good as it should have been, but very tasty rich cobs all the same.
A week ago I bit the bullet and opened the hive which was full of maggots and small running flies, with only a handful of bees left. They appear to be Phorid flies and have completely decimated the hive.
Tim (Heard) thinks the hive may not have "re-queened" leaving it vulnerable. Hopefully it is covered by Tony (Goodrich) 12mth warrantly and will be replaced.
NOTE: Tim gave me contact info for Tony and he replaced the hive with a wonderful thriving one :)
02/01/12 Below - Lebanese on the left and Chinese Snake cuc on the right which is much more affected by mildew. I've sprayed with a milk mix twice now but it doesn't seem to have made much difference, if any.
Below - Purple Salvia
Below - Yet another hand pollinated pumpkin flower which will probably come to nothing like the others. NOTE: This has grown the biggest bettest pumpkin! :) but the only one that the huge vine produced. Eventually pulled the whole lot up and put it into one of the beds as green material.
Below - Pink Shatoot flowers. Plant is still only 1.5m tall. So far no fruit. NOTE: Seems very prone to scale - watch for ant activity. 07.04.12 This plant is a total dud as far as fruit production is concerned. Will probably be removing it. Really need just a good black mulberry plant.
Below - my first ever Beetroot - "Burpees Gold" and "Detroit 2". In spite of seed being well spread around they are all coming up in a couple of dense areas. Possibly due to the rain washing the seed around I would guess. NOTE: These were pretty much decimated by caterpillars and didn't like the heat. End product was a few very small beetroot that ended up in a stew.
Below - Red bi-sexual Pawpaw also fully recovered from winter and flowering. Yet to get any fruit from this young tree. NOTE: Daleys forum and BLF have pretty much decided this is purely a male plant. If it pollinates my yellow females they will produce yellow fruit but the seed has the potential to grow both. This plant dropped all it's leaves during the weeks of heavy rain. Useless AND touchy! 07.04.12 This plant eventually fell over and has gone into the compost pile.
19/01/12 Below - Second melon fell off by itself in spite of me checking the stem each day. Vermin-chew again and I found a fruit fly laying in one of the wounds. Mostly ruined, but the bit I ate was delicious.
Need to try growing more of this next summer. Hoping it will continue to re-crop as the winter parent plants did. Some issues with caterpillars but picked them off daily. NOTE: Got very little crop from these plants. The last tiny heads were on the chewy side. This one was quite nice though. No good for summer growing.
We've had a great deal of rain the past few weeks. Some plants thrived with this, some didn't. The red Pawpaw is almost dead - no real loss as it's male only. Caterpillars are rampant and have completely ruined the young silverbeet and decimated the Broccoli which is still slowly producing a tiny crop - nothing like the winter crop.
Tamarillos are coming into their own, loving the rain. The one growing near the watertank turns out to be a yellow (bought from Cab. Mkts. for $1!) are they are definately just that bit yummier than the red. Ready to eat straight off the tree. NOTE: Check out Elisabeths recipes for cooking these for dessert after blanching and removing the skins. 07.04.12 Turns out I don't like them cooked :( much nicer as they come raw.
The Aerial Yam and Yakon definately loved the rain and have all put on growth spurts. NOTE: 07.04.12 These vines have almost reached the top of the melaleuca - watching and waiting for some aerial tubers so I can give them a go.
The Bush beans are now providing enough for me each day. The Snake Beans have been slow to produce anything - the bean pods look so much like stalk I often don't see them until they're well grown. NOTE: All the bush beans cropped at once - blanched and frozen. The snake beans are producing a few fruit - some are over 60cms long! All very tasty.
Listada di Gandia producing yet again. I have fertilised this as it just keeps on giving crop - still a few split though - thought this was due to the dry, but happened during the rain as well. NOTE: Don't let them get too big on the bush. Best around 6"/15cm long.
16/18 spotted lady bugs are rampant - I've given up squashing them and now just flick them off which seems to serve the same purpose and makes me feel better not killing them.
Carrot seed sprinkled over the bed just before the rain came but mustard green, grass and amaranth coming up rampantly amongst them.
Bed 2 is a sad mess - the rain has washed away all the corn pollen just as the silks appeared NOTE: Crop wasn't as bad as I expected - not fully pollinated cobs but enough and tasty (see pic below); carrots a very sorry result with the heat; caterpillars decimating the beetroot, rocket and completely ruining the young silverbeet to the point of skeletising it despite picking them off daily.
I did get some tiny potatoes - enough for one dinner.
The Snake Beans have shown good growth but little inclination to produce much fruit. They surprise me though - the fruit look so much like stem they have sometimes gone beyond cropping before I see them there. Have collected some pretty speckled pods with jet black seed to grow next time.
Stupid rampant pumpkin vine still trying to take over the back yard and refusing to allow me to fertilise any more flowers. Did produce one giant pumpkin though. Surprising how quickly it grew from fertilisation.
The Lychee behind it has rust again and needs to have this all cut off.
The bat ate what little Wampi crop I had again. Too high to reach. Will have to get Michael out to trim them back when I finally have some income again!
Surprise! Reasonably useable crop from the plants which had their pollen washed out by the torrential rain. Some caterpillar damage, but not much. Some of the plants did not produce even one cob. Too closely planted? I hadn't expected so many of the seeds to germinate and had put two per hole.
I've bought some interesting seed from America, Baker Creek Heirloom Seed.
Melacoton Cassabanana (Sicana odorifera),
Huckleberry (Solanum melanocerasum),
Purple Sprouting Broccoli (Brassica oleracea),
Rapini (Brassica rapa),
Carrot Amarillo (Daucus carota) - yellow
Cardoon Rouge D'alger (Cynara cardunculus),
Carrot Muscade (Daucus carota),
Huckleberry (Solanum melanocerasum),
Tomatillo purple (Physalis ixocarpa),
Strawberry Spinach/Garden Berry (Chenopodium capitatum),
Rutabaga laurentian (Brassica napus)
Found a huge amount of beetle damage to the fig this morning. Just the day before it was happy and pristine and developing quite a few small fruit. Most of these seem to be ruined as well.
Killed them all with flyspray. NOTE: 07.04.12 These beetles did reoccur - I killed the next lot the same way. Having a lot of trouble with what I think are Cucumber Beetle eating all the leaves on my Chinese Gooseberry. Killed these also.
Adults and larvae feed on the young foliage of introduced Chinese Elm trees (Celtis sinensis), a pest tree species in Brisbane. The larvae are black and caterpillar-like. This species is native to central coastal Queensland where it feeds on the native tree, Celtis paniculata.
Recently the beetle has expanded its range further south and is now common in Brisbane.
Length about 10 mm. The oval-shaped, convex body is dull brown with a black underside.
Snake beans are starting to produce after taking their time to grow some length. Some are so long that one bean is enough for dinner! NOTE: 07.04.12 I never did record the names of the climbing beans planted this season in the blog. Naughty naughty! Labels near the plants fade out or get hidden by vegetation - not a reliable way to remember. Luckily the long beans have a longer, pale coloured seed to differentiate from the other black seeded one.
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