Thursday, May 20, 2010

Preparing For Winter.

Finally, more work done to prepare for winter. Had a fulfilling early afteroon neatening things up too. I put some pots which contain plants that are able to stand the cold. The peach (pixzee), two fig (brown turkey) and two pak choys. I also redid the netting over my fig tree against birds.
On this side, I have those pots that contain cold-sensitive plants - chilli padi, sweet potato cuttings, thai basil, hot chilli, capsicum, calamondin comquat. I had driven tall stakes into the ground and wrap plastic around. Needed to buy fleece fabric to cover over them.
Here's how it looks like from the front. I have to buy more plastic to cover this side too.
My Patches A & B. The cucumber (burpless) vines have been cleared. I may still have two bitter melons to harvest if they survive any frost. I have used newspaper to wrap around the melons but not sure if it will work. Can't wait to rip the purple king bean plants and bitter melon vine off.
Patch C's still having the Nellie Kelly strawberry plants, kaffir lim, eggplant supreme and lemon grass. One more eggplant growing.
All of my beautiful propagated strawberry delight are in the greenhouse (wo the housing but with netting).
The trellis from the cucumber vines have been moved to support new growths of the passionfruit panama gold.
I pulled up this thai basil from a friend's place (as he has relocated) and replanted it here in Patch F. Not too sure if it will survive but so far so good after four days in the soil.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Strawberry Delight, Fig (Brown Turkey), Chilli Padi, Sweet Potato

Still enjoying new strawberries in the making.....
I finally harvested one edible fig(brown turkey). Some bird has actually pecked a hole in it. I had wanted to harvest it yesterday but put it off thinking it could be riper and more succulent today (with a thought that a bird might find its way first). Yes, it was not very big but quite nice :
The last four of my bitter melons have succumbed to frost bites on a very cold Sunday morning and I had to pluck and throw them out :
A handful of chilli padis :
Another harvest of sweet potatoes for dessert with ginger :

Monday, May 17, 2010

Lemon grass - Cymbopogon citratus

I have a total of 5 tufts of lemongrass growing in my garden. So far they are doing very well. They grow to become this big tuft of grass-looking bush. They are certainly better than grass because they can be eaten. I have not harvested any yet as the stems are still thin. I surely cannot imagine how they will look like when their stems become as thick as those in the markets. This is the first tuft (at Patch C) and their stems are getting thicker : And this is the second tuft in Patch E :
And three tufts side by side on the front garden :
I hope they can survive the winter as this is my first time having them since spring. Yesterday morning I had to pluck all four of my last bitter melons and throw them out as they were frost-bitten. I did not expect the frost in autumn. Will have to protect delicate tropical fruits the next season.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Snapshots of my Garden Babies.

It's been quite a while since I spent some good time doing gardening. Our family had spent some time grieving the loss of our second baby because we had a miscarriage. We were thankful that it happened early pregnancy but still we were sad. And thankfully it is autumn and most work had been done. I spent little bits of time doing harvesting instead. The garden does need some tidying up and today I did just that as the weather was warmer. The chilli padi plants are doing well and the chillies are steadily ripening. My mum, who is here for holiday, has been the sole customer of my chillies. :) The three cyclamens which I have planted last year are coming back well. I cannot wait for them to flower and bloom :
And amazingly, they have sent out bulbs somewhere else and new cyclamen plants are sprouting up 1 metre away :
My calamondin comquat tree in its pot is doing great too, producing many bunches of fruits. Hoping to make belacan chilli out of them :
I have propagated some cuttings of sweet potato, hoping they can last through winter and be replanted next spring. Here is one successful one :
These few oriental radishes are doing fine under neglect at Patch A:
Recently I picked one brown turkey fig off this tree and it was a bit fleshy and pink. It was quite large. Here is another one waiting to be picked. This tree has produced a dozen of figs but so far only two are a little edible, the rest were dry and yucky :
My Flemings' brown turkey has several small figs. Hoping that they will be better in quality. So interesting to have figs in pots! :
Here's a tuft of chives which I bought and planted where the passionfruit panama is :
And here's the beautiful passionfruit panama gold. It has sent out so many new growth despite me pruning it again and again, cos I really dont know where to encourage it to head. I did not want it to climb up the shed's roof or in summer, it will be cooked :
Strawberry delight...dangling strawberries... :
I have this plant growing in the calamondin comquat pot. It looks like a marigold :
Today, I finally did some work to protect my chilli fire with plastic in preparation for winter. I hope it can survive the winter. This plant has given me loads of green chillies for pickling :
I transplanted the five snow pea seedlings out on the front where the sunflowers used to be. They are doing well :
A friend, Li, passed me some mustard and I planted them in the frontyard. I have not found out much about this vegetable but will soon :
Another friend, Eliada, gave me two pots of chives. They are looking the same after two weeks in the ground.
Today, I pulled up all the lucerne growing in this patch F. I am intending to use it for vegetables? Still thinking. Added some black gold compost to it. Notice one leading branch of my carolina black rose is missing? It was up the pongola ceiling but when I returned from Lakes Entrance, it was found broken. Not sure if the wind or Marco was the culprit. Anyway, I had to cut it down completely and now there is only one leading branch left.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Bitter Melon, Chilli Fire Harvests.

Another pride and joy this season, besides my cucumbers, eggplant, lemongrass, strawberries, chillies, sweet potatoes, is my bittermelon. Several of them harvested and several to come. What a sense of satisfaction! One bittermelon for dinner at my friend's house. Her mum commented that it was very pretty.
Loads of green chillies harvested for pickled chillies. And two melons.
These are my mum's hand harvesting the green chillies.
Yet another bowl of harvest.
I have made four jars of pickled green chillies which we take out for dinners at restaurants.
Another bittermelon and a bunch of purple king beans.
More to come.
More more more....

Strawberry Delight

My pride and strawberry plants!!! Even the tradesman who came the other day commented that my strawberry plants were gorgeous and wondered how I grew them so well. His are dying.
These few are the fruit of one baby plant which I have propagated successfully. I did not even notice the huge strawberries dangling from the pot until they were this big and red.
Many smaller ones which I had picked.
Such dainty little flowers.
Strawberries dangling out of the planter where my two baby strawberry plants were growing.
I think growing strawberries have bought my heart over. They do not take lots of space, are easy to grow, produce yummy strawberries and truly are an extremely pretty sight. I was never a strawberry lover but now I am really in love. :)
"All that mankind needs for good health and healing is provided by God in nature...the challenge of Science is to find it." - Paracelcus, the father of Pharmcology, 1493 - 1541