Showing posts with label Mighty Red tomato. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Mighty Red tomato. Show all posts

Monday, March 30, 2009

Really Is An Avocado Plant!

I cleared up the mighty red tomato bush this morning. With only two tiny fruits on it (some looted by possums, some eaten by my dogs), it's not worth keeping it. I have been rather curious with a plant growing in the midst of the tomato bush and after cutting the bush down, I was able to dig a little to check if this was an avocado plant. Right instinct! It certainly was. I think I must have buried one last winter or spring with all the vege scraps from the kitchen. It is already 15cm tall. The large seed was still in the soil. I know avocado trees take donkey years to grow and fruit, say at least 10 years. And I will be fortunate if it ever fruit! So I have shelfed the idea of growing avocados after doing some research and reading forums on it. However, recently I read something by Jackie French, who says an avocado tree can be trained to be in a large pot in-house, where it serves as an ornamental tree due to its beautiful green glossy leaves and expensive look. That is quite tempting, though I always wanted useful trees that produce edible fruits. Pots and pots...Notice the fly screen barricading the vege patch behind the pots? I had resorted to that because recently Marco has decided to venture into the patch due to boredom. Upset is an understatement. He uprooted one of my flowering capsicum, snipped some tomato branches off, knocked over the laundry hamper covering the fruiting capsicum and stomped on my oriental radish seedlings. I only managed to salvage my seedlings. It was a distressing moment given I have put in so much effort.
The avocado plant with seed still in tact. The tomato bush cut down, the avocado plant growing just close by.
Seedlings of oriental radishes growing fine, saved by me after being stomped down by Marco.
My little experiment of growing avocado from seed here on the window ledge. Been waiting for a long time.
Vietnamese Mint roots super fast, within a few days of standing in water.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Two New Kids on the Block!

Today was a cold day, with light showers in the afternoon. I brought Samuel to a large nursery in the afternoon when the sun came out and rain went away. Bought two coveted citrus : comquat calamondin on the right (calamondins C madurensis or calamansi)) and kaffir lime on the left. Comquat calamondin limes can be used for flavoring chilli pastes, giving them extra punch. I love its juice in belacan chilli pastes and that goes well with many types of seafood especially squids and cockles. Yum! After migrating here, I have learned to cook more Cambodian and Thai dishes, since their ingredients such as thai basil, vietnamese mints and kaffir lime leaves are so accessible. It is a good idea to invest in a kaffir lime shrub - its leaves are so aromatic when rubbed with fingers. They are wonderful in Tom Yam soups and work well with lemon grass.
The first capsicum has popped from the first flower. Really wonder how big it can grow to but I am faithful in feeding it with seasol. Perhaps I should mulch with cow manure as well.
The cayenne pepper is having many flowers like I have said in my last entry. I had to prune it so that existing fruits can develop to maturity. Look at the several chillies at this low level. They are growing from shoots that grew from the main stem.
I am a little puzzled as to why so many of the white flowers are dropping off before shrivelling. Perhaps the recent cold weather has caused this. Anyway, I have lots chillies coming so I do not mind losing these. Hopefully it is not some nutrient lack.
The two vietnamese mints are growing ferociously, greener than ever. I will harvest soon for our ladies fellowship where we will be making vietnamese rolls!
My Mighty Red is nearing its end. Some parts have shrivelled up but there are some new shoots though. Weather is getting too cold for it and soon it will be good bye. The one tomato which I have left on the bush to ripen and collect seeds had been eaten up by naughty Smokey, who jumped onto the patch.

Friday, March 13, 2009

A Few New Candidates and Update

Citronella geranium (mosquito plant) which I bought
The aloe vera (above) which I have bought and potted on.
A soak with aquasol helps with providing growing nutrients for this pot of thyme (above) which is turning rather woody.
The capsicum flower (above) has opened...the strongest one on the vege patch.
Another flower (above) of the purple king.
Wow! This purple bean pod (above) was only 2cm a few days back and I was expecting to see that yesterday but was pleasantly surprised by how long it has grown!
More flowers are going to open. For this year, I am contend just to collect some seeds for next spring. The heatwave has stolen at least a week's growing time from this purple king. It is a race against time now.
Peaches are growing fine except that birds are chewing off on some. Of course, those attacked cannot be eaten and I gave them to my dog.
The mixed basil (above) are doing fine. I have not used any for cooking. There is only one thai basil in this pot and not enough for cooking use. I wouldnt mind seeing flowers and collect seeds.
I am leaving this tomato to fully ripen and see if I can get any seeds for next spring.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Botanic Gardens, Potting On

Autumn has arrived. This week has been quite cool, some days a little too cold for my comfort. I wish I had many waterproof cloches of various sizes to house some of the plants that love warm sunshine. Yesterday, our family had a wonderful time at the Royal Melbourne Botanic Gardens, before taking our little one to his surprise Motor Show. Weather was marvellous - warm sunshine and not too windy. I also visited the Herb Garden with Samuel while Hubby lay on his picnic mat doing nothing. Here are a few pictures which I have taken :
Thai basil flowering. Thyme
Common basil
Evening gardening work : The curry plant has overcrowded its little pot and I have potted it on using a 30cm pot. I used premium potting mix + 1 spade coarse sand + 5g slow release fertiliser all mixed in. After potting, I watered the pot thoroughly to give it a good soak of seasol.
Tip : Water soil where existing plant is in, thoroughly at least 2 hours, before potting on or re-potting, to soften the soil so that the plant is easily removed from its pot.
Curry plant after potting on.
I bought a netting which covers part of the peach tree. Fruits are getting larger but at a snail pace. I did not get to eat a single pear on the tree...all eaten by birds but do hope to taste the peaches.
The vietnamese mints in the 30cm pot which grew from two cuttings ( have becoming trailing and spilling over the edge of the pot. Recently their leaves did not look as green and healthy. I left the pot without watering for a while, fearing that I have waterlogged the potting mix. Their leaves were not as limp after several days. Today I decided to turn it out of its pot to check after deliberately watering the mix.
Growth spilling over the edge (above).
The roots are not potbound yet I think, but there are a lot of roots at the base (above). So, I potted it on into a 40cm pot, just with normal potting mix and 20g of slow release fertiliser. Also trimmed off the roots right at the base. Watered the mix to moisten it and I shall add some seasol tomorrow.
This tomato sucker (below) which I had rooted from the parent Mighty Red tomato is sprouting new growth in the vege patch. Of course it is really a little late experimenting this as it is already beginning of autumn. I am really trying to compare growth in either soil or potting mixes (in pots). So far two similar suckers which were potted into potting mixes did not grow. I am still trying to work out the reason.
The vietnamese mint cutting which I have planted in the vege patch is also showing new growth.
Buk choy is growing fine except that white butterflies love to lay eggs on it. Probably a wonderful food for its caterpillars.
Look at how the caterpillars have munched away edges below. I have to check this pot every day :

Saturday, February 14, 2009

A Smoky Day...Some Work and Some Harvest...

Today is a smoky day due to the bush fires in some parts of Victoria which left hundreds dead. This morning as I opened the door to the backyard I could smell smoke and I was astonished for a moment, wondering if the reserve behind us was on fire! I told Hubby and he said today would be a smoky day. The tomato sucker which rooted in water and planted into a potting mix with coir fibre, cow manure and seasol as below has been out in the sun. Hope this one takes off and show me some growth as the previous one was stunted due to reasons which I do not know of. Well, I doubt I have much time to see any fruiting anyway since it is already mid Feb/late summer. Gardening is pretty much experimental for me at this stage but I would like to ensure the plants do grow well. Thyme was harvested again today and this is how it looks like thereafter :
The rooted vietnamese mint cuttings were in their green planter. Could there be any other herbs that is as easy to grow as this? They just thrive with nothing much except sun and lots of water and an occasional amount of seasol :
The red skin potato plant is growing well in the pot from a tiny bud :
As I was watering all my herbs, I found a broken vietnamese mint stem in the pot. Not sure how it broke but it was all soft and limp. I quickly put it in a container of water and it was absorbing water so well. Now it is turgid again. I know I need not wait very long before roots appear and it can be planted into the green planter with the other two.
This is how the buk choy look like a few days after harvesting. New leaves are growing already. Buk choy is a cut and come again vegetable. Great to have!
This is the harvest for my kitchen - some tomatoes to ripen as usual and a bunch of fresh buk choy. Also harvested a bunch of thyme, a few sprigs of rosemary and 5 cayenne pepper.
Over these few days, I was pleasantly surprised to see little shoots coming out of the sun-fried purple king bean plant. I thought it was a gone case. Fortunately for it, I hadnt pulled it out of the ground. It seems to be resurreting with new green growth of shoots. Here's a peek at it before the heat wave, after and now :
I do hope it will grow again even though its older leaves were toasted by the scorching heat and have turned as crispy as potato chips.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Damage in the Heat Wave.

This week's weather is going to be really cool, hovering around 20 deg cel only! Last Saturday, we just had the heat wave that went up to 46! It was horrendous and I was shuffling around doing damage control like an ant on hot bricks. It was certainly hot and scorching early in the morning. This was what I did : 1. Moving my pots of herbs to the side of the house. 2.Shading as many vegetables I could with 4 umbrellas (that's all I had and I am going to buy more cheap ones!) 3. Watering all of them including the lemon and peach trees to give them a good start in their fight against the sun. 4. Tying some to stakes so that they can resist the wind. The wind was so strong (45-50km/h). I resorted to using bricks to hold them to the ground over the vegetables. For those which I had no means of shading, one can imagine what happened. Here are some pics of those which cooked and almost cooked under the sun. All the sunflowers could not be shaded since they were so tall. All were exposed to the mercy of the scorching heat and strong wind. The petals and leaves were kind of burnt.
Some of the leaves of the tomato were scorched even though I tried covering the bush with black plastic sheets made from clean garbage bags, which was battered by the strong winds.
My lovely purple king before the heat wave. It actually survived the other week's heat wave reaching 43 deg for 3 days.
My purple king thereafter. I could not shade it properly due to the stake and it got fried.

Part of the melon plants were scorched as the umbrella was blown off. However, most survived and looked fine the next day. I am almost giving up hope on them as there were dozens of flowers but only two fruits so far. One actually turned yellow and dropped off. The other is left but I am not very hopeful it is going to develop further. The melon plants are just trailing everywhere and taking up the vege space.

"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