Showing posts with label caterpillars. Show all posts
Showing posts with label caterpillars. Show all posts

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 :

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Two Baby Melons! Buk Choy Attack!

An extremely gusty morning....50km/h. Weather forecast to rain but it does not look like it is. Anyway hoping that the winds will settle down as most of my plants are bowing under its power. I had to tie the potato plant in the vege patch to a new stake and attach more strings to a few of the tomato stems to stakes. I had added some blood and bone to feed the tomato bush and melons last evening and this morning discovered that one of the dogs had gone over the fence and dug around it. :( As I was replacing soil around the melons, I saw that two of them have produced a fruit each. It could be either rockmelon or honeydew. I am very pleasantly surprised. As I have stated in one previous entry, I am happy enough to see them germinate and flower as this is my first attempt growing melons. If I were able to harvest some fruits, that would be lovely. But just to reach this fruiting stage is a blessing. :) Thanks bees!!! Here are the pics :
The pak choy are not doing too well and I have been spotting holes in their leaves. I also fed them some blood and bone last evening by digging at the sides and burying thereafter. This morning, some strange-looking flies were on their leaves and soil. Are they the culprits? Or did the blood and bone attract them? Several sprays of pyrethrum preparation killed them. Well, I wish I need not use sprays. After 'consulting' my friend who gave me the pak choy seeds, I came back and opened up the centre of the vegetable. To my horror, she was right. There were two dead caterpillars (likely due to the spray) in the midst and one in the soil, still alive. They were very tiny light green caterpillars. I have never noticed them! They were the most probable culprits for the holes in the leaves. It is highly possible that the flies (which are not houseflies) have laid eggs on the pak choy or in the surrounding soil.
This pot below is always my pride and joy. The two vietnamese mints are producing so many new leaves. Looks like I have better do some vietnamese rolls soon. :) Not many things thrive in pots but I am left with not many choices since I am on a rented property and am going to move to a new home soon. The potatoes in the pots have paler leaves than the one in the soil. Eversince I potted the oregano from the ground, its leaves are also paler. Those grown in the ground almost 100% out-do those in pots such as the lemon balm. I have to accept this fact and was rather prepared mentally for this outcome. However, I would love to study the reasons for this. Why do plants do so much better in the ground than in pots? Are they so clever they know they have limited space even when they are still tiny? I guess it is very important to make thorough research on what do well in pots and what do well in soil. And also on how to improve pot soil so that my plants can do well equally in them. Looks like some homework for me to do.
This is a picture of my vege patch and potted plants. I think I have never taken a picture of the whole area :
Temperatures set to be a high of 34 deg celcius again. Rain or scorching heat? Strong winds whole day? At 5pm, the sky turned gloomy and looked like some storm is seriously coming. I used new and clear half-cut plastic bags to wrap up some of the larger tomato bunches since I have read that rains do cause them to crack. Tying an umbrella over the bush is out of the question as the wind is really powerful. Pails ready to collect some rain. Any?
"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