Saturday, May 15, 2010
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, July 19, 2009
Middle of the week, we decided that we would move into our new property beginning of September rather than December. I am feeling excited about moving in earlier as I look forward to doing work in the new garden. At the same time, feeling a bit stressed with the impending packing to be done. Also, I will have to abandon the plants at the vege patch (daffodils, snow peas, oriental radishes and purple buk choy). They are growing fine but really really slowly due to the short sunshine now in winter. I know by the time we move, there wont be any harvest of any sort.
Snow pea seedlings at vege patch.
Purple buk choy seedling (above) and oriental radish seedling (below) at vege patch.
I have left my pot of common mint (recently trimmed) out in the open back garden with the other pots of plants and the next day I saw that they have been eaten up. By that same culprit again! Clueless again as to what has done it. Possum? Bat?
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
Possums are a huge problem for me as a gardener since I am renting a house next to a reserve with many tall trees and bushes. They are here every night and I can hear them moving on my roof. While they are cute creations, they are not very welcomed visitors for me. My spring onion seedings have all germinated under partial shade after sowing 16 days ago. Looking forward to spring onion omelette. I love the thin spring onions because they cook easier for omelettes.
My oriental radishes are growing rather slowly thanks to the gloomy weather and thus they have not been receiving much sunshine. I have them protected under plastic containers at night but I am already working on large proper covers for them once they develop more. Keeping my brain juice churning! In my previous batch of oriental radishes, they grew very fast and leafy but their leaves were practically eaten away by some mysterious bugs/creatures when I went holidaying in Tasmania. See their gorgeous leaves here. And when I returned 2.5 weeks later, it was like this.
The snow pea seedlings are getting me a bit concerned. They are growing well. It is just that they could be eaten up again. My whole purple king bean plant was eaten up without a trace. Now that the snow pea seedlings are still small, they are protected as I do with the oriental radishes and buk choy. But when they grow taller and bigger, I have to figure out a way to protect them at night. I cant camp out in the garden. Erecting a scarecrow is another idea but I think whoever visiting in the night is quite clever to see through my plot. I thought of using chicken wire to wrap around the growing pea plants but they prove not very flexible, and with the holes, the pea plants can still be destroyed. Then I thought of plastic sheets. Perhaps I can try that since they have no holes and are very flexible to go around the pea plants. Moreover, my pea plants are a mildew-resistant specie, so I need not worry about this problem with them all wrapped up at night.
The purple buk choys will suffer similar fate as the oriental radishes if not taken care of, so I will probably use covers for them once they grow bigger. They get pest problems such as caterpillars and aphids. I reckon pyrethrum sprays will have to be used on the leaves of the radishes and buk choy once aphids start coming.
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Yeah! The snow peas and oriental radishes have all germinated successfully at the vege patch. I had them all under protection using cut milk or fruit containers. Now that they have germinated, I daily open up the containers for them to get sunshine. The three snow peas in the pot are doing well too. With the pot in the greenhouse, I need not worry that they will be karate chopped overnight. Till they are well-established, I will figure out a way to protect them from pests.
Thursday, June 4, 2009
My calamondins are growing well in the pot. I recently fertilised with citrus fertiliser and was pleased to find tiny earthworms in the potting mix. The earthworms actually came from my vermicompost which I have harvested from my worm farm. I could not filter all the worms out especially the very tiny ones and had no choice but to put them in the pot together with the vermicompost. It was great to see that they actually survive and are living in the potting mix. So nowadays, besides feeding the worms in the farm, I also bury chopped banana peels in the calamondin pot to feed these little ones. I would have to purchase some mulch to shelther them since I have run out of it.
Calamondins growing larger. Hoping that no bugs will eat them up.
Found a horned leaf hopper on my cayenne pepper plus a tiny snail too. Some bugs have attacking my cayenne pepper but not the horned hopper since it is a sap sucker.
After more than the specified weeks, I decided to pull up my oriental radishes. Not too bad, had them for a dish...sweet and tender. Radishes are best when grown rapidly and I shant wait in case they become too 'mature' and fibrous. Anyway I do not think they are going to grow further since their leaves were all eaten by some bugs.
Saturday, April 25, 2009
Recent weather has been warm and then cold and then warm and then cold with scatter rains. Some mornings were wet and cold and followed by warm afternoons. I had to do a bit of work moving pots of more delicate herbs/plants into the mini green house and out into the sun and vice versa.
__________________The curry plant has been growing quite well but I was surprised that it has invited unwanted guests such as tiny caterpillars. There were also clusters of webby tiny black eggs mainly towards the ends of stems where the shoots are. Most of the stems which are strong and healthy but exposed to air did not have these webby eggs. The eggs were found in areas where the stems were very congested and hidden. I had to snip off several stems as a result. Guess I learnt a lesson : prune the plant on a regular basis to allow better air flow between the stems.
__________________My pot of mint which was potted on last Friday has got powdery mildew. I think placing it in the green house with all the condensation has caused this. I removed several leaves and sprayed a few infected areas with Mancozeb Plus. And quarantined the pot in another area of the garden. Will have to do a re-spray after 10 days. I have successfully gotten rid of powdery mildew on two other pots of mint but not the vine which was growing under the shelther. The condition was so bad that the vine is already succumbing to its invader. The common mint which was potted on last Friday.
White powdery mildew on its stem.
The grape vine is almost dead due to powdery mildew.
Powdery mildew patches on one of its leaves.
The oriental radishes are looking stronger and bigger. Hoping to harvest some crunchy yummy roots soon.
The purple king bean plant has leaves that are turning yellow. I am assuming that it is due to the colder weather coming as it does not survive winter. This bean plant is really running behind time due to the heat wave in summer. It has put out a lot of beans and I am going to let some of them stay on the vine to mature for seed collection.
Thursday, April 16, 2009
We were away on Philip Island for our church's Australia-wide Oceania Convention during the Easter holidays. It was a refreshing time, though there were moments I missed my garden and wondered if the two dogs had destroyed it.
______________________________Fortunately, they did not. And thank God I had discovered the caterpillar eggs under the radish leaves just one day before I left and was able to take measures. Or I would have come back to be heart-broken. The pot of nasturtiums showed great growth after dressing with vermicompost from my worms. And it was peace of mind for me now that they are under the safety of the net. The whole of nasturtiums can be used in salads and I can see why they are easy prey of caterpillars.
The three oriental radish seeds I have sown on 9 April to replace the three uprooted have germinated when I returned on 13 April. Very fast!
My cayenne peppers are fat and long! Wondering if I should harvest them for pickled green chillies.
The tiny calamondin limes are growing steadily. Haha at times they looked like they are going to drop off.
Congratulations to me! The chilli padi seeds have finally germinated and so many are sprouting. They did take a long time to do so, observing only two on 2 April and now about eight on 16 April.
The pot of mint which I have propagated from the original black pot from Kmart has been planted at the vege patch. I have treated it for mildew twice and hope it will do well. So far so good!
Also sown on 9 April to replace the three which were uprooted due to caterpillar attacks. Will thin them once they are bigger.
One of the three existing oriental radishes. Note the little weeds around. Have to do weeding regularly.
Three out of four sweet pea seedlings. As soon as they are big enough, I have to train them around the sunflower stalks behind.
My two wonderful capsicum plants are producing three or four capsicums. Again, great peace of mind with them caged from possible possums' burglary.
The capsicum plant in the pot is not losing the race either, producing three fruits. Somehow the fruits are not as big and do not have a regular shape as those in the vege patch.
Signs of life after the re-potting. Aloe vera seems to grow rather slow in this weather but steadily producing new pups. It has been the mini greenhouse most times to keep it warm.
Vermicompost from my worms works wonder! My curry plant looks very healthy and flourishing after the castings were added.
Same goes for my thyme! Even the stems look thicker.
My divided lemon grass in two pots did not look too good after I potted on last week. Perhaps scorched by the sun while I was away. I have since fed another round of seasol. Not sure of its fate.
The original pot which I bought from Flower Power.
The potted on mint is growing gloriously - potted on successfully! Large leaves and strong. Now I truly believe in Premium potting mixes as Kevin Hendreck mentioned in his book 'Gardening Down-under' - the best gardening book I have ever read so far. It is certainly better to start plants with a good potting mix.
One of the two smaller pots which I have to pot on soon. I have given away the other small pot to my life group mate for her dish.
This is the pot of common mint which I bought from Kmart for $2.50 and since then, I have propagated 5 pots of mints from it. Quite a sense of achievement to me, having failed once from the pot I bought from Ikea when I started out gardening.
Easter Sunday is not about Easter Bunny or Easter Eggs. It is about Jesus Christ rising from the dead and conquering death so that we are free to connect with God.
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