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.
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
Writing this to record yesterday's work while little man had his nap. This week has been really chilly and drizzly and the sunshine was intermittent. Day time temperature went as low as 14 deg celsius so I suppose night time temperature could drop even lower. This is my plants' first winter and I am trying to prepare myself as well as them for winter, mainly those that cannot take frost. I am not going to take any risk and lose any of them to the cold. Peekaboo! Cracking my head did some help. I make use of this laundry hamper to house my potted capsicum in the night. Draped a towel over it to cut out the cold and a layer of plastic as waterproofing in case it rains. This capsicum has done so tremendously well despite being uprooted from the vege patch and potted up. It is fruiting now, though later than the two at the vege patch. However, it is actually taller and stronger than the two at the vege patch.
The hamper was just right in size, and deters any possums too. I am contemplating lifting the other two capsicum plants from the vege patch when winter comes. That means they will be in pots. I am thinking of this because capsicums are actually perenial and if I can keep them out from the cold, they can be around for a long time.
My pots of common mint, vietnamese mint and aloe vera are housed in the mini greenhouse at night as they are more sensitive to the cold.
I potted up the kaffir lime shrub with a mixture of premium potting mix, regular potting mix and cow manure. Given it a good soak of seasol.
The tall single stem of the kaffir lime had many leaves on it. I wonder if it is going to grow taller and taller into the sky, so I decided to cut it off and use it to do my experiment and see if I can root it. Anyway, no harm doing it. I just stored the leaves from the stem in the freezer for cooking purpose.
Vietnamese mint does not take the cold and the pot is so heavy to move! So a plastic sheet over them supported by bamboo stems and pegs is fantastic way to keep the cold out.
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