Showing posts with label tomato silvery fir. Show all posts
Showing posts with label tomato silvery fir. Show all posts

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

My Baby...and Vegetables Update.

Hello! It's been a long long time since I last posted. Life has been very busy with my new baby, and lots of changes along the way. We went for a holiday, moved house and then had our baby. Baby S (yes, another S) is already 15 weeks. He's such a joy and I am savouring every moment being a new mother once again.  Here is a picture of him :
I havent been doing a lot of gardening compared to before.  We moved house, so there is less to maintain but still, my garden of potted plants/veges/trees demand attention every now and then. I have been harvesting a good amount of green veges esp garlic chives. I am very excited to share that the gorgeous black seeds I have collected from my very first planting back in our old property, have grown into beautiful garlic chives successfully. I recalled busy bees working on the chive flowers back then and was wondering if I would get seeds. And yes I did! And yes, the seeds are of fantastic quality too! Here's the first new crop :
Another exciting thing to share. Thai basil! The last few plants I had (which I rooted from market cuttings) died down last winter and their seeds survived the cold winter and starting growing in the pot. So I am getting thai basil leaves now! I really love thai basil. Though I have been too busy to do any cooking (been catering food nowadays) and usethe leaves now, I am still excited. I plan to store these basil leaves in olive oil so if I need them, I can always have a stock of them! Here's some of them drying :
I also have some tomato silvery fir to harvest. They have all sprung from seeds blown into pots. A few grew in the pot of the Kaffir lime tree. I pulled up some and left two to grow. Had to net the plants as caterpillars attack them, those which burrow and make holes in unripe tomatoes, I cannot recall the names now.
 A while earlier, I also harvested green buk choy. Amazing they sprang up from seeds scattered by wind on my previous property. Smile....It's just wonderful to be able to harvest edibles without having to even plant them!!!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Mr Spotted Neck Has Found a Mate! Surprise Ginger Find.

Last week's weather became wintry. Finally we had a few days of intermittent downpours. The winds were strong at times and suddenly quietened down with sunshine breaking out of the clouds. Then everything started all over again.  Temperatures have been sometimes lower than 20 and sometimes a bit higher.

This week started really hot and windy. Temperatures up to 35 deg. Then it became cooler but still no sight of a much-needed rain.  My poor plants, I wonder how they cope with the ever-changing weather and temperatures. They must be a bit confused.

Our dear Mr Spotted Neck (wildlife) up on my neighbour's roof still looking for a mate. My hubby bought me a  digital SLR camera for my birthday so now, I can take sharper and better pictures.
My two silvery fir plants produced so many tomatoes. I actually have not finished the frozen ones from last season.

We now have a flight of sparrows visiting as well and so far they are the tamest birds we had. Mr Spotted Neck sometimes bullied them but when food is abundant, they can share a meal together.

To my surprise while tidying up the carrot foliage, I found a small ginger plant growing. I have planted some ginger slips last year but only one grew (the one in front). However, another slip survived the winter and it has sprouted. Wow, I am so inspired to try sweet potatos asap!
Five cucumber (burpless) vines this year hooray! A little crowded though. The leader vine is having a maturing cucumber plus 3-4 more growing!
More pak choy green thriving under the netting along with the tomato silvery fir.

Lots of green chillies on my chilli fire.

I am so proud to announce that Mr Spotted Neck has found a mate!!! My son and I actually felt sorry for him cooing every day for a mate and we, hehe...prayed for him.  Recently we noticed him courting a lady in our garden but kept getting rejected. These few days,  we saw both of them in the garden together. This morning we saw them feeding together! Finally! Congratulations! Bird-watching is really fun!

Saturday, December 31, 2011

First Week of the New Year and Summer Work-list

We have not had proper rain for more than a week since before Christmas Day.  Weather has been sunny especially these few days. 

1 January 2012 - Max 38 deg. Sunny and still.
2 January 2012 - Max 40 deg. Scorching heat, sunny and breezy-windy.
3 January 2012 - Max 35 deg. Cool morning, sunny and still day.
4 January 2012 - Max 24 deg. Sudden downpour early morning that lasted for less than 15 mins :(.
5 January 2012 - Max 23 deg. Sunny and cool.

This is our hottest start of the year in many years.  We will be expecting a very hot summer this year.

Work done -

Raking up olive and peach leaves.
Watering garden.
Catching white cabbage butterflies.
Caterpillar check on pak choy.
Stink bugs removal from tomato silvery fir.
Pruning vietnamese mint as they wilt easily in the hot weather.
Staking flowering and seeding coriander plants.
Pruning wisteria.
Pruning tomato plants.
Staking eggplants that are growing taller.
Moving black pots of ginger and thai basil into shade.

Harvesting -strawberries, sweet corns, tomato silver fir, stringless pioneer beans, water spinach/kang kong, pak choy, plums, peaches, white currants, green chilli fire,

Collecting - pak choy seeds, rocket seeds, coriander seeds.

Progress update - Sunflowers blooming, grapes still growing, Big Fig fruiting, Figgy's figs getting bigger, watermelon flowering, cucumber burpless' leading vine is 50cm tall and flowering, water chestnuts sending up new plants, more ginger shoots emerging from pots, pomegranates about pingpong ball size, lawn's greening and seeding and needs mowing.

The two pots of ginger are growing well.  Two new shoots are emerging.
One pot of lemongrass which I propagated. Hopefully with such a large tub of good potting mix, these stems will grow larger than those in the ground.

The second pot of lemongrass.
Galangal ginger still looking bad but I know they are alive.  I also notice a new shoot emerging.

Sunflower pollenless from Diggers' Club has bloomed. I did not expect these plants to be very big but they turned out to be very tall, about  1.2 metres.

I am not sure what it means to be pollenless as I do see bees visiting the sunflowers.

Our last yellow peach of the season is OURS! After sharing with beetles and possums, we had only about 10 to eat.

Everyday strawberries! 

Heaps of tomato silver fir and some sweet corns.

Took a picture of a crimson rosella (wildlife) in Emerald during our Friday outing to the Dandenongs.
I came upon this awesome tree (a type of conifer I think) and my son climbed it. I grew up climbing trees (not this big) and I think it is a wonderful experience. This amazing tree gives my boy much pleasure, he started at one end and went around the whole tree walking on its branches. In fact, soon after, two other older boys came and joined him. I love this picture but wish I had a better camera, which hubby wanted to buy me but I refused the offer.
I harvested lots of thai basil for a spicy chicken dish...My husband and son's favourite.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Cute Furry Possum Melts my Heart.

At about 230am last night, I heard noise on the roof so I decided to get onto the front of the house to have a check. When I shone my torch, I saw a bush tail possum (wildlife) scrambling across the lawn and up the fence behind the plum tree.  Immediately I got indoors and went to the back door. I shone my torch and found a pair of red eyes staring at me on the shed.  I turned off the torch and waited. It was dark and quiet. Then I heard a noise coming from the left.  Another possum is walking on the fence.  I shone my torch and it scrambled off.  That could be the mother? I turned off the torch and waited again. When I turned on the torch next, the possum was on the fence where my choko vine is. I was not scared this time (the first encounter was a bit scary as I did not know what to expect). The cat-sized furry creature looked at me and I at it. Almost immediately my heart melted.  It is so cute! I was actually talking to it in the middle of the morning!

It decided to get back onto the shed.  I could not see how it walked behind the grevillea and pomegranate trees as it was dark. I turned on my torch, went near the shed, stood on my garden chair and shone the torch at it. Oh it was on the shed's roof and it was very cute! Again, we looked at each other. It looks very docile and unfazed. Then it went onto my neighbour's fence.  I returned to my back door with light off.  A while later, I heard slight noise.  It came back to the fence where my choko vine is. Obviously, it has hoped to get some choko shoots. I shone the torch again. For the very first time, I saw how this agile creature walk on the fence. It can actually avoid jumping over the chicken wire mesh and my black netting by walking on the horizontal wooden bars supporting the fence which is on the same side of my neighbour's fence. 

I figure I can stop it from eating my plants completely by erecting a whole stretch of loose black netting.  It seems to walk on the thorny devils fine but I needed to have another good look to assess this.  Honestly, I am beginning to like this creature.  It obviously does not know those plants belong to me. It is just looking for a meal every night. It does not know that it is offending me by nibbling my plants.  It is just trying to survive. I reckon I can share some shoots every now and then.  Anyway, those stray shoots that go higher than the fence need to be pruned off.  So, why not let it do the pruning for me? At the same time, it can have a meal.  I just hope it will not come live in our roof!

This morning, I pyrethrum sprayed  both my peach trees just to deter the carpophilus beetles from invading the remaining few peaches .  I had already removed as many fungus-infected peaches and trimmed off as many branches to open up the big peach tree.  I think we will have about 10 or less peaches to enjoy this summer.  I managed to harvest a few, not fully ripened but already slightly fungus-affected and they still taste wonderful to my hubby and son. I noticed that one peach is missing from the tree.  When I looked around, I saw a clean peach stone under the olive tree.  And then I saw a peach on the lower part of the tree with a chunk bitten off.  Then the pictures pieced together.  The possum must be going for my peaches last night when I came out to the front garden. Oh well, one or two peaches for it is fine I guess. I just have to make sure it does not come for my corn or tomatoes or watermelons or beans. Gosh, I think I need a big cage to do gardening now...cage all my plants....

The strawberries and their flowers have been safe so far after netting them.

The strawberries and their flowers have been safe so far after netting them.

First cucumber vine is flowering but waiting for the other younger vines to catch up.

Yippee....a big bunch of Chinese/garlic chives!

Chives with squid.

Yummy silvery fir tomatoes ripening every day.

This mixed Basil is grown between my two tomato silvery fir.

Harvested tomatoes, pak choy and mixed Basil.

I have grilled tomatoes with basil and cheese every day.  Super juicy and sweet!

Sweet corns almost ready. It has thick layers of protective leaves so I hope the possums will spare them for us.

Sydney Crimson rhubard's growing big and strong.  Need to find a recipe soon.

I am very excited to find a carolina black rose grapevine growing on the front. I had used my grape prunings as stakes for my snowpea plants and one of the stakes decided to grow into a new plant.  There were two areas of leaves but I removed the lower set as I plan to experiment with this vine and turn it into a tree.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

December 2011 - Summer Update

17 December -

-Removed more plum tree branches to stop possum invasion.
-Netted grapevine.
-Repotted comquat calamondin.
-Harvested more pioneer green beans, strawberries, tomatoes, thai basil.
-Cucumber, kang kang (water spinach) & eggplant sped up in growth.
-Chilli fire fruits growing fast and chilli padi plants growing young chillies.
-Figgy has 20 figs growing!
-Corn almost ready for harvest.

21 December -

- Harvesting plums, tomatoes, thai basil, kaffir lime, lemongrass, pioneer beans

22 December -

- Sprayed grape vine with sodium bicarbonate+soap+oil+water.
- Installed thorny devil possum spikes.
Three watermelon Candy Red looking strong and healthy so far.
Diggers' Sunflower pollenless plants are larger than I have expected.
Diggers' Tomato silvery fir are ripening.

Figgy out of my dining window with lots of figs (brown turkey).
Another shot of Figgy from my dining area.

Finally I see pomegranates. Out of at least 30 flowers, I see 3 fruits.
Kang Kong (water spinach)

Hubby found an Aussie website selling possum deterents called thorny devils. They are rubbery spiky products which we can screw onto the top of our fence. I went down to the stockist (Pinewood Nursery) and bought some home. On the left side of my back garden fence, we screwed in some L-shaped thorny devils.
On the right side of my back garden fence (next to the shed where the possums came from), we installed some thorny devils and nails.
This is a picture of how one type looks like. It fits nicely onto a fence with wooden capping.  So far for the last three nights, we have not had the pests (possum mum and baby) visit our garden and eat our things.  I was very relieved my plans had worked but I was at the same time feeling like a villain.  Honestly, I am one big animal lover. I love possums too.  Moreover the ones which visited are a mummy and a baby. One night they came and I saw them up on the plum tree out of my son's window. I actually went out in my bathrobe shooting a jet of water onto them with a strong nozzle.  The baby tried to jump from the plum tree onto our roof but fell to the ground and scrambled up the fence and escaped.  Sigh...I want them to survive and find food but I just cannot have them eating up my things. I do hope they can find other things in nature to eat other than my fruit and vegetable crops.  My son asked me to feed them but I cannot afford to do so. I will encourage them to be dependent on us and even attract them to live in our roof! There are just too many good reasons not to have them around our property. I already have a dog, several fishes and the pigeons to feed and they are very harmless, but possums are just a bit risky to invite.
Harvested another lot of beans and tomatoes. The tomatoes are really juicy.

A dish of beans and minced pork.
Finally I bought a cheap vase from IKEA to display my hydrangeas on the dining table.

"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