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.
Thursday, February 5, 2009
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.
My little gardener with Marco and Smokey.
My Can-o-worm farm parked in the garage is doing well. This a peek at it. Not looking forward to Saturday, where temperature may soar to a 43 deg again. :(
This lemon tree was suddenly in a bad shape. Not sure if it was due to the extreme heat last week or a nutrient deficiency (as I have not done a thing for it before). A lot of leaves yellowed and dropped, as did the lemons, both large and small. I have tried to water it around the dripline and fertilised with less than a handful of citrus fertiliser. Hope that helps!
A strawberry? It is a deformed tomato, due to either too hot or too cold temperature during pollination, and will produce poor quality fruits.
Tip : Misting flowering plants in the early morning provides humidity and this favors pollination from bees.
This surviving Purple King is growing its way up the support without much help on my part. :)
5 stalks of rosemary soft wood cuttings in jar of normal tap water.
5 stalks of rosermary hard wood cuttings with soft wood on top in jar of normal tap water.
Some water was poured away after a few days, retaining a little and fresh tap water topped up. Jars are placed near indirect sunlight as window sill. No rooting hormone used.
Result : It took 20 days before I could see roots appearing on any stem.
5 hard wood cuttings rooted. 1 soft wood cutting rooted. Rooting zone : nodes.
Conclusion : Hardwood cuttings have the highest chance of rooting. Contrary to some books which say that hardwood cuttings should be taken in autumn and softwood cuttings to be taken in summer, the hardwood cuttings in my experiment all rooted in mid-summer where else the only one softwood cutting rooted pathetically.
Tip : It is useful to wrap the cuttings and jar in a clear plastic bag to reduce transpiration (water loss through evaporation) from the leaves. In my case, I did not do so but it still worked in this hot summer climate.
Thursday, January 15, 2009
These sunflowers are more than 1 metre tall now, towering over everything. Not sure if I should prune their leaves but anyhow I did, as their large leaves are preventing the melons and tomato bush from getting their share of sunshine.
Tendrils appearing. Providing a support could be good for such a small space but then again if they do fruit, the fruits are going to be heavy to support.
The melons are growing a little close to one another but I hope by feeding them well, they will do well. Lots of yellow flowers and some bees coming but not really sure if there would be fruits. But it is still a joy to have them grown successfully just from pulp! :)
This tomato seedling was actually a sucker broken off from the Mighty Red tomato bush, kept in water for a week or so and it produced a lot of roots. Last two days was horrendously hot so I patiently waited for today to plant it into the large pot I have prepared. In pot was cheap potting mix + seasol + worm tea + blood and bone + crushed egg shells.
Despite the cool weather, morning was a little warm for the well-watered seedling and it went limp. I misted the seedling several times.
When noon came, a sudden idea of shading it with an umbrella came and it worked great. I also nipped off part of the larger leaf to cut moisture loss. When I checked at 4pm, the stem was sturdy and firm, showing that it is doing well. Congratulations to a successful potting! Now I shall see how it will grow in this soil cocktail.
The clump of capsicum (forgotten the yellow or red) is growing good and I am waiting for them to grow bigger and a good weather to thin them out. Given them worm tea regularly.
One of the 11 or 12 clusters of tomatoes on the bush! 11x 4 is 44 tomatoes waiting to enlarge and ripen!!!
Monday, January 5, 2009
Vietnamese mints (Laksa plant) seem to be growing well. Give them lots of water. Thai basil not sure. So far all four that I have tried growing arent developing too well. Could be better starting from seed rather than mature stems.
Buk Choy seeds have germinated in their large pots. Given them water and there was a fair amount of sunshine and warmth. Purple King beans have not emerged yet though.
Got these potato plants in large pot but not sure if they will survive very well.
The green gages on the tree are ripening beautifully. But they are already attracting some birds to feed on them.
Thyme that grew from seeds are doing so well in the potting mix. One of my pride and joy. Could it be Jamie Durie's seeds that did the trick? Rosemary, chilli and mint were doing too well. I hope to come up with some remedy to salvage the situation. I have sown some more chilli seeds in a large pot of potting mix. They have germinated but hopefully wont have stunted growth this time. Or it would mean the seeds are of lousy grade?! Not sure.
Most of my melons are having flowers. I hope they put up a good fight and grow some melons, having been revived after thinning and transplanting shock. :)
Capsicums germinating fast and furious! This time round, since I know they are capsicums, I would just leave them in the ground and forgetting about transplanting! Most of the vege tend to do better in the ground than in pots!
One of the plums which I could hand-pick as it is low enough! How exciting watching it turn from green to yellow to red. I could not wait for it to turn deep red so I plucked it this evening.
Sunday, December 28, 2008
The pot of lavender bee pretty seems to have grown but are attacked by whiteflies. I used the yellow sticky trap which was quite good but no good with controlling them. So I did a pyrethrum spray and the flies were gone. The new flower buds have grown.
Mint given by a friend standing in jar of water (Christmas Day) waiting to root. Roots appeared 5 Jan 09)
I have harvested lots of plums. They turn from green to yellow to deep red. Taste sweet in terms of pulp but have sourish bitter skin.
The sunflowers are 0.5m tall for the tallest! Growing fantastically. Waiting for giant sunflowers!
An orange has germinated. However, I cannot remember which type it is. :(
I accidentally pulled out this plant but the smell seems so oregano. I replanted it and it is growing fine again. I hope it turns out to be some yummy wild oregano.
A friend has just given me two twigs of vietnamese/hot mint and I have re-planted them (26 Dec 08) in this pot with a thai basil which rooted while kept in a glass jar of water. The former needs lots of water. This time, I made sure I gave them Seasol to help with any shock. I kept the pot indoors and gave it lots water. So far so good.
I bought these two cheap pots of flowers ($2 each) to attract bees to come and pollinate my melons.
The Mighty Red tomato plant is doing well and have produced more than 10 fruits so far. These are the largest so far.
Clump of melons before thinning out.
Melon yellowing after thinning out.
Surviving melon plant with flowers. Seasol came a bit late on 22 Dec 08 but at least rescued most of them.
In my last blog, I mentioned that my peppers died of shock during re-potting. So, I have since sown some on 14 December after cooking some yellow and red ones. I also thinned out the clump of melons but they too went into shock despite my very careful job. Their leaves were turning yellow and thankfully I got some advice from a fellow blogger to add some fertiliser. So I did, with Seasol and they have survived. Some died but a good number survived. A few of them have flowered and I am so pleased to see bees coming to them one early morning on 27 Dec 08. That means pollination! I wonder if the two little cheap pots of marigolds are doing their job attracting bees on the vege patch. I hope to see melon fruits soon, either rockmelon or honeydew. I am not exactly a fan of them but it is fun just to see them grow.
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