Friday, January 22, 2016

Vegie Patching

I've just been out watering and doing the regular morning harvest. It's a little light on at the moment due to the heat which, despite shade cloth covers, wiped out the lettuce, fennel, the cucumbers and many of the butternut squash and badly damaged the grapes, capsicums, beetroot and eggplants. In spite of this I'm still finding enough cherry and full size tomatoes, capsicums and zucchini to feed us. There are plenty of spring onions, too, and basil, parsley, chives and nasturtiums (which have surprised me by surviving in shady places and the leaves of which  make a nice addition to a salad).

I've had a few unexpected problems as well. An infestation of black spider mite decimated the silver beet and rainbow chard - surprising because they are usually so tough that all I have to worry about is the odd snail. Nothing I did would shift the little beasties and in the end I had to pull them out. The cherry tomatoes are looking pretty ragged, too. I'm not sure why but they have started to die back as have the beans. Oh and then there are the rats which I've seen coming over the fence from next door. They have taken every one of the Cape gooseberry fruit and are now nibbling at the grapes, the squash and the eggplant. We've reluctantly had to resort to baiting, something I hate doing but if we don't they'll destroy the garden and it's a them or us situation really.

As a result of all this - and since we've had a few days of relatively cooler weather (yesterday's max was 27°C which is a great improvement on the high thirties/low forties we'd been having) - I've planted some seedlings so in a few weeks we should again have silver beet, a new crop of cherry tomatoes, more sweet corn and cucumbers along with the existing plantings of snake beans (which are just starting to flower) and the sweet corn which is plumping up nicely. With luck - and if the slaters don't ringbark them - we'll also have a  new crop of beans. I plant them in newspaper seedling containers and this lot should be ready to plant out in a couple of weeks.


Jo said...

Like the idea but always been too lazy to garden. I would be so frustrated with all the things you described happening. I hope your new seedlings thrive OK.

Helen V. said...

Thanks, Jo. Gardening is fraught with problems but I really like being able to harvest what I am going to eat and to know they haven't been swamped with chemicals so I keep on doing it.