Monday, 22 March 2010

more harvests pathetic little pumpkin vine was so far gone I finally picked the two little pumpkins that managed to grow this year.  They're adorable, I love the colour and the little pink blush.  You can see the stems are dried-looking but still very green.  You're meant to leave pumpkins until the stems are brown, dried and dead looking.  Well the rest of the plant was brown, dried and dead, it didn't have one green leaf left, so I took what I could get!

They went into a pumpkin soup last night.  Not the best soup but it could be because they were under-mature.  Not green inside or anything, just didn't have that rich savoury full flavour.

You can also see a lovely little melon on my lap, the second of my Minnesota midgets.  It's the largest one, it just looks so inviting with those bulging ridges.  Unfortunately after getting 60mm of rain in a single weekend not long ago, the melon was once again flooded with too much liquid and this time ended up tasting a bit over-ripe.  I also have to be careful because unlike store-bought cantaloupe, this variety stays fairly green when it's ripe.  But I'll definitely grow them again next year, they're fun! edamame are finally starting to fully ripen.  Just look at how heavy with beans the plant is!  The rest of the plant is in tatters but it's heavy with beans.  I haven't had a chance to try them yet.

On the other hand, my potatoes are once again pathetic.  I actually managed to get more potatoes last year, growing them late in the season, than this year.  They were getting so mite-eaten and caterpillar-munched that there wasn't much green left on them.  You're meant to leave them until they turn yellow and die off before harvesting but I didn't think the tops would survive much longer.  This is all I got for this year's trouble. won't bother next year, two years of failure in a row are enough for me.  But a word of advice to others.  Both times I tried a method people keep swearing works: you plant the potatoes low down in the pot, and as the greens grow you bury more and more of the plant until the pot is full of dirt.  Supposedly potatoes are meant to grow all the way up the buried stalk.  But both years all I got were a few potatoes at the very bottom, and a very long stalk.  I actually wonder if the plant has been wasting energy growing a longer stalk that it should be putting into its potatoes! finally, not a harvest but a note on my new plantings.  This is a busy time of year for the cabbage white butterfly, when people are starting to plant brassicas (broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and kale) but it's still warm enough for the butterflies to breed.  Sure enough, almost every day I check my sprouts and find half a dozen white eggs under the leaves.  I've already had to pick off two tiny caterpillars too.  So beware gardeners!  Even my butterfly decoys haven't helped one bit.  The lure of the brassicas is just too much. 

But on the plus side, my brassicas are powering along in this wonderful weather we've been having!  Just when I thought autumn had arrived, we've gotten another flush of 25+ weather.  And it seems Melbourne has had over 100 days in a row where the high always hit 20C or above.  This has blown away the previous record of 78 days in a row in 2000-01 ... oh and there's at least another week of 20+ weather forecast.


Funkbunny said...

Well done on your harvests. I had to pull out all my soy beans because of spider mite earlier in the season; yours look great!