Sunday, 16 January 2011

january edible updates

Here are some updates from around the garden in January.  We've had so much rain this year (hundreds of mms/around 8 inches in just the last few months), plus some very humid tropical weather, which has made the whole garden go absolutely bonkers.  Plants that were going slowly through the cool spring have really started to catch up. 

First, my tomatoes.  They haven't grown too much in the last week or two, but I was very right when I realised they were lacking in nitrogen.  You would think I'd figured this one out before, since the first year I grew tomatoes I did the same thing.  The other good news is the lower leaves are looking OK too, so either the disease has slowed down or it was all just low nitrogen!
Speaking of which, my firecracker chilies are now going spacko since I gave them a shot of nitrogen too.  I'd grown them in a pot that had snowpeas in it, which are meant to "fix" nitrogen into the soil. I've also learned that they end up spending that nitrogen on themselves; they only really put it back in the soil if you plow them in when they're still little plants.  So yeah, mental note for next year: make sure if I re-use potting mix I give them a bigger boost of fertilizer.  I'd put a sprinkle of organic fert pellets but obviously not enough.  In any case, my firecracker now even has one green chili ripening away, plus dozens of flowers.
The cherrytime capsicums are coming along brilliantly too.  Not red yet, but there are quite a few little caps on there.
My basil's doing really well this year too.  They seem to like this weather a lot more: mid-high 20s plus rain and humidity suits them better than past years' dry heat with the occasional 40+ day.  The weird thing is my Greek basil (on the left) is getting die-off on one side.  No idea why, otherwise it's very healthy.  Maybe there are grubs in the potting mix?
My twig is also coming along beautifully.  Both grafts have fruitlets on them, although one has more than the other.  If I get half a dozen fruit to ripeness this year I'll be a happy camper.  And look how green and lush those leaves are!
For a little while it was dropping its lower leaves, which didn't worry me too much.  But it's actually started putting out a lot of new growth from the middle.  That actually makes me happy as it was starting to get a bit leggy.  I'll have to make sure the two grafts have the same number of shoots but look at all that new growth!
The melons are also finally starting to go crazy, they absolutely adore this weather.  No fertilized melons I can see yet.  I should be out there with a paintbrush helping them pollinate, but I keep forgetting to do it in the morning.  And when I do remember, it's raining which makes it pretty impossible.  Also notice how big that colocasia has gotten there in the corner - it's huge!
All of this has resulted in some decent harvests - well, decent for my garden anyway!  The tomatoes are producing pretty well, especially the yellow currant.  This is what a typical harvest looks like for me these days - a few handfuls of herbs and some tomatoes.
Keep bringing on this weather!  I just need to keep on top of the weeds...