I’ve been reviewing the past six months of growing so I can consider what has happened and what has and hasn’t worked in the garden over that time.
There is no getting away from the impact of our weather in recent times. We’ve had a full-on El Nino in recent years which has seen consistently lower than average rainfall, coupled with high summer temperatures.On the ground this has meant that we almost had a growing season split in two. Plants that got an early start produced well up to early January when our really hot dry weather kicked in. At that point a fair amount of our veggies barring the tomatoes in general and some of the plants such as our Blue and Strawberry popcorns protected by the trees on the western side of our garden basically struggled and it was all we could do to keep things alive. Once the worst of the hot weather passed we had a second growth spurt which allowed many of our original plantings and those second crops we put in to deliver plentifully.
We tried out plenty of new plants this year and the ones which I’m planning on going back into the garden again next time around include:
* Blue Popcorn – short and sturdy plants, much less water demanding
than the Sweet Corn, and produced lots of cobs (small but good).
We are really enjoying our popcorn;
* Eggplant ‘Prosperosa’ – my Italian favourite, beautiful to look at
and a great producer with very white flesh;
* Table King Acorn pumpkin – compact, as promised and produced well.
I’ll be adding more plants of this next year to boost the pumpkin
* Warrigal Greens – still growing despite several frosts, just keeps
expanding, we’ve cut it back to ground several times and its still
over a metre in diameter, makes the best creamed spinach;
* Red Mustard Greens – (also good during winter) the peppery flavour
sparks up a salad and is also good on a sandwich
* Komatsu (Japanese Spinach) – survived the heat well and generally
outlasted the silver beets continuous good cropper.
I’m also saving the seed from my ‘Front Garden’ tomatoes. I’m not sure which variety they are, somewhere between a Roma and an Amish Paste and as they were self sewn in the compost I’ll never be sure of their parentage, but boy did they deliver in the second half of summer. Beautiful to look at and great to eat – these were the ones that I picked 6 kilos of fruit off just before the frosts hit.
Thankfully the Southern Oscillation Index has moved into positive territory in recent weeks and some of the forecasters are thinking we may get a La Nina this year – very roughly speaking more rain rather than less.This is one of the stories slated for Landline (12.00 noon ABC TV on Sunday) so I’ll be watching to see what the outlook over the next few months is.
I’ll leave you with a small puzzle – what made the trails on the wall of the polyhouse? The answer is in the second photo.