Summer’s over for another year – in Australia our seasons are aligned with calendar months, so officially summer finished at the end of February. And weather-wise it does seemed to have finished, at least for the time being. The last days of February were wet and so was the first of March, and the forecasts suggest there’s more to come. Hopefully the garden will enjoy it. I’m pretty sure my newly planted cucumbers will.
My main cucumber plants which have been keeping me supplied all summer have slowed production considerably and I’m hoping that these will give me a late season crop. I am growing them in a Veggie Cage which came from the same place as the Tomato Rings. I’ll reserve judgement on the merits of the cage until the cucumbers get a bit bigger.
Whilst the cucumbers are finishing the figs are just starting. This tree isn’t technically mine, some branches from my neighbours tree have grown under the fence. But I’m claiming the figs, those that aren’t eaten by whatever has been nibbling at this one anyway. I have to say whatever it is at least has table manners, unlike my son who will take a few bites out of a sandwich then move onto the next one, this creature keeps coming back to this particular fig rather than sampling the others on the tree.
On the subject of fruit my new passionfruit vine seems to be establishing itself reasonably well. My old vine is having what must be its last productive year so I am doing everything I can to encourage growth from its replacement. I don’t imagine I’ll get fruit from it next year but I am hopeful of some the year after.
The dwarf citrus are also looking good (if you ignore the citrus leaf miner that is). The orange – a Washington Navel has fruit on it, as does the Tahitian Lime and the Meyer Lemon.
What is looking less happy though is the garlic chives which, unfortunately, are covered with Black Aphids and not a ladybird in sight.
I just can’t seem to get rid on these annoying little pests.
Having had a reasonably warm summer has meant that the tropical plants are looking pretty happy. Both the Turmeric and the ginger are putting up lots of shoots and are hopefully developing some lovely rhizomes beneath them.
The other crop which I am growing outside its normal comfort zone is sweet potato and again it looks pretty happy the vines are everywhere -even growing up the fence.
And finally the tomatoes – I pulled out the Broad Ripple Currant, Baby Red Pear, Sweet 100 Hybrid & one of the Tommy Toes during the course of the month. I also pruned all the remaining plants. The Rouge de Marmande has come back well and is starting to set fruit again.
Of the other remaining tomatoes the Black Cherry is still going well, it was one of the last ones planted and as such is behind the others not a bad thing given the other cherries are not producing at the moment.
Finally, and without an accompanying photo, I planted some of my winter crops during February. I planted up a side bed with cabbages, broccoli, cauliflower, Tuscan Kale, radicchio & some chard. I’m not quite sure whether the bed will get enough sun for them to produce well but if I don’t try I’ll never know.
I wish I had a neighbor with a fig tree!
I am crossing my fingers for your sweet potatoes. At least it looks like they are vining nicely.
What’s the season you guys get after summer? Is it rainy season or fall? When does winter start there? April/May? All your trees look so nice; those black aphids are really pest – they are everywhere. Darn them! Even citrus has those leaf miner.
Autumn (or fall as you call it). We don’t have a rainy season per se although winter is generally wetter than summer.
Oooh, I need to find out from you how your turmeric and ginger go. If you have sucess in Melbourne they’ll work in Sydney. I’m excitged by the idea and can’t wait for your news on them. When do you pull them? or do you wait til they die back?
I ignore my citrus leaf miner, it makes the leaves a little ugly but doesn’t seem to do much other damage. Is that what you do or do you have a ‘strategy’?
My black cherries are my only survivers too, they kind of look like they are having a second wind.
I have been ignoring my citrus leaf miner too, I was thinking of getting some oil but in honesty i don’t think I’m bothered enough by the look of the plants to bother. I grew both turmeric & ginger last year. They worked OK but the crops weren’t that large but this year has been warmer and I’ve been giving them more fertiliser so I am hopeful of bigger crops. I posted on growing ginger a while back which might be worth a look. I definitely think you could grow them in Sydney, especially given you are a more humid climate.
This is a test comment… 🙂
Ah, at least the commenting facility works on your blog. I wish I could understand why some work and others don’t…
I’m impressed by the variety of stuff you have growing – including some that I would probably never be able to raise in my own garden, like the Ginger and Turmeric. maybe one day I’ll get myself a Fig tree, probably a dwarf one to grow in a pot, because I think my garden is too small to accommodate a big one (unless I can persuade my neighbours to put one in, of course).
I’d start work on perusading the neighbours – I find it very useful. I am enjoying the figs that the beasties don’t get.
And March for us is supposed to be the beginning of Spring – hurray! I guess when whoever it is has broken into the harder skin that it is easier to come back to the same one – also maybe the redness is more attractive.
As long as it keeps doing that it may share my figs – I think its probably a mouse as it seems to happen during the night.
That is all looking so green and lush…can’t wait for further instalments as to what the results will be…
Looks like you had a nice February… and nice neighbors to grow you some figs! I once had a neighbor with a large fig. They are a nice treat, but not something I would reserve garden space for. If I ever move again I’ll seek out a fig growing neighbor! I’m going to try growing sweet potatoes for the first time. They supposedly do well in my part of the world. I’m also interested in growing ginger and I have no clue how it does here.
I don’t have enough space for a fig either so its lovely to have the stary branch or two. I’m still experimenting with the ginger growing but enjoying the process.
Nice photos of your plants… smiled to myself upon reading about how you claim the figs… figs are lovely, don’t you think? And passion fruit too, although I failed trying to grow one in my garden…
Thankyou. I do like a ripe fig – its difficult to get a perfect one but when you do – wow!
Looking great Liz. I just picked a bucketful of figs from my neighbour’s tree – just from the bit that hangs over my fence. It is still chockful of fruit which is dropping all over my path, rotting and going slippery and stinking up a storm. I’ve started some fig jam, but need to find some other uses as well if I’m to get through the massive bounty.
I’m also getting a ginger plant from a friend, so I’ll check out your older post about growing them.
I am having a bit of a battle with whatever is eating my figs (note how I’ve claimed them as my own…) to see who will get the ripe ones first – it is currently winning.
The plants are sure loving the mild weather now. We could not get the cauliflower or some cool vegetable seeds to sprout in February except for broccoli because of the hot weather. We have to try sowing some again this month. Black cherry seems to be really suited in your garden. I will find some seeds for next planting season. I have trouble with aphids covering plants that are developing seeds.
I can’t believe how many of the black aphids we are getting – annoying little creatures. Glad its cooled down for you too.
Looking great Liz. I might give ginger a go too. We have a fig tree and I’m ashamed to say the chooks and birds got most of them this year.
Howdy. Enjoying finding some new gardening blogs tonight. I’m on the hunt for the culprit that’s affecting my tomato plants. The dead leaves on your tomato plant look similar to mine except none of my leaves are yellow/turn yellow first…
anyway… just wondering if you’ve subsequently worked out what is/was affecting your tomato plants… off to check out some more of your blog.
Hi Kirsty and welcome. I think they were caused by a combination of things – not enough food, too much heat and too much water. I also find that no matter what you do tomato plants just die back after awhile. I have had some success with pruning in encouraging new growth but it does seem to work better with some varieties than others.