Apologies for my silence over the past few weeks. Part of my excuse is that I have had a lot of other things going on. All positive, albeit time consuming. The other part of my excuse (actually reason is probably the better word) is that I have kind of given up on my garden for this season and abandoned it to the chooks. The result of this is some very shredded looking kale and silver beet (where there is anything left of them at all), straw everywhere and something of an obstacle course of chook poo running between the back door and the few remaining veg that the chooks don’t like.
I think my inertia is a combination of it being a difficult year – a cool Spring followed by really hot temperature spikes in Summer with hardly any rainfall – and the fact that I feel sorry for the chooks, let them out of their pen and during their period of release they always manage to destroy the one plant that has survived the climatic extremes. So now they are free to destroy everything although I do plan to deal with some of the mess today and reclaim the garden from the feathered horrors.
I grew two varieties of pumpkin this year. Golden Nuggets and Ebisu. I managed to harvest one Ebisu and two Golden Nuggets before the birds and rats discovered they could penetrate the tough skins. I planted my pumpkins in the back corner of the garden and I think I would have got a far better crop if I’d given them a bit more attention. They ran out of both food and water on more than one occasion and eventually the plants succumbed to powdery mildew so all in all I was pretty happy with a few fruit.
In my initial (optimistic) attempts to protect parts of the garden from the chooks I fenced off the cucumbers. And they really appreciated it:
This year I grew Lemon Cucumbers, Catalina Pickling, Summer Dance, Lebanese, and another one from a mix which produced big fat prickly fruits. All did quite well and if my fencing hadn’t collapsed I would probably still be getting decent crops…
While I’m on the subject of cucumbers I had a request from a reader for Richmond Green Apple Cucumber seeds. If you have some spare or know where to get them from then I would love to know.
Buried beneath the peppers in the basket below you will see some cumquats. My mum is turning them into marmalade and I’ve been pleased with my trees first crops.
Otherwise the basket is filled with chillies (and the odd capsicum). Most of these are from pot grown plants which I overwintered. This years plants are doing OK but have yet to produce much in the way of ripe fruit. I have planted this years in my garden beds and most have a decent amount of fruit developing despite the chooks digging around their roots. The varieties below from overwintered plants are: Padron, Joe’s Long Cayenne, Hungarian Yellow Wax, a couple of round varieties – one hot, one not, and an orange capsicum (from a mix).
Otherwise I am harvesting parsley, mint, curry leaves, kaffir lime leaves and not much else. Sadly none of my eggplant have set fruit this year - I’d be interested to know if that had happened to any other Melbournians?
As always head over to Daphne’s and check out what others have been growing in their gardens.