Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Blog Aug 2017

One more month of winter to go, and already there are signs of the warmer weather to come.  Once daytime maximum temperatures get above 17C, most plants start to grow, and winter vegetables grow faster.  The above Ecobed has been stripped of some of the winter veggies to make way for potatoes.  Half the bed has been completed, and as the remaining vegetables are harvested, more of it will be prepared.
These cabbages and lettuce, were transplanted from the potato bed.   I was amazed at how well they held their substantial root balls together. They had been in their new bed for about a week when this photo was taken, and did not wilt or check their growth during the process.
This bed is drip line irrigated, and the drip lines will be removed and flushed out in the next few days, to ensure the irrigating water flows properly for the next few years.  Both ends of each drip line use clip-on fittings to secure them to the water supply tubes.  The old mulch and plant debris was carefully removed and added to the "browns" waste storage bin.  The compost was not sieved leaving relatively large pieces of "browns" waste in it.  They encourage the development of extensive fungal hyphae in symbiosis with the perennial plants' roots.
Another small batch of beetroot is growing well despite starting to be shaded by the climbing peas.
Well the Granny Smith apples have all been harvested, and these very sweet dwarf Gravenstein cross apples will be finished in a few weeks.
The Red Camelias have nearly finished flowering, and the pink one has just started.  The Daphne is in full flower and the fragrance fills our small courtyard when the sun is out.
The cyclamen is a bit battered by the wind, but still lovely, however the Spanish Bluebells have just broken through and will swamp the cyclamen in a few weeks time.
I must find a suitable spot for the cuttings taken in autumn from these succulents.  They are so drought tolerant and attractive all year, they will be an asset if I can find a spot in the front garden.
I'm looking forward to many more days like this in late winter/early spring, but I will need to be alert to damaging winds also common at this time of year.
The stone fruit are starting to form buds and I may use a single spray of lime/sulphur before they open this year to control leaf curl.
No sign of blackfly on the alliums yet, but this is the time to look out for the parent fly.  I will be using 10% full cream organic milk in rainwater to spray them before they can take a hold.
The silverbeet is particularly succulent this year, and we have started to take a few leaves every week.
These narcissus are in full flower, but we had to harvest most of them before they were battered too much by high winds.