I blame climate change …

Really, it must be climate change that is affecting my garden, can’t possibly be baby-induced time pressures and forgetfulness!

The reason I blame climate change is because the weather has been crazy here over summer – alternating between sweltering and stormy, my poor plants haven’t stood a chance! I even planted zucchini and kale with the best intentions, but they didn’t even sprout because the weather was so random!

My lime tree produces tiny limes that then fall off before growing to edible size – any tips? It’s been happening for a few years now – I try to add compost and citrus food, but it doesn’t help!

Our passion fruit vine is vining up the fence nicely, but no passion fruits. I have already shared the sadness of my poor blueberry plant, as the winds took all the flowers in a storm, so again, no blueberries for us!

On the upside, the marigolds that I planted last year to help the tomatoes are going fm great guns!

The kale I planted 2 years ago keeps springing eternally with almost no encouragement, you can see it in the back of the above photo! And the pretty purple flowers are my society garlic plant, always happy and lovely in my salads! 

And in news  of things I’ve actually planted in the last few months, my tomatoes are growing nicely, so we’ll have a cute little crop.

So that’s the current garden status – trying desperately to triumph against the elements and my lack of attention!

I will be back next week with cooking and freezing news – apologies for delays between posts, with a gorgeous little one who is so keen on the world that daytime naps are the enemy, I often focus on eating, showering or napping when she finally succumbs, but will have more regular posts, probably indoor focused as my gardening is even less likely to succeed as we enter winter! And that’s ok, because I’m nurturing a gorgeous little human instead 😊


To all the vegetables I’ve loved and lost …

Apologies in advance, this is a rather sad and pitiful post, detailing some of my least successful vegetable adventures of late. I think it’s important to tell the good and the bad equally, as I’m still an amateur (which is someone who does something for the love of it!) gardener, and am continuing to learn (well, hopefully!) from my mistakes, and by telling the interwebs these stories, hopefully you can learn some things the easier way (ie by reading about it) rather than the harder way that I have been doing!

Zucchini, I barely knew thee
So, I’ve documented in a previous post my aphid issues with my zucchini plants. I have an update – the poor little plants didn’t survive the multiple attempts on their lives by the aphids/ants/powdery mildew. While the aphids did reduce significantly, as did the ants, the damage appeared to be too great for the plants to actually continue their life, despite new pots and lots of encouraging looks from me!!

Poor zucchini, you tried! That's the rather healthier capsicum next to it, mocking it I'm sure!

Poor zucchini, you tried! That’s the rather healthier capsicum next to it, mocking it I’m sure!

Lessons learnt
Spot aphids early and often, and act early – I think a bit of the old soap and water spray combo might have been effective in removing the aphids in their initial stages and preventing their return, which in turn would have removed the ant attraction, and hopefully the plants could recover. I will try this later in the year when zucchini planting season comes around again.

My backyard is not a cornfield
I was excited by the idea of corn, but in hindsight, didn’t really do any research as to the most appropriate variety for backyard growing, nor the most appropriate amount of space/plants required for successful pollination. My corn plants looked impressive at all times, growing tall and proud, but unfortunately, despite all this lush foliage, they produced only about 3 of the smallest corn cobs you’re ever likely to see!! Very cute, but rather useless, and possibly not worth the effort, for me, in a pot in the backyard. Part of the issue I have discovered is that you need quite a few plants to ensure effective pollination, and I don’t think there were enough, and I don’t think I have the space/interest for the amount required. I don’t think I’ll try them again for a while, certainly not this variety, as there is a long time between planting and harvesting for such a small return – I like quick returns, people!!

Very cute, but not really the bumper crop I was expecting!

Very cute, but not really the bumper crop I was expecting!

Lessons learnt
Pick a backyard-suitable variety, invest in an acreage somewhere.
Big promise, small delivery

Big promise, small delivery

Broccoli, where art thou?
When I planted my capsicum plants in early January (which are still trying to decide whether they will survive the aphid infestation that I finally have succeeded in removing with soapy water and create capsicums), I also planted some broccoli. My Veggie Patch app is helpfully telling me to harvest said broccoli, however, the seeds never actually sprouted!! I am saddened by this, and not sure whether I should have soaked them overnight to assist in germination, or whether the seeds were a dud, or whether they didn’t like that particular pot/soil combination, or what has happened, except a distinct lack of broccoli!

Lessons learnt
Sometimes things don’t work out for inexplicable reasons, not necessarily your fault – it’s important to keep the faith and continue on despite these setbacks! See, growing vegetables can teach you important life lessons!

Future plans and some hope in the garden
I had some issues with peas and broadbeans last year, both succumbing rather early on to various forms of mildew (I think large amounts of rain at some of the early stages didn’t help!). However, I refuse to be daunted by these issues, and will plant them again on the weekend, and let you know how they go!

My bean plant is busily creating the cutest little beans – unfortunately, one by one, so not enough for a meal or even a decent-sized snack, but hey, progress is progress!!

A bean!

A bean!

My tomato plants are ignoring the onset of autumn and continuing to create little tomatoes – go you good things!

My peanut plant is dying – this is actually a good sign, when the whole thing dies, it means the peanuts are ready to harvest under the surface! Nice to know that a plant dying is not my garden incompetence, but nature’s wacky way of doing things!

So, in summary, while there have been some key setbacks in my garden of late, there is always hope, with each new season comes a new crop, and I will continue to strive and learn and share with you all!!