Of course, here in Australia we are in the middle of summer - a crazy wet and wild summer in Sydney, but summer none the less. I heard on the news tonight that Sydney has already received around 225ml of rain this year. Plus we've had a number of 40 degree days, which is unusual for us as well. It seems to mean that many of my plants are looking a bit bedraggled, either drowned or burnt, but the weeds are thriving!
At the beginning of January I had my nieces and nephew come to stay, My eldest niece is quite interested in gardening, and asked lots of questions about how to grow different herbs and vegetables. My youngest niece told me that she liked my garden as it was just like "going to the shops" - this was after she helped me cook dinner and we picked the capsicum, chillies, oregano, and lettuce fresh from the garden. Interestingly, while they were staying we watched an episode of Gardening Australia (I was quite amazed that an 8 year old, 12 year old and 15 year old would happily watch a gardening show, but that must be the power of Costa!). And from that episode I learnt something I had never realised - that any plant which produces a seed bearing product that can be eaten is considered to be a fruit.
By that definition, not only are your traditional "fruits" such as citrus, stone fruit, berries and others included in this list but also tomatoes (ok so I knew that one), capsicum, cucumbers, eggplant, zucchini, and pumpkin - the list goes on......
My eggplant has produced it's second fruit, and I think it looks so lovely.
My capsicum plant produced a few more good size fruit, although is a little bare now. I did learn though from A Fresh Legacy recently that it may be worth keeping my capsicum plants through a two year cycle, and they may produce better in the second year. So I will be trying that theory out, and will let you know how I go next year.
My raspberry plant has also been recently transplanted to a new spot, and although no fruit have appeared the plant certainly looks a lot more healthy, so perhaps next year will be a better year?
The cucumber and zucchini plants have succumbed to powdery mildew, which might be to be expected in this kind of weather.
The chillies always look nice and bright and this year I planted a few different types.
My lemon tree does have some fruit on it, but I need to take them off as it is still only young. And my passionfruit vine is growing brilliantly, but as it was only planted a few months ago I will wait until next season to hopefully get some fruit.
Apart from my actual fruit, I like to think the rest of the garden is still "fruitful" - the spinach just keeps on growing ,my apple mint plant is going great guns, and as I discussed in a recent post my lettuces have been a bit variable in their growth but are growing none the less. Plus my marigolds that have been planted for companion planting with my tomatoes (they are supposed to repel white fly - even if it doesn't make any difference I always think it looks pretty!) and other plants are flowering away and making the garden look quite cheerful - it an overgrown and weedy kind of way.
|This one is called apple mint. I haven't actually tried it yet!|
|My poor tomatoes are being over run with weeds|
My compost bin (which is a pretty cheap one to be fair) has started to fall apart and so I am considering relocating my compost - however I'm just not sure where it is best to go so not sure when this will happen.
I'm also considering redoing my whole sprinkler system. While it works well to water my pots and plants, particularly when I am away often with work, I think the sprinklers are not the best way to get water to the plants and I need to look at putting in drippers instead. This will also protect my verandah, which seems to be getting wet a lot and the wood is starting to look a bit worse for wear.
We will see how much I actually get done when it comes around to next months post! Happy gardening to everyone and I look forward to seeing all the different and wonderful fruits for this month.