When we got back from our holiday the tomatoes were looking very sad, so this weekend I ripped them all up and created a new compost pile where they will be next year. Crop rotation! I have an old table legs and base which is going to act as the support for the vines. So with a bit of fencing around the sides it has created the perfect compost pile. With all those tomato seeds I probably wont even have to plant the tomato bushes! Leaves, bushy trimmings, the old tomato plants and some cardboard have almost filled it to the top. I will probably get some seaweed in the next couple of days as that always seems to get compost heating up quickly. There is a pumpkin volunteer nearby so if I train that over the whole pile it can look good too!
The area that used to have the tomatoes has been cleared and I am going to do a green manure crop - not sure about maybe doing some sun solarization first. My eggplant wilted overnight and died - two now, but when I cut through the stem it was perfectly green and all I read about wilt says it will be red or black through the stem. My neighbour is growing Lebanese eggplant (the long thinner variety) as he thinks it will not suffer the same problems. Once we get a wilt resistant variety I will be very happy.
Good news - we got some rain! It seemed like a good soaking rain overnight, but once I dug down a couple of inches I realised it had not gone down very deep. Oh well, maybe it has broken the cycle. I also went into the markets and bought a new plant - it is a large bushy shrub/ small tree that will create more of a visual barrier at the back of the tropical plants. It is supposedly the only plant that Ulysses butterflies will lay their "eggs" on - Do you call them pupae?
In fact it has been so lovely lately - some trees in the creek near us have burst forth with huge arching red flowers. The lorikeets love them, and all afternoon it is so noisy out there with them flying in and out and jostling each other for the best space. It still thrills me after having had parrots in cages that here they just fly around wild, in the hundreds :) So hard to take photos though as the trees must be a hundred feet high. The honeyeaters also love the passionfruit flowers, so our bird population has soared! The wagtail has been swooping down and catching grasshoppers on the cleared "tomato bed".
The island that we went to for our holiday, and family wedding - Heron Island - is known for its birds, but we have more at home! Isn't it wonderful to go away on an exotic holiday and then return home to discover that home is in fact even better than a five star resort! I feel so blessed!