Monday, February 2, 2015

Garden share collective February 2015

Golly how is it already time for another garden update!


Yes, like Lizzie at Garden share collective   who hosts this link up, we have had a bit of rain over the last month, but not what we normally get.  We have also had incredible heat.  36 degrees celcius, with 68% humidity!  Basically the garden is just humming along on its own.  I nip out every now and then to check that it is still there, and dribble on a bit of water if anything looks dry.  Within a half hour it is dry as a bone again!  The okra is doing ok, although they still look rather spindly, I popped in a few more seeds, they have to be hardy plants to survive this weather.  I was hoping for a little okra forest, but not sure that is going to happen.
 I have one little okra pod, and it has stayed this size for weeks.  Is it ready to be picked?  I thought it was supposed to be burgundy.

The okra is in the front of the herb spiral - that area does not get any shade from the shade cloths.  the franzipani tree provides a bit.  I am not sure why I dont have any flowers - the tree looks healthy otherwise.  am thinking maybe I need to add a bit of sulphate of potash again? Or seaweed?   The ones growing in the sandy soil on the beach are all flowering.....


 The rosella against the fence are doing really well, I thought I might have planted too many, too close together but they all seem to be surviving. I have two shade cloths up, and it is almost pleasant to work under the shade. Almost.
I got a new salad plant from a friend, it is called sweet leaf, I havent picked any yet. The leaves can be added to salads and need not be cooked as they do not have the oxalic acid common in many tropical greens.  I keep spreading the half composted leaves around as mulch because new leaves keep falling, and I need to make room in the compost bin.
This is kang kong, or chinese watercress.  It is growing really well, I have harvested all the leaves a few times and it just grows right back up again.  It is a very tasty green for cooking. I now have two different types of kang kong.  It loves the wet weather, and has a nice mild flavour.  I already have Malabar spinach and that has a slimier texture when cooked, but I find that the best flavour and texture comes from cooking an assortment up together.  Sweet potato shoots, Malabar spinach and kang kong.  Nice sauteed with a bit of chili and garlic.
 My avocado has new leaves!  Yeah!

The sweet potato growing around the base of the avocado tree. Green beans and eggplant are producing well, in fact it is one of the more productive wet seasons I have had since I started the garden.  The barbados cherry is growing madly and provides some awesome shade, so my food forest might eventually work!
Hello to all my fellow gardeners out there, I am off to go and see how your gardens are doing!


26 comments:

  1. Looking good! We have tried a few of these, but not watercress. If your sweet potato is anything like ours, it just keeps on giving. We've had absolutely no luck with avocados despite several big established trees. Good luck with yours!

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    1. Wendy,
      i thought it actually had to grow in water, but this is doing fine in the box in full sun. I had to choose a new spot for the sweet potato this year, and it is just loving that area. I read that avocadoes like a more alkaline soil, so added a few amendments to help that along. Maybe that worked - who knows!

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  2. Your garden looks amazing - says I who has not had time to plant a thing!! And the heat and lack of rain hasn't helped what was managing to hang on. have come to a halt and waiting for cooler weather to get our winter vegies in - these I know will be successful!!

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    1. Creations,
      I normally dont do much at this time of year, but in fact I am pleasantly surprised at how well everything is doing. I would have thought that in your area summer was your main growing time.

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  3. The humidity is just unkind at times. Our okra has gone nuts it took ages for it to kick off but it is not taller than me and in this patch of not so much food it is a staple on our table. Hope you get some more rain this month and possibly a few okra too.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Liz,
      Oh there might still be hope for my okra forest then....I dont know what is up with this lack of rain here.

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  4. Such a wonderful array of tropical plants. I always learn something each time I visit. It is looking wonderfully lush.

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    1. Kyrstie,
      Oh well part of that lushness is probably the weeds you see :)

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  5. I am always amazed at the incredible array of 'exotic' plants you grow!

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    1. It is really fun to grow unusual plants, and then to find recipes for them!.

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  6. We eat lots of sweet potato but ive not thought of growing it. Short on horizontal space, im going to have to put my thinking cap on. Love your quotes.

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    Replies
    1. Lynda,
      I am sort of using it as a fill in plant, they say not to grow it in the same area every year. I have a freind who lets it go underneath one of her trees.

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  7. I love the exciting things that you can grow in your garden. Okra and avocado and kang kong - yum!

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    1. Rosehips,
      I am always up to try something new, and okra is my new experiment this year.

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  8. I get so inspired and excited every visit here. I just love your wonderful garden and all your planting ideas and all. That one pod of okra is ready! I usually slice crosswise about a quarter of an inch. Dip in egg wash and then corn meal and fry til brown. Love okra.

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    Replies
    1. Why thank you Lindalee,
      well, that sounds like a lot of trouble to go to for one pod.....Hopefully I get some more soon, nice to know it is ready though. I might just stick this one in with some roast veggies and see how it goes.

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  9. as always, it is astounding to read what you grow in the tropics. I do not even recognise some of the plants you mention.

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    Replies
    1. e,
      It has been a big learning curve for me too! Especially trying to learn to like some of the strange flavours!

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  10. Your garden is doing really well, and I am duly impressed and inspired at the same time.
    We only have green okras here, and yours looks ready. I don't allow them to get too big, if not the insides are hard and unpalatable. I choose the smaller green ones and lightly steam them, served with garlic butter...ooh yummy.
    The sweet leaf looks interesting, never heard of it, does it have a herby taste?
    I've just purchased a few seedlings of a herb called "savoury", haven't planted them yet, but have been using some sprigs in my cooking and it is delightful.
    I love the look of the kang kong too, I think I will look into that.

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    Replies
    1. Virginia,
      I did eventually steam the little okra, and it was quite fibrous, hopefully they all start to produce pods soon and I can have a plateful - everything is better with garlic butter. There is not much taste to the sweetleaf at all. I have heard of summer savoury and winter savoury.

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  11. What an interesting array of veg you are growing. Gosh, I was unaware of the oxalic acid in tropical greens. Never heard of sweet leaf or the malabar spinach. Perhaps you could try comfrey tea on the frangipani, it is high in potassium and nitrogen, it might help. :)

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    Replies
    1. Frog,
      Yes I need to get another batch of comfrey going, thanks for that nudge. I do believe that you need to eat a lot of the greens for it to be a problem, but here they are often reffered to greens that you have to cook or ones that you can eat raw.

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  12. The garden is looking good Gillian. I enjoy seeing your tropical garden, wishing I could grow some of the things you do that won't thrive here.

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    Replies
    1. Well I think the same when I see your garden, :) I guess we are never satisfied are we?

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  13. You have done so much with your garden! Mine is a mess right now. What with it being cold and we're in a drought, I have not had the impetus to get out there and do something. Thank you for sharing.

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  14. Oh dont worry - I dont take photos of the messy parts :)

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