Monday, March 2, 2015

Garden share collective, heading into March

 February was a very short month, and with the heat and humidity here, I have really only ventured out into the garden when absolutely necessary.  It is time to catch up with Lizzie at the Garden share collective, and see how everyone fared with huge amounts of rain - normally it is us that have huge amounts of rain!
 We normally dont have to water at all at this time of year, but I have been giving the garden a  good drink once or twice a week, if we havn't had any rain.  I want my plants to develop deep roots.  I keep spreading out compost as a mulch so that will keep the moisture in the soil as it breaks down.  The shade cloths also keep the garden soil cooler.
The main purpose during the wet season is to make sure that the soil is covered and the plants that grow now get the moisture they need.  This is also the season where there are lots of bugs, some I dont even see, but I certainly see the chewed holes in the leaves.
 My red papaya is showing signs of flowering.  It is supposed to be a bisexual plant, I have never had one before so am interested to see what happens. I think it will have both male and female flowers.  I have lots of the common yellow papaya coming up everywhere.  I wait until they flower to see if they are male or female.  You only need one male for a whole yard of female plants.
 Ginger is popping up everywhere, and I dont mind - Once the weather cools down I can harvest it and grow cherry tomatoes in that area, although I still keep a small bed of ginger growing year round.   Any extra carboard get placed over the ground.  Anything to stop the insiduous weeds taking over, and try to keep the moisture in the soil.

Eggplant and green beans are doing well right next to each other, although I still havent seen any beans, so not sure what is going on there.  I have been spraying with seaweed and a little sulphate of potash over the whole garden to see if this spurs on a bit of production. 
The back part of this bed, around the avocado tree was taken up by sweet potato, I have not grown sweet potato for a few years as it needs to be grown in a different area each time.   I am not sure when I will be able to start harvesting it - I vaguely remember the potatoes popping up out of the ground - is that how you know when to harvest?  I dont want to harvest them all at once.  We call it bandicooting when you scratch around and harvest as needed.  I asked a friend and she said sometimes it takes a year before you get sweet potatoes.   So out into the garden I went, and dug up half the bed, laid down a bit of chicken manure (also added a few bits of charcoal), then covered it with cardboard.    The grandkids want to grow corn,   Since corn needs sunshine and is wind fertilized this might be the best area for the corn.  We might make seed tape as they really enjoyed doing that, and it keeps the corn evenly spread out.  No I did not spend hundreds of dollars on a new food processor - I found one at the market - previously loved :)  
 When I was working on lowering the level on my paths I discovered the roots of the asparagus going right into the path, so I extended that bed out a bit, and widened the path on the opposite edge.  It really just neatened things up a bit.  The asparagus was cut back, a couple moved because of overcrowding, and some cardboard laid down.  This will be mulched with seaweed.
 The avocado is still not happy - it looks as though the leaves are wilting, but it has been getting water, maybe not enough?  Are they water hungry?
 The okra has gone crazy since I moved a worm bucket over there next to it!    So far I have only had one measly little okra.  I just took a quick peek at Lizzies post and her okra looks awesome!  It must be all the rain she has been having!
 A good spot for greens might be under the barbadoes cherry as that has grown a lot this last year, providing lots of shade, and I know lettuces do better in the shade.  I have enjoyed a few cherries, but they are few and far between.  Arent the blossoms pretty?  I might be getting a few more as every day I see more and more blossoms. 

I noticed a blurry spot on these photos - it was probably a drop of sweat!   


   

March is still technically the hot and humid wet season so I will plant some corn mid to the end of the month.  I will also try some bok choy and rocket under the cherry tree and see how it goes.
It is a big month for me - on the 19th I turn the big 60!  A friend said this is referred to as old age, so I guess I am moving out of middle age.  I just hope all the gardening keeps me younger than my years .

20 comments:

  1. Yes my okra went mental this year even after the slow start it had, it is now taller than Roy so I reckon they are pushing on two meters now. We have had such bad luck with growing pawpaw. The plants just don't seem to live, will have to keep trying.

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    1. Hi Liz,
      Hopefully there is still a chance for my okra then. Two meters - wow! I do get a type of fungus on my pawpaw, but have them growing up as weeds all over the garden, so there are always a few more coming along. I have tried spraying them with milky water, which seems to help a bit with the fungus, but I must say I am not that regular with it. Keep trying...

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  2. 60 is not old!! don't believe it.
    what are barbadoes cherries? wht do you do with them?simply eat them like 'regular' cherries?

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    1. e, It just seemed strange to see it classified as old age..... barbadoes cherries are full of vitamin C - i just eat them off the tree. they are small and have about 4 pips, but taste like cherries to me. Some people say they are very sour, but mine are quite sweet.

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  3. Your garden looks fabulous! Oh I wish I could help with the sweet potatoes but I haven't grown them before. No success at Frog Pond with avos. Mulching with seaweed .. Perfect! 60 is so not old!�� I got the puppets, they are divine. Thank you

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    1. Frog,
      Lots of people seem to have trouble with avos, not sure what to try next. They didnt seem to to take so long last time I grew them. That was a very wet season so maybe they just need lots of water. Asparagus like salt so the seaweed mulch is perfect for them.

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  4. Happy birthday for the 19th! 60 is most definitely not old. Your garden is looking lovely and lush and tropical. I wish we could grow ginger here. I will give it a try one day. I love your tip for keeping weeds at bay with cardboard. i must try that to see if it can stop the invasive grass we get creeping into the garden beds.

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    1. Kyrstie, thank you! Cardboard is awesome - I think it attracts worms too. When I extended my beds I dug up the grass and turned it upside down, then covered it with cardboard. In about a month, that bed was just filled with the most awesome soil, ful of worms and no grass in sight!

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  5. I hope you get some better rain in March, I find that the beans etc take off after some proper rain. I really want to try your worm farm system, keep reminding myself....

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    1. liz, yes most of what is struggling in my garden are wet season plants and they expect occasional flooding and rain most nights.....Oh you must try it, it is so easy and great to move around to where you want the goodness to go.

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  6. We share the same birthday. You can see what your purchases are by the cardboard boxes. A Multipro huh!!! Was that in a blog? 1st day of Autumn here and after a cold night around 25 today. Lovely.

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    1. Oh golly gosh - happy birthday for the 19th! the multipro was a lucky find - got it from the markets. I ddint blog about it - I was too busy chopping, and blending and mixing :)

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  7. Yay for the Okra, my favorite. When there is only one or two, they taste great in a pot of lima beans or field peas. When there are only 4 or 5 pods, they can be breaded with cornmeal and fried with green tomatoes for a lovely dish.

    Sixty? I was a near teen when you were born.

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    Replies
    1. Jean, I have only had my one solitary pod so far, but they definitely are perking up a bit now. Oh? well you certainly dont act old :)

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  8. Your garden looks great! I like your idea of shade sails over the garden, will keep that in mind for next summer. Happy birthday for the 19th, and you're only as old as you feel......I think 60's the new 40 :)

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    1. Nanette,
      This is the first summer we have had to keep the shade sails up - it certainly makes working out in the garden more pleasant. I think when they say gardens should be in full sun, they are not talking about my climate! thank you, thank you for the fabrics - so awesome - I will do a post about them soon and show them off!

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  9. Your garden is doing well...not sure why the avocado is wilting though....maybe try a new plant, that one looks sickly.
    Tell your friend she has got it all wrong....sixty is now the new forty in case she did not get the memo.
    Life your life!!

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    1. Virginia, Oh they are quite expensive, so I will persisit - this a grafted dwarf one. I definitely intend to live my life to the fullest!

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  10. Your red papaya will grow beautifully in your climate and yes they are bisexual, unlike the yellow ones You are lucky to have so much ginger and your attention to worms is amazing. You always grow such diversity :)

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    1. Every year my ginger bed just gets bigger and bigger, it is so easy to grow and so useful. I am definetly a worm addict now.

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