Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Rampant growth in the tropical wet season

I try to cut everything way back at this time of year so that I dont get lots of leggy growth as the plants spurt forth with the approaching wet season.  Last year our wet season was very late in arriving and in fact, we did not get as much rain as usual. The mandevilla vine which shades the herb spiral has had a very severe haircut, which let in lots of light.
I need to cut back the lady slipper orchid vine as it is too heavy for the tree it is clambering over - weeping tea tree.  It is looking so beautiful though that I am going to leave it a little longer.  No photo - it keeps turning sideways - does anyone else have that problem?

Vegetables and Herbs
 I am going to try to keep some greens growing until the very end of the dry season and in actual fact planted out a new supply.   Tatsoi has become my very favourite green, it survived with very little care while I was away, so I added a little more compost around the base of each plant.  The eggplant at the end of this box is the lebanese one - I hope they do well here, as my other plant died. I still have the thai ones, but want a few more plants.
  I did the same with the parsley.  The basil and tarragon are sending out new shoots, and the lemon balm and sawtooth coriander is going crazy.  Another plant that is doing well is the citronella.  It is hard to determine if it does in fact keep away mozzies, but it smells nice anyway.  The gerberas are enjoying the herb spiral and I also moved a few hippeastrum out into the sun in the hope that will spur flowering.
The peppercorn vine has now travelled all along the length of the asparagus bed.  I only have one asparagus plant remaining, so have let it grow.  On the side that gets morning sun I have prepared a section to grow some snake beans.  They do well in the wet season. The capsicum and chilies are looking a little healthier since my return - I think they must just be very hungry plants as the application of worm poo and compost is what seems to have helped.
One of my pawpaw trees developed a fungus and died, but this one is going strong, and I also get the occasional cherry that the birds leave for me.
My little microgreens are doing well - I am continually sowing and harvesting.  Here the sunflower sprouts are almost past ready for picking.  

Out in fruit salad alley we have been enjoying the odd mulberry, and also a few figs.  The limes are producing enough to keep us going, and at last the passionfruit are beginning to colour up and produce a harvest.  My lemon trees developed little fruit and then they dissapeared - I think they must have dropped off - I will have to research what is going on.   How on earth did gardeners survive before the internet?


  1. I'm focusing on salad veg here, in subtropical Qld, as that's what we'll eat. I've got a lot of self seeded lettuce and cherry tomatoes (self seeded and in pots too) and have planted a number of cucumber vines. They did really well last year so am hoping cucumbers will do well this year too! I love the sound of a fruit salad alley...delicious! Meg

    1. Hi Meg,
      I dont know why my lettuces dont self seed (maybe I pull them out thinking they are weeds while they are still little!) Yes all my cherry tomatoes are self seeded and come up everywhere. My cucumbers always get downy mildew and look so unhappy beofre they give me a few little measly cucumbers.

  2. You seem to have such a great variety of veggies and fruit growing in your garden Gill.
    My passionfruit vines are full of fruit and I've eaten dozens of them, but a lot of the fruit is falling before they mature.
    The lemons on one of my lemon trees also drop off all the time, just a mess on the floor.

    1. Oh Sami, It is so disheartening isnt it to see the little lemons forming and then poof they are gone! Gardening is not for the faint hearted!

  3. How on earth did gardeners survived before grocery stores? :) It's a challenge to grow any substantial amount of food, especially with every year's weather different from before.

    1. Jenny,
      that is where I often have a problem, because I expect the rainy season way before it comes, and then feel I have missed the opportunity. I am enjoying sprouts and microgreens though as they are quick to harvest.

  4. Lemons need a good deep watering once a week at least. Make sure that it is clear round the base of the stem, they don't like being crowded. Trim back all the dead wood. Beating the tree is also meant to be good!!

    1. Audrey,
      Thanks for that, maybe I dont water as often as I should, but I definitely give the pots a good soaking when I do water. I did hear something about beating it - maybe that is the next thing to try!

  5. I looked up the saying. A woman, a dog and a walnut tree, the harder you beat them the better they be. Apparently they used long poles to beat down the walnuts. These also knocked down all the dead branches. My Dad always said that pruning a lemon tree was as good as giving it a bag of manure.

    1. Oh that is a scary saying! Sounds like our dads were quite similar! He used to prune back all our 200 rose bushes very severley, and then win prizes in the flower competition.

  6. Hello,

    Gardening Know How is now accepting guest blog submissions for 2017.  We would be delighted if you participated!  Gardening Know How gives new and experienced gardeners the tools and resources they need to be successful and happy gardeners. We are currently looking to enrich our site with new and interesting content by giving bloggers an outlet for sharing their unique view and expertise on gardening with our readers.

    A guest blog equates to great exposure.  If you write a post for us, we will happily link back to your site and your guest blog will be promoted on all our social media. 

    For guidelines and all FAQ's please visit

    Please spread the word!  Thanks and hope to hear from you soon!

    Have a great day!

    Shelley Pierce
    Manager, Social Marketing and Brand Communications

    Gardening Know How

  7. Here in Wisconsin our growing season is very short, usually only from late May to September and then we're in the deep freeze from mid-November until the end of March. April is an 'iffy' month and it's also not unheard of to have snow in early May. So we only have green leaves on the trees from May to early September; a few glorious days of color in October and then poof, Mother Nature pulls the plug for the next seven months.

    My very silly question is this: do you have greenery year round? Do the trees ever lose their leaves entirely, or are they always in the process of shedding and then regrowing new foliage? What would gardeners do without the internet indeed? I learn so much from other bloggers and can smile on a dark, deeply cold January day knowing many of my blog friends are enjoying warmth in their gardens. :-)

    1. I am continually amazed at the awesome garden you produce in that short time. If you lived here you would never get any stained glass done! Franzipani are the only tree I know of that lose their leaves and that is during the wet season! There is much more rampant growth during the wet season, but during the wet season most "regular " vegetables dont grow, so I grow ginger, tumeric, sweet potatoes and the like. when I am suffering in the heat and humidity it cools me down to think of you trudging through the snow, so it works both ways. :)


I love interacting with all my readers, thank you for your comments. Have a great day!


Blog Archive

About Me

My photo
e-mail me at