Tuesday, January 14, 2020

The wet season in the tropics

After a bit of a dry spell in November and December, the wet season seems to have arrived in the Wet tropics.   100-200mls of rain every day means the ground is wet most of the time.  Hoses are wrapped up, and nature waters the plants.  Bugs love this weather, some plants love it, some do not.

I moved my orchids away from the back fence where I think they were in too much shade.  I love them like a green wall on either side of my mural.  They are easier to monitor and two of them are  getting ready to flower.! One branch on the yellow one has opened up! I have always been a "set and forget" type of orchid grower so am surprised and delighted when they flower.

The area where the lady slipper orchid vine had rather taken over was cut back and the flowers are certainly enjoying a bit more sunshine.

The wet season is not for the faint-hearted, and only the most robust veggies grow at this time of year.  I planted out a few more asparagus plants into what has now become the perennial bed.  Peppercorn at the back, that I keep on having to trim back, Sweet leaf, and then asparagus in the front.  I still have a few asparagus gr.own from seed, about 2 years old, and want to keep the most robust.  I was not sure whether to keep them in pots, or to plant them all out in the bed, and then remove the weaker plants.  I wont be harvesting them for at least another year, and right now they need to be re-potted.

I am dedicating one bed to ginger, and it is doing well.  In the back of this bed I planted a few cow peas, which are supposed to be great as a green manure crop, so will need to be cut back every now and then, when they will release nitrogen into the soil.  The worry about the wet season is that all this rain washes the nutrients out of the soil, so compost and live plants will keep back a certain amount.

I have a few luffa in the boxes alongside the fence - I love growing them and giving away little shower kits with home made luffa.  Maybe this is the year I will try to make my own soap!
The other bed at the back has long green beans, a volunteer pumpkin, and a volunteer eggplant.  I have started a few seedlings in the greenhouse, purple basil and thai eggplant.

We had a program at the supermarket where you could win little boxes with seeds, but of course this was while I was away.  I thought it was a great idea, instead of the little plastic toys that soon went into landfill.  I managed to get hold of some of the little boxes and have started them up in my little greenhouse.  We will see how they do.

I cut back a bit of overgrowth and since there were a few flowers attached I put them into a vase, outside the front door as there is no room inside!
 The sexy pink lady is still one of my favourite heleconias.

I hope you are enjoying your garden in this new year!


  1. Wow so much rain, you lucky duck! We aren't getting much at all down here.

    Your garden looks like it is loving all that rain.

    I had no success with ginger this year. Its leaves didn't even unfold properly before the heat burnt them. I had them covered, but we have had unreal temperatures this season, even the best plants are suffering.

    I am going to try soap making this year too. I like the sound of growing luffa, but I don't think I would succeed in our climate.


    1. This year we have had temps up into the high thirties as well, so it so very unpleasant being outside. Ginger definitely need lots of moisture, but I am not so sure about luffa, it might be worth a try. Orchids are definitely loving this weather, although the flowers are not lasting that long. Hope you are finding a place to stay cool.

  2. My neighbour grew ginger and gave me a batch which is in the freezer and we used it in our stir fry the other night...great to have on hand.

    1. Oh I love fresh ginger, and had another blog friend who grew both ginger and turmeric in her greenhouse in Tasmania.

  3. I was in Townsville two weeks ago and it was very dry there although it was a lot greener than down here in SE Qld. Yes, do give soapmaking a try. The 100% coconut oil soap is very quick to make. The recipe is on my blog. It makes a very hard soap. I had no success with the Woolies seeds unfortunately but it was such a good idea rather than thise dreadful plastic toys.

  4. Hello Nanna Chel,
    Oh I looked at your recipe and it looks lovely. thank you for that. I have had a few seeds sprout up but now they are just sitting there and not getting any bigger. Maybe the heat.

  5. Most definitely the wet season up there now. My Mum is up on the Tablelands and loving the rain after it being so dry earlier in the summer.

    I grow cardamon ginger and tuneric in a tank garden here in Brissy and native gingers under my front verandah.

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    1. thank you so much Kathy - I have requested it from my library!

  7. Weather here in my place is so unpredictable and crazy.. few days of heavy downpours and flood followed by few weeks of horrible blazing dry hot sun. My plants are going crazy and so am I. Anyway, those are lovely orchids and a beautiful heliconias.

    1. Yes you have to really try to work with the weather, and the reports are so often wrong! Even the orchid flowers didn't last as long as usual with the heat we have been getting.


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