Some things I will grow just for my own consumption - eggplant and sweet potatoes, but am beginning to wonder if I really want to take up garden space to continually try to grow things that nobody particularly likes. I eventually pulled out the ceylon spinach - just couldnt acquire a taste for that. Snake beans can stay for now, but I would like to find some better recipes for them, or preferably grow the skinny snake beans. .
These have been favourites in my garden and I will make space for them:
Cherry tomatoes - I am going to clear the space right at the back alongside the fence - they are easier to tie up to a fence and should be easy to harvest there, as long as a I leave a little bit of a path. There are rocks there, so I will have to place something alongside the fence and then remove the rocks - I have plenty of other places where the rocks need topping up, so they will come in useful. I was concerned that tomato plants had to be rotated since they are the nightshade family, but I really dont think cherry tomatoes fit into that category, and I had read that if you keep adding plenty of compost that does not apply. I do need to ensure though that the bandicoots will not be able to dig through into the garden.
Herb spiral - I am slowly accumulating more tropical herbs - I am persisting with the rosemary, but have replaced oregano with mother of herbs. I seem to have found the perfect spot for parsley at the base of the herb spiral, and hope to be able to grow it almost year round with a bit of careful attention. The main reason parsely does not generally do well during the wet season is the heat and water logging of the soil. I have the arch over the herb spiral to allow for shade, and good drainage, so am hoping for the best.
My parsley was getting overgrown with weeds and the whole bed needed some attention
My elderly Italian neighbour grew the most fantastic bed of lush parsley, and gave me a few pointers. He said that you should harvest the parsley from the outside right at the base of the plant. He used to snap them off but I use my trusty kitchen scissors. Once those outer leaves and stems are removed, build up the soil around the base to support the plant as it will continue to grow up the stalk and fall over if not supported. Here you can see how the base is supported and new growth is starting.
Gemsquash - I keep trying to grow gemsquash which are really not suited to this climate at all. They are native to South Africa where we grew up and we have a hankering for them. I try to choose a dry time as powdery mildew has got my plants every time, and the ones I planted a couple of weeks ago seemed to be doing really well. Lots of male plants and this looks like the first female - a baby gem! I dont know if it is going to grow into a full size gem, and the flower already looks as though it is dying, so I will be watching and waiting with bated breath.