Showing posts from November, 2010

This and that - hot and humid

I have been very slack with posting to my blog lately - very busy getting ready for Christmas.  I discovered amazon and did some great shopping for my daughters christmas presents.  Hmmm should I monetize my blog and add an amazon banner?  I have gone ahead and added it, looks as if it is something I will be using. Made a little gingerbread house with my three year old grandson....... I know this contains nothing that has been growing in my garden, but it is rather cute I think Hubby took a photo of a birdwing butterfly - I was too busy cooling off in the pool, yes it is beginning to get hot and humid. Makes you feel lazy. Oh....... I could share some photos of the lipstick plant -I just love the way this brightens up the garden.

Growing ginger

When I purchased ginger from the local farmers market this weekend, there were lots of lovely new shoots!  I sliced them off with a little bit of flesh attached to each one and set them onto the counter to dry out a bit.  I already have some in the garden, but reckoned I could find room for a little more.  Here is some that has already sprouted. Note the tiny one next to it that is just starting.  It does not grow very high - between 1 to 2 feet high. It grows during our wet season so needs lots of moisture.  Last year I grew it in a very shady area and it was not that happy.  This year I am hoping for a bumper crop.  I simply keep my ginger root in the freezer and grate as needed.  Mostly it is not necessary to peel it.

New tomato bed ready

I prepared the new bed that I will be planting tomatoes in next April after the wet season ends. I had this extra "wheelie bin" and half filled it with some leftover mulch, then kept topping it up with garden clippings, seaweed etc.  I did not mix it like I do the other compost.  It just showed the difference that mixing makes as the top part had not composted much at all.  Also this bin is not open at the bottom. The uncomposted bits went deep into this pit, covered by the richer black gold that I found on the bottom of the bin.  I have a sheet of plywood submersed so that I  have an access path in front of the tomato bed.  I found this worked really well to tip the bin over onto its side and use the lid to support a bucket that I kept filling up and transporting to different parts of the garden.  The other bin next to it has leaf mould, which is busy maturing.  I also used some of the rich black compost to build up around some of my ginger plants. I also added a layer t

Lopping the top off the pawpaw tree

What do you do when you can no longer reach to pick the pawpaws on your tree? You lop off the top! I find the thought of this proceedure quite scary, as I dont want to lose this tree, and if you are not careful and allow moisture to get into the top of the stem then the entire trunk will rot. I have a few other pawpaw trees starting up, but often they succumb to a virus and dont make it past a few feet tall. This one is large, healthy and very prolific. This is predicted to be a very bad cyclone season and so high pawpaw trees will often get knocked down by strong winds. Cutting it down could actually protect the tree, and you can see the tree is ready for this - there are already side branches forming. I need to get it done before the wet season really starts.... Ooh.... first I need to research some recipes for using up green papaws :) commonly called procrastination! OK all set.... down she comes!  Hubby cut it off with a saw and I stood by with the broom to knock it away so that

praying mantis

The way this praying mantis walked along the top of the fence reminded me of the pink panther tune we used to sing as kids  Dedum,.................. dedum,.................  dedum, dedum dedum... diddlum.  He was after the stinkbugs like these. I knew if I waited long enough  a natural predator would come around - he is going to be very happy, a feast is awaiting him.

Over the garden bloggers back fence

This is what I love about gardening  and blogging - you have advice from all around the world! In the last frenzy of blogging queries there was discussion as to how  other bloggers advice should be  taken lightly.  Since we are not all (heaven forbid) ... and I whisper here ....  horticulturists!  In my last post I talked about my fruit trees, and  Rainforest Gardener   pointed out that my guava tree did not look like the pineapple guava that I thought it was.  To all intents and purposes it looks like a yellow guava.  see this link So now I am in a quandry. I love yellow guava - this is the guava that I grew up with in South Africa.  This article says that they are not declared a pest..... yet.   Host to the papaya fruit fly - gosh I dont like the sound of that.   I really dont have the room to battle with invasive plants, so I am afraid it is going to have to go. I love the idea that as world wide bloggers we can all lean over each o

Fruit trees

Seeing how tiny my garden is you would think I would not be venturing into fruit trees, but things happen, you get a cutting, or you see something you really would like to try, and pretty soon you have  a collection of fruit trees.   Of course our very large tree is a lychee tree but we are on the fringes of lychee growing, and really I dont mind if we dont get fruit as the tree is too big to net, and if we get too much fruit we will have to put up with flying foxes (bats) which doesnt really appeal to me.   We do get birds with huge heavy beaks which seem to find the few fruit that does appear. So onto the back vegetable garden....  where I have pawpaw trees on either side - one male on the right and one female on the left. The female has been bearing nonstop for about 2 years, but now is getting quite high and I really must lop the top off it. Stay tuned for a post devoted to this process. Here you can see how high they are, and how many I am going to lose when I lop the top o