Friday, April 12, 2013

Good weather, good digging

Today I spent the morning pulling up a couple of beds of old carrots that had gone to seed before Christmas and turning over the soil for new crops. As the old plants were still there, I took the simple way and picked off the seed heads and replanted the seeds in the same beds. As my vegetables don't have any viruses I often replant the same vegetables in their beds two or three times before rotating the crop. I will just sprinkle a bit of old composted horse poo over the beds and the carrots will come up again happily. Saves me having to go back to the shed to find seed that I had saved earlier.

As I was out on the back block I was happy to see that my VERY late planted Madagascar beans have started to flower. I was sure that they would flower too late to get any seeds from them and I would have to mulch them and wait till they came up again. As it is I have a reasonable chance that these flowers will produce some mature seeds before the frosts. These beans produce a tuber so they come back if given care and will shoot again in the spring but it will be a bonus to get some seeds before winter as well.

While I was checking the pepinos I found that the ants are getting to the fruit like last year, even the very unripe fruit. I mulched them heavily this time with straw in the hope that the fruit would be dry enough not to attract ants. They just won't leave them alone and most of the fruits have holes in them. Last year the ants were content to leave them till they were almost ripe but not this year.
Next year I will try to trellis them. They probably would bear as well but at least I should be able to save more fruit. As for the rest of this year I will go out on tomorrow and try to prop up the fruiting branches to get the fruit well clear of the ground, I also have a few mesh fruit bags that I will use to cover some.

Tomorrow Merino (a small town about 20km from here) is having their first veggie swap day so I will pop over with a few manglewurzels and some coloured silverbeet to lend them some support. I have just made a mangelwurzel cake for people there to taste. It has just now come out of the oven and smells great. Of course I will have to have a taste shortly. Can't take a cake that is not good enough, lol.

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