Friday, December 16, 2016

End of the year

I have been a bit slack with my blog over the past month so I thought I will end it for the year and come back at the start of Jan.

It has been a very trying year, starting with drought, and then over three months of bog during the winter and spring, all meaning that growing vegetables has been very difficult to say the least. I was not able to produce anywhere near the seed I should have been able to and it will be another 10 months before this situation will change, not till next spring when the brassicas start ripening and I harvest the next lot of garlic.

The extremely late start to planting meant that nearly all my frost tolerant plants are a total write off - after the third replanting of the melons, corn, tomatoes, capsicums, eggplants and more I have given up as it is too late not to be sure that their seed will be ready to harvest by frost.

Adding to my woes is an explosion of rabbits following the rains and good feed. They have eaten most of my beans that I was testing for heat tolerance so that is a trial that is down the tubes.

 The few melons that are still alive should be big and running all over the place, and flowering heavily but this is how they look right now.

At least I have a few varieties growing, if only with a couple of plants each, to renew seed with.

After the surprisingly good results I had with ulluco last summer in the heat and dry I am trying some of them out in the open just to see how much sun they will stand. I am not expecting much but I put in this row of cuttings just to see.

With so many beds empty of summer crops I have room to experiment with other things.

I usually put in my brassicas after Christmas but I did put in a double row of Bear Necessities kale at the start of the month and they are looking very healthy and loving the mild weather at the moment.

This variety starts off looking like red Russian kale but the leaves get more and more fine and feathery as they mature.
I am so loving this variety that I will put in another couple of rows later.

Because most of the these plants I put in last summer died in the wet conditions of winter I didn't get anywhere near the seed I was expecting.

Another plant which is loving the mild conditions is edible Canna/Achira (Canna edulis). I quite like eating the tuberous roots but I don't go out of my way to cook them. They are a very respectable survival food though.
They could be a tasty staple if needed.

Anyway, I am loving the weather at the moment and have only had to turn on the irrigation once so far for the new seedlings. The ground is still moist and I am expecting a great growing season.

With the drought over now I think the business will pick up greatly. It has been a hard couple of years but at least I learnt a lot and am ready for anything to come.

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