Saturday, March 19, 2016

Digging new beds and passionfruit melon

I am so happy with our 25mm of rain yesterday - I had almost forgotten what rain looked like - that I stays in all day and listened to the showers on the roof while I filled seed packets. That is a couple of days that I don't have to irrigate, especially since most of the crops are finished and I am just waiting a little longer before planting for winter.

 I have started digging some beds on the sed block ready to plant shortly. The beds are mostly 20 m long and 1m wide with some of them 35m long because of the shape of the block.

All the garlic and shallots are already planted on this block and in the next two months I will be planting broad beans, root crops and brassicas.

I try not to use Roundup more than necessary but on the seed block I have found that it is a good too to add organic matter into the soil quickly. This block was covered in kikuyu and buffalo grass which have a large underground root system. Using herbicide to kill it meant that there was a lot of root mass rotting in the ground and it has certainly made a difference to the soil already - I even found a couple of worms, which would not be a great deal except for the sterility of this soil before. The rotting roots and raising the PH seems to be helping a lot. It can only get better.

I was so excited to try this new cucurbit Cionosicyos macranthus (passionfruit melon) but so far it has refused to show any sign of flowering. I fear now that it will be too late to fruit even if it starts flowering tomorrow.

I still have a couple of seeds and might start them during the winter in my hothouse to try and get them going sooner next season. I really want to get these growing as they are so rare and unusual.

This plant is a melon relative that has passionfruit looking leaves and a shiny yellow fruit with flesh that melts when cut open. You use the flesh as a drink.


  1. Well done. Must be hard on the back?

    1. I need to lose some weight and build up strength, lol