Saturday, January 28, 2017

Bits and pieces

I am just patiently waiting for a few days of cooler weather before planting out a few trays of autumn/winter seedling veggies - brassicas, aquilegias, violas and stuff. With the temps in the low thirties it is just a bit hot for transplanting but next week might be right.

Apart from the hand pollinating of the melons and irrigating twice a week I don't have a lot to do except a bit of weeding. Summer tends to consist of mainly sitting indoors in the heat and watering in the evening but this year we have had milder weather that I am really enjoying.

 I don't have many cucumbers in as the spring was far too cold but I managed to get a couple of plants of both mini white cucumbers (pictured) and small potato cucumbers going.
The mini whites are very sweet and my mother loves them.

The small potato cukes are suffering again with the heat and spider mites. They have to be the worst cukes for pest and disease problems but I am going to keep growing them and hopefully select for better toughness.

I know I have mentioned the 'Amarilla' tomatillos some posts ago but now they are in full ripening mode I am really liking them. The fruits are bigger than I expected and very sweet. I got my refractometer out and they tested at a surprising 9 brix.
The problems with this variety are that the fruits are loved by slugs, snails and some sort of worm/caterpillar, and the branches get so heavy with fruit that they break off easily, oh, and the fruits contain very few seeds.

They are so sweet that I doubt they are the best for salsa but would go perfectly in fruit salads or jam.

I decided to grow a couple of 'Tiny Tim' tomatoes this year even though I am not a great fan of the taste and bush but many people only have a tiny garden or balcony to grow things in pots and these do fit the bill.

The plants do look good when covered with fruit, I have to give them that, but the taste is a let down and the fruit tends to be bunched in the centre of the plant which makes it a pain to harvest as you knock off the green fruits when trying to find and pick the ripe ones.

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