Friday, September 11, 2009

Sucker alert!!

After a couple of days of glorious weather we are back to more brutal westerly fronts and yet more rain. Can't believe I'm saying this but I am just so over the rain now. I don't want any more storm fronts, I want the weather to swing into big highs over the ocean and nice sea breezes. Yeah I know it's only September, but there's great swell and I want to be out there enjoying it.

Admittedly, I have seen a few keen souls out at St Georges in the last few days, but it's dead onshore and not great for either jumping or waveriding. And it's cold, grumble grumble........

Back in the garden those warm days have brought out everyone's favourite sap sucking chaps, the aphids. In my "good karma" garden I resist all negative thoughts about these visitors, simply snipping off the heavy infestations and feeding them to four highly appreciative chickens. So far the aphids are only eating the leftover chinese cabbage, which had gone to seed and I had kept in there to create just such a decoy. They are welcome to the cabbage, just leave the broccoli for me please!!

Unfortunately I planted my broccoli seeds rather late this year, so if I get any crop at all that isn't aphid infested I'll be thrilled. I've been using home made seaweed tea to keep up the plants' resistance, and of course encouraging the ladybugs, who are having a feast this year amongst all the excess greenery (aphids will eat any fleshy plant, they appear quite partial to dandelions, and aphids are a ladybirds' favourite food!). The broccoli are forming nice flowerettes, and some are close to harvest, let's just cross our fingers that the "good karma" works!!

Elsewhere in the garden I've got tomato plants at all stages, including harvesting some Romas, I've parsley self seeded everywhere, and the asparagus shoots get eaten raw within seconds of being picked. Yummo!! I've just planted some swiss chard, and some more zucchini seeds, whilst another zucchini plant is already producing nice healthy fruit. The sweet potato plants look happy, and the grapefruit I put in last winter is flowering like there's no tomorrow.

The cherry guava is developing lots of fruit this year, helped on with lots of moo poo from Kate and Curls' Dexters. The passionfruit hasn't really recovered from last summer, and I should probably just pull it out and start again - it seems to spend more energy putting out suckers from the root stock than on growth from the graft - but I'm hoping to nurture it through and see if it'll fruit. And the mulberry, which gets zero attention except an occasional severe pruning, is putting on so much fruit it's going to be a bumper season. Very purple and very messy, but oh sooo enjoyable!!

The big garden challenge for the next week is a monster! I've decided to cut back the bougainvillea by about a half, since it now extends up to the roofline and halfway along the length of the house. This will mean long sleeves and trousers, long leather gloves, and heavy duty protection against paper wasps - though the nest does look dormant/empty at present!! I'm also hiring a 6 cubic metre skip for the garbage disposal because with 2 inch spikes this is one plant I don't keep on site as mulch.

If you haven't heard from me in a month, send in the SAS!!

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