Mid October, mid west coast WA. Those big highs are in and the land is warming up fast. We've not had much rain this year (the eastern part of Australia has had its wettest year on record, but over here it's our second driest ever!) which means the garden needs some extra TLC, and the early erection of the shadecloth to finish off the spring harvest.
We had a cold winter, which probably explains the bumper crop of snow peas, but the early heat brought on the aphids, who unfortunately demolished the broccoli before the ladybugs and aphid wasps could do their work as friendly predators. I got a few flowerettes, but the rest got pulled out in disgust!
Working out what grows when is such trial and error, as the usual suggestions on the back of the seed packets or in gardening books just don't equate to this crazy weather we get here. There is no way we have the same growing cycle as Perth and the south west! The two cucumber plants I grew from seed sat at two leaves for about 2 months, then with the sudden warmth they've begun to grow and flower. Whereas the squash - same family - has had a lovely time in the cooler weather but now is getting awfully squeamish with this heat and curling up with mould and expiring. Some of the tomato plants have gone great guns, others are taking their time - it's nice to have an ongoing harvest of tomatoes anyway so I'm happy with this development.
It's asparagus time!! Oh how I love fresh asparagus. I'm also harvesting lots of yummy lettuce greens for awesome organic salads, and the chilli plants are fruiting madly, meaning I've almost got all the ingredients I need for an Asian feast. The kaffir lime is growing well, and I've lemongrass clumps everywhere, and I just purchased another curry leaf plant as my current plant isn't thriving at all. Apparently they like friends.. But the fig tree is fruiting, awesome!!
After the water tank stand disaster the backyard has been left somewhat neglected, resulting in huge weed growth in the deserted chook pen that I'm rather scared of clearing up. You see it's snake season, and the average slider around here usually packs a nasty bite of venom, so caution is the best policy. Pottering around in shorts and thongs isn't really recommended though I am stamping loudly to let them know I'm coming... So far so good.
The windsurfing season has commenced, with some ripping winds and quite a few nice days of rolling swell. My season was delayed a bit as I had to get strength and mobility back in the forementioned broken arm, but with all that time in the gym, I'm now stronger and fitter than I have been for years. And yes I'm still turning up for some gym torture when the wind doesn't blow. Kate gets back from Exmouth this weekend, so it's time for the great forward loop challenge to begin! I'm feeling sick just thinking about it....
Hazel has been unwell, with considerable pain and weakness in her left shoulder. She gets an XRay on Monday to find out if it's anything sinister, until then it's more anti-inflammatories and the most excruciatingly slow beach walks imaginable. It's heart wrenching to see her hobbling along, but she so enjoys her rolls in the sand and weed that I think there's more good than bad. She's still eating and happy enough but walking is a huge effort for her, poor thing. All that gymwork at least makes me strong enough to carry all 20kgs of her when necessary. No, she hasn't lost any weight!!!!
It's starting to cool down now, time to get an hour or so out in the garden before friends come round for dinner. I've just cooked BBQ pork, Chinese style with Char Siu sauce which I'll serve with rice and cucumbers. But now it's time to unfurl the shade cloth...