I realised this morning that it's been awhile since I've taken you on a stroll around the veggie patch. Winter was quite a disappointing season: I'd hoped to grow some cool season veg but it turned out to be far too cold for anything to grow. Then spring arrived but the frosts persisted, continuing right into October.
It was the second week of October before I considered it safe to plant the summer selection of veg, including eggplant, two kinds of tomatoes, lettuce, basil and oregano, corn, cucumber, zucchini and capsicum.
The weather continues to be full of inconsistencies: Stinking hot one day and cold the next. Today the temperature is hovering around 30 degrees (Celsius) with the breeze blowing in from the south-east. Every now and then it becomes quite gusty and a little chilly, but I won't complain about the coolness of it as no doubt it'll soon be scorching hot yet again.
The veg has been a little slow to grow. I'm not sure if it's the soil or the weather, but today I'll give the plants some seaweed solution and hopefully that'll give them the boost they need. I've had to make cages that slip over the raised garden beds as the birds have been getting in and eating the beetroot and carrot seedlings, which I grow in-ground from seed. The pigeons and the black birds have been the main culprits!
We had to put new tyres on both cars so we saved some of the old tyres to use as garden beds. I started with two zucchini plants but am now only left with the one.
But the surviving zucchini plant is fairing well, despite its slow start. You can see here two baby zucchinis and some more flowers yet to open.
I'll plant some pumpkin seeds, potatoes, watermelon and rockmelon in the coming days. Shane is supposed to be picking me up some soil sometime this week to put in the empty tyres you see here so that I can do just that.
I've taken to leaving the shadecloth on the beds most days. The weather is prone to sudden changes around here and I've found many plants (such as the cucumber, onions, cabbage and lettuce) prefer the protection from the sun and wind that the shadecloth provides.
I've tried my best to follow the principles of companion planting this season in an attempt to ward off pests and disease. So far, so good. The most we've had to contend with is the odd cabbage moth, but otherwise the plants appear to be pest and disease free.
I've also made sure to include beneficial flowers in the veggie patch, namely marigolds and red geranium. There's a multitude of benefits: Not only do they protect the neighbouring vegetable plants from pest attack and assist in pollination, they also add a wonderful splash of colour to the garden beds when in full bloom.
How does your garden grow this season?