Monday, 21 October 2013

Weekend Gardening Update

I couldn't resist a beautiful rose to start off this week's gardening update. This is from my "Flood Rose" in the water tank garden, which sits happily amongst the bok choi.

There are some pests which have decided to attack a few of my bok choi. They seem to target the more mature plants.

I read somewhere that you can either pull individual leaves from a bok choi, pull up the entire plant, or cut it at its base and it will grow again. This is what I found when I cut this one, so it may have a good chance of growing again. Will let it go and see what happens.

I also read that you should let one of your bok choi 'bolt' in order for it to produce seed pods, and hence to collect the seeds. I don't see any pods yet but will keep watching. These leaves would now be too bitter to eat.

Paul came home from the hardware store with more seedlings as a surprise. Japanese and Butternut Pumpkins and a couple of strawberry runners. He is hoping to have the pumpkins run over the back lawn where there is heaps of space.

The silverbeet leaves are getting healthy and strong - and actually look like what they are supposed to.

Little baby Zucchini's from my largest plant. The others are starting to come along now but are a few weeks behind this guy, even though they were planted at the same time.

More spring flowering bulbs at the front of the house. I will certainly miss this colour when it is gone.

This little agave was found buried beneath the weeds in the front garden bed when I first started clearing out the garden. He is thriving now.

I cut this right back and it had no leaves so I thought it may have died but it is full of new growth...and a small flower. We call this Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow as it comes out in three different purple-coloured flowers. Not sure what its real name is.

I have planted Marigold, Calendula and Alyssum out the front to attract beneficial bugs in the hope they will fight some of the pests around.

As you can see, some sort of pest has attacked my Broccoli plant. There are four in this bed and they seem to only like this one so I am sacrificing it at this stage for the sake of the others until I work out how to treat it.

The kale seems to have a different sort of problem with the squiggly pattern on the leaves. I need to do some reading to determine what the pests are and how to control them. My friend Nanna Chel has a great post about Natural Pest Control so I thought I might make the All Round Insecticide Spray and see how it goes.

I had a good look at my lettuces this weekend and noticed that when I planted them there must have been two seedlings in each section of the punnet because most of my lettuces were in fact two plants. This may account for the fact that they have not grown very big. So, I decided to split them and see what happens.

This is the beautiful cache of fresh greenery I collected. Celery, four types of lettuce, english spinach, silverbeet, snow peas, spring onions, chives, and a red stemmed spinach I can't remember the name of.

I am very pleased to say that we had a beautiful green salad with our dinner tonight made entirely from my own ingredients - including the lemon juice for the dressing and the parsley to garnish. I also chopped up spinach and bok choi and added it to a chicken curry I made for during the week. And I have to greens taste absolutely amazing and they are totally organic and chemical free. You can't get better than that.

Well...there's still the tomatoes to ripen, the zucchini to grow, the chooks to plan for...there will always be something to look forward to.

I am already planning my next lot of bok choi and even conducted soil tests today which confirm that the soil in all gardens is alkaline or neutral varying in ph from 6.5 to 7.5. This tends to suit most plants from what I can gather.

Gardening is an art that I am enjoying discovering about and the successes so far are outweighing the pitfalls. Every time I plant something different I learn something new and its that part of the process that appeals to me...and the fact that I have done it myself, from scratch. You can't beat that feeling.

I wonder what I will be picking next week? What have you harvested lately? And do you know what my pests are and how to treat them?

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