Friday, October 30, 2009

The Day the Garden Went Mad.

The Day the Garden Went Mad (well...the weekend it went mad to be more truthful).

Yesterday we received 46mm of rain that mostly came in one hour.

It's the most rain in one individual downpour that we have received in the three years since we moved here. Hopefully it won't have a negative effect on the upcoming fruit harvest. Too much rain at the wrong time causes the fruit skins to split, obviously spoiling the fruit.

At the moment the sky is clear, but more rain and thunder storms are forecast for the next few days, and temperatures are supposed to rise to the mid 30s(Celsius). It looks like we are facing some humid days ahead.

We went away last weekend for a couple of days and came back to find the garden had gone mad. We returned to a mass of colour with every rose at the front of the house in bloom. Our veggies also sprang into life over that couple of days. Peas that had been newly sown were already tempting the birds and were desperate for a bit of protection.

My two types of climbing beans were showing different rates of progress. The "lazy housewife" were struggling - they seem to be much more appealing to nibbling critters than the robust "purple king" that were sown at the same time. The latter had not been touched, but the former had been chewed severely.

This morning I saw the season's first blaze of golden yellow in the zucchini plants. While there have been buds for a few days, today was the day the first one opened fully, inviting fertilization. All of the zucchini and squash (three plants each) are looking promising, but I'm very concerned about our pumpkin prospects. The butternut seeds I sowed have so far produced one good plant, that succumbed to frost burn despite being covered, and now one struggling plant that will hopefully erupt into health with yesterday's heavy watering.
In previous years butternuts have been one of our most successful crops.

We have almost finished off the last of the kohlrabi. I don't think I'll bother with it again. It took so long to grow and took far too much room in the garden and produced very little - although the little we were able to cook we enjoyed a lot. We even tried some of it raw and found it had a very mild radish flavour, though it totally lacked the moistness of radish.

A few weeks ago I tried creating my own seed mats after reading about it here: seed mats on Thomas's "A Growing Tradition" Blog.

I tried it with radishes (successfully), with carrots (successfully) and with Mesculun Salad mix (failure). This approach certainly helps to neaten up the rows of veggie seedlings (and if you want to see a very neat garden check out Thomas's blog!)

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