Tuesday, February 12, 2013

... on drought, flood and pestilence.

I took the camera out into the vegetable garden this morning so I could share with you the disgrace that has befallen my two Stephanie Alexander no-dig vegetable garden beds. You may remember how luscious they were looking towards the end of last year. Since then it's been hot, it's been wet, it's been windy, it's been dry, it's been humid, it's been harsh, and as a result most things have turned up their toes. I'm hesitant to replace them because of the hordes of insects that are munching on anything that dared to survive.
But you know what? I went out to capture the shame, but in fact I found some good stuff going on!
The first bed is sprawling with pumpkin plants, who have happily spread beyond the garden and colonised the entire back corner of the yard. Although all the tiny pumpkins have rotted off due to rain and humidity (I think), I have hopes that soon the weather will be in their favour and it'll be pumpkin-a-go-go around here. Other than the pumpkins there's some caterpillar-fodder purple-sprouting-broccoli, some pestilential remnant silverbeet and one tiny patch of self-seeded rocket. True to its name it's bolting to seed almost before we can eat any of it but if I'm quick enough I can grab a leaf or two for a salad.
In the second bed the kale is slowly making a come-back after some months of being ravaged by a horrible spider-webby caterpillar - I think it's a two-year type plant so I hope it will continue to crop over the coming cooler months once the bloody bugs die off! There's also one valiant eggplant continuing to struggle against daily assaults by the local birds (chooks included) who have proven they will dig DEEP to get a taste of the Hydrocell water-saving stuff that is in that bed. Apparently it's non-toxic... I hope so, because there's some maggies and crows around here with a serious addiction!

I checked out the sweet potatoes which have been growing in bags since last year. One bagful looked a bit wilty (and the bag ripped when I attempted to move it - looks like those spud bags will only last for two crops) so I tipped it out to see what was going on.
Sweet potatoes, and a decent amount of them, too! They're a bit holey in parts but I'm not too bothered - not when one tiny bag can produce a big spud like this:
The little fig tree is another thing that has seemed to flourish after the hot/wet/humid rollercoaster Brisbane has been on for the past month or so. It's sprouted so many new branches I've had to stake it to stop it falling over, and is covered in tiny little figlets.
I'm feeling positive about the garden, as the nastiest (and most unrelenting) part of summer should be behind us now. I'm looking forward to re-planting it all out with cooler-weather things once February is over and who knows? I may have an awesome pumpkin crop to report upon soon!


Gooseberry Jam said...

I remember my garden always dying off by the end of the school holidays, it was always the heat, the rain and the humidity. When it produces, it produces well but that Qld weather can be pretty harsh. Are you going to keep your pumpkin or rip it out for your Winter crops?

kuber... said...

Hi Gooseberry! Well, I planted the pumpkins right in the corner of one of the beds, and then directed the growth out of the bed, if you know what I mean? There is still a fair amount of free space in the bed as long as I redirect any encroaching vines away from it!