Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Great Moments on Youtube

It's funny to discover a kindred spirit via Youtube. The family in this video are:
  • happy to have insects walking around their house
  • Mac owners
  • looking at the weather radar
  • listening to Classic FM (I know I heard Elgar's "Where Corals Lie" on the radio at about the time this video was taken)
I think I'd like to meet them!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

No Gardening Again This Week

The ground has probably dried out enough to garden, but I haven't been able to do anything this week. Nor has the Geek been able to mow, and I am afraid we're going to get a letter from the Council about keeping our property Looking Nice!

Friday night -- a 40th party
Saturday -- an 80th party
Today -- visiting my Mum and having a swim

Gosh, it's a hard life...

In other news, I've been speaking to our architect. More later!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Tomatoey Thoughts

We had a lot of rain last week, and this cracked 'Brandywine' was the result. It had to be eaten right away, but still tasted wonderful. They really have an excellent flavour and I like the pink shade, too.

The real problem is in cultivation. 'Brandywine' is from North America and is (I think) named after the Battle of Brandywine Creek, in Pennsylvania. If it was developed in this area, it is not really adapted for Sydney conditions. I should have realised from the potato leaves that the plant was adapted for lower temperatures and light levels: my plants are horribly burnt. The fruit fly bags have protected the fruit from scorching, but fruit set has been poor. The average tomato plant, according to Malcolm Campbell, will set fruit as long as there are periods below 27 C during the day. I suspect that the 'Brandywine' might stop setting fruit at something closer to 24 C, or that it prefers lower overnight temperatures -- our minima rarely fell below 20 C in January. I plan to keep growing 'Brandywines', but in future I will plant them early and late in the season. If anyone has ideas on what would be a good mid-season tomato for Sydney, I'd like to hear about it. My Dad used to plant 'Grosse Lisse'.

I'm completely unimpressed with 'Tommy Toe', after two years of growing it. I'm used to rampant cherry tomato plants which just appear as volunteers and produce trusses of yummy fruit. 'Tommy Toe' takes ages to flower, and then only gives you a couple of tomatoes at a time. Worst of all, they don't have much flavour. A big thumbs down to this one.

The other variety I grew this year was 'Principe Borghese', which are small "paste" tomatoes, used in cooking and for sun-drying. I managed to sun-dry some and they taste fine, but I prefer fresh tomatoes. Worth the experiment, but I probably won't bother buying the seeds again.

How about you?

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Simply a List of Seeds

I have found I don't need to buy any seeds for winter crops; I seem to have everything! So here's my complete list. Most have come from the Digger's Club.

  • Bush Beans: 'Yin Yang'*, 'Green Stringless',and 'Stringless Pioneer'
  • Beetroot 'Globe Free' and Heirloom Mix
  • Broad Beans 'Aquadulce'
  • Broccoli 'Romanesco'
  • Cabbage 'Mini'
  • Capsicum 'Mini Sweet' mix
  • Carrot 'Mini Round'
  • Celery (collected here)
  • Coriander, Chervil, Dill, Rocket
  • Cucumber 'Mini White', 'Lebanese Mini Muncher' and 'Lemon'
  • Eggplant 'Listada de Gandia' and Heirloom mix
  • Florence Fennel
  • Ground Cherry 'Aunt Molly'
  • Kale 'Tuscan Black'
  • Kohlrabi
  • Leek 'Elephant' and 'King Richard'
  • Lettuce 'Flame', 'Yellow Leaf' and 'Forellenschuss'
  • Onion 'Borrettana'
  • Pak Choy 'Red F1' and green type
  • Parsnip 'Hollow Crown'
  • Pea 'Snow Climbing', 'Purple Podded Dutch' and 'Greenfeast'
  • Pumpkin 'Queensland Blue'
  • Radish 'French Breakfast' and 'Easter Egg'
  • Silverbeet 'Five Colour'
  • Spring Onion 'Evergreen ' and 'Red'
  • Sweet Corn 'Golden Bantam'
  • Tomato 'Broad Ripple Yellow Currant', Tommy Toe', 'Principe Borghese' and 'Brandywine
  • Watermelon 'Golden Midget'
When did I find time to do this? It's been raining, so I haven't been in the garden. Summer rain in Sydney can have a tropical intensity. We've had over 150mm since Tuesday, which is one-and-a-half times the monthly average... and it's only the 7th!

* Alas, the packet is marked 'Ying Yang', which in Australia, at least, means something different.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Slug by Slug, Weed by Weed...

Arlo Guthrie MUST be a gardener.