Sunday, November 28, 2010

But in my garden?

While I have been regaling you with photos of Victoria, not a lot has happened here in the garden. It has proved difficult to plant warm-weather crops as the last few months in Sydney have been extraordinarily wet; in fact it's raining right now.

Average (mm)
Actual (mm)
November72.9108.0 (so far)

This is due to a fairly strong La Nina effect which is expected to remain all summer. Our summers are when we receive most rainfall anyway, but we'll probably have longer rainy periods rather than storms. I will also be expecting more moderate temperatures. While that's good for the vegetable garden, the humidity won't lift so often (generally the humidity drops when we get over about 30C), which tends to mean problems with mildew.

The trip to Melbourne, enjoyable as it was, put a hole in my vegetable planting programme. Since then, it's been hard to find time when the soil is dry enough to allow planting. This weekend, fortunately, gave me both moist (not puggy) soil and time. And now my new plantings are being watered in!

Yesterday, in went my six 'Brandywine' tomato seedlings. I am hoping that temperatures will stay cool long enough for them to grow and set fruit; they should have been in the garden at least a month ago! I am planning a second planting of 'Brandywine' for autumn tomatoes -- in fact, I should plant the seeds this afternoon so that they fruit in March.

The tomatoes are now surrounded by basil, 'Mini' cabbages, 'Flame' lettuce and some 'Mini White' cucumbers, and a row of 'Stringless Pioneer' beans.

Today I planted a block of Sweet Corn 'True Gold' underplanted with Cucumber 'Lebanese Mini Muncher' and 'Sugar Baby' watermelons.

Yesterday, I also put in my heirloom beetroot seedlings, and radish 'French Breakfast' near the bolting Florence fennel and 'Tuscan Black' kale. Found that my leeks had survived, which was rather a surprise. They are sheltered by a sorrel clump and a bolting parsnip, and so should cope when it gets hotter.

My quince tree is laden with small quinces. I need remove a lot of them, then bag the rest against fruit fly. Underneath it, however, are some impressive volunteer tomatoes, which also need bagging. I hope I don't damage too many of them!

By all reasonable measures (that is, non-calendar ones), it's summer:
  • The jacarandas across Sydney have passed their peak of bloom
  • Blowflies and mosquitoes have appeared
  • We have heard Greengrocer cicadas in the trees
  • The Ashes have started
  • The air-conditioning at my workplace broke down
  • The shops are full of Christmas things
  • Our Christmas tree went up this afternoon
And I'm off to prepare my Christmas cake fruit right now: it has to macerate in brandy overnight before I bake the cake tomorrow. See you later!


jmsanta said...

we are currently planning the next spring - winter has just started... ;-)

I'm curious about your experience with True gold sweet corn. If I understood correctly you had also Golden Bantam grown. I consider Golden Bantam as hardly edible. How would you compare true gold sweet corn to Golden Bantam?


Yolanda Elizabet Heuzen said...

Hi Chookie, just popped by to wish you and yours a very merry Christmas and a happy garden fun filled New Year.