Cooler weather is definitely upon us. Despite that, our second cucumber which we featured at the end of last month’s blog post has produced around 20 cucumbers (yesterday I picked 4 in one day!).
The new zucchini has not delivered however. I planted it near the powdery mildew-infected old plant and it succumbed to that and unfortunately has not pulled away. Ups and downs are such a part of working with nature.
This month we’re digging out old crops and digging in goodness to feed the next ones. The tomato bed is finished and the plan is to put garlic in here next.
We harvested all this gorgeous basil out of the tomato bed and made pesto out of it. See recipe here. In the freezer now to supply us for the coming year.
The tomatoes and marigolds are on the pile ready for the next hot compost.
And now we make up a new bed ready for the garlic. I’m hoping to get some locally-grown garlic this year and fingers crossed I can plant it at the end of this month in the Full Moon phase.
Firstly some of our freshly-made compost, then a sprinkling of powdered humate and finally our well-balanced organic fertiliser, and covered with cardboard to protect soil life until the new crop is ready to plant.
The foliage on our Agria potatoes has died off, so I tried harvesting a couple of plants, but no potatoes there. We’re at a bit of a loss as to why this is. I’ve had rewarding yields from early potato varieties but none with the main crop varieties this year and last. I’ve only tried Agria, so I may try ‘Heather’ next year.
The 18 strawberry pups are growing on their own and ready to be detached from their mother plants.
I had two strawberry patches last summer – one with 6 plants in it and one with 12. I’ve decided to keep this six-plant patch in situ in order to experience the early but not such long-lasting fruiting of second-year plants.
Rob advises that the new plants will do better if rotated to a new area of the garden. But they don’t need to be planted until November. So snip we go on the ‘umbilical cords’.
And out come the 12 old plants from this patch. I have 3 broccoli and 4 cauliflower left over from filming our last episode of Growing Food In Containers (on the editing bench at the moment), that I’m looking for a home for. The soil in this bed will be really depleted, so in goes a good amount of our homemade compost, humate, fertiliser and because we had added Flowers of Sulphur to create more acidity for the strawberries, now we’re adding garden lime to alkalise the soil for the brassicas. There’s a good amount of nitrogen in our compost already and we’ll add some chicken manure or sheep pellets for an extra boost when the plants get underway.
Give it a good fork through before planting and make sure you net your bed to deter the white butterfly.
Our beetroot patch is going well. We had a meal from them this week – pretty much still baby beets, but we’re eating them now so there’s not a glut when they mature fully. Also they’re best eaten when young to just-mature.
And apart from our gorgeous feijoas,
the guavas are on stream now. Even though it’s really hard work getting them through a sieve, I do make a puree out of them (don’t add water, they’re juicy enough on their own and just add a tiny bit of raw sugar once pureed to sweeten them up slightly). It’s delicious on breakfast fruit and could also go on icecream for dessert.
Lastly, as soon as the fruit is off your evergreen fruit trees, give them a good feed of nitrogen and rock dust. We feed our evergreen fruit trees twice a year in spring and autumn and our deciduous ones once in spring. We’ve got some wood chips on the property, so that goes over the fertiliser. And the citrus is getting a slosh of Epsom salts to increase the magnesium levels – 1-2 teaspoons dissolved in a cup of warm water.
Happy October gardening…
From Jan and Rob!