The last blog of 2023. I’ve been over at Rob’s place having a wander round his food garden. Our notes compare favourably. His indeterminate tomatoes look at much the same stage as mine. Delateralled and tied up and awaiting fruit.
Rob has put horizontal stakes across his waratahs for extra stability and put a nice wool mulch from Kings Seeds round his plants. December is a good time to delateral tomatoes before fruit sets and to get rid of excess growth that will impede good air flow which in turn prevents fungal disease.
Mine are not yet mulched but that needs to happen soon with the warm dry days we’re having.
I haven’t tackled the Romas yet in my garden (Scoresby Dwarf in the front, Romas at the back), because I’m just so loving the healthy vigorous growth of my tomatoes this year which I can only put down to the application of sulphur, which my soil seemingly was so low in. The Romas are starting to put out leggy growth so that’s a job I need to find time for.
Check out our video on how to delateral.
Rob and I both have hearty-growing comfrey. (This is Rob’s).
He has so much he’s picking it and laying it in the sun for a day before putting it directly on his capsicum bed.
I’m picking mine and making a comfrey liquid to spray all over our fruiting plants. Just fill a container with the leaves then add water up to the top of the leaves and loosely pop a lid on, so that air can still get in. It’ll take 2-3 weeks to break down well enough to use.
Rob’s strawberries are luscious and large. Mine are taking a break and gathering strength for the next burst. I’ve given them an application of Dave’s Humate to help with this.
Rob’s zucs and cucs are producing well. He particularly likes the Mini Me variety from Egmont Seeds, which produces copious amounts of small Lebanese-style fruit. The important part is to keep picking them so they produce more. Both Rob’s zucchini (Partenon Hybrid) and cucumber are parthenocarpic varieties which means the flowers are all female and the plant produces fruit without the need for pollination. At this time of year with changeable weather, pollination can be unreliable.
I’ve just planted out 2 melons and 2 watermelons. I didn’t want to rush it because they don’t like root disturbance so I wanted the roots to have taken hold in the pot. Here’s a good guide to planting melons. I trenched in vermicast from our Hungry Bin first, then added chicken manure, put the plants in, then applied Morganics, watered them in, laid straw around and netted them.
Onions are almost ready for harvesting. I have been applying fish and seaweed liquid fertiliser to speed up the sizing up of them.
Potatoes will be ready for Christmas Day. I didn’t plant any main crop potatoes this year as I simply don’t have the room.
The birds completely obliterated our grapes last year, so this time I’ve popped them into see-through drawstring bags from the $2 shop.
And look at Rob’s beautiful tamarillos just planted. They’re in a sheltered position and his subtropical climate definitely helps!
Meri Kirihimete! See you next year!
Jan and Rob