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Garden Update August 6, 2018

We start the month with a week without a drop of rain, as July here only had 1.7″ well under the norm of 3+”. So three months in a row of deficit, and with intense sun makes for a lot of watering.

2nd re-sow of peas are through and growing nicely. Beans we sowed two weeks earlier are now showing blossoms. Carrots are getting nice and long, Leeks are thickening.

Pole beans are this year not performing well. We brought in Algarve due to it being advertised as good in high tunnels, Aintree as better than Scarlet Runner. All have been defeated by the heat, good early but have faded quickly.

Spraying BTK as a preventative, is certainly worth it, trust the image of re-growth where a small patch of tent caterpillars had occurred shows this nicely.

Garden fruits are filling out with our addition of 1/2″ water per week. Biggest problem even with three JB traps are the beetles. Their favourite food as always starts with Prunus, Rubus, then Apple-Malus. We have been drowning about 3-4 quarts of beetles per week, but do not seem to have made a dent in their numbers. Yes there is a control spray of Beneficial Nematodes,but we do not have the lawn area, that acreage belongs to are neighbours.

Summer is a wonderful time, enjoy the tropical weather with the right plants around you to always have something to enjoy and eat.

Garden Update July 22, 2018

As the pictures show the first round of garden crops are over. Happy to say we have enough Peas, Broccoli, Yellow and Green beans for the next 12 months in the freezer. With the excess going to friends and neighbours over the last three weeks. Greenhouse Cucumbers and Tomatoes are in full swing, with the garden crop catching up fast.

Just sowed the 2nd crop of Cucumbers for the greenhouse. 2nd crop of garden beans, both Yellow & green came through after only three days. Peas though are struggling with the soil temperature being 27’C. We use the old Pea haulm to shade, cool and help keep moist the newly sown row of peas, but with air temperature this year daily over 30’C not working so well.

Finally overnight our 23 days without any measurable rain has come to an end, .46″ with more as I am writing this. If we get an inch plus then I will get a break from garden watering.

Hard fruit that managed to set, are starting to swell and the rain should help swell the fall raspberry crop. Blueberries are ripening well as are strawberries. Will have to watch the Melons in case they split with the sudden drenching.

We have full season crops of Leek, Carrot and two rows of Potatoes, plus 5 Pole Bean columns in the main garden patch. Which for everyone’s info is 26′ x 26′.

Happy Harvests.

May 28, 2018 Update

So May almost gone, what a contrast with 2017. By the 27th May last year we had had 6″ of rain in May, so far this year less than 2″ with temperature today of 33’C. So yes, we have been watering to help the germination in the veg garden. So far so good, but with not much rain in the forecast the watering hose will be a much used piece of equipment. We use water from 3,000 gal rain water tanks.

We have been growing Ficus for quite a few years, this winter most of the varieties we had in the ‘cold’ greenhouse are not showing signs of growing. In the garden however eight of the eleven types are showing new buds, will keep a watch on the last three over the next two weeks. They are; Chicago Hardy, Yellow Long Neck and Little Ruby.

Most of the blossoming is now over, the next couple of weeks will show how much the wet and cool (at night) start to May has affected the setting of fruits. The most obvious thing missing this spring are Honey Bees. We have a medium sized Lilac in the front garden, by this time of year it is covered with Bees drinking in the nectar. Most days we can count the number of Bees in just a few seconds, when you have local Apiaries around as we have, this is not a good sign. We do have Mason Bees in the garden though, without honey Bees weather is very critical as shear numbers do matter in spring.

As Blossom time is mostly over, we have started our caterpillar (BTK as spray) and mite control (Neoseiulus Fallacis) in the orchard. Also Praying Mantis, Ladybug (both general predators), Lindorus Lophanthae (scale predator) and Delphastus Catalinae (white fly).

Harvesting from the cold greenhouse has started, Radish, Lettuce and Tomato. Sowing Radish and Lettuce every two weeks now until September.

Next garden sowings will be after the Broccoli is harvested, that will be third Pea crop and late Carrots. Second earthing up of Potatoes will be this week. Will be placing supports for climbing Beans this week. Planting out herbs that were earlier sown in pots.

Will know which trees in the orchard have not survived our last winter by mid June. We seem to have lost Apple, Apricot and Peach varieties. New plantings are mostly doing well, we have a couple of plants in pots due to poor spring growth. Just part of gardening and growing.

Week III

A couple of brighter days and the garden is in! The tomatoe plants started in the cold greenhouse really shot up (4’+) with a few warmer days. Fruit set looks quite good. Apples now coming into their own with 21 of 42 varieties in pink bud/blossom. All fruit trees have had a first spray with BT, four days after an application of field mite preventor – Neoseiulus Fallacis. This is a native type, so will establish over time.

We now have Red & Black Currants, Gooseberries, Apricots, Plums, and Haskaps set. Pears we will know in about 2-3 weeks. Peas, Beans, Beetroot, and Potatoes are emerging from the still cool, damp soil. Celery, Leeks and Onions rooting out nicely. Early Broccoli showing signs of Curd formation. Nearly finished the ‘pot’ grown Radish, Carrots, Peas, Onions, Lettuce, Cucumber and Tomatoes. Just need the weather to stay warm and watch the garden spring to life!