There’s really only two words to describe gardening in these parts at the moment…. HOT and DRY. It doesn’t make for very pleasurable time spent among the plants and most often my trips to the patch are after dark or very quick – partly because I usually go barefoot and the ground has been scorching! There are lots of jobs that need doing, but I can’t face doing them in this heat so they have sat on the to-do list untouched.
The harvesting has been getting bigger and better despite the heat, or perhaps because of it in some cases. We are picking cherry tomatoes and strawberries everyday, still only a small handful that gets eaten by two cheeky monkeys before we even get back inside. The greens, nicely protected my the forest of tomato plants, have been keeping us in good supply for our daily salads – although the rocket has all gone to seed and is quite bitter now. The zucchini plant is going gang busters with zucchinis going from finger size to huge in just a couple of days.
There’s also lots of potential in other areas. The pumpkins are growing nicely, the corn is starting to develop cobs and the very slow cucumber has picked up pace, but is still a ways off growing a full size cucumber. I have dwarf beans showing the heads after I replanted them a couple of weeks ago – I lost most of my beans to the extreme heat earlier in the year. The potatoes are looking a bit better, but still in the dying back stage I think. I don’t hold out huge hopes for the harvest from them considering how dry it has been but only time will tell. I am most excited about all the bigger tomatoes forming in the bushes, but again they are a while off being ready to pick.
Other than some dwarf beans and yet another failed attempt at leeks – will try again in the Autumn when the weather is more condusive I think – nothing has been planted. I fear that anything that does go in will be quickly cooked in this harsh heat we’re experiencing and I can just barely keep up with the watering as it is.
The to do list is quite lengthy, mostly involving keeping the plants going during the hot days, so lots of morning and evening watering (I’m dreading my water bill!). I also need to try and tame some of my many wild tomatoes, prune off some dried and yellowed leaves and attempt to tie them up a bit more. Both Mr Good and I have had a few goes at this, but the plants are really huge and get quite saggy after a hot day (how many times have I used the word hot so far?). I also need to prune off the ends of the monstrous pumpkin plant so that hopefully it stops its attempt at world domination and concentrates on making bigger pumpkins. And still the paving is waiting, first waiting for funds (thanks to some fortunate ebay sales that is now sorted) and now waiting for cooler weather. The kykuyu grass I spent days digging out before Christmas is back with a vengeance and will need attention soon. In fact weeding in general is needed just about everywhere in the garden. So that’s my list but I actually make no promises at getting in done given the current forecasts, I am such a wuss in the heat. All too soon I will be complaining about the cold of Ballarat and then you can tell me to stop whingeing and get working.
Finally, I’m in need of advice, below is my poor long-suffering lemon/lime tree. With barely a leaf left and almost off the potential fruit gone, I really don’t know what to do with this. Help, anyone?
The full Garden Share Collective list will be posts at Strayed from the Table in a day or so. I will definitely be checking it out.