Tuesday, 31 December 2013

December 2013 (2).

Another year has gone by, but it was a good one.  I have really enjoyed my garden, and I am gaining confidence with the new organic gardening techniques I have tried.

For example, I now make and use hot compost and foliar sprays made from aerated compost tea.  I use minimal tillage techniques in my Ecobeds and prepare seedling roots and seeds with a dusting of Micorrhizal fungi Inoculant before planting.

The results are amazing and all my crops have been improved as a result.   The tomatoes above, are a good example, they are strong and healthy and setting fruit well.  I should be harvesting in a few weeks.
I have been busy with my electric toothbrush "Buzz Pollinating" my tomatoes to good effect.  All the flowers have set fruit so far on the 5 plants growing in my prototype Ecobed.
My potatoes are dying back, and I have been taking a few early Bintje's before harvesting the maincrop in a few weeks.  The Bintje have cropped heavily.
The silver beet (rhubarb variety), are growing strongly in my Ecobed, as are the closely related beetroot plants (left rear of picture).
We love carrots, we eat them all the time, and they grow well in our climate.  I have just started to thin these, and the long finger sized thinnings are delicious to eat shredded in salads or steamed whole with other vegetables.
These (first time) Lebonese mini muncher Cucumbers are delicious, although I haven't harvested many yet, so its an early appraisal. They seem very comfortable in my Inground Ecobed.
Next to the Cucumbers are some Italian Romano Bush Beans, and on the netting to the right, I am growing Epicure Climbing Beans.  They are all looking very healthy at this early stage.
In the same bed are a couple of Butternut Pumpkin plants.  I nipped out the centre lead at 7 mature leaf stage, and they have stayed reasonably compact to date.  

I will be hand pollinating them from now on as they will have to live under shadecloth, protected from our hot dry weather, but isolated from their pollinators.  They will have to cope with quite a few days in the mid 30 to mid 40 (deg C) temperature range in January and February.  The built in water tanks of my Ecobeds are invaluable in these conditions.