Wednesday, 11 November 2015

November 2015.

Hi everyone, It will be summer in a couple of weeks in Melbourne, and everything is starting to grow quickly.  These mini cabbages will be ready next week, and I will be busy making sauerkraut.  I use heavy duty shadecloth (75%) to keep the sun off the brassicas to stop them bolting.
These potatoes are a bit windblown, and I'm not sure what to expect when I harvest them in January.  Its the first time I have grown them in an Ecobed, and the shallow soil (300mm) might restrict their output.
My espaliered apples are going to be a disappointment this year.  The bees which had been very active on my apricot tree only a week or two earlier, didn't turn up to pollinate the apples despite there being lots of blossom.  I suspect someone might have been spraying chemical insecticides locally, since the bees are only slowly returning and in reduced numbers to pollinate the rest of my flowering plants.  My apple harvest will be almost non existent this season.
My peach tree is healthy despite an attack of leaf curl earlier this spring.  I had implemented my plan not to spray the tree with Lime Sulphur last winter and instead relied on regular spray applications of aerated compost tea.  Unfortunately some of the leaf curl got through my defenses and I had to manually remove quite a few affected leaves before new growth got the upper hand.  Its free of the disease now and none of the fruit seems to have been affected.  I will have to think long and hard before I try that again.

The rhubarb plant in the bottom left of the picture is under attack from harlequin bugs again, and I seem to be plucking half a dozen of these pests off the plant every day.  I haven't resorted to organic pesticides yet, but their only predator is me and I am tempted.  However their numbers seem to be slowly declining, so I will persist for now. 
Everything in the fruit and herb bed is growing strongly, and the olive tree is in flower.  I hope I get good pollination, it produces loads of delicious olives in a normal year.