Changing plans, revenge of the nematode & some sweet offerings..

Posted April 20th, 2013 by Rob Bob : )»

Goings on in the patch..
The garden is still thriving at the moment but I am contemplating resting some of the beds & changing the way we mulch others.. I think the wood chip we are using is suitable for some of the longer term plants like the spice & citrus trees but not so good in the beds with the short term crops.. It tends to get mixed through the soil when plants get pulled or planted which I really don't want.. Some of the beds & barrels will have it removed soon when they are gotten ready to be replanted in the next few weeks.. The wood chips will be replaced with a layer of worm castings, horse manure & mulch.. I have been most impressed with the 2 brassica beds that had that mulch mix applied 2½ months ago..
The cauliflowers (Left) are looking very healthy & have resisted the caterpillar attacks well.. I have only sprayed them once with Dipel (an organic bacterial caterpillar control) after they were planted & haven't needed to reapply it yet thankfully..
The carrot shoots in the trellis bed at the back of the garden are being eaten off by grasshoppers as they emerge.. Not very happy about that as they were to be my next crop.. Shall have to look into planting them somewhere else I think.. Not to waste the space I planted out 6-8 (I forgot to take notes) garlic cloves that had been sitting in the fridge..Don't think the grasshoppers will attempt to have a go at them :)»
I also planted some cloves in the 2 strawberry barrels & the aquaponic grow beds.. I have 1 bulb of cloves left to go into the straw bale beds out the front..

Root knot Nematodes, GRRRRRRRRR..........
Over the past few weeks I have noticed that the okra planted in the blue barrel had started to look a tad shabby.. I thought I should investigate under the soil as I had my suspicions & this is what I found...

Nematodes..
I was not happy as I had thought I had knocked all of them on the head in that barrel.. I have decided to plant the barrel & the bed next to it out with a green manure crop of mustard greens & marigold in an attempt to try to control these blighters.. Once these plants get to about 30cm/1foot tall they will be mulched down & dug through the soil.. The reason for doing this is that the gasses released by the slowly decomposing plants should help to eradicate the nematodes from the soil..

Sweet potato harvest...
Decided to tidy up the lime tree bed on Monday as the sweet potato vines were taking over..
Not bad for plants that had grown from tiny bits left in the ground of last year's crop..It had grown up through both the limes, sent down roots into the lawn as well as the entire bed.. I also think that there may be a runner that has set down roots in the turmeric barrel behind the bed..
Looks a lot neater without the vines & you can even see our pigs & rooster again.. I am sure more shoots will appear again next spring if not sooner as it is very hard to get all the root sections out.. We had the first potato from this crop last night in a Katsu curry along with some okra & capsicums from the patch.. Was very tasty & am looking forward to many more sweet potato meals during the cold weather..

All the vine that I stripped out will get the lawn mower treatment & shall be added to the tumble composter along with some of the feral pumpkin vine from down the back.. I do have some more feral vines that have taken over the chook pen & the 2 IBC beds behind it, so think we will have loads of sweet potato to munch on somehow..

Happy Harvests from the patch...
In the basket is the fruits of my clearing of the lime tree bed.. Most happy with the harvest I have gotten from that bed so far.. I did leave a few vines in there just so there will be more to harvest later on.. Also picked a beauty of a cucumber from the Gympie gold vine.. Don't think we will get many more from it so are leaving the last 2 to go to seed for next year's crops..
Clearing out the lime tree bed got me feeling curious about the purple fleshed sweet potato planted in a barrel under the stairs.. I decided to bandicoot around in there to see how they were going & this is what I came up with..
Was most pleased to find this beauty in there & also felt at least one more around the same size.. I am hoping there will be a few more..
I ended up roasting this first one after drizzling some oil over the top then coating in fresh rosemary, garlic & onion powder.. Was extremely tasty & went so well with the roast lamb & steamed veggies..
The kang kong has been booming in this milder weather as has the celery & beans in the patch.. The salads went to make up a great Thai beef salad that was enjoyed by all surprisingly & it has already been requested again by both the kids..
Might even sneak some chilli in next time ; )» Also harvested the first panama red passion fruit from the vine.. It has taken about 2 years to see a fruit from this vine so am mighty pleased.. There are about another 3 fruit on there with 4 or 5 flowers getting ready to bloom so we might even get enough to top a cheese cake soon..

We are still harvesting loads of okra as well as some of the capsicums from the hoop house.. Also picked more chillies than I think we would eat in 5 years.. I ended up giving some of the 7 pot & bih jolokia chillies to a lady that runs a locally produced fruit & veggie stall to test the waters.. I somehow don't think there is a huge market for supper hot chillies but it might help her out a bit..

You might have noticed there was no post on the hoop house expansion again :D»
Well, I did manage to clear the pumpkin from the top of the shade cloth today & then remove all the cloth..
Looks like it might actually be started by next weekend :)»..

Well that's it for this week..
Hope you all have a great week in the garden & shall catch you next Saturday...
Rob..

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