Our WeatherIt's the first week of February and we've recorded the highest February temperature on record for Adelaide - 44.7 degrees Centigrade or 112.5 degrees Fahrenheit. It's hot - and taking it's toll on the garden. The tomatoes in pots are really struggling.
Beating the HeatIn my garden ... in February we are using umbrellas purchased from IKEA to shade parts of the garden from the viscious heat. I'm sure many of the plants would not have survived without the shade they provided.
The Raised Garden BedIn my garden ... in February the raised garden bed is still growing well despite the heat. The plants are nowhere near as productive as they are when the temperatures are mid to high 20's.
What We're PickingThe heatwave conditions have had a significant impact on what the garden is producing, however I am pleased that we are still able to pick enough produce from our garden to keep us from buying much from the supermarket - which is the purpose of the garden after all!
New in the GardenI planted another patch of bush beans to lengthen the picking season in my garden. With shade on the very hot days they are growing well!
Attack of the BugsRecently the mini lebanese eggplant suddenly lost its vigor and the leaves became increasingly limp. A close inspection of the plant revealed the sap sucking bugs in the photos below. I hadn't seen bugs like these before. They resembled giant stink bugs. I sprayed the plants and bugs with Eco oil and seem to have got rid of them for now. The plant returned to normal after the bugs were defeated! Can you identify these bugs for me?
Companion plantingMy companion planting experiment has been interesting. The climber beans are rampant in their growth and have proved to be too heavy for the sweetcorn, strangling and breaking quite a few the sweetcorn canes. To assist both types of plant I have now erected a frame for the beans to ramble over. Now for some cooler weather so that the beans can set fruit.
RhubarbI love rhubard and so planted my first ever rhubarb crown in November. It appears to be growing strongly at the moment. How am I going to resist picking those beautiful red stems for a year!!! They tease me every day! Oh, the things I could do with them!
Blackjack ZucchinisThe zucchini bushes are just beginning to bear fruit. I have a number of bushes in the garden and one in a pot. It will be interesting to compare these two ways of growing this crop. I have begun supporting the vines with ties attached to frames in order to train each bush to grow vertically and therefore take up less space in my small garden.
Eggplant TrialsI am also trialling growing eggplant in both containers and in the garden. I purchased two more mini lebanese eggplant bushes, and have three white eggplant bushes given to me as seedlings.
Russian Red KaleMy three plants grew strongly until the five day heatwave in late January. Subjected to the scorching conditions they succumbed collapsing within days. I had hoped to collect seed from these plants for next year but was thrilled to find a packet of seeds at my local Bunnings.
Edible WeedsI have found that two weeds in my garden are edible! The plant on the left is Amaranthus - Vlita to the Greeks, while the plant on the right known to me since childhood as Waterweed is Purslane. Many thanks to Celia at Fig Jam and Lime Cordial for her post on this plant - I intend trying her Purslane Salad recipe. What edible weeds are found in your garden?
An Apple a Day
The Royal Gala apples are ripening - and there is no Coddlin Moth this year. Last winter we pruned the tree back severely and we have been rewarded with our best harvest of apples yet! One of life's pleasures surely is biting into a sweet, crisp apple picked straight off the tree!