Six on Saturday – W44/2020 – Vegetables in October

The Aussie Backyard Bird Count 2020, took place between 19-25 October, ending on Sunday. I submitted 9 checklists, sighted 19 species (including the Topknot pigeon which I had hoped I could site to include in the count – SoS W42/2020), and sighted 309 birds. Estimates are that throughout the entire country 5 million birds were counted, and around 156 thousand checklists were submitted!

The weather forecast for the week declared we were due for thunderstorms, with wind, lightening and thunder, possibly some hail! At noon on Tuesday the heavens opened and we had 18.1 mm of rain in 10 minutes. By the evening we had received 67.8 mm, and I was pleased that I had planted out a number of my new plants into the borders before the rain. We had more thunderstorms on Wednesday, followed with warm sunny days. More thunderstorms are forecast for today. I had better get cracking with this week’s Six on Saturday before those storms arrive and I have to turn off the electronics. This week it is all about vegetables.

The vegetable garden is still flourishing despite many of the cooler season crops nearing their end. The broad beans and kale are still producing, while the celery, rocket, parsley and lettuce are going to seed. The chard is looking tired.

First off, the large A-frame trellis, which supports the broad beans, and shelters the potatoes was blown over in last Saturday’s storm. The broad beans plants and a potato plant were damaged in the process, but Mr S salvaged what he could and put in some long stakes to stabilize the broad bean plants. We have picked buckets of pods, and frozen lots for use later. The pots of potatoes were planted in September and are growing under the A-frame, and to the far left is a small raised garden holding more potatoes. [We will return to the small trellis in the background later in the post.]

Broad beans with extra support after they were knocked over in a storm
Potatoes growing in pots under the A-frame trellis

2. In the foreground of the top picture are the zucchini plants. In the photo below you can see that these plants are powering on and producing enough fruit to keep us steadily supplied, despite the powdery mildew on their older leaves. They are planted out in a raised garden bed. To the right in the foreground are the potted Grosse lisse tomato plants, and behind the tomatoes is a potted aubergine (brinjal). We have found that the aubergine (brinjal) grows much better in pots than it does planted directly into the garden bed.

Zucchini in garden bed and Grosse lisse tomatoes in pots

3. Turning to the right, next to the chicken’s night pen is a small garden bed that holds the asparagus (4 plants) and a tropical (low chill) ‘White Opal‘ peach tree. The asparagus are into their second year of growth, and we are hoping that they will have developed well enough for us to harvest the new shoots in spring. Their feathery fronds look lovely. The peach tree is to the right is totally enclosed under the bird netting.

4. In addition to having the entire peach tree covered under bird netting, we have also enclosed the fruit inside protective net bags, as further protection against the birds, possums and fruit fly. The peaches are developing nicely.

Low Chill Peach

5. Behind the tropical peach tree is a tropical nectarine, which only produced a single damaged fruit this year, which we have removed. The leaves of this nectarine are in the foreground of the photo. Behind are the tamarillo Cyphomandra betacea (tree tomato) trees, a pawpaw Papaya with a single fruit on it (this fruit has been there since autumn), and just in front of the pawpaw are the curling tendrils of the choko vine Sechium edule, which is scrambling over everything it can find.

Finally, the small trellis. The Kiwi berry plant has been planted and is growing quite vigorously up the little trellis. Kiwi berries (Actinidia arguta ‘Issai’) are much smaller than the well known kiwi fruit. The fruit is bite-sized, and you need to remove the very hard bit at the end (cannot remember if it is the stem end or the flower end), and you pop the entire berry into your mouth. They are delicious, and unfortunately only available to purchase for a very short period each year. One of our cucumber plants will be planted next to the trellis as well. These were grown from seed, and repotted into small pots. They are now ready to be planted out into the garden.

I’m looking forward to visiting gardens around the world this weekend to see what others are featuring from their gardens this week. As usual, a special thank you is sent to The Propagator for allowing us to share our weekly Six on Saturdays. To find out more, please visit his blog!

Happy Gardening!!

9 comments

  1. I hope the hail didn’t cause too much damage.
    I was interested to see you grow potatoes in pots. Do you start with shallow soil and top up as they grow? I tried growing them in bags once but they got way too hot. I had more success in the ground but it was lot of work and the yield was not wonderful, so have not done that again.
    We used to grow brinjals so easily when we lived the other side of town, but here the soil is wrong and even growing them in pots has not improved the yield, which is about 1 or 2 fruits per plant, and not very good ones at that! Rather disappointing.
    In previous years our zucchini usually succumb to powdery mildew as it is very hot and humid here. Last year I tried growing them again and sprayed the leaves with milk. It worked up to a point, but I begrudge spraying food on food and so have probably given up on zucchini in this climate.
    I am impressed by your peaches! We yield our self-seeded papaya to the vervets. Interestingly, they enjoy eating the leaves as much as they do the green fruits.

  2. That was a good headcount for the 2020 Bird Count! You’re having thunderstorms and we’re in the middle of Storm Aiden. There won’t be many leaves left on my trees by morning, and already the grass is strewn with crab apples (it actually looks quite nice).

    Your veggies look lovely and healthy, and oh my, I would enjoy one of those lovely looking peaches. It must be lovely to be able to grow your own peaches and nectarines. I bet they taste so much better than our supermarket varieties. I’m quite intrigued by the Kiwi berries!

    • We have internet again after last night’s storm, which was quite wild and we also had some hail. Hope storm Aidan isn’t as destructive. Crab apples? Many moons ago I used to make crab apple jelly – delicious! I don’t think we can grow too many stone or pome fruits here as it does not get very cold in winter. I’m looking forward to tasting the peaches. We had better keep an eye on them for ripeness! I will keep you posted on the kiwi berries.

    • We had a few bad storms two afternoons in a row, with hail last night. The veggie garden took quite a beating. Luckily we have been freezing our excess produce as it is harvested. The kiwi berries are delicious and I really hope we get fruit this year.

    • It gives such a sense of achievement being able to eat your own produce, doesn’t it? Helping out in a community allotment sounds great! Let us know how it goes!

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