With the increasingly high temperatures as we head into summer, our cooler season crops have finally reached their end. The lettuce and celery are bolting. The kale is still producing some new leaves, but is nearing their end, and the zucchini Cucurbita pepo ‘Black Beauty’ are still producing fruit, but that is not expected to last much longer. The new summer crops have been planted: climbing beans ‘Purple King’, cucumber, luffa, sweet corn, pumpkins, spaghetti squash and tomatoes. We have also started harvesting the ‘Jade’ bush beans.
- We let one of the leeks to go to seed to collect the seed for next season. The flower head is very pretty and the native stingless bees are happily visiting it.
2. Luffa aegyptiaca. This is the first time I have planted luffa seed, and this seedling took a while to start establish itself after it was planted out into the front garden. I am not sure if it will tolerate the heat in this location, but it will be an interesting experiment.
3. Cucumber Cucumis sativus ‘Telegraph Improved’. Another first, and the cucumbers seedlings were planted out in different locations in the garden. This one is near the luffa, and both plants will hopefully take advantage of the blue metal obelisk and climb to the top.
4. Taro, Colocasia esculenta. We have a couple of different taro plants growing this year, which will hopefully provide us with some produce at the end of the season. Last season we divided the biggest plant and got four more plants from it, whicc we planted. The leaves, leaf stems and corms are edible. The plants need 200 frost free days until harvest, and the corms are harvested once the leaves turn yellow. There is a yellow-green leaved plant, a blue-green one, and a variegated (green and white) one in the garden.
5. Watermelon radish, Raphanus sativus ‘Watermelon‘. This radish is round, with a white skin, green shoulders and a pink flesh. The radish is sweeter and milder than the normal French radish, and it is great for adding colour and taste to a leafy salad, especially if sliced thinly with a vegetable peeler.
6. Fig tree, Ficus carica ‘Brown Turkey’ is a self-pollinating fig. The first year we had this plant it grew well in a pot. Last year we decided to put it in the ground, and it struggled. We dug it up in winter and put it back into a larger pot, and look how it is thriving! There are tiny fruit on it already! Figs can produce two crops in a season, and interestingly the first crop forms on the previous years wood. A heavier crop is produced in later summer on the newer growth. Pruning of the trees takes place in winter, but enough old wood needs to be left for the first crop of fruit. Figs do not like ‘wet feet’ and I think that was the reason why the plant did not do well planted in the ground. We tried to propagate the pruning’s, and only one of the cuttings survived and has been planted out into a large pot.
Another week, and Christmas is getting closer. Reading more of the Six on Saturday posts looks promising for this week as it will be quieter at work. If you would like to participate, or read about what is happening in other gardens around the world, then please visit The Propagator and be inspired!