Six on Saturday – W9/2021 – Vegetables in February

It has been a particularly busy Saturday with the highlight of the day being a lovely drive to a previously unexplored and beautiful area in Buderim where we went to a garage sale. The beautiful suburb with majestic residences is set amongst magnificent native trees. We bought some very reasonably priced potted plants, including one deep red pelargonium. The afternoon was spent weeding and watering the garden, walking and preparing ripened bananas for dehydrating. Consequently it is going to be a late Six on Saturday from me, and, with February almost over, it is time to review what happened in the vegetable garden during the month.

As you know, last week saw the end of our Bishop Cap peppers, all destroyed by the fruit sucking moths that descended on it one night. We covered the citrus trees with a light bird netting which seems to be sufficient to protect the fruit. The fruit we covered seems to be protected from the moths. Mr S used plastic plumbing tube to create a frame over the trees, making it easier to pull the net over the top of them. We purchased a large 10x5m piece of net and were able to cover all three citrus trees with it.

Citrus trees covered with bird netting to protect them from the fruit sucking moths

The kale is nearing the end of its production and more and more grubs can be found hidden in the curly parts of its leaves. The Chinese cabbage is in a similar predicament. Although we regularly have a plant in the vegetable garden, it becomes the sacrificial plant as it appears to be a firm favourite with all the grubs; its leaves get peppered by them!

Chinese cabbage which appears to be favoured by insects! The leaves are peppered!
Ah Ha! Here is one of the culprits!

The climbing beans are into final production it seems. However, the climbing spinach is rampant, and covered with berries.

Perennial Ceylon spinach with its dark berries

Next up are the vine cops. We have had mixed success with our pumpkins, with some vines not producing any fruit at all. These vines have been removed. During the week we have noticed that quite a few of the newly set pumpkins have yellowed and dropped off. The bees have been frantically collecting the pollen from the pumpkin flowers at daybreak. Mr S usually picks a male flower to pollinate any open female flowers, but over the past few weeks he has noticed that there is no pollen left on the stamens to pollinate any female flowers. Despite this slight setback we should have a good harvest of around 10 pumpkins.

Pumpkins

Continuing with the vine crops, the cucumber vines are no longer producing, and the luffa is still flowering but not setting much fruit. It is also less one fruit as I mistakenly thought it was a cucumber and picked it! Definitely too spongy to be a cucumber! (The featured photo shows a bee visiting a luffa flower) The other vine that has been an enormous success during summer is the yellow button squash. We have a couple of plants, but one has reached the end of its production. Mr S removed it earlier today. It had grown to 4 metres in length!

Luffa – not a cucumber!
Luffa fruit
The yellow button squash vine is 4 metres long (it was growing in the garden bed to the top left in the photo) and sent out two side shoots. The area of long grass in the photo was where the vine was growing.

Finally, the figs. We have had a good crop of fresh figs this year, and there are still more to come! The older tree is thriving in a pot, and one of its cuttings, potted up and placed next to it, is doing very well too.

Part of our fig crop. We have harvested many fruit already.

That is my final Six on Saturday for February. I’m off to look at other SoS’s. You can too! Head over to the Prop’s Blog here and see what is happening in other gardens, or better still, join in!

7 comments

  1. Oh I see now how you put up the netting – what a good idea to use a frame like that. I enjoy seeing your crops. I have not done much in our veggie garden this season – it has been wet and humid and difficult for any flowers to set but easy for mildew to flourish. From six green pepper plants, three survived and one is bearing a single fruit. There were very few flowers probably on account of some very, very hot days when buds should have been forming. Ah well – winter might bring better success.

    • Thank you! That bee spent ages on the flower, so I managed to take a few photos of it. The photo is a little overexposed, but the flower was right at the top!

  2. Amazing how far that bird netting will reach!
    That looks like an excellent crop of figs. Mine are over now but I managed enough to make 6 jars of jam and have some over for eating. I let the tree get too big and it was hard to net it. A big prune for it this year. The insect on the cabbage is amazing- for all the world like a leaf itself. Impressive camouflage.

    • We had to hunt around for a reasonably priced and sized net, but it is worth it. I’ve noticed that local commercial growers here have already pruned their trees, and they do so quite severely. I do love fig jam, and we have a few bottles of it in the cupboard (not our own, but still!). I probably would not have noticed the insect, but it moved and blew its camouflage! I still have not worked out how I contact you privately re those Helenium seeds so here is my po: box 406 Mapleton QLD 4560. Good news from me is my Helenium autumnalis is flowering and I’m over the moon about it! I will feature it next week. I hope it gets seeds, and if you would like some, I’d love to send you some! Have a wonderful week!

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