Round up of recent activity in the garden

Anita Kundu is talking about growing Capsicum, Chilli, Cucumber, Eggplant, Herbs, Leek, Pumpkin, Radish, Squash, Tomato, Zucchini, Something else from Auckland

Garden ready!

As the saying goes, it never rains but it pours!  We have been blessed with a lot of rain lately, with much more to come.  The only thing that concerns me is the cooler temperatures.  For every step forwards, it feels like we take two backwards.  Surely if you can’t plant the summer garden by now (perhaps with the exception of things like watermelons, okra and snake beans – I’m waiting until December for these ones), I’m not exactly sure when the right time will be.  Even so, I think some of my plants are safer braving the elements of mother nature outdoors than being kept in the greenhouse.  My poor seedlings kept getting munched by pests!

It’s been awhile since I’ve written about what I’ve been doing in the garden, so here is a potted summary of my recent activity outdoors:

  •          Planting 10 eggplants in 30 L pots – Thai Purple (Kings Seeds), Dok (Kings Seeds), Asian Bride (Kings Seeds), Tsakoniki (Kings Seeds), Tonda Bianda (Franchi) and Prosperosa (Franchi)
  •          Sowing more basil in round bowls– Italiano Classico (Franchi), Sweet Genovese (Kings Seeds), Thai (Kings Seeds) and Rubra Red Leaf (McGregors)
  •          Planting more chillies and capsicums – Wildfire, Serrano, Rocoto, Red Scorpian, Carolina Reaper, Candy Cane (all given to me in seed swaps), Bird’s Eye (Egmont), Sky Hot (Kings Seeds) and Chinese Giant (Kings Seeds)
  •          Planting more cucumbers – Muncher (Kings Seeds), Iznik (Kings Seeds), Beth Alpha (Franchi) and Apple (Yates)
  •          Planting more zucchini – Amanda (Egmont), Zephyr (Kings Seeds), Fiorentino (Franchi) and Nero di Milano (Franchi)
  •          Planting more pumpkins as replacements for any that died – Queensland Blue (Yates) and Tonda Padana (Franchi)
  •          Planting more squash – Butternuts (Big Chief Butternut and Chieftain from Kings Seeds, as well as the Yates variety), Kamo Kamo (Kings Seeds) and Spaghetti Squash (Tivoli, Egmont Seeds)
  •          Planting more tomatoes – I’ve now started to plant my exotic varieties, which I promised to write more about awhile ago.  My gardening friend Minette Tonoli gave me a number of different seeds. Varieties I have planted over the past couple of days include Berkeley Tie Die Pink, Banana Legs, Indigo Fireball, Lionel’s Tomato, Marmande (which is a lot like Big Beef), Olga’s Round Chicken Egg, Orange Beefsteak, Orange Bourgoin, Oval Black Cherry, Persimmon and Pineapple
  •          Harvesting – Golden Helios radish (Kings Seeds) have been added to salads and celery, carrots and leeks were added to homemade veggie soup over the cooler days we have had recently
  •          Weeding – I weeded in between the leeks and spring onions in the garden bed by our neighbour’s willow tree.  I also weeded underneath the lemon tree and around the tamarillo and banana trees.  Weeding is so much easier after some rain!  I intend to mulch the area with Kolush Manuka Mulch which I will get from Palmers Garden Centre.  This is a fairly new product. Last year, the team at Palmers gave me four bags to try in the garden and I was very pleased with the results, so I’ll be using it again this summer
  •          Planting more leeks – there was some space in the bed by the willow tree once the nasturtium came out, so I managed to fit in some more leeks that I raised from seed back in September (Winter Giant, Kings Seeds)
  •          Liquid feeding – I liquid fed the tomatoes, capsicums, pumpkins, squash, melons, chillies, capsicums and eggplants with Yates Thrive Tomato Liquid Plant Fertiliser.  I used Yates Thrive Berry Liquid Fertiliser on the strawberries and my Yates Thrive pods on the other plants.  I still have some areas left, which I intend to do today

Today’s photo is of our first dahlia, which started flowering a few days ago.  I have planted two rows between my melon patches.  I hope the flowers will bring the bees to the garden and help pollinate the flowers.