Saint Ambrose

Saint Ambrose
Photo: Journey Worker Productions, CC SA 3.0 (C)

Thursday, 29 January 2015

Nothing to show for it

I just went outside at 4am, after a while of insomnia to take some photos of the garden, maybe catch a snail or two, but apart from a few moths flying off, there was nothing to photograph for you that I couldn't get a better picture of during the day.

The lone cucumber is growing nicely. (and fast - it is already a blocky-sort-of-modest-fist-size. If it is the species I suspect it is, the shop version size should be harvestable in about 10 days. I will photo it tomorrow. The plant it is on is producing almost all male flowers, so it has been a bit of a waste of time. Funnily this curcurbit was an afterthought for what was meant to be a potato larder that failed.

Otherwise there are quite a few 'wind down' bare patches, where I have harvested spots, thinking that I want the food now, and cannot be bothered fighting high temperatures in Feb. My thought is maybe to put some daikons in, or just let things mulch for a month or two, and wait till March before starting with early winter planting. Nothing will grow better planting it now, and it is a large hassle to garden at 35 degrees.

This has occured to me over the last few months - that Australian summer at its nastiest is like nasty northern latitude's winters - just too hostile to garden in. Not strictly true (we are, for example, having a week of low-20deg weather which is lovely but it is mid summer), but true enough to be worth planning for. And just mulching and preserving it for a bit later is no bad thing.

It just occured to me over recent weeks that fighting with nature to grow northern-hemispere developed plants in this climate was stupid in this month, and nothing would really happen if I stopped for a few weeks. There is still a full garden of things to harvest - potatoes, tomatoes, a few cucumbers (I think they are cucumbers - cannot remember in detail, definitely curcurbits), chillis, beans, regular fat hen. Most of the corn has been a flop. The Painted Mountain corns grew and produced half-cobs of corn, which I ate as a snack. The orthodox yellow ones taller ones have been a total failure. So for my sort of garden, painted mountain corn is the future I think. (perhaps it is accustomed to more arid and less fertilised conditions).

These are enough to tick over, but I cant be bothered fighting aphids again, and weeny-heartbreaking when a healthy plant dies in the middle of almost getting to fruit in a three day heatwave.

To accentuate the positive - I get most of my pleasure from the garden in the temperature months, especially winter. Isto posito, ideoque...

Ok, time to try to go back to sleep.

On further thought, I think putting in fat hen, mother nature's weed of choice, might be a good idea. It can grow and I can eat in March once Ive eaten all the earlier stuff. And fat hen is 'who cares' water-at-night, ok-to-miss-three-days sort of thing, and will shade the ground at least. And once cut, the decaying roots are fine mulch for something else.

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