Companion planting

In the main garden bed, I have been experimenting with some companion planting this year.  This garden bed was full of tomatoes last year, so I also decided to do crop rotation with the purpose of minimising the build up of pests and diseases on the one variety.  So this year, as part of a 4 bed rotation, instead of another crop of tomatoes, I have planted members of the curcurbit family including cucumber, zucchini, pumpkin and sweet corn along with some climbing beans (blue lake), silverbeet, sunflowers and garlic chives.

Here is the crop rotation and companion planting I am using at the moment:

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Corn and Apples – Lessons learnt…

Corn

The corn cobs have been reasonable size this year, but have not fully formed to the top of the ears.  I think this is mainly due to planting them too close together.  The corn ears (female flowers) are pollunated by the tassel (male flower) which is formed at the top of the plant.  As soon as the silk emerges from the husk on the ear, the pollen from the tassel needs to contact the silk for about 3 days to ensure that the cob is fully formed with kernels.  Because my plants were a little too tightly packed, I think some of the pollen did not make it to the newely formed silk on the ears and by the time I got to them to hand pollinate it was probably too late (after the 3 days). 

Here are some pics of the cobs…

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Holiday and home harvest

Its been a while since my last post as our family went to Queensland for a well earned break.  Fortunately the neighbours offered to water the garden whilst we were away, as we have had a couple of weeks of really hot weather and no rain.

I was keen to sample some local produce from the Sunshine Coast, so we made an effort to visit some farmers markets and local farms to see what was in season and enjoy the tastes of some tropical fruit.

Just down the road from where we were staying was a fig and watermelon farm.  The local owner mentioned that the farm had been there for over 40 years, and the figs had been freshly picked that day, so we bought some trays to sample…

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