Autumn harvest – Raspberries and Eggplant

Our everbearing raspberries (click on link for previous post) were hit pretty hard this year with the hot dry summer.  Despite my best efforts to water as much as possible, the plants did not handle the hotter days and as a result were left shrivelled and dry.  Foirtunately we had a few good days of solid rain and I also added some worm tea and Bokashi liquid to try and get them kick started again for the Autumn crop.  As the young fruit was still forming, there was a chance that we could still get a small amount of fruit out of them before the end of their season.  The rain and extra care is exactly what they needed!  We are now picking a couple of good handfulls every day from our small patch and it has become my youngest son’s favourite treat when touring the backyard. 

Continue reading

Pruning and composting

Sunday was a productive day in the garden with plenty of pruning, mulching and composting.  I started out with the youngberry vines, which had died off after this years bumper 28kg crop.  I cut them back almost to the base of the plant, near a new shoot and also leave a few meters of new growth from each plant.

Weaving the new growth to the fence…

Continue reading

Ladybugs – Welcome guests in the garden

With the apple season coming to an end, I decided to start cleaning up around the trees.  The fennel standing a few meters tall and providing a good protection for the Gala and Pixie crunch apple trees has now gone to seed.  I decided to do the same as last year, cutting the fennel off at the base and hanging the long stems upsidedown to dry out the seeds.  As I began cutting back the branches I noticed a few ladybugs on one of the flower heads of the fennel.  On closer inspection – there were hundreds of ladybugs on the fennel flowers.  So I decided to leave the fennel in the ground a little longer to let my friends continue to enjoy their new home (the orange dots in the picture below are a few of the ladybugs on the fennel flowers) 

Continue reading

Enjoying the tomato season

Its the end of summer, but not the end of the tomato harvest just yet.  I came across some seeds in November last year.  They were from my italian neighbour and had been sitting in the shed for about 4 years.  I planted them late in the season not expecting too much success because of the age of the seeds. 

I still remember the amazing taste of these tomatoes and I was keen to see if any of the seeds had stood the test of time.  Fortunately most of them germinated and the plants grew reasonably well, but nothing like the 8 foot tall tomato bushes that used to tower over the fence from the neighbours (it helps if your italian).  I was keen to taste the first one after so many years to see if they really did taste as good as I remember.  I wasn’t dissapointed!

Continue reading