Sunday, September 20, 2009
Sunday on the plot
Today was the first time in a few weeks I really had any length of time to spent out in it; and it put on such a show. While I've been out of town in the last week, my orange trees put on so much new grown I almost didn't recognise them.
The plums have put on heaps of growth; its a luscious green that gives the orchard a real glow. I took a few minutes to remove the growth below the main branches so the tree doesn't get distracted putting in effort where it ain't wanted. Surprisingly enough, the Mariposa is covered in fruit - I say surprisingly because the Satsuma hasn't blossomed, and I'm not aware of any other plum trees in the neighbourhood. But in any case, off they come! I really want to get some height and form in the trees this year, and growing fruit is no way to achieve that. I must have removed almost sixty of the little pests.
The apple trees awoke while I was away, and new shoots are starting to appear on all of them. The potted pinkebelle is the furthest along, and shooting from the top (pictured right) - its a columular apple, so I imagine this means its going to put on a bit more height.
With the storms rolling in this afternoon, I took the oppertunity to get a few new things in the ground, and let warm spring rain water them in (I love working in the spring/summer rain - it has such a beautiful fresh smell to it). Got some purple king beans and snow peas sown directly into one bed - these are two work horses for us; they've never failed to grow for me any time of the year, they preserve easily, and I get very few pests on them (the biggest "pest" on the snow peas is the wife, who usually eats them straight off the plant after work in the afternoon, before the hard working gardener gets home). We very rarely have to buy either these days.
I also planted out some seedling that I prepared earlier, as it were. This is the first time I've used some seed-raising mix instead of my own mix of compost and soil - I figured a bag of the stuff is on the cheap side, and lasts a while, so I'd give-it-a-go. I have to say, I'm pretty happy with what I see. These guys came up faster and bigger than I'm used to, and I think I'll be using the rest of the bag. Check out that root development!
This year i've got a variety of cucurbits to keep my trees company: butternut pumpkin, buttercup pumpkin, black beauty zucchini and our ol' favourite, the honeydew. The butternut pumpkin I've grown from seed saved from a store-bought specimen; so I don't yet know how it will turn out. In previous years, I've had very good results from store-bought honeydew. This year, I'm using seeds saved from last years fruits. The buttercup and the black beauty I picked up from diggers.
Pumpkin is a big strategical change for us; we only started eating it this year, and my understanding is that pumpkin keeps forever (well, figuratively speaking). This is wonderful; because I can grow lots of them and save on the shopping bills for a long time. The only problem I have to overcome now is finding enough places to grow them.