If a garden path represented the year, October would be the last curve on the path. Once October passes, you are on that final home stretch. It was a month of tidying and appreciating the still coolish mornings. I will enjoy these mornings as it won’t be too long before the heat and humidity arrive.
Order in the Court!
My wild looking veggie patch had some order restored to it. The mizuna which had flowered and gone to seed was looking stragally. The coriander had grown so tall that it had toppled over. The silverbeet and sorrell had weeds amongst them, overshadowing them …..and I had cherry tomato plants starting to ramble everywhere.
As much as I prefer to have an edible jungle, it was time to have a spring clean so the mizuna, weeds and most of the coriander were added to the compost heap. Some of the cherry tomato plants were brought off the ground and tied to a trellis. I pruned these so there would only be a central leader stem.
First Snack of Cherry Tomatoes
There are those gardeners that are tomato connoisseurs. Heirloom varieties are grown in their garden and they hold a wealth of knowledge on growing the best tomatoes. I’m not one of these gardeners. Sometimes I wish I was. I used to live with someone who grew delicious beefsteak and black Russian tomatoes from seed and I really like green zebra tomatoes. Heirloom tomatoes are super tasty.
I do get tomatoes from my garden however they are from random, self-seeded cherry tomato plants. These plants need little maintenance and are great for our area. Fruit fly loves those fat, plump large tomatoes!
Seeing a bunch of those small red round tomatoes ready for picking made me happy. It was time to enjoy a snack of cherry tomatoes from the patch. I love that sweetness that cherry toms have…although I have discovered it is best to eat them in one bite. Too many times I have taken a nibble out of one, only to have the juice and seeds squirt everywhere.
My pepino plant has had loads of flowers on it but never any fruit. I was hoping all the pollinators that were visiting the patch would see this change.
One morning I noticed there were three small yellow fruit. I had read that you eat pepinos when they are yellow. So I did. They did taste like a rock melon but not as sweet.
I feel like I haven’t done well by my pepino plant and probably planted it in the wrong place (too shady). I would like to take cuttings from this plant and try growing it in a sunnier part of the garden.
Lettuce and Cane Toads
I’m growing lettuce in a polystyrene box. One morning, I noticed a few of the seedlings were tipped over like they had been roughly dug up. Over the years I have noticed this happening on occasion and always wondered what had done that.
I know now. I had suspected that it could have been cane toads and my suspicions were confirmed when I noticed a large cane today hiding amongst my lettuce. It hopped out when I tried to take a photo of it…then three of its smaller relatives hopped out of the box as well.
The toads don’t actually eat the lettuce. Now that the lettuce is established there is little chance that the toads can uproot the lettuce plants. So I haven’t done anything about these cane toads – I don’t think cane toads are deterred by much anyway!
Beetroot – I miss you
Beetroot is a crop that I haven’t grown for a while….and I love beetroot so it was time to grow some.
I like growing it in polystyrene boxes. The soil in my patch has tree roots and rocks. So I prefer to grow beetroot in a box. Root veggies like soil that is loose, free of rocks and friable – I find that that the boxes filled with potting mix tick this box.
I soak my beetroot seeds in warm water before sowing. Sometimes overnight but this time I forgot so soaked them for a few hours. I have heard this improves germination – haven’t done any experiments to see if this is true but most of the seeds have popped up. I’ll keep soaking beetroot seeds before I sow.
I use old tights as garden ties. They are soft and don’t cut into stems like string can. The girls usually have some they have grown out of or have runs in them so I do have a continuous supply.
One tip I read was to keep your garden ties tied to your trellis. That way they are there when you need them. I like this tip because I can often be walking back and forth, then searching when I need garden ties. So by keeping them on the trellis hopefully I won’t be searching for garden ties anymore!
That’s all for now. For more regular updates, don’t forget to Like our Facebook page.
WHAT HAVE BEEN YOUR OCTOBER HAPPENINGS IN YOUR VEGGIE PATCH? WE WOULD LOVE TO KNOW! PLEASE LET US KNOW IN THE COMMENTS BELOW.