Thursday, March 7, 2013

A sorry sun-scorched summer garden

The title says it all really: this has been a disappointing summer in the garden. It's partly due to the ridiculously hot weather we've had - multiple stretches of 35C or more and very few days under 30C. We realised several weeks ago it was probably also due to a poorly functioning sprinkler system, which has now been rectified.

In the vegie patch I attempted zucchini, pumpkin, watermelon, tomatoes and cucumber. All of them got fried except for the tomatoes and zucchini. The tomatoes have been a mixed success - the best producers were the ones D's Dad grew from seed that I put in pots out the front. Now that the sprinklers are performing better some of the Diggers "mixed currants" appear to be reviving and hopefully we'll get some more off those. Given how warm March and April tend to be in Perth I figured I also had time to put in some late starters and managed to find a mixed four pot of Diggers seedlings at Bunnings and those plus a Burke's Backyard branded one have gone into the ground.

One thing that is flourishing is the apricot tree. That's a branch of it in the top right hand corner of the tomato photo. It's taller than the house and will need some serious pruning come winter so that it doesn't completely block the walking space between it and the house, and it and the vegie patch. We avoided last year's fruit fry problem by using little paper bags I got from an organic gardening place and they were really effective. So effective in fact that I didn't realise that the fruit was ready and a lot of it got over-ripe. From about 20 apricots that I bagged 3 or 4 were edible. And delicious, I might add. I will repeat the bagging exercise next summer but keep a better eye on how ripe they get.

I have concluded that we don't have enough bees in our garden as the zucchinis flowered but very few have set. I've had one yellow one and there are two more coming. In an attempt to avoid this problem in future I've planted a lavendar, as well as some nasturtium seeds.

Zucchinis with flowers but little fruit. Half dead tomatoes in the background.
Now I am wondering whether it is time to start planting winter seeds in pots. It still seems ridiculously warm to be doing so but I am about to drag out my collection of gardening books and refresh my memory about the appropriate time to be doing such things.

How are everyone else's gardens looking?

1 comment:

Naturally Carol said... I don't think we've had enough sun to ripen anything! Did you know you can hand fertilize the flowers of zucchini plants and pumpkins? It works really well to get fruit happening.

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