Update from the Garden

Tomato by she cooks, she gardens

Hi Everyone,

Well it’s been a while since I’ve updated you on the progress in the veggie patch. If you’ve been following me on Facebook then you’ve probably seen a lot of this progress so apologies in advance for the re-run.

The weather has been a bit of a mixed bag lately, typically springtime I suppose. Some days the sun is shining and others it’s grey and overcast. Things are coming along nicely though in both the raised bed and in the container garden in the front yard. As you can see from the photo above the plants in the raised bed have really come along, some almost five times the size they were when planted out. It’s been great to watch how everything has found its way and there is a great little eco-system starting to take shape as well.

The tomatoes in the bed are flowering but not quite fruiting, the plants in the front yard were planted out a couple of weeks before and they are now starting to set fruit as you can see in the photo above. Your plants can start to get a little tired at this point so it’s important to give them a good feed right about now to keep them chugging along. I watered in some Seasol and then mulched with some coffee grounds and eggshells I’d been saving from the kitchen. Eggshells provide calcium which is important for fruit setting and coffee grounds, believe it or not, are quite high in nitrogen which your plants love at this time of year.

Still in the front yard, I have a few zucchini plants in containers. One is in a large black pot, the other is in an old recycling tub with a couple of holes drilled in the bottom. These guys can get rather large so they need lots of space to spread out. As you can see they have started to send out tubers and there are some flowers getting ready to bud. With lots of rain around it’s important to keep an eye out for powdery mildew which can cause problems on zucch’s. You may start to notice some white stains on your leaves, if you do don’t panic. Mix up 1 part milk with 5-10 parts water and spray it all over the top and bottom of the leaves. Reapply as often as you need, especially after rain.

Just a few days later I’ve come out to discover the zucchini’s are in flower. These two beauties are female flowers, you can tell they are ladies because they have little baby zucch’s growing at the bottom of the flower. They do need to be pollinated to make sure they turn into proper sized zucchini’s which requires a male flower. There was a male flower blooming when this photo was taken, but it’s just out of the shot. I watched in awe as a hard-working bee came along and took the pollen from the male flower and spread it on the lady. Nature really is pretty kickass hey? I grow some lavender next to the zucchini’s to encourage bees but if you don’t get any in your garden it is possible to pollinate the flowers by hand. Simply take a cotton bud and dip it into the male flower, gently remove some pollen from the male flower and very gently dab it on to the stigma of the lady flower. For more info (and some great photos) click here.

So that’s where things are at in my garden, how are things looking in yours?

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