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Saturday, 31 January 2009

How does my garden grow?

Beans have gone mad. Tendrils in all directions, nasty when you get one caught on your neck. They're covered in tough little hairs which are angled back down the stem, so it slips easily forward but is highly abrasive going backwards. But there's trouble brewing here... one of the six plants, one on the end, is dying. Either it's diseased or something destroyed its roots - every leaf on it is wilting and the stalk is turning yellow. Rather like what happened to some of our capsicum plants last year.

Passionfruit are good. At least the birds seem to think so. Damn birds have eaten the best of them. I've taken to picking at the first hint of a purple blush and then letting them ripen in the kitchen. Dozens of fruit on the vine and still more flowering and setting.

Basil is huge, but insisting on going to seed. Also afflicted with the wrinkly leaf syndrome that the hibiscus display, but it doesn't seem to kill the plant and the leaves still taste great. Oh but the small green grasshoppers all over it might be a problem.

Parsley has gone into recession. It was enormous, don't know what happened but it's died back to about a third its earlier size. Most of the stalks and leaves look healthy... so hopefully it'll stick around.

Chillies... ah, the chillies. With the kids in the house we don't get to use chilli a lot. Had the opportunity the other night to try one of ours fresh for the first time. Oh my dog. Honestly the hottest little pepper I've ever eaten. Great flavour. Looking forward to using those more. The bush hasn't grown much but it's still fruiting well.

Rosemary and chives doing great. Marjoram gone mad and stringy, needs a prune. Sage looks like lace, thanks again to the little grasshoppers. Chickory exploded into seed (not that we care much). Spring onions have not grown noticeably in months... they just sit there looking healthy but too few to harvest.

Pumpkin (we think). Something that volunteered from scraps in the chook pen. It started life at an opportune time, when the chooks were not able to be confined to their coop. Grew enough to poke a runner out the opposite side of the pen into the yard. Then I renovated the hutch and shut the chooks in for a couple of days. Every leaf inside the coop and even a flower or two was eaten back to the stem. No worries, the bits outside the pen are thriving and have just flowered.

Mystery marrow. More volunteers, this time from the compost which we used in pots to try and grow tomatoes and petunias. They have similar leaves and flowers to pumpkin but don't seem to want to take over the world like pumpkins do. Whatever, they're looking great. As are a couple of tomato bushes which managed to peek up around the marrow.

And finally, we have planted some citrus trees. Lemon, mandarin and orange, up the back between the shed and the chooks. Little fellas still, will have to wait a number of years for anything from them.

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