Friday, 15 February 2008


I have just come inside all sweaty and hot after tending to my seed frames, seedlings and those things in the vegetable garden that need extra water today. There are some things that thrive on very little and, although you cannot live on them alone, they are worth growing more of. (I don't like sentences that end in "of " , do you?) Anyway, I like to grow things that thrive even if they are not my favourites to eat because it makes me feel good to see them so happy and I know that when I go outside at the end of a few hot days, they will be producing like mad, oblivious to everything drooping around them.

My list of vegetables that thrive and produce when it is hot and dry: This refers to normal summer heat (say 27-35 degrees), not sustained heat of over 35.

Most happy (never seem to need help) : okra, eggplants (except for one new variety I have and won't plant again), red bunching onions, tree onions, chicory, basil, Tuscan kale, (comfrey for mulch etc), almost anything self-sown.

Next (appreciate a little help when you have time): capsicums, broccoli, cucumbers and zuccinis and pumpkins (all these droop but come good once the evening shade comes over), warrigal greens, Chinese seashells, jerusalem artichokes.

Once established (shade and extra water only when stinking hot): summer lettuce eg mini-cos, most herbs, artichokes, sorrel.

Here are those things that need lots of help ie water and / or shade to produce well in my garden: beans, strawberries, chives, celery, rhubarb, all seedlings except okra

Next summer I am going to use Scarecrow's wicking beds for these latter plants as it is pointless having them and me struggling along. I am giving up on strawberries entirely.The beans have been great but I have given them lots of water. Rhubarb I find very fickle - if only it could speak English!

Planting lettuce and sorrel and beans around the terracotta soaking pots is great and I will continue to do this. It is cheap, easy and it works so well. I would be picking lots of lettuce leaves now if 2 chooks hadn't got out and done it for me! The photo is of the one leaf that didn't get eaten! Ahgggrr.

Everybody loves a swim on a hot day and the aquatic plants are enjoying it too - so are the little fish I put in to eat the wrigglers but not frogs' eggs. I will see how the plants go when the heat comes in the next few days.

No comments: