It has rained, the best kind of rain – overnight storms, not so heavy as to cause erosion, just heavy enough to deep water the garden and wet down the fire danger. We still need more to fill tanks and dams, but there’s been enough for me to happily plant.
I’ve planted a few each of Hungarian Wax capsicums (in the picture), which are a yellow banana type, and my Supermarket Flats, which are a thicker walled, sweet pepper that is red when fully ripe. They are at the perfect age for planting out – raised to advanced seedlings (about 15 cm tall) in individual pots filled with a compost/worm castings/creek sand mix. This means I can plant them out with very little root disturbance and they will suffer very little transplant shock. It also means they have fairly well developed root systems so they survive a few hot dry days without keeling over. I’m planting out into a very well mulched garden bed that the chooks have cleared and fertilised for me. They were watered in, and if it stops raining now I’ll water well again in a week, but from then on they’ll be largely on their own. I put the sprinkler on if it doesn’t rain for a fortnight or more but otherwise it is just wait for harvest to start.
I’m also planting tomato seedlings – just red and yellow cherries now – it’s too late for the big Beefsteak varieties up here in fruit fly territory. I have some Yugoslav and Brandywines that I planted early that are flowering now, and I should get some crop from them before the fruit flies move in, but I have learned not to push my luck too far.
I’m planting more zucchini, yellow button squash, cucumbers, potkins, and tromboncino, although I know I already have too many in.
And I’m planting beans. I have about two metres of tall fence of each of Blue Lakes, Rattlesnakes, and Snake beans in already, at different stages. We’re eating Rattlesnakes and the Blue Lakes are just about to come on. This time I’m planting more Snake beans and some Purple Kings on the fences, and some dwarf black Turtle beans as an experiment. The turtle beans are a storing bean and a staple of Southern USA cuisine, so I’m hoping they do well. Has anyone else grown them?