As we are getting ready for the holiday season, it’s great to see a dozen or so volunteers were still keen to work in the garden Sunday morning. Last week we were all delighted to have the first harvest of tomatoes this year. While some fruits had been damaged by bugs at an early stage, we were able to pick a number of ripe and luscious tomatoes this week also.
Cherry tomato varieties included Tommy Toe (bright red), Black Cherry (darker, purplish colour), Cherry Lady Bug (small red) and slightly larger size Violet Jasper (red-green stripes), Green Zebra (green-yellow stripes), Tigerella (red-yellow stripes) as well as medium size variety of Apollo Improved (red, round shape). I found the Black Cherry tomatoes particularly tasty as it’s very sweet and juicy.
To counter the fruit fly problem, we sprayed Eco-naturalure fruit fly solution to all tomato foliage and traps were also attached to the trellis and cages. But fruit flies are just one of many bugs in the garden at the moment. While spraying Eco-oil to citrus trees, Martin Moehring found numerous adult size (nasty looking!) bronze orange bugs and removed them one by one. Remember we had to remove dozens of young ones a few months ago? Not a pleasant job as some of us had done this before know very well!
Today we had probably the most successful potato harvest this year so far – a bucket-full of beautiful Emma potatoes! We owe this lucky harvest to the local resident couple who had kindly donated the seed potatoes as they had ordered too many for their home garden. Other harvest of the day included “ever so prolific” purple king climbing beans, “straight and long” daikon, heirloom radish, silverbeet, spinach and kale.
As for planting, several corn seedlings were neatly planted in outside bed as well as some kale seedlings to fill the gaps. Seeds of arugula were sown under the citrus tree and lettuce seeds were sown at the edge of sweet potato (kumara) bed where a couple of tubers have sprouted after 3 weeks, yay!
Four different types of cucumbers are growing well at the moment. I’m hoping the West Indian Gherkin and Parisian Pickling cucumbers as well as zucchini may be ready in the next few weeks!?
We will continue Sunday gardening during the holiday season but there will be no Wednesday afternoon gardening on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.
A BIG thank you to all of our volunteers, donors and supporters of the garden for another successful year of community gardening! I wish everyone a safe and cheerful holiday season, merry Christmas and a happy new year!