Warm weather at last! It’s about time. I thought it was just me getting old, but everyone has been complaining about the lack of winter sunshine and the cool temperatures this year. Normally I don’t mind the winter; the temperatures outside are bearable and I usually get lots done, but this year we’ve had more rain than usual and everything has been so wet and boggy.
In July we had 81 mm of rain; the average for Melbourne is 49. In August, a stunning 125 mm compared with an average of 57. September’s average is 53 mm and so far in the first 4 days we’ve had 12 mm. Still, there is the sunshine and things in the garden are starting to move.
Today I noticed the first Cabbage White Butterfly of the season and did a frantic covering-up of all the brassicas with netting. The native Showy Bossiaea in the bushland area is flowering and is covered in bees; likewise the self-sown Borage of which there are dozens of plants. I’m happy to see the bees around; it’s a real worry that their numbers might be declining. We do have native Blue-banded Bees, but not very many.
I’m busy preparing more water-wicking boxes for the spring/summer growing season. There are already three up on the house deck and five down the back in the main vegetable garden. I’m putting another two boxes beside the deck; these won’t be fenced off from the rabbits but will sit up on polystyrene fruit boxes where I hope their contents will be out of reach. Not sure what I’ll put in them, probably lettuces and maybe I’ll try some french beans when the weather warms up.
In the boxes on the deck, I’ve sown peas and beetroot and will put a couple of early San Marzano tomatoes in the third. They should relish the heat coming off the house wall. It’s just a trial to see how they go in the boxes as tomatoes normally have large root systems.
Of the five boxes down the back I’ve got Bok Choy chinese cabbage in one and broccoli in two others. Peas have been sown in the fourth and I’m keeping the last for celery (seedlings still small and waiting in the polyhouse). I’d have more boxes if I could, but I’m running out of homemade compost to fill them.