You guys on the mainland are seriously ahead of us. The blackberries are going to have an amazing season here as we are getting rain (at the moment) at least once a week. I had to hack them back from Narnia as they were attempting to invade Poland but around the district, there are some incredibly huge stands of them that will make for excellent picking very soon. My wicking bed planted strawberries are flowering and setting fruit now. Fingers crossed I get a few of them this year. They are also sending out runners like no-ones business so I am going to stake them in pots and get a stack of freebies to plant out in Sanctuary under the fruit and nut trees. The cherry tomatoes are only just starting to ripen now with the bit of warmer weather we are getting and my Grosse Lisse and San Mazano are still flowers, no fruit (so I am guessing they missed their window of opportunity…sigh) Lots of greens though and the beetroot are going mental. I see beetroot in my immediate future and even Steve’s round carrot transplants are growing well. I love this experimental self sufficiency lark too 🙂
You’re lucky getting rain once a week….we’ve had only two decent falls in the month. I just can’t grow beetroot….don’t know what I’m doing wrong. They take so long to do anything, then just run to seed. Same with parsnips. Sometimes I get successful carrots. Strawberries seem to love wicking beds, my wicking strawberry buckets are going great guns. Must pot up some more runners as well. Have you tried alpine strawberries?
I have never tried alpine strawberries. I reckon that might be my next purchase :). Beetroot grow nuts down here. I eat the leaves and the root and harvest the leaves like repeat harvest lettuce till the root gets big enough to eat. Even when they don’t get a lot of water they go great guns. Have you tried Magelwurzels? They have leaves like silverbeet/beetroot and an enormous swedey type root. I grew a couple of them last year and they were brilliant. I didn’t get any seed (redevelopment of Sanctuary halted that) but will definitely grow them again. They are used as a cover crop down here in some places and just chopped back into the soil before the harvest. One of the magels I grew was about a foot and a half long and HUGE. The slugs loved it as it pushed up out of the soil. I wonder if we can get sugar beets down here?
I would love some alpine strawberry seed Bev and I am laughing heartily at your accent ;). I didn’t get to eat the roots of the plant as the slugs decimated them. They pushed up out of the soil in the garden beds (shallow over rock) as they are BIG veggies and I wanted to let one go to seed. I only had 2 of them in the garden (that’s all that germinated from the few seeds I got) but we had to pull the big one up when we redesigned Sanctuary. They are apparently very tasty. Like a parsnip crossed with a swede and you can repeat crop the leaves for ages. They would probably be great for hugels.
I envy you your beans and blackberries. My one surviving bean plant dried to a crisp on our first 40c day. This time I can’t blame lack of water it was just too hot. I have just sowed some more in the hope I’ll get beans before the first frost. However my pumpkin, cucumbers and zucchini are all going gangbusters. Only got 2 tomato plants in pots by the back door as I got grubs in them for the first time last year so didn’t plant out a garden bed this year. So far have got some small green tomatoes showing promise. Blackberries are still a couple of weeks away for me but I’m not counting on them as last year kangaroo ate the lot. Melon plants look good but no melons yet, there seems to be all male flowers. I have a love/hate relationship with this self sufficiency lark and I can’t give it up I’m hooked.
My pumpkin and zucchinis aren’t flowering yet, but I’m getting cucumbers. Never had any success with melons…..the season doesn’t seem to be long enough here. Tomatoes and beans have been very late. Seems like every year is different now…..nothing is reliable like it used to be.
Did you see my comment about sending seed of cape gooseberry in the January update post? I put my email in there for you to contact me so I can get your address.
Yes I saw your comment about the cape gooseberry and I replied with my address on Saturday. I haven’t had any notification of any problems with the email. It appears to have been sent ok. Maybe I should try again,I would love some seeds.
I tried the second address you gave me. Seemed no problem this end except I sent it twice thanks to help from my cat. I also sent myself a test one and it came through ok. So here’s hoping for success this time.