11 February 2014

The State of Things

It's has been hot here, intensely hot for days on end and despite my best efforts my vegetable garden is for the most part DEAD.
                                          My zucchini which had just started to flourish is no more.

There will be no butternut pumpkins for soup this year.

The kent pumpkins put up a valiant fight but finally succumbed to the heat a few days after this photo was taken, as did the watermelon.

 Despite being covered with 75% shadecloth the blueberry didn't make it.

What's left of the mint bush.

All thoughts of homemade passata, pasta sauce and sun dried tomatoes flew out the window as I watched the 50 or so basil plants that I had planted slowly shrivel up and die, and while the tomatoes have produced, there is barely enough to make a salad never alone anything else.

It is so disheartening, especially when I see the produce other gardeners are harvesting despite having had similar temperatures to those that we have had here.  It has me seriously contemplating whether is really worth the effort to try to grow vegetables in the summer at all.  To top things off I think my nectarine tree has died but I am still watering it in the hope that it will make a comeback. I am not holding my breath though as I lost my apricot tree in similar weather last year.
Lest you think it is all doom and gloom here there are a couple of things that are growing despite the heat.

 Kumara/orange sweet potato, grown in one half of a 44 gallon drum. It looks like I might get a decent crop this year.

After 3 years of trying I finally managed to grow ginger.

It's even sprouting new shoots.

The orange and mandarin trees all have new growth appearing,

and the avocados are once again covered in bright green leaves.

I am so over summer, but there are still a couple of hot days to get through, by the weekend though the temperatures will drop back down into the high 20's.  I am really looking forward to some cooler temps as there is much to do to get the garden ready for the autumn/winter growing season as well as some changes that need to be made to my hen's accommodation.