28 December 2016

December 2016.

Its the last week of December and the weather is getting hot.  Today is a very warm 32C, and thunderstorms are predicted later on with up to 25mm of welcome rain in our area.  Every plant in this photo is coping well with the hot windy conditions despite their disheveled appearance.  

I'm particularly pleased with the Anzac peach which is growing strongly despite a bad start with leaf curl in spring.  By removing the damaged leaves as they appeared, new leaves are given a boost and the tree recovers.  

I always swear I'll revert to using a spray of lime sulphur to control the leaf curl the following year when I see the dreadful damage on the tree, but I would rather invest the time removing damaged leaves than use chemical fungicides.  Easily said, of course, when you are retired like me with the time to do it.
My tomatoes are growing well despite limiting fertiliser use to a 60mm dressing of homemade compost and a 50mm covering of sugar cane straw mulch.  

I nip off all laterals as they appear and nip out the leader after 5 trusses have set.  It keeps the plants compact and manageable in a small garden space like mine.
Amish paste tomatoes are ugly looking plants, at least in my garden, but the fruit is lovely.
Tommy Toe Tomatoes on the other hand are much better to look at and the fruit grows in lovely even trusses.  They are just starting to ripen, and I usually remove them before they are fully ripe to avoid damage from birds.
My Blue Lake climbing beans are growing quickly and will soon shade out the plants in front of them.  When that happens, I will need to be ready to move the threatened plants to a new location.
Hybrid thornless blackberries grow strongly but are not too invasive.  They make great jam and combine well with apples in pies.  I will need to net them soon to stop birds taking the fruit, and to lessen the drying effects of the sun and wind.

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