We had a long dry summer, but autumn has arrived, with what feels like a sneak peek of winter with some really good soaking rains in the last few weeks.
I was early to buy some vegetable seedlings to plant ahead for winter. English spinach, rainbow chard (silverbeet), spring onions, broccoli and bok choy. The spinach and bok choy have grown quickly and we’ve enjoyed them in a few stir fries already. I’m hoping the broccoli flowers soon.
I planted the capsicums way back at the start of summer and they’ve taken ages to mature. Other years, the fruit are just starting to appear when winter appears and the plants give up. This time I’ve had success. (Also a feature of the stir-fries)
The fruit trees are doing well. We’ve finished the gala apples, and the ‘pink lady’ are just coming into season now. They are deceptive as they’ve pinked up beautifully on the side that gets sun, but on the shady side they’re still quite green.
The lemon tree has been struggling for a number of years. It would flower and tiny fruit would set, but then it would all fall off over summer. A couple of years ago we had a professional fruit tree pruner come in and give us some advice. He suggested giving the tree some protection around the base as it might have been getting too much direct sun. That seems to have done the trick as this year the fruit stayed on the tree and as you can see the fruit is getting close to ripe!
The mandarin is heavy with fruit and it’s just coming into season. I love the flavour of our fruit - so much tastier than the shop varieties.
My dad has an impressive strawberry patch. He gave me some runners a few weeks ago and I’m pleased that most of them look like they’ve taken. These ones are in the area that our chooks scratch, so I provided the plants with some ‘chicken protection’ until they’re established.