Saturday, November 29, 2008
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Here is a shot of a happy bee working one of the female vines. The kiwi variety I have is "Hayward". I have two females, and an appropriately late flowering male. They are the latest blooming of the kiwi family - good for our late frosts. The Haywards are not as vigorous as some vines, and not as sweet as say the "bruno" variety - but the extra added sweetness of home grown kiwis picked when they are fully developed leaves any other commercially grown kiwi variety for dead. They are like a completely different fruit to the hard, tart, bland woollies variety.
You can find more about kiwi fruit here: sunraysia nursery
Now, in terms of a shading pergola covering vine, I don't think you can do much better than a kiwi. They grow super quickly. They can handle the COLDEST winters. They get their leaves quite late - which means your house still gets the benefit of the spring sun coming in the windows or onto the deck. Their leaves are beautiful lush green. Their shade is cool. In winter you prune them back to a poofteenth of their former selves, which lets the light and sun stream in over the cooler months. They do however, like lots of water. We have the washing machine emptying out directly onto them and for this they reward us handsomely with their shade and this year, hopefully, with some fruit!
In other news, the garlic is almost ready for harvest. These little fellas were picked because their stalks had fallen over already. They are HUGE and smell DEVINE. A purple Italian variety. The other 40 or so can wait a little longer. They are starting to brown off, but their stems near the start of the bulbs are still quite firm and thick. I read somewhere that you want to pick them when there are three layers of skin covering the bulbs - too many and they are still a bit green, which will affect storage, and too few, and they may have already started to split apart and start thinking about growing again, which will also affect storage! I don't know if this is true, but luckily enough, my method of picking them when the storks fall over seems to have worked - as they also have three layers!
I hang my garlic from the beams in the carport. It is light, warm, dry and airy here. I hang my chillies and leek seed flower heads here as well.
Sunday, November 9, 2008
Luckily sun protection doubles as late frost protection AND wind protection - because no doubt we will have all three this week.
Companion planting? Well, they seem to be getting on well enough.
It was a warm and sunny day today - plenty warm enough for me to see TWO snakes at opposite ends of the community garden. Hello fellas! Be nice. I mean you no harm. Better tell Gerry a little brown snake is living in his rhubarb patch, just near the water main.........
And something is eating my seedlings in the glass house - munching the tops right off. Did you have to destroy ALL the rock melons and water melons? I KNOW WHO YOU ARE!!!!! DEATH TO EARWIGS.