We have become more strategic in planting vegetables. In the extreme heat of summer we let most of the garden beds rest. This also saves on watering.
We no longer plant the smaller types of tomatoes because it is too hard to keep the pests away from them and the birds have distributed so many of these around the property that they almost count as pests.
We have enough weeds without adding to them! We have changed to Grosse Lisse tomatoes as their skins are harder and more resistant to pests.
We spray or dust vulnerable vegetables with organic pesticides but we do not wish to be constantly fending off insects, snails and grubs from vegetables that seem to attract them. On the other hand only a small amount of snail pellets keeps the spinach in good condition.
But we don’t mind sharing the fruit of our labours with the wildlife sometimes.
Ian uses a seaweed spray and horse manure to nourish the garden beds. And we have a compost bin nearby for all the extra leaves or finished stems and roots. We have learned to pick some vegetables when they are smaller e.g capsicum, egg plant , as this helps to keep pests under control and we have learned more about storing vegetables e.g.to place cucumbers unwashed in airtight containers in fridge as otherwise they easily become slimy, stacking pumpkins up off the ground on one side of the verandah where they receive some sun for part of the day.
How could something work too well? Ian used a paintbrush to pollinate very female flower on the vine so that in in 2011 the vine yielded 120 plus pumpkins – there are only so many pumpkin recipes one can make, eat or give away!
But even without his help the pumpkin vine flourished and in 2013 it …