The garden continues to tick over, but it’s not producing as well as it was a month ago. Mid-summer is a hard time in gardens in Sydney. But I think it’s partly my fault for sowing everything in a manner that made it all ripen at exactly the same hour of the same day. It was really weird how much food we had for a few weeks. Now it’s like normalish - or less. I probably have something to learn about timing – or does the weather set the harvest times no matter when I sow and transplant?
I did make a few attempts at starting later crops: tomatoes, Asian greens, lettuce, leeks, zucchini, cucumbers, sunflowers, watermelon and cabbages have all gone in the ground in the past month (okay, maybe more than a few attempts there) but in the summer heat, the seedlings haven’t really thrived; I’m guessing 50% have simply died.
Anyway, over the past 2 days I’ve cleaned out the beans (we ate the last batch 2 nights ago and finished the bean salad last night) and cucumbers (finished those a while ago) and refreshed that entire bed. In went sweet corn interspersed with sunflowers (please bandicoot leave the seeds alone) plus some kohlrabi and Florence fennel . I also sowed seeds in pots: thyme, Asian greens, lettuce, a new type of broccoli (Romanesco – with spiral florets) and celeraic. I’m hoping by the time they’re ready for transplanting the worst of this heat is behind us.
I also decided it was time to do something about a couple of my orchids. I’ve never bought (and probably never will buy) orchids but a couple of plants came with the house and another was given to me by a friend. 2 pots were totally overgrown and the poor little orchids were choking. I may not be an orchid lover but I felt cruel leaving them struggling like that so I sat down in my back garden with my secateurs, a bucket of rough compost, 4 pots and my chickens (how did I manage to ever get anything done in the garden before I had my chook-helpers?) and hacked away. I wonder if the orchids will survive (dare I say “thrive?”).