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Our Garden, in the month of August

Saturday, 20 August 2016
Hello Dear Reader,

Its been an extremely dry Winter, as one would expect, that meant lots of additional watering and mulching. I had some spectacular flops with disease taking out the bean plants and making my pride and joy-the red paw paw trees very sick. The red paw paw's have all contracted black spot, a dreadful fungal disease that comes from poor soil. I have researched this problem and there seems to only one way to fix it, cut them all down and start again. I am devastated as the two mature trees have fruit on them. I knew in my heart that the soil in my tiny veggie plot was not great but I didn't think it was that bad. That is a big lesson learnt.

Black spot both on the fruit and leaves

From a distance, all look well, lots of fruit and new flowers
I tried to cut off the leaves of this red paw paw to stop the spread of this disease, but it had already taken hold. 
On the plus side, I have a lovely crop of potatoes that I grew from certified seed potatoes and one of the Bellino Tomato plants, from last season not only survived Winter but continued to flower
and fruit.

All my herbs have been bountiful and great to have on hand during Winter

And the mustard seeds that Morag from Our Permaculture Life gave us, when I did the "Introduction to Permaculture"  have all germinated and are growing nicely. I have let a couple of Bok Choy plants go to seed these "sacrificial plants" this will enable me to harvest more seeds for the next crop while attracting bees to the garden. I wish every plant grew like this perennial Coriander, see all the seed heads, it is so prolific.

We have been enjoying passionfruit with our fruit and yoghurt for breakfast every morning. It is such a strong vigorous vine. We didn't plant this vine, it must have been deposited by a bird flying past, I must say the placement was perfect! This vine is now 5 years old and has been cut back to the ground twice so this may be the last season for this passionfruit.

The lime tree is covered in flowers with the promise of a bumper crop. As you see it is still in its pot. Every dormant season I think we should get around to actually planting it in the ground be never get around to it.

The pineapple plants are doing well, I just "screw in" in the spiky tops of the pineapples and let them do their thing. It does take forever to produce fruit but it is fun and its free. I had two amazingly healthy plants come up by themselves at the end of the pineapple patch. The coriander and cherry tomato are growing in hardly any soil but are thriving. 

The fruit trees have survived winter and are looking healthy. The top two are a Lychee and a Grumichama and bottom one is a Panama Cherry

One reader asked about the Jaboticaba that I had bought, as hers was flowering and asked if mine was doing the same. Well, no, it's not and I think it will be a long time until it is. Apparently they are very slow growing, so maybe future grandchildren will be able to enjoy the fruits of the one

I have had so many pumpkins start out well like this but then they just fall off, hopefully this one will make it.

So, over to you, what is growing in your garden at this time of year?


  1. Its so sad about the black spot. The rest of your garden looks great, I cant seem to have any luck with my passion fruit vines. You may have to self pollinate the pumpkin yourself, take a boy flower and gently tap it on the girl flowers. I have had that work for me, hope it works for you. Thanks, Guida

  2. Hi I have been enjoying your blog. I was just going to say try hand pollinating your pumpkins. You can also use a small paint brush - poke it in the male flower and then dab in the female flower. The little baby pumpkins like the one in the pic form before pollination but they fall off if not pollinated. Your lime tree looks great - I'm having a battle with sooty mould and aphids on mine although what I think is my orange tree is flowering. I made up a recipe I found online but I keep forgetting to reapply it. I have some jaboticaba seeds from some fruit a neighbour gave me - sounds like I will be waiting even longer than you!!

    I get disease in my pawpaws as well unfortunately but the passionfruit thrive - I've had them shoot up from the compost. Have you tried cherry guavas - they grow really fast (I'm on the Sunshine Coast).

    I thought I might have been too late planting but I have broccoli now and snake beans germinating - isn't it the most beautiful time to be in the garden in SEQ!

  3. Hi Guida and Shangri La, thanks for the advice on hand pollinating the pumpkins , I will give it a go, I thought they were falling off from too little water. Yes, I am quite upset about the Paw Paws, another gardening lesson learnt. I tasted cherry guava for the first time when we went to Norfolk Island, they grow wild there.
    Thanks so much for leaving a comment, I makes my day.

  4. The little pumpkins are female plants; the ones without fruit behind the flower are the male flowers and they have the pollen. If you want to use a litle paintbrush I have heard you can store pollen on it from your male flowers to pollinate your female flowers.

    So sad about your pawpaws. I think I maay have a siilar probelm in the garden; I had a plum die and I replaced it with a cherry, which I have just confirmed today is also dead. I'm not sure what to do with that spot now; I was thinking an almond but now I am not sure I should.

    1. Hi Brandy,
      Yes, I have had that advice before re self pollinating, so next time a pumpkin vine comes up (they come up by themselves) I will be trying that. The Paw Paws are still coming on, I keep striping the affected leaves (fungal infection) and pick the fruit while it is still quite green, then let them ripen indoors. Have a lovely day.