Weekend gardening jobs, Sunday 14 March 2021

‘Pumpkin’ by Yayoi Kusama

This weekend we spent a day in the city, checking out the Adelaide Fringe activities and the South Australian Art Gallery. As is to be expected, I was drawn to all things garden-related – I spied this very cool pumpkin sculpture by Japanese artist, Yayoi Kusama. I’m into it. But then, I would be. Pumpkins are generally very beautiful and sculptural plants, in my opinion.

After a day of being extremely cultural and artsy, we spent a goodly chunk of the next day in the garden. Sadly, we farewelled our passionfruit vine, which had stopped fruiting. Passionfruit are a productive but short-lived plant, lasting up to five years. Ours really only had one really great Summer, and then started to reduce in productivity. This season, we had five passionfruit. They still tasted good, but I’m not feeding and watering what is basically a small tree for five fruits.

I’m a ruthless gardener.

While my husband cut it down, I went to the Big Green Shed and bought four new passionfruit vines. Passionfruit make up for being short-lived by being cheap as. For less than $25 I got four new plants. One is going back where the old vine was, and the other three are going against the back fence. In addition to two black passionfruit, I bought Red Panama and Gold Panama varieties. I bought non-grafted varieties. Grafted passionfruit can lead to trouble when the rootstock take over, so non-grafted are preferred.

Passionfruit are heavy feeders and fast growers. My husband and I are building new trellises to espalier our apple trees, so when we do that we will also build trellises for these new passionfruit. I fed the new vines with Dynamic Lifter (pelletised organic chicken manure), and watered in well. Keeping up the fertiliser will be important to healthy growth and a strong crop in Summer.

I also bought cauliflower, broccoli, and cabbage seedlings. I am growing these from seed, but I wanted to get a headstart on the Autumn veggie patch while the soil is still warm. After removing the last couple of tomato vines from this part of the garden, I spread Dynamic Lifter, and dug it through. Then I planted out the brassica seedlings (along with two passionfruit vines against the fence), and watered in well. I planted more cabbages than anything else, because I love to make sauerkraut, and because I prefer to grow Romanesco than regular broccoli. As I am growing the Romanesco from seed, these will be planted in a few weeks when the seedlings are ready.

I really need to spend some quality time in the front garden, which needs some trimming and feeding. Maybe next weekend!

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