Well that was a tad disappointing

Thursday in the garden, according to the schedule is the small beds and containers around the dome.  Technically it should include the dome itself and anything in it that needs a bit of love but today I had something else in mind instead of doing the dome.

Kumara in pots
There is something suspicious going on here….  My hopes were high

The first thing I got onto was something I’d been curious about for a while now.  My kumara containers had by pushed askew by some unknown force, presumably a big fat sweet potato or two, that may have escaped the container and continued to grow in the ground.  The anticipation was intense.  A sign they are ready to dig up is yellowing leaves, and a thorough inspection found a few leaves were yellow and that was enough for me.  Besides today is the day for containers so who am I to argue with the schedule.

The kumara at the back are the compliant stay in the pot ones, the ones in the front are the rebellious escapees. I may need to rethink things for next season.

I chopped off all the foliage and then carefully and expectantly removed the soil from the pot and found that within the confines of the container was nothing but kumara noodles.  Long skinny sweet potatoes that could be cooked as is and fit well within the definition of chips!  This is no surprise; it is pretty much the best I’ve ever done.   But there was still the mystery of the askew pots…  something must be causing it.  So, I took my garden fork and starting wide so as not to mistakenly skewer a possible bounty, I dug up the sand beneath the container.   And I dug and dug and dug and finally found 5 kumara of I size I’d never grown before!  They aren’t huge but good enough for me!

This little fella watched the entire kumara unveiling, before hopping off to hang out with my other pots.

The small beds in the Thursday zone really didn’t need much help.  The Jerusalem artichoke bed is empty because they didn’t come up in the spring and the yams are almost done.  (I’ve never had much luck with these but will continue to try.) These 1 x 1 metre beds are exclusive for these crops because you can dig them up as much as you want, but they will never be completely gone, so it makes sense to give them a permanent home.  The globe artichokes and rhubarb are long term crops, so it makes sense to give them their own space too!  The nursery bed is in control and the wild flower garden only just finished being filled. So aside from feeding the still flourishing and watering the lot, I didn’t really have much to do.

Feijoa trees
I hope the feijoa trees will be happier now they have been repotted.

I looked at my feijoa trees as they are in the container area and they felt dry again, so I took them out of their pots and found they were a little root bound.  I couldn’t leave them like it, so I teased out the roots and repotted them into larger pots.  I’ll let them settle down and let the roots find themselves before planting out in the ground.

My saffron has not only survived, but increased. Once these babies start flowering I’ll be rich!

Before heading inside, I noticed a big fat bumblebee dancing around my broad bean patch, and I felt confident that my beans flowers were being pollinated.  But something in the back of my mind niggled at me so I looked it up.  Bumblebees have short tongues and can’t get into the broad bean flowers to access the nectar in the usual way so poke holes in the base of the flowers.  So, no there won’t be bumblebee beans anytime soon…

bumblebee in broadbeans
If you look closely you can see the holes in the base of all the flowers

Then I came inside to deal with something that was becoming a problem.  My red onions were starting to go soft and I’d been meaning to do something with them for ages.  The whole Make May Count was just the push I needed and turned half of them into a delish red onion marmalade.  I needed to slowly caramelise the onions and then with a few herbs and spiced chucked and some red and balsamic vinegars, the whole lot was reduced to a lovely jam like consistency.  I started with a lot of onion and in anticipation sterilised 6 jars.  However, the reduction process was quite thorough, and I ended up with only three jars, three very awesome jars of deliciousness.

bumblebee in broadbeans
If you look even closer you can see him in the act of piercing a flower, cheeky monkey!

So I may not have got as many kumara as I would have liked or as many jars of onion marmalade, and the bumblebees have been wrecking my broad beans, I’m still happy because I still have a personal best for the kumara, a limited amount of marmalade is better than none and I don’t actually like broad beans so I’m not bothered.

Red Onion Marmalade
Three very delicious jars of red onion marmalade!

Come again soon – tomorrow is the fruit section in the attempt to Make May Count.

Sarah the Gardener  : o)

8 thoughts on “Well that was a tad disappointing

  1. Is that a savory marmalade? Would you mind sharing the instructions? I have some red onions softening over here as well…

    1. Yeah, the kind of accompaniment for a lovely soft cheese and a crisp cracker! I just found a recipe on the internet, tweaked it a bit to cover what I had, but essentially you slowly caramalise the onion, then add mustard seeds, balsamic and red wine vinegar and some brown sugar and reduced until a jam like consistency and put into sterilised jars. There are loads of versions of this recipe online and well worth it – it is delish! : o)

  2. If I had seen cans pushed upward like that, I would be concerned about gophers. I don’t grow much in cans, and I certainly would not grow root vegetables in cans. I just can’t be that diligent about watering.

      1. Well, I sort of suspected that gophers would be a foreign concept. (I need to trap some in the next few days.) Although I do not forget about watering, I prefer to grow everything in the ground where it will be happier. Containers are used for production or things that I don’t want in my garden. I actually have a blue gum eucalyptus in a big tub now because I will not plants it. I keep it pollarded for the aromatic foliage. I should probably write about it. I know it sounds silly.

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