In the garden : Autumn wrap up

Autumn is here:



 


In the orchard all the crops are in.  The last was of course the Chestnuts:


 



 


As you can see, Chestnuts have a prickly outer shell:


 



 


Given this thorny outer defense, I was wondering what could possibly be eating them.  As I discovered the Rosellas  are actually very adept, and they wait till the outer casing opens enough for them to fetch the nuts out.  I still got plenty of chestnuts, and on occasion roast a few in the fireplace on a cold autumn evening.


Apples were plentiful, and I’ve still got some. Although picked a month ago, they’re still great for cooking.


 



 


 


In the veggie patch:


 


March was a month of extremes. The first two weeks were really hot ( > 5C above average), then the last two weeks cooled down.  The hot weather made lots of the veggies ripen quickly. Cucumbers (now finished) went crazy, with dozens and dozens all ripening up. The tomatoes moved into full swing, and the capsicums also started turning nice shades of red:



 


The tomatoes and capsicum along with the last of the sweet basil continue to provide plenty for lots of pasta sauces on the cooler Autumn nights :)  And of course, every pasta sauce needs some zucchini.  I left one  zucchini to grow for seed:


 



 


That’s almost 2 foot long !!!  I never thought I’d be one of those guys that brags about the size of their zucchini, but there you have it ;)


 


This weekend just past I brought in the last of the pumpkins:


 


 


They aren’t huge; roughly in the 5 to 6 kg range (10lb to 14lb), but there’s plenty of them.  That’s two different varieties in the picture above. The first were ready to eat in February, and were nice roasted on the BBQ. Now autumn is truly here, they make great pumpkin soup and stews.


There’s plenty of other goodies still in the garden, carrots, beetroot, silver beet and celery. 


I often will pick some plants to save some seed from, and apart from feeling good about completing the cycle, it also often means I get some wild crops for free from the seeds that spill or get turned in with the crop residues. Basically it means I get a nicer class of weeds:


Self sown Broad beans:



 


Cos lettuce seedlings growing wild along with other weeds:



 


I was hoping to get some seed from the sunflowers, but the Rosellas wiped them out in a really short time:



 


I’ll probably still grow sunflowers again, as it’s actually nice to watch the Rosellas out my office window :)


Different birds are enjoying some of my tomatoes at present, which I’m not as happy about, but there is plenty there to share.  My long term plan is to make it more difficult for larger birds to get into the veggie patch.   The garden is fenced off from kangaroos etc, so I’m growing grapes, kiwi fruit, berries, passion-fruit and jasmine along the fencing:



 


 


Weather:


March was hot to start then cooled down substantially. It was still about 3C above average. April temperatures were pretty much on average. Both March and April rainfalls were significantly lower than average

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