Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Growing like stink

The supermarket carpark Gardenia
 The other day a mate said to me in conversation that everything was 'growing like stink'. I thought I was the only one who used this Australian colloquial  expression. Many would be more familiar with the words 'tomorrow is going to be a real stinker', meaning an oppressively hot day (which incidentally it is going to be). Flowers seem to have this sense of an approaching heatwave. Tonight, the night scented Jasmine (Cestrum nocturnum) is filling the air with its evocative coconut fragrance. Shrub Gardenias which are covered in shiny buds will be out in force tomorrow, though it never ceases to amaze me how well they grow without water or fertilizer in a supermarket carpark but fail to thrive in a home garden. There are high pitched squeals of delight out on the street from young folk celebrating Halloween so it feels like summer is just around the corner.
The place you notice the speed of growth the most is in the vegetable garden. The first basil and zucchini have already been harvested and young tomato fruit is forming. As soon as this happens I stop using any fertilizer or liquid feed which contains nitrogen. I either side dress the plants with sulphate of potash or use a liquid feed of Amino Grow, the Amino Acid based organic plant food. I am also now watering only twice a week, giving the plants a good deep soak and forcing their roots to go deeper so they become more stable so as to withstand any wild weather in the months to come.

Tomato and Zucchini plants looking great.

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