Confused veges

An article in today’s Courier Mail commented that the fruit trees and vegetables are confused, which comes as no surprise as we enjoy heat wave conditions before winter has officially ended. Two weeks ago I enjoyed a mango with my lunch. I hadn’t really thought much about it but on hearing this, a family member thought it must have come from overseas.
This confusion has been occurring all through winter. My tomato plants have languished this year even though I bought the same seedling varieties that produced prolifically on my patio last year. So far I have had one tomato glut which hasn’t developed into the ongoing flush of tomatoes that I enjoyed last year.
I’m in the process of replanting some trays as the snow peas have finished and are being replaced by dwarf beans. Bean seedlings have been planted into two trays and I’m about to start my last lot of bean seeds to plant out the third tray. I use empty punnets that I’ve previously bought seedlings in to start my snow pea and dwarf bean seeds. So a two by four punnet along with one row of four from cutting through a second punnet gives me 12 spots to plant in. I read an article a while back that suggested planting 2 bean seeds together so they would support each other later on. This seemed like a great idea so I managed to put 24 bean or snow pea seeds into one container, which is shown in the middle photo in the Tomatoes and Beans post.
The bean seeds that I’m about to plant were saved from bean plants early this year. I have tried growing from saved seed in the past but it didn’t work because I hadn’t allowed the beans to dry completely before storing the seed. It will be interesting to see how the third batch of beans works out, which come from fully dried bean pods.

I have saved snow pea seeds as I’ve taken this year's plants out, having let the snow pea pods dry thoroughly. I’ve ended up with enough seeds to grow 3 trays of snow peas next year, which means I don’t need to purchase any new seed. So that’s great news for me.
I’ve taken a break from growing lettuce over the past few months as there are plenty of winter greens to grow such as loose-leaf cabbage, celery and beetroot. I also planted 8 herbs into two trays, and only have parsley and sage remaining – well, three herbs if I count the oregano that is barely hanging on. So today I’ve planted a punnet each of green and red mignonette lettuce into a tray, and a perpetual lettuce into the available space in the parsley and sage tray.

I can’t remember seeing perpetual lettuce before. What a great idea – particularly since parsley is a perpetual herb. With any luck, they will both last about the same time.
Little yellow things which are probably aphids have pestered my cabbages and some of my herbs over winter. I brush them off and they fly away, but unfortunately return. There were so many of them on my pineapple sage plant that I removed it, and I did the same when new leaves on two cabbage plants were infested. However I’ve since been able to brush them off the cabbage leaves. Actually, I see them rarely on my plants now. Perhaps they don’t like the warmer weather.

I have little cages to deter moths and butterflies from laying on my veges. I got the idea from someone at Brisbane Organic Growers and promptly bought some 1 inch mesh and assembled them. While I still get the occasional caterpillar on my greens or just the tell-tale signs of nocturnal munching, it is not as bad as my first two years of growing veggies.

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