April in our Subtropical Veggie Patch

April 2020. Still in isolation. Thankfully the garden is keeping me sane.

What was growing

Front yard – Mandala

Our Garlic is kicking along quite well. Aside from the disturbance of cane toads which comes with the location they seem to be growing quite well.

The glass gem corn is starting to turn to beautiful colours so I am waiting for it to dry out a bit more before harvesting. If you’re curious about popping corn you can check out our harvest of the mini blue.

I was worried about the pollination on these guys as I only had 12 plants, I normally do a minimum of 20 to form a decent grid for corn to ensure pollination but it looks like it’s done OK. Will find out for sure after harvest.

Glass Gem Corn

I’ve got some broccoli seedlings in one other quarter and I am prepping the final quarter for potatoes.

Front yard – the Stage

The sweet potato triffid was harvested. You can watch a video of our harvest here. We got around 13kgs, the best ones where the no dig bed was setup.

We’ve since setup some additional double dug beds to deal with the clay situation and make use of this space as it gets the best sun during winter. We’ve planted our winter tomatoes, zucchini, fennel, broccoli, asian greens and peas.

The Rosellas are in full swing. We’ve made 8 jars of jam (2 of which have already been eaten), and dried a bucket full for tea. Next up will be some cordial and also some caramelised balsamic. I may also have to do more jam.

Each week we’ve been harvesting buckets full of rosellas

Aquaponics

We cleared out the blue butterfly pea which we thought was causing issues. However it seems a bit more than that and we do need to investigate fully. We’ve also done a lot of tidying up in here. We’re consistently getting our brazilian spinach as well as 3-4 pak choi’s a week.

We also harvested our first lot of crayfish. They were pretty tasty and so cool to be able to get them from your own backyard.

Back raised beds

We built two new beds in this area. A new 2×1 bed, plus contained the flower garden. It has contained it and it’s looking a lot nicer now.

We’re still harvesting loads of eggplants and the odd capsicum.

The carrots and beets are in and some of the cauliflower is starting to get ready which I am stoked about.

We also converted the old vegtrug which was hopeless as a garden bed into a seedling hardening off bench. Plus a place for our hydroponic reservoir.

The tomatoes in pots have been producing like mad. The stand out and most prolific (also best tasting so far) is the Pink Thai Egg. The Black Krim and Amish paste are just starting to get decent size fruit.

We also harvested our Blue Popping Corn and turned it into popcorn. You can watch the full video of growing the mini blue popcorn and popping here.

Mini Blue Popcorn Seed

The Food forest

Our pawpaw has issues, not sure if it’s because we didn’t water it but it’s dropping leaves and looking sad. A bit of water and some rock minerals seemed to perk it back up but I am not sure yet if it’s fatal. It does have one fruit.

What I planted in April

Carrots, lots of carrots. And beets. Plus loads more Snow peas, Ruby Chard, Kale, Broccoli and mustard. If you’re looking for things to plant in April you can find the full list over here.

Harvests for April

This was a month of big ones for us. We had our Blue Popping Corn, Tromboncinos, Eggplant, Tomatoes, Sweet potatoes, pumpkins and Rosellas.

We harvested 31kg of produce this month.

Things we harvested:

  • Tromboncino
  • Eggplant
  • Capsicum
  • Bok Choi
  • Tomatoes
  • Turmeric
  • Butternut Pumpkins
  • Snow Peas
  • Cucumber
  • Snake Beans
  • Sweet Potato
  • Mini Blue Popcorn
  • Rosellas
  • Habernero Chillis

Bug Watch

Fruit flies wiped out a few of the tromboncinos so they are still around, I also tested to see if bean fly were about on a borlotti bean and they wiped out the plant pretty quick smart.

Bugs around in April:

  • Fruit fly
  • Caterpillars
  • Grasshoppers
  • Aphids
  • Cutworm or Earwigs (cutting off seedlings at night)

General observations

10mm of rain for the entire month. Not enough. We had a few more hot days and still very warm in general.

Managed to get my hands on some seed potatoes so will plant those out as soon as possible.

May Planning

We have a vegepod that we want to get back into action. We need a few replacement pieces to get it going. It will be an area for my beans to start with.

I also want to get the bath tub turned into a worm farm.

Will hopefully get the potatoes into the ground and see how we go, it’s been 6 years since my last attempt. Wish me luck!

If you want to know what you can plant in May you can get our full list here.

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