All the potatoes have been harvested now. Wish I'd photographed the tiny bag I planted earlier in the year--one of those small mesh bags with about four potatoes each, of three different types. I always plant seed potatoes that are virus free. They're not really seeds, they're small potatoes, usually with eyes that are ready to sprout. I planted them into big bags, and there were just enough for four of these containers. You can read more about these spuds in a previous post.
What I like about growing them in the bags is they seem to remain relatively pest free. This year was experimental. I cut slits in the bottom of each bag, and then placed them all against each other on top of the already raised beds once they were planted in the bags. Raised beds are not really conducive to growing potatoes, as you can't hill them up while they're growing. I reasoned the roots would go down through the slits into the raised bed, and I'd hill them up in the bags.
It worked! About 40 lbs of beautiful potatoes! Next year I'm planning to have the whole bed topped with bags for this crop.
The gardening challenge during drought & high temps
We're suffering through a hot and horrible drought here, and are on stage four watering restriction. That translates to no outdoor watering from municipal water. A rain barrel is high on my list of priorities. In the meantime, every bit of water that can be saved is being used for the few veggies still able to be carefully hand watered.
I harvested a lovely buttercup squash this week, and still have another one in the vine. I'm also very unwilling to sacrifice two developing gorgeous Queensland Blue winter squash that I grew from seed.
Which to water and which to let go
I'm even questioning my watering of the passion fruit vine. Hundreds of beautiful flowers, but only two fruits? The trees might have to come ahead of it in importance. Many of the ornamentals will probably not survive our watering situation either, but I have to pick my battles. It's not my favorite thing to do.
A new and really great, delicious producer this year in the raised bed is a little green eggplant called Emerald Isle. Just one plant, the lilac coloured self pollinating flowers produce masses of lovely little hens-egg sized eggplants, also known as aubergines, or brinjals, depending on whether you live in England or South Africa. Although they're not the conventional purple, they're just as delicious, and can be used exactly the same. I love them for lasagna!
One thing I've really learned to love is my lemon grass! The stalks are just starting to get really fat and long, but I've been enjoying it for a while now in my drinking water. Now I'm thinking of some nice Thai recipes, as soon as the weather cools down! That lemon scent and taste is incredible when you pick it straight from the garden; so different from the sad stalks you often see at the supermarket.
Wishing you a safe and prosperous week!