This morning, we discovered that someone had stolen a plastic terracotta trough containing some red geraniums. Most of our garden is infront of the house and the section is unfenced. So far, we’ve been pretty lucky that no one has stolen anything or vandalised the garden. But there is always a first time for everything. This made both me and mum quite sad. The actual plants weren’t that expensive, nor the container (which was $50 from the Warehouse, bought on special for $25 but has depreciated over the years). It’s more the act of someone entering our property and taking something away without asking us. I’m always happy to give people cut flowers from the garden if they ask for them and we share our produce with family, friends and the neighbours. I’ve also given a lot of plants away, especially when I ran a little plant nursery last year because I had so many. I also gave up a lot of time to host numerous free workshops and tours of our place to help locals set up their own garden. Sometimes, no matter how much you do, it’s never quite enough. Still, no matter how bad things seem they could always be worse! There are much more expensive and unusual plants in the garden than the geraniums. At least they didn’t steal the pineapple which was given to me by someone else and is something you can’t buy in garden centres.
Today, I liquid fed my tamarillo plants (see picture) with Yates Thrive Citrus Liquid Fertiliser, as well as our lemon trees, passionfruit vines and feijoas. I also liquid fed the garlic and remaining potatoes with Yates Thrive Natural Fish and Seaweed fertiliser. We have wwoofers arriving on Tuesday, so I’ll get them to help with liquid feeding the rest of the garden as I don’t want to strain my injured neck.
From the picture, you’ll see that I staked the tamarillo plants after hearing about Sarah’s experience. I should have done this from the outset, but when I first planted the seedlings they were so tiny that I doubted they would survive. It has been quite windy over the past few days and I don’t want to risk them snapping! These plants were raised from seed last spring and are about the size of tamarillo plants you would find at the garden centre. As I mentioned in previous blog posts, I used liquid frost cloth spray once during winter to protect the plants as they are very frost sensitive. I’ve also worked out that they like being in a sheltered area. These plants are next to our banana and lemon trees, and near the house. The seedlings I planted in a more exposed area of the garden all died. Something to bear in mind is that tamarillos are susceptible to TPP, as they are in the same family as tomatoes and potatoes. So far, we haven’t had any issues with TPP but I wouldn’t want to be too smug! As a preventative measure, I am alternating between Yates Liquid Copper and Yates Copper Oxychloride spray every 10 days or so. Out of all my plants in the garden, I am probably proudest of the tamarillos as I grew them from seed and cared for them for the past year. They aren’t the easiest of fruits to grow so whatever happens from now on, I am happy that I have come this far. I’ve been through a lot to get here – four tamarillo plants from the garden centre to be exact! Every time, I lost them to frost over the winter. If this is a problem where you live, I highly recommend using the liquid frost cloth spray. The only thing is that apparently it doesn’t work that well in the case of severe frosts, so another measure like actual frost cloth might also be necessary.
I also sprayed our 28 standard roses and fruit trees with Yates Copper Oxychloride spray. As with the tamarillos, I alternate using this product with Yates Liquid Copper. I have been spraying them every 10 days or so. I highly recommend them both. They protect against fungal diseases (such as black spot for the roses, brown rot on the stonefruit and grease spots on the passionfruit), which are a problem during Auckland’s humid summers. Unfortunately there were some unexpected showers part way through (hate it when that happens!) so I finished spraying the roses and fruit trees after lunch when the weather was more settled.
Has anyone else had anything stolen from their garden?