L'orto di Bruno [Bruno's Vegetable Garden]

What's been happening in Bruno's vegetable garden lately?

Sunday, January 16, 2005

Second Week of January

The week started with another mini heatwave. I guess I'll have to get used to it. The plants seem to be able to cope, as long as I have the shadecloths up when it gets too hot.

The aubergine and capsicum plants, which are starting to flower, seem to be growing a bit better now. Perhaps now that they no longer have to literally live in the shadow of the beans they can take advantage of the extra light.

The basil plants were starting to develop flowers. To prolong the life of the plants it is recommended to pinch off the tops to remove the buds. However to help the plants regenerate in future seasons I will leave the buds on a few of them. Hopefully I'll get the balance right.

I transplanted four tomato plants which I had grown from seed in a pot. According to the seed packet they are an Italian variety called "Costoluto di Marmande". I'm hoping they will mature so that I can continue having fresh tomatoes after the main plants have stopped producing. Speaking of which, the established plants are now starting to produce more fruit than I can eat. I've started weighing the tomatoes, with most ranging from 75 grams to over 200 grams. Last week I harvested a whopper: 600 grams! While in the past my family (like many other Italian families) would make tomato sauce using the excess tomatoes, I'm not to keen on it. Instead I will probably start giving away any tomatoes that I can't eat myself. The plants themselves are starting to look a little worse for wear. From the photos you can see that some of the smaller branches are drying up.

While shopping last week I noticed that some shops sell borlotti beans in their continental section. A 500 gram bag, around the amount I harvested from my plants, didn't cost that much, so I'm sad to say that I don't think it's worth the effort of growing my own. I haven't tried the bought variety, but they are beans after all and I'm not much of a bean eater. I prefer eating teghe - fagiolini or young green beans - pod and all. Next season I might try growing those, just to see how they turn out. Tomatoes on the other hand are definitely worth the effort, because I eat them every day and there is a noticeable taste difference between home-grown tomatoes and those sold in shops.

Last night I gave the plants their fortnightly feed of seaweed solution.

To view the latest photos, click on the links below:
The tomatoes (week 17)
The aubergines and capsicums (week 11 after transplanting)
The basil seedlings (week 10 after transplanting)