Growing stuff on hot concrete – gardening in tropical Penang – quick update in early June

I have been away for almost a month – for most of May, and there are a couple of things to report.

It still seems to be the rainy season, and rains a lot.  It meant the garden did not need so much attention.

In March Passion fruit were flowering, then flowers closed and stayed, and finally dropped off – but in April no flowers. Passion fruit were flowering again in late April, and one or two  grew into fruit but dropped off when very small. The vines have continued growing while I was away, but now there are full size green fruit on them. This is the best result for months.

waiting for passion fruit to ripen

waiting for passion fruit to ripen

I tried to germinate some passion fruit seeds, but the birds just ate the seeds and none germinated. This is the first time this has happened. Birds are an increasing nuisance. I used to encourage them, but no more.

The cherry tomatoes have produced almost no fruit – I seem to be wasting my time with them.

The cabbages are disappointingly still only growing slowly. The netting has protected them from birds, but all the rain has caused a few of their stems to rot.  I have eaten the couple of tiny undeveloped cabbages resulting, and they were really delicious.  However, it has been so many months, so much effort, and still they are nowhere near harvesting size.

Cabbages I have harvested are tiny

cabbages are still not ready for harvest

As previously mentioned I grow mung beans with passion fruit as a companion plant.  Then I harvest the mung beans – some to replant, and some I sprout and eat.  The birds discovered them and eat them, leaving the empty pods on the plants.  So I put more netting around them, and the birds have left them alone.  I still will buy more plastic cat cutouts sometime.

The lime trees have stayed pretty much the same. Chillis are still growing and producing, so are also a good result.

So, after a year at this, only a few good results have been achieved.  I have to keep on trying different things. But it’s been interesting, and a healthy activity.

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