Growing stuff on hot concrete – gardening in tropical Penang – what’s growing in December 2015

And to nicely end a cool and rainy year it’s – guess what – raining now.  We had actually had three whole days without rain, and I had to use town water on the plants this morning as I was enjoying the sunshine.  Then the sky became darker – and it rained! Quite a lot, in fact.

And an hour later it was back to beautiful sunshine.

 

collected eater after the rain

collected eater after the rain

That weather and the water caused the Canna lilies to explode in size since the morning.  A couple of months ago I cut back all the stems and took the bulbs from one big pot and put half back and half in another big pot.  There were 15 stems growing before repotting, and gradually over this time the number coming up has become 12 – three in one pot – and these three are quite big, and nine in the other pot – some large and some still tiny.  Which is encouraging.  I am hoping I will get back to 15 at some stage. One pot became immediately waterlogged and I had to cover it before rain, uncover it when sunny and dry it out for a couple of weeks, then give it minimal water for a while.  Meanwhile I kept on adding organic matter – compost and crushed dried leaves – to improve the soil. After three weeks I could leave it  out in the elements and water it every day. Canna lilies seem to like water, so long as it’s sunny. Here are some photos of them and the other plants today.

very happy canna lilies

very happy canna lilies

very happy canna lilies

very happy canna lilies

homne grown capsicum

home grown capsicum

despite protection the passion fruit were still attacked

despite protection the passion fruit were still attacked

a few passion fruit are still growing

a few passion fruit are still growing

but some of the vines are now dying back

but some of the vines are now dying back

with the rain there are new flowers

with the rain there are new flowers

It should be the end of the passion fruit season.  Only a couple of fruit are now growing. Last year it kept on raining during what is supposed to be the dry season, and passion fruit responded by having a second growing season, and I got fruit a second time.

limes are getting bigger

lime tree is getting bigger

hmm

limes are getting bigger

mock oranges love the rain

mock oranges love the rain

The usual time for mock oranges to grow from seed is around Christmas time. But when it rains a lot, as it did last year, they didn’t germinate.  With all the rain this year again they may not germinate, although I did put some seeds in the soil.

mock oranges love the rain - and are blooming

mock oranges love the rain – and are blooming

mock oranges love the rain - and are blooming

mock oranges love the rain – and are blooming

mock oranges love the rain - and are blooming

mock oranges love the rain – and are blooming

climbing beans are growing rapidly, but as yet no flowers or beans

climbing beans are growing rapidly, but as yet no flowers or beans

Passion fruit like legumes as companion plants, so even if the bean plants produce nothing they nitrogenise the soil.  But I will remove them before they totally take over if they produce nothing.

papaya

papaya is happy, but no fruit – they don’t seem to produce if in a pot

drying leaves in the sun - attracts worms to the soil where I put the crumbled leaves

drying leaves in the sun – attracts worms to the soil where I put the crumbled leaves

papaya growing

papaya growing

pumpkin vines

pumpkin vines

the fist mini-pumpkin

the fist mini-pumpkin

hmm

plumbago doing well

hmm

chilli plant grew out of the compost and quickly produces chillis

lemon grass

lemon grass

aloe vera

aloe vera

ginger

ginger

little lime trees

little lime trees

hibiscus

hibiscus

papaya surviving

papaya surviving – being partly covered has helped them survive storms, but they don’t grow so quickly

papaya flowering

papaya flowering

yummy tomato

yummy tomato – I picked it, and within a few days it was red, and I ate it. It was delicious.  It was also the only fruit from three plants.  Hardly productive.  I really don’t have much success with tomatoes here.

 

 

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