Friday, 1 February 2013

February already, planting and a yellow spider.

January was very hot and dry.  Quite a few days in the "high 40's" and the only rain was on the 14th of January when we had 5 mm.  We did get a further 4.5 mm yesterday,  but as rain is recorded at 9 am each day, that will appear on today's tally.
The past few days have been unseasonably cold!  It has been in the 20's and overcast... not very summery at all.
Always the opportunist in the garden, this menas that it has been a good time to plant some new seedlings.  I usually try to plant at least something weekly, as I want to eat regularly as well.  It hadn't been worth the risk during the very hot days at the start of the year,  so I'd got a bit behind.  With these few cool days, I went to the local nursery and bought some seedlings and today was the day to plant them.... mostly brassicas...

These broccoli plants have been there for a couple of weeks,  but I have put some lettuce plants among them... they will be eaten before the broccoli take over the spot....
 ... these are cabbage and cauliflower... all fertilised with goat poo and bedding....
 ...  the zucchinis are still flowering.... and producing plenty....
I really like zucchini flowers, to look at or to eat!

The beans are still producing enough to pick a good handful on most days....
 ..... though these are beginning to look a little the worse for wear.  I think that they have some kind of viral mosaic disease.  These diseases are common and are spread by insects and so I have planted a few more some distance away....  hopefully they will be productive for the rest of the season before they succumb.

While I was watering the "old" plants,  I found another spider  (Thomasis spectabilis) on the parsley seed heads....

These spiders come in either white or yellow, and I have seen both here.  It is thought that the colour may be related to diet and, while that seems sensible,  I have usually found the spiders on parsley plants and they can be quite variable when they occur together...  it's hard to know what their diet consists of, though this one was busy eating a fly.  I left her/him to it.

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