Sunday, August 29, 2010
Accidental Winter Vegetableness
When you think of Winter vegetables grown in temperate parts of Australia you think cabbage, broccoli, snowpeas and other hardy greens. These are the plants that survive these lower temperatures and indeed many of them thrive. You can't grow snowpeas in Summer here, and they barely last through Spring on my balcony, but in Winter they are happy (except the ones in this pot which STILL haven't produced any peas.) The last thing you think about in Winter are tomatoes or eggplants or anything else in that family. I mean the habanero chilli was so sad outside in the cold that I had to bring him inside (where he is happily flowering and fruiting after only a few weeks.) Tomatoes I tricked you all with in the last harvest post, so I can't grow them here in Winter but up North someone can. But eggplant, tomato's puffy cousin, surely that isn't a Winter veg. I wouldn't have though so either, until I left one in over Winter. Here he is in all his glory.
Quite a big plant, with a few flowers in his pot for company. No mulch because I am a bit slack, but a couple of poles for support (most of those poles in the picture are in other pots) We've had a pretty cold Winter, ok cold for Melbourne, not so cold by Northern Hemisphere standards. Highs of 10 or 11 degree celcius and lows bobbing around 3. He shouldn't have made it past June. But not only is he growing and green, he is producing fruit. Here is one that has formed, and another that is on the way.
How amazing is that! A summer plant producing in Winter. He is definitely stressed, with some leaves turning brown due to the cold and a mild/manic aphid infestation (you can see it in the top lefthand corner of the one with the little new fruit forming.) Fruit on a stressed plant is often less tasty but we will see. I won't be pulling him out any time soon and am wondering if he can go another season in the garden. Annuals into perennials thanks to the mild climate - who woulda though it!?!
Do you have any plants that defy natural conventions?