In Production Today – May

Bellis food garden in May
Bellis food garden in May

Warm, humid, sunny conditions have allowed most crops to grow well.

Showery conditions have ceased and windy conditions have dried up dewfall. As a consequence, bacterial leaf spotting disease has ceased affecting my Chinese celery, eggplant and Good King Henry.

On the other hand, my West Indian gherkin have been obliterated by pumpkin beetle and my oriental greens have been heavily attacked by caterpillars and snails.

Leeks, spring onions, sweetpotato and eschallots are growing well, but Madagascan beans are not being very effectively pollinated and many pods are blind. Ceylon spinach, cocoyam, jackfruit, and pawpaws are growing vigorously and yams are now ready for harvest.

Cassava and citrus are looking magnificent. I’ve made 6 litres of Lemon & Lime marmalade (using a fifth of my crop), 6 litres of Kaffir Lime marmalade (almost all the crop), 3 litres of ‘Parramatta Sweets’ mandarin marmalade (one eighth of the estimated crop) and 6 litres of Rosella jam. The Rosella have all but finished cropping.

Jerusalem artichoke ‘Dwarf Sunray’ has almost died down and is ready for harvest. Basil is close to finishing – Genovese, Thai and sacred basil are still cropping and my first mushrooms of the season are pinning.

Edible roots
Aerial potato, Dioscorea batatas
Arrowroot, Canna edulis
Cassava, Manihot esculenta
Cassava, Manihot esculenta ‘Variegata’
Cocoyam, Xanthosoma saggitifolia
Eschallot, Allium cepa var. aggregatum
Jerusalem artichoke, Helianthus tuberosus ‘Dwarf Sunray’
Yam, Winged, Dioscorea alata

Edible leaves
Basil, lemon, Ocimum x citriodora
Basil, lime, Ocimum americanum ‘Lime’
Basil, sacred, Ocimum tenuiflorum
Basil, sweet Genovese, Ocimum basilicum
Basil, Thai, Ocimum americanum
Cassava, Manihot esculenta
Cassava, Manihot esculenta ‘Variegata’
Celery stem taro, aka Tahitian spinach, Alocasia esculenta
Chaplu, Piper methysticum
Chickweed, Stellaria media
Chinese cabbage, Brassica rapa var. pekinensis ‘Tokyo Bekana’
Chinese cabbage, Brassica rapa var. chinensis ‘Chokito’
Chinese cabbage, Brassica rapa var. chinensis ‘Red Choi’
Chinese celery, aka smallage, Apium graveolens
Chinese spinach, Amaranthus tricolor
Chinese spinach, Amaranthus tricolor ‘Flying Colours’
Chinese spinach, Amaranthus tricolor ‘Mekong Red’
Chinese spinach, Amaranthus tricolor ‘Red Callaloo’
Chives, Allium schoenoprasum
Curry leaf, Murraya koenigii
Curry leaf bush, Helichrysum italicum
French Tarragon, Artemisia dracunculus
Garlic chives, Allium tuberosum
Goldenrod, Solidago sp.
Good King Henry, aka Lincolnshire spinach, Chenopodium bonus-henricus
Green amaranth, Amaranthus viridis
Heart leaf ice-plant, Aptenia cordifolia
Huauzontle, Chenopodium berlandieri
Japanese parsley, Cryptotaenia japonica
Kaffir lime, Citrus hystrix
Kangkong, Ipomoea aquatica
Lagos spinach, Celosia cristata
Lebanese cress, Aethionema coridifolium
Leek, Multiplier, Allium ampeloprasum var. porrum
Lemongrass, Cymbopogon citratus
Lemongrass, Native, Cymbopogon flexuosus
Lettuce, Lactuca sativa ‘First Fleet’
Lettuce, Lactuca sativa ‘Purple Royal Oakleaf’
Lovage, Levisticum officinale
Love-lies-bleeding, Amaranthus caudatus
Mexican tree spinach, Cnidoscolus aconitifolius
Mint, apple, Mentha suaveolens
Mint, Moroccan, Mentha spicata ‘Nana’
Mint, native, Mentha satureoides
Mustard, Red, Brassica juncea
Okinawa spinach, Gynura bicolor
Parsley, Petroselenium crispum ‘Italian flat-leaved’
Parsley, Petroselenium crispum ‘Triple Curled’
Peperomia pellucida
Phillip Island hibiscus, Hibiscus insularis
Pumpkin, Cucurbita maxima ‘Tonda Padana’
Purslane, Portulaca oleracea
Purslane, Golden, Portulaca oleracea var. sativa
Radicchio, Cichorium intybus ‘Palla Rossa’
Radicchio, Cichorium intybus ‘Red Verona’
Radicchio, Cichorium intybus
Rosella, Hibiscus sabdariffa
Society garlic, Tulbaghia violacea ‘Variegata’
Society garlic, Tulbaghia violacea ‘Fairy Stars’
Stinking Roger, Tagetes minuta
Sweetpotato, Ipomoea batatas ‘Ace of Spades’
Sweetpotato, Ipomoea batatas ‘Marguerite’
Swinecress, Lepidium didymum
Thai coriander, Eryngium foetidum
Turmeric, Curcuma longa
Variegated four seasons herb, Plectranthus amboinicus ‘Variegatus’
Vietnamese mint, Persicaria odorata
Welsh onion, aka spring onion, scallion, Allium fistulosum
Perennial Welsh onion, aka perennial spring onion, scallion, Allium fistulosum
White peppermint, Mentha x piperita ‘Officinalis’
Wall or wild rocket, Diplotaxis tenuifolia
Warrigal greens, Tetragonia tetragonioides
Water hyssop, Bacopa caroliniana

Edible petals
Banana, Musa x sapientum ‘Lady Finger’
Begonia x semperflorens
French Marigold, Tagetes patula ‘Himalayan’
Goldenrod, Solidago sp.
Gourd, aka New Guinea bean, Lagenaria siceraria
Pigeon pea, Cajanus cajan
Pumpkin, Cucurbita maxima ‘Tonda Padana’

Edible seed
Chilean wine palm, Jubaea chilensis
Madagascan bean, Phaseolus lunatus


Chilli, Capsicum annuum ‘Portuguese Peri Peri’
Chilli, Capsicum annuum ‘Siam Gold’
Chilli, Capsicum annuum ‘Red Cayenne’
Chilli, Capsicum annuum ‘Green Banana’
Eggplant, Solanum melongena ‘Caspar’
Eggplant, Solanum melongena ‘Early Purple’
Eggplant, Solanum melongena ‘Listada de Gandia’
Eggplant, Solanum melongena ‘Little Finger’
Finger lime, Citrus australasica
Gourd, aka New Guinea bean, Lagenaria siceraria
Kaffir lime, Citrus hystrix
Lemon, Citrus limon ‘Meyer’
Lime, Australian, Citrus x latifolia
Lime, Tahitian, Citrus x latifolia
Mandarin, Citrus reticulata ‘Parramatta Sweets’
Midyim, Austromyrtus dulcis
Mouse melon, Melothria scabra
Pepino, Solanum muricatum

Medicinal / Spices
Aloe vera – leaf juice used to heal sunburn, scratches
Bulbine frutescens – leaf juice used to treat burns, rashes, as an infusion for sore throats
Cinnamon, Cinnamomum verum
Cardamom, False, Alpinia nutans
Cardamon, True, Eletteria cardamomum
Galangal, Alpinia galangal – spice used like ginger with similar properties
Ginger, Zingiber official – spice that helps decongestion of catarrh, aids digestion, blood flow
Greater celandine, Chelidonium majus – stem juice kills warts on hands
Krachai, Boesenbergia rotunda
Phillip Island hibiscus, Hibiscus insularis – used as a tea to soothe sore throats
Rosemary, dwarf, Rosmarinus officinalis ‘Benenden Blue’
Rosemary, fastigiate, Rosmarinus officinalis ‘Miss Jessopp’
Skullcap, Scutellaria lateriflora – used as green tea to aid sleep
Thyme, Thymus serpyllum – antibiotic, used as a gargle against sore throats
Turmeric, Curcuma longa – spice with anti-cancer properties
117 taxa

Jerry Coleby-Williams

6th May 2013


One Comment Add yours

  1. Helen Holmes says:

    I’ve been making lime marmalade and rosella jam too but not one single mandarine this year probably due to our dry summer up here so we’re just using the final jar of last year’s Mandylade. Let me know if you’d like my Neverfail Bread Recipe to put all those preserves to good use.

    It’s amazing how you use every single spot of your garden – it must take a lot of planning and organisation.

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