Monday, 15 August 2016

A Week In The Garden

It has been a slow week in the garden this week, with very little happening at all.

Tuesday 9th August
I went down to water and check on the "Baby" broccoli that I had planted last week only to discover that something had eaten every single one of them. I wonder what the chances are that they will regrow.

Thursday 11th August
 I spotted the first pea pod on the Purple Podded pea vine, such a beautiful colour!  I only wish the peas were purple instead of green.

And I just cannot get enough of their flowers, they are so pretty.

Three of the cauliflower are now big enough to see without having to look for them.
After this photo was taken I clipped the leaves over the top of the cauliflowers with pegs to stop the sun turning them yellow.

One of the asparagus has decided it's spring already and has started to send up shoots.
Hopefully the rest will wait until it's the right time to grow.

I harvested the first head of the "Green Dragon" broccoli and one stem of the "Italian Sprouting" broccoli today.
I'm really pleased with how the broccoli has gone this year, a big improvement on last year.

Both of the orange tree are covered in flower buds despite the fact that one still has fruit on it. Is this normal?

Saturday August 13th
Not really gardening, but still garden related, I spent some time today going through all the seed packets I have (a lot more than I realised), sorting them month by month, tossing out the out of date ones, and writing a list of the ones that I need to buy. 

I then placed an order at Eden Seeds for Golden beetroot, True Gold corn, Turkish Turban pumpkin, Brown Berry, Principe Borghese, Pineapple and Tigerella tomatoes, Purple Beauty capsicum, and Gold Arch Crookneck zucchini. Hopefully with the seeds I all ready have, this should be enough to keep us supplied with vegetables over the spring/summer period.

I harvested a bunch of parsley today,

and noticed that the plum tree has burst into bloom.
Just gorgeous!

Sunday 14th August
I paid a visit to Cheap as Chips to pick up some stakes and twine that I will be using to help to support the broad beans when they get bigger.
I ended up walking out with not only the stakes and twine, but also some seedling trays, seed raising mix, celery seeds, Harlequin carrot seeds and some Giant Dahlia zinnia seeds.  I really don't need any more seeds at this point, but I'm sure that a few more will sneak in when I'm not looking. I think it can be quite addictive, everything always looks so good on the front of the packet.

I put the eggplant out in the sun today, in the hope that it will help with the powdery mildew issue and as I was checking it over I found six more fruit which brings the total to ten now, and it is covered in flowers. If they all produce fruit I have no idea what I'm going to do with them. A nice problem to have though.

So that was this week in the garden and now that I look at the photos  I can see that a lot has actually happened in the garden this week, I just haven't had to do any of the work.

What's been happening in your garden this week?

Wednesday, 10 August 2016

A Week In The Garden

I apologise for getting this post up two days late, but life has a funny way of changing our plans sometimes.

Another week in the garden and the start of a brand new month. 

August 1st
It is just seven short weeks until the spring equinox, which marks the true start of spring. I am no where near ready for winter to be over, I love the cold and the rain and I am all ready dreading the heat that I'll have to endure in the months ahead. 

August 2nd
The first head of broccoli is almost ready to harvest, the others won't be ready for at least another two weeks, while it isn't as big as some I have grown in the past, it is a decent size and I am more than happy with it.

There are buds forming on one of the plum trees, I will need to get both of them transplanted into bigger pots this weekend.
Satsuma or Santa Rosa? I can't remember.
August 4th
The wombok cabbage that had been attacked by earwigs earlier in the season had started to recover and was looking very healthy, but now something has had a good old munch on it and there isn't much left. I won't bother trying to grow womboks anymore, they are too high maintenance for me. 

The Topweight carrots and Mendania spinach seeds have started to sprout, and I found two more fruit on the eggplant. It has a mild case of powdery mildew which I will be treating it with a mixture of milk and water.

I found two more White Cabbage butterfly caterpillars on the same Curly Kale plant, it looks like I will need to invest in some enviromesh before next year.

August 5th
I dropped into Bunnings on the way home from work today as I needed to buy some compost so that I can pot up the plum trees tomorrow. I ended up buying ten 25 litre bags, I hope it's enough. I also bought two new pots for the plum trees, one packet Panorama mixed Bergamot seeds and one packet of Bee and Butterfly flower mix for the insect garden.

August 6th
I spent today outside as it was such a nice day, as much as I love the rain, it's nice to have a sunny day every now and then. I planted fourteen "Baby" broccoli plants, no sooner did I get the last one in the ground and the White Cabbage butterflies started showing up. I found another of their caterpillars on the Curly kale plant, poor thing it will be lucky to survive, hopefully that was the last one.

I potted the Satsuma and Santa Rosa plum trees up into bigger pots, I just wish I could remember which one was which, but the tags disappeared a long time ago. Before I potted them up I drilled holes in a piece of PVC pipe and put a piece into each pot, my hope is that by keeping the pipe full of water it will become almost like a self-watering pot and save me from having to water everyday during summer.
Looks like I got it re-potted just in time.
I did the same to the mandarin and one of the orange trees. I had to leave the other orange tree as it has fruit on it.

I sprayed the eggplant with a combination of full fat milk and water at a 1:25 ratio, I will spray again in ten days time, hopefully that will be enough to get rid of the powdery mildew. I found another fruit on the plant today, that brings the total to four. Not bad for a summer growing plant.

August 7th
I totally overestimated how much compost I would need to repot two plum trees. Not only did I re-pot the plums, I did five chilli plants, a blackcurrant, a raspberry and a blackberry, topped up the potatoes and there is still one bag left. It was a lot of hard work, but hopefully not something that will be needed to be done again for a few years.
I placed a small soft drink bottle in each pot when I repotted the chilli plants, each one has a flip top lid to keep dirt and other debris from blocking the water flow.

That's it for this weeks gardening update, I will update again next week and hopefully it won't be two days late. 

So, tell me what has been happening in your garden this week? 







Thursday, 4 August 2016

A Week In The Garden

There hasn't been a lot to do in the garden of late, this time of the year the garden pretty much looks after itself, providing of course there is enough rain and this winter there has been plenty.

I started a garden journal a few months ago to help me keep track of what happens in the garden, what chores need to be done, when I fertilised, pruning etc. It has taken me a while to find what works best for me and that is just making daily notes, even if it's just to note the temperature and how much it rained that day. It will be good to have a record to look back on next year. 

This post is a bit of a catch up post as I didn't do one last week. It isn't a day by day as I don't want to bore you with the weather report for every day over the last two weeks.

July 21st

I fertilised the broccoli, cauliflower, turnips, kale and garlic. The first peas appeared on the Dwarf Blue Bantam.

July 23rd

The lettuce and pak choi seeds have sprouted.

July 24th

 The first pea pods have developed on the Early Crop Massey.


July 27th

I spotted the first flowers on the Purple Podded peas, only two flowers, but lots of buds. The flowers are lovely. 

July 30th

The Nantes carrot seeds sprouted today.

July 31st

The Chantenay carrot seeds and broad bean seeds have sprouted,  I am especially excited about the broad beans as this is my first time growing them.

I was extremely happy to find today that the cauliflowers have formed heads, some are further along than others which is fine because I really don't need 13 cauliflower all being ready at the same time.


 A caterpillar has grown fat munching on the leaves of one of the cauliflowers, there is only one so I'm not going to worry about it.

I found six caterpillars of the White Cabbage butterfly today, most of which were on one tiny Curly Kale plant. I can't believe that it is the end of July and I am still finding these little buggers on my brassicas. Next year I think I will leave the nets on as they have done quite a lot of damage to my plants this winter.

And that brings us to the end of July, can you believe how quickly this year is flying by. I've only just begun to really enjoy winter and it will be over in just a few weeks.

What's been happening in your garden this week?

I will be back next Monday with another garden update, see you then.

Thursday, 28 July 2016

Dead Man's Pass Reserve

Located in Gawler, South Australia, Dead Man's Pass Reserve is  a lovely place to walk your dog or to just enjoy a walk in nature on a sunny winter's day.

The scene that greets you as you enter the reserve.
The area is alive with sound as the six species of frog that call it home vie with each other to see who is the loudest.

It is also home to several species of birds, including the Australian Reed Warbler.
If you look closely you can just make out the Australian Reed Warbler perching on the reeds.
If you would like to hear the song of the Reed Warbler click here.

Two of the locals enjoying a drink at the water hole.

The reeds were in full bloom.

There are nesting boxes in many of the trees.
Bluestone was quarried in the area for many years and was used to build the Gawler Town Hall.
An old eucalyptus burnt out by fire no doubt.
Is this the tree that the unfortunate wanderer was interred in?
Winter time is the only time you'll see the river running so freely.

 If you're ever in Gawler during winter and you're looking for somewhere to talk a walk, or have a picnic, be sure to check out Dead Man's Pass reserve.

To find out more about Dead Man's Pass and how it got it's name click here.

Monday, 25 July 2016

Curried Coconut Pumpkin Soup

I love pumpkin soup, it is my go to soup in the winter, but lately I've been craving something with a bit more bite, a bit more heat to warm me up these cold winter nights. I made this for dinner last night, it was delicious with just the right amount of heat I was looking for. It's also quick and easy, perfect for dinner on those busy weeknights or weekend lunch on a cold,  rainy day.


Ingredients

2 tablespoons yellow curry paste (I use Valcom)
1/4 cup of leek, finely sliced (you could use an onion if you prefer)
1½ tablespoons of peanut or olive oil
750g butternut pumpkin, peeled and cut into chunks
250g orange sweet potato, peeled and cut into chunks
2 cups vegetable stock
400ml can of coconut cream

Method

Place peanut or olive oil in a large saucepan and place on stove top over a medium heat, add leek (or onion) and sauté until leek is transparent. Add curry paste and cook until fragrant.

Add pumpkin, sweet potato, coconut cream and vegetable stock, stir to combine. Cover pot, increase heat to high and bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer gently for 20 minutes or until pumpkin and sweet potato are tender.

Remove pot from stove and allow to cool slightly. Mash pumpkin/sweet potato mix and then blend with a blending stick or food processor until smooth. 

Please note - You are more than welcome to share my recipes on your own blog providing that you link back to my blog and do not claim the recipe as your own.