25 December 2014

10 November 2014

October in the Garden

October in the vegetable garden was a time to clear out the old plants, and plant the new. As you can see in the photo below I have already put shade cloth over two thirds of the garden, actually I have done it twice as a few days after I put it up the first time the weather became very windy and it was all torn down. It has been up for a week now and it seems to be fine so far.

I know the garden looks bare in this photo, but I promise there are plants in there they are just very small and they don’t seem inclined to grow at the moment. I am blaming it on the erratic weather we have had so far this spring. 

Down the far end of the garden I have planted out two Kent pumpkins, one butternut, a zucchini, two different types of watermelon, Sweet Baby and Luscious Red and a rockmelon, Hale’s Best and sown seed for corn.  

Two of the beds are for tomatoes with nine different varieties planted or soon to be planted, Lemon drop, Honeybee, Tommy Toe, Black Cherry, Sweetie, Mamma Mia, Tigerella, Rouge De Marmande, San Marzano and one store bought one that I saved seeds from because the flavour was so good.   

In the legume bed, I sowed seeds of Scarlet Runner and Butter beans.

My youngest daughters own three rabbits and they eat A LOT, and it can get quite expensive to feed them if you’re buying vegetables from the supermarket all the time, so I set aside one bed to grow food for them, mostly leafy greens as well as radicchio and some curly leafed parsley, plus I left four kale plants in the garden as this is a favourite with the rabbits. 

I had so many asparagus seedlings come up in the garden that I decided to add an extra bed of asparagus because you can never, in my opinion have too much asparagus and really you can’t pass up free asparagus plants. 

Asparagus seedling with a volunteer cucurbit growing next to it.

After two years of not having any I finally have a bed dedicated to strawberries and noticed today that there are flowers on one of the plants. 

In the two bed closest to the gate, I planted Genovese basil and Thai basil on the right and in the small bed to the left I sowed seeds of English spinach.

Growing in pots
Chillies, Italian parsley, lemon balm and garlic chives, as well a raspberry and blackberry which is just about to flower for the first time.

October saw the garlic being harvested, I haven’t weighed it all yet, some of it isn’t quite dry enough, but so far I have 2.9 kilos of garlic.
Garlic hung up to dry, braided by my youngest daughter Samantha.

Also harvested were carrots, silverbeet and thyme and oregano.

Things to do
Cover last third of garden with shade cloth
Put up bamboo screen on north side of garden if needed
Plant kumara, if it ever decides to shoot that is
Water, weed and fertilise as needed
Sow seeds of mixed lettuce

30 October 2014

This and That

Ominous looking hail storm clouds that thankfully passed over.

Flower head of the artichoke thistle that grows wild in uncultivated paddocks.

Baby Noisy Miners waiting to be feed.

We are lucky enough to have a family of Blue Tongue lizards make our yard their home, this one paid a visit while I was watering the garden one afternoon. 

A caterpillar of Phalaenoides glycinae or Grapevine moth feasting on my grapevine.

Another caterpillar, this one is the caterpillar of Spilosoma glatignyi or Black and White Tiger Moth. We were inundated with them this year, they even came into the house.

And lastly, a glorious sunset on the night of the red moon.

28 October 2014

Harvest Monday

The unseasonably hot weather brought the garlic harvest time forward a couple of weeks and I am happy to say that it is a very good harvest this year.
I planted 72 cloves and harvested 69 bulbs.
Some were a bit strange looking.
There were a couple of triple headers as well as a few small ones.
 But the majority looked like this, lovely big bulbs of garlicky goodness.
I also dug out the last of the carrots which have been in the ground for months and still weren't mature.
As well as some late season sugar snap peas.
Well, that's it for this weeks Harvest Monday, you can see what others have harvested from their gardens over at Daphne's Dandelions.

16 October 2014

Making Jam

It is something I had wanted to do for a while now but have always felt intimidated by the whole process. That all changed when I bought 4 1/2 kilos of strawberries for five dollars at the markets. I have no idea what I was thinking, but they were too good of a bargain to pass up.
I found an easy jam recipe on-line and set to work and it turns out it wasn't as hard or as scary as I thought it would be.
Hulling the strawberries was time consuming and the hardest part of the whole process.
When I tasted the jam at this point it was way too sweet, so I added more lemon juice to the mix and I am glad I did as it turned out to have just the right amount of sweetness and tartness that I like.
I didn't use any pectin so the jam is not as thick as commercial jams, but it taste so much better.
Now I know how easy it is I can definitely see more jam making in my future.

30 September 2014

Harvest Monday

Time for another Harvest Monday, where gardeners from around the globe get the chance to show off what they have harvested from their gardens, hosted as always by the lovely Daphne.
This week I harvested the last 3 cauliflower from the garden.
Some asparagus and podding peas.
And two very oddly shaped Chantenay carrots and a few side shoots of broccoli. What have you harvested this week?

24 September 2014

The Flowers That Bloom in the Spring, Tra la

With so little happening in the vegetable garden at the moment, I thought I would share some of what is happening in the flower gardens right now. Enjoy!
Snap dragons
Geraldton wax "Raspberry Ripple"
Scabiosa "Samantha's Pink".
Wonga Wonga vine, this photo does not do it justice, it is absolutely gorgeous.
My favourite rose, Double Delight.

Sweet peas
Not technically in the garden but close enough, Swan River Pea.

3 September 2014

Garden Share Collective September 2014

It's September, already! Is it just me or does this year seem to be flying by at an alarming rate.
August was a month of unseasonably warm weather during the day, cold nights and no rain.
What's been happening in the garden?  There are blossoms on the plum and orange trees,

and the shelling peas are starting to produce.
   Harvests in August were mostly cauliflower and broccoli, along with the odd carrot.
The snow and sugar snap peas were a real disappointment this year, last year I had so many I didn't know what to do with them all and this year the plants only produced 783 grams. I have sown more sugar snap peas in the hope of getting some more before the weather gets too hot and if I can find room for them I will sow more snow peas too.

Sow seeds of tomatoes, spinach, silverbeet, basil, snow peas, coriander and cucumber. Linking up with Lizzie at Strayed from the Table.

19 August 2014

Harvest Monday

I picked the last of the Green Dragon broccoli this week as well as the first two cauliflowers.
The two broccoli heads weighed 500g and the cauliflower weighed 1.1 kilos. The second cauliflower was not as big weighing 360g.
I will be picking a lot more cauliflower over the coming weeks are there are still 15 plants left in the garden most of which will find its way into the freezer. Thanks to Daphne's Dandelions for hosting Harvest Monday.

5 August 2014

Harvest Monday

This week's harvest consisted of broccoli (950g), carrots,
and the last of the sugar snap peas (total weight 483g) and beans (total weight 1kg).

I also dug out my potatoes which were looking a little worse for wear and ended up with 6.9 kg altogether.
Red Delight - 2.8kg
Cream Delight - 2.2kg
Kestrel - 1.9kg from two plants that I transplanted from the asparagus bed.
Once again the Dutch Cream that I planted didn't grow so I will not be planting any next year but overall I was really happy with the potato harvest. 
To see what others have harvested this week, hop over to Daphne's Dandelions.

17 July 2014

The Winter Vegetable Garden

My poor blog has been sadly neglected of late. Life has been a bit busier than normal with family visiting from interstate and a 70th birthday to celebrate (not mine that is quite a few years off yet). Now that life is back to normal I thought it was time for a garden update.
 There are some things in the garden that are doing well, like the Green Dragon broccoli.
  The kale which is looking lush and green.
The cauliflowers are coming on nicely, although there is no sign of any heads forming yet.
 The snow peas, despite a bad case of powdery mildew are growing strong and are supplying us with a handful every couple of days or so.
Windsor Longpod beans, these 8 small plants have produced almost a kilo of beans so far. I will be planting a whole bed of them next year.
 I dug the first crop of Purple Kestrel a couple of weeks ago, not a big harvest, 300g, but they were very good.
Then there are the things that aren't doing as well as I hoped. 
These are wong bok cabbages or I should say what's left of them, of the 12 cabbages I planted these are the only two that survived. I think that earwigs might be responsible for the damage.   

 I am going to leave them because although they don't look great they are starting to form hearts.
 Unlike the snow peas the sugar snaps are not coping with the powdery mildew as well. Although they are producing they are nowhere near as big as they should be so I think it might be best to pull these out and sow more seeds.
So that is what's happening in the garden at the moment, I still have to sow more broccoli and carrot seeds but apart from that the winter planting is taken care of and with just over six weeks to the start of spring I am already plotting and planning what to plant in the spring/summer garden.