Time for the Garden Share Collective round-up, and after skipping a month because I felt there was very little movement in my garden, I am back. There is… little movement. Some things are taking their sweet time in growing, and I blame the inconsistent spring weather (snow, sunshine, wind, rain, heat — all in one day). We get a couple of sunny warm days, but then any growth is halted as we plunge back to winter conditions and temperatures.
Let’s start with the fantastic news. Look! A tomato, and a baby zucchini!
The baby zuke is about the size of my pinky finger. I was so thrilled when I found it that I ran inside and phoned my parents. Dad found the tomato — and a couple of teeny weeny mates —when he came up on the weekend (on his way to the cricket) and went to work on thinning and sorting the plants out.
Let me say, tomatoes are a mystery. I get the laterals thingy, I can work that one out; but the breaking off of perfectly good branches to leave a get a stronger structure — I cannot get why one is better than the other. I watch and listen to dad but it’s like looking under the bonnet of a car. A complete mystery.
Let me also say, mum and dad were a little bit envious at how well my tomatoes are growing. As in, faster than theirs. That made me feel very chuffed, as you might imagine. Hey, I might not know what I’m doing, but I’m doing it!
Mum surveyed the beds of corn and zukes and tomatoes, the rows of peas and beans, and declared I could almost start a market garden. That’s when I stood back and went, yeah, I have got a lot going on! With the new beds I’m accommodating so much more than I’ve been able to previously. And everything looks so neat, and with the borders of carrot and beetroot, and corner clumps of companions plants such as marigolds, pyrethrum (the white daisy at the very bottom of this post), johnny-jump-ups and lobelia, my garden is now exactly as I had dreamed it would look like.
Let’s come crashing back to earth a bit. It’s not all hunky dory. The silverbeet is fast bolting to seed; I’m kinda okay letting it go, having eaten such a glut of it recently. I’m happy to have a break and enjoy some sweet crunchy sugarloaf cabbages from dad’s garden. Still getting my chlorophyll fix but in a new and exciting form!
Behind the silverbeet are two failed passionfruits. I’ve accepted that these struggled to flourish and indeed at some point rapidly went backwards. I’ll pull them out, and have another go later.
Also, my broad beans and other beans have decided to be dwarf varieties, and they’ve started curling their leaves up. Dad and I suspect it’s because of the soil. You may recall we brought loads in to fill the new beds, and even though I dug in mushroom compost and manures, and I have been burying kitchen scraps and silverbeet leaves to boost the organic levels of the soil, I do accept that this takes time — years. Dad’s quick fix was to throw some blood and bone around, so let’s hope that sorts them out (it certainly stinks the place out). But I accept that good soil is a work in progress.
A quick overview for you. Normal red beetroot and a new row of golden beetroot; I have in my mind a pretty roasted veg salad combining those two. Peas: sugar snap (ready to harvest a small handful!) and greenfeast, and new purple podded. Some decorated with tinsel to ward off the sparrows who have been snipping the tender tops off. Beans: borlotti (just in), yellow wax and another green bean; I have another row of lazy housewives I am yet to sow. Oh, and normal and scarlet broad beans. Carrots (perfect round baby ones). Corn and zucchini. Garlic in the grow bags — I reckon I will pull one soon to test it out. Oh, and some lettuce in a long pot (leftovers from mum), some lemon basil, and some marjoram and sage seeds freshly sown in pots, to bolster my herb garden.
It’s watering, feeding, weeding — enjoying being in my vegie garden. This will be my last official Garden Share Collective post for 2014. It's been a pleasure talking vegies and fruit with you, learning some new tricks but mostly being inspired by everyone (and just a teensy bit envious of those gardening in warmer climes). Be sure to check out other green thumbs in the Garden Share by clicking on the logo at right, and til next year, happy gardening, and let's hope we all get enough rain thru the summer months.