Friday, January 29, 2010


We started harvesting tomatoes this week from "The Garden."

Rhubbarb, zucchini, beans, tomatoes and a few tiny random potatoes (left from last year's harvest!)

"The Garden" is my parents garden. I have become chief gardener over the past few months while we've been living with my folks. This will probably continue when we move into a unit (hopefully in a month or two's time)...I will just come around and garden a few times each week. It is quite a beneficial arrangement really. They provide ample garden space and tools and I provide labour. Then we all get to enjoy the produce!

The tomatoes above are a mixture. I bought a Brandywine Mix and Principe Borghese from Kings Seeds. So far we are disappointed in both. With the Brandywines (rear of photo) it is just that they are splitting so badly that we aren't getting to eat much - our climate here can get humid over summer so probably 'my bad' as far as that choice went. I thought Principe (small oval ones in the picture) was one I'd grown in North QLD last year, only now that they are growing they look pretty different to what I had...they are producing just fine, but we are finding the fruit isn't particularly tasty or juicy. Apparently they are good for drying; as I have a food dryer I might have a go and see how they turn out like that. The other tomatoes all self seeded from the compost, probably from the heirloom mix Dad had in last year - there's a really nice cheery tomato and some larger ones. We also have some others on the way. They are called Uncle R's Super Tomatoes, given by a relative years ago. The seed was so old I just threw on a corner of the garden in case it was still viable - as it germinated splendidly we are now expecting a late tomato crop from which we'll save some more seed!

The more I garden, the more I realise just how much I do NOT know about gardening, especially when it comes to gardening to produce food to eat. Especially when you want a continuous supply of food to eat! "What is this bug, why is that plant not doing well, do we need more water, have I planted them too close, why oh why do the blackbirds insist on digging absolutely everything in sight up???" These are frequent questions. Sometimes I discover answers. Sometimes my mum, dad or MIL vouch a possibility. And sometimes the questions remain. Like the blackbirds. The last time I plant celery I got smart and put bricks and planks of wood around the small seedlings to deter the blackbirds from their wholehearted, abandoned pursuit of juicy garden worms! It seems to have worked. To date I still have 9 celery seedlings alive at any rate.

This is my protection method for the carrot seed sown last week.

I am trying very hard to get my head around succession planting. I'll let you know next year how well I've done! Plans at this stage involve planting carrot and onion seed every 3 weeks. We should end up with 2 packets of seed spread over 4 or more 'plants' which will hopefully mean carrots over the whole of winter. This is a bit of an experiment. My MIL has helped me try and choose the best times to plant, but as she gardens in a colder climate than here, we've had to use a bit of timing guesswork.

In conjunction with the carrot seed, I'm planting up a range of other winter crops in punnets on our windowsill. The idea is to do a few each time I do a carrot plant...things like silverbeet, spinach, pak choy, broccoli, cabbage and lettuces which will be then be transplanted into the garden.

Thanks for coming by. I hope you have enjoyed this ramble through the garden planning!


1 comment:

MaxineD said...

Hi Amy - I enjoyed your ramble round the garden... I have been watching the thrushes and a blackbird fossicking in the side bed today, thankfully they have not attacked the small brassicas that are there.

Your sequential planting sounds as though it should work o.k.
MIL :-)