Garden Share Collective December 2014
And so it begins! Summer has arrived and the usual suspects are progressing beautifully with the promise of abundance and non stop produce up until the end of Autumn. Our vegetable garden has been progressively expanding for the last three years. It is probably time to draw a line in the sand now and stop where we are. I have hit my personal record for the number of tomato plants without trying. I could put more in if I wanted to but restraint has intervened…..I think that 40+ plants is more than enough. I understand that for a backyard vegetable garden this number of tomato plants sounds quite ridiculous but I can assure you that they will not be wasted. They will all be collected and enjoyed fresh, baked, with capsicums in a chunky salsa, dehydrated, frozen, made into Mr Fresh’s favorite chutney and maybe some sauce.
This post is part of a collection of monthly garden updates hosted by Strayed from the Table. It comprises vegetable garden enthusiasts from around Australia and the world. Be sure to check out some of them from the links below.
In the garden at the moment Summer favorites capsicum, corn, cucumber and tomatoes are growing strongly. We have had a couple of Tigeralla tomatoes ripen to harvest but overall the plant pictured below with an abundance of fruit has been very slow to ripen.
The garden beds are starting to staring to fill out as the plants grow and spread. I have begun a regular cut back of the nasturtiums as they commence invading the garden bed and the rhubarb. If the bees didn’t love them so much I wouldn’t grow them. Soon the pumpkins that are planted below them will grow and take over the space thus keeping them more contained.
The borage has begun to flower and is doing it’s job, the bees love it. I over-planted the pot so will move the zinnias to the garden beds.
The chia plant looks like it is ready to be picked and dried so that the seeds can be removed. I will do a small batch this week to ensure that it is actually ready to be picked and there are seeds inside the pods. I have not grown it before so am not 100% sure if now is the time to harvest or not…
In the past few weeks we have been harvesting:
- Herbs – basil, chives, coriander, mint, oregano, spearmint, tarragon, thyme, Vietnamese mint
The image below shows the vegetables and herbs that I took to the school fund raising cake stall at the polling station on the weekend. It contains three varieties of kale, spinach and some herbs. I was going to remove the kale this month, and I did take out 4 plants but the others are strong healthy and abundant and I use the young leaves often in family meals. I have left them in for now and will see how they go as the weather gets warmer.
Our garlic plants have all been harvested over the past few weeks, except for a dozen that were planted late and are still very small. I harvested them in three batches and braided the first lot yesterday that had been drying in the sun for almost 2 weeks. The remainder will be braided in one – two weeks once they have also spent time drying out in the sun. I will also mince some to store a little longer than the braids will last.
Last week I planted some more fennel, lettuce, and spring onion. I added a dwarf pear tree to the pot that had been home to an avocado tree that died in the heat. I discovered 6 self sprouted tomatoes and a couple more pumpkins among the plants so if they fruit well there will be a record number of pumpkins and tomatoes this year harvested from the garden.
I am not planning on adding anything to the garden this month ( I know I do say that quite often but really, really, really, nothing will be planted!)
To do this month:
All of last months jobs, including mulching were completed and I am now switching into maintenance mode.
- I will water when it is hot, keeping a close watch on the plants that are small and still becoming established
- Continue to weed
- Remove laterals from the tomatoes and continue to train and string them as required
- Continue to train the pumpkin plants, nasturtiums and cucumbers on their frames as they grow
- Collect the start of the Summer produce and using it in the kitchen and over the festive period
- Prepare the garden for a short absence by covering it in the event of any extreme weather days
- Braid the remaining garlic when it has dried
- Dry chia plants to see if seeds are ready
- Relocate the zinnia plants that are in the pot with the borage
How is your garden growing? What are you hoping to harvest for Christmas?
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