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Garden Share Collective February 2015

Summer Vegetable Gardening

 

Plant Bee attracting flowers

The garden is looking glorious at the moment, full of cheerful bursts of color thanks to the many flowers I have added to the garden to attract the bees and beneficial bugs. It is the first time I have added flowers to the vegetable garden beds for this purpose and I have to say, they make my heart sing when I look out at the garden area! It is such a lovely space to wander in. This has completely floored me as I have (previously had) no time for non-productive plants! I have even let the herbs go to flower for the bees this year – a big no no in previous years!  The vegetable plants around the areas that I have done this are strong, healthy and super productive.  It is possible that this may also be attributed to the very mild (almost cool) Summer.

Overall, the Summer garden is starting to look suitably jumbled and is starting to overflow and burst out of beds and areas that are set to contain the plants. The pumpkin plants are the main offenders, outgrowing their frames and seeking more space. I train the pumpkins up on large metal frames in a bid to save some garden bed and ground space. This works perfectly to a point and then they will continue to spread to surrounding spaces. Some of the plants are starting to now climb across the strings that are set up for the tomatoes (see below)  I haven’t counted the developing pumpkins to date but can see already that this year’s cop will surpass our previous year totals. I find them to be a worthy garden addition as they store for months and pumpkin is wonderfully versatile to use in cooking.

Here are a few pictures of my wandering pumpkin plants:

Pumpkin climbing on frame

Pumpkin spreading

Pumpkin trained onto a frame

Around the rest of the garden, all is as you would expect to see. I am pretty happy that this year’s zucchini are showing no signs of powdery mildew. My neighbor is getting at least 3 a week after our own bounty builds on the kitchen bench and I need to give the kids a different vegetable for dinner!

Summer Vegetable Garden

The eggplants are producing large quantities of fruit, many more than I anticipated per plant. I am collecting about half a dozen a week. Next week I will preserve some in the Italian style, putting them in oil for use in the coming months.

Eggplant producing fruit

Then of course it is the tomatoes – the 40ish plants are delivering a gorgeous, steady stream of fruit.

My favorite things about this time of year include:

1. We are able to source almost all of the vegetables we eat from the backyard. I visit our local produce store for fruit only. This means that our grocery bill dips to a wonderful low

2. Tomatoes on sour dough with salt and pepper for breakfast

3. The extra light in the evenings to potter in the garden thanks to daylight savings

Summer Tomato harvest

Tomato plant

Tomatoes growing on string

Planting:

I have just sown seeds of:

  • Fennel
  • Lettuce
  • Rocket
  • Tomatoes – self seeded in a pot so I added them to the vegetable garden
  • Zinnia (for the bees)

Watering Summer Seeds

We also added a couple of new olive trees to large pots on the paved area above the raised garden bed as that has finally completed after about a year of being half done.

Harvesting:

Beautiful, beautiful Summer produce. We are harvesting all of the usual Summer vegetables at the moment. There is a wonderful steady stream of:

  • Capsicum
  • Chilli
  • Cucumbers
  • Eggplant
  • Lettuce
  • Rocket
  • Spinach
  • Spring Onion
  • Tomatoes
  • Zucchini (well maybe a few too many to these but it is Summer and they are a big part of eating seasonally!)
  • Herbs : Basil, Chives, Coriander, Parsley, Sage, Tarragon

Summer vegetables

I had one garden disappointment this month that I am a little annoyed about – I had planted Painted Mountain Corn, a heritage variety of corn that is stunning in appearance. I had no idea that it is not edible, although it can be used for popcorn or to mill for flour but gahhhh – I missed fresh corn this season!! I won’t get to put any more plants in now because I like to plant organic seeds and I think it is too late for that…. So no home grown sweet corn fritters for us this year 🙁

Painted Mountain Corn

Things to do this month:

  • This month will be the same as last, I am adding compost to the garden beds as it is ready from our pile.
  • I will cut back some of the herbs that have gone to flower
  • Plant more lettuce to replace those that are starting to go lanky
  • The usual weeding needs to be done constantly to keep the grass out of the garden beds
  • I will feed all of the plants in pots with Seasol solution this month
  • The tomato laterals need to be maintained and the pumpkins will need a little coaxing to keep following the frames where there is room for them.
  • I will plant some more seeds at the end of this month
  • I have a few little craft projects that I am working on now that our paving is done the back yard feels completes so now I can make it look pretty with little Kyrstie touches to be added here and there!

This post is part of a regular monthly garden update by a group of garden enthusiasts from around the globe, hosted by Strayed From The Table. Take a wander around some of the other gardens for more inspiration.

How is your Summer garden progressing? 

Kyrstie


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{ 17 comments… add one }
  • Africanaussie February 2, 2015, 9:51 am

    Oh my! Your garden looks wonderfully colourful and so does your produce. I really enjoyed wandering through your garden this month. Are those small pumpkins? I would think the big ones would have to be supported. Great idea to have them growing on a support.

    • Kyrstie Barcak February 9, 2015, 1:07 pm

      Hi African Aussie, they are pumpkins growing and should hopefully end up large! The vines will support the weight of a growing pumpkin, they are very strong. I have grown them like this for the last few years. It is amazing isn’t it?

  • Julie February 2, 2015, 11:40 am

    Your garden is looking superb! 40 tomato plants .. .wow! I can’t even grow a couple. Bossy pumpkins .. I have exactly the same prob with cucumbers who haul themselves up and over everything in the way. And what about your eggplants? Your garden is so much more advanced than mine. Lovely 🙂

    • Kyrstie Barcak February 9, 2015, 1:06 pm

      Thank you Julie, it can be a challenge at this time of year to try to keep everything contained!

  • lizzie @ strayedtable February 2, 2015, 1:28 pm

    Those tomatoes are just beautiful, if only I was more prepared and netted them all before fruit fly invaded. You veggie garden looks like a jungle and, looks very lush and healthy. I love how satisfing it is to produce just about all your own veggies

    • Kyrstie Barcak February 9, 2015, 1:05 pm

      It sure is Lizzie, nothing better. I have heard a few things about fruit fly this year and none of it good. Thanks for dropping by and for hosting such a great gathering of gardeners 🙂

  • A Kailyard in Adelaide February 2, 2015, 5:03 pm

    So many glorious flowers and I adore your apple birdhouse! While the corn isn’t edible it is pretty. How do you get your eggplants to be so prolific? We never seem to have much luck with them.

    • Kyrstie Barcak February 9, 2015, 1:04 pm

      I think that the weather has been particularly suited to the eggplants needs this year A Kailyard. I am working on a new post with some tips now so keep on eye out!

  • Anonymous February 2, 2015, 6:51 pm

    such a joy to read this post – i found myself smiling in agreement at many of your words about the flowers in the garden, the daylight saving, the wonderful produce, the lowered grocery bills – thank you for a lovely post.
    PS 40 tomato plants! i bow down before thee. amazing.

    • E / dig in hobart February 8, 2015, 5:11 pm

      Oops this was me, e! Not sue why my details didn’t show. Anyway, hello 🙂

      • Kyrstie Barcak February 9, 2015, 1:01 pm

        I knew it was you e 🙂 Hello and thanks for dropping by 🙂

  • Kate @rosehipsrhubarb February 2, 2015, 10:08 pm

    I love, love, love your garden (and the quality of your photos). Mixing flowers and veg. together is such a great idea and looks beautiful. Such a shame that that gorgeous corn isn’t edible!

    • Kyrstie Barcak February 9, 2015, 1:03 pm

      It is isn’t it? Oh well…you learn as you go 🙂 Thanks for your lovely comments Kate

  • Jan February 3, 2015, 11:25 am

    As always your garden looks wonderfully productive, much more advanced then mine.

    • Kyrstie Barcak February 9, 2015, 1:02 pm

      Thanks Jan. The weather this year has had a large impact on that I am sure.

  • Tracy February 5, 2015, 10:08 am

    Wow. Your garden is looking wonderful. Those red zinnias are stunning.

    • Kyrstie Barcak February 9, 2015, 1:02 pm

      Thanks Tracy, they are very pretty aren’t they and the bonus is that there are plenty to allow me to bring some inside too.

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