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Spring Vegetable Garden Planting

Garden Share Collective – October 2013


First tomatoes

Welcome to this Spring Garden Share Collective update, October 2013.

Update on last months tasks:

You can read last month’s update here if you missed it.

The Dwarf Macadamia Tree finally arrived after a very long transit and many, many, many phone calls to the couriers. It seems to be ok (fingers crossed). It has been planted in a large pot at the end of one of the garden beds.

Macadamia Tree

The raspberry that I ordered with the Macadamia arrived in good health and has planted next one that we already had. That one has also finally taken off and has produced numerous new canes. I had been beginning to wonder if we had some strange non-spreading variety! Fingers crossed we will have loads of fruit in a couple of months.

I was planning to commence working on the design for the new vegetable garden area I mentioned last month.

I was also to commence moving some of the plants to another area of the garden but neither of those things happened, maybe next month.

I also still have a small number of seedlings that are not large enough to plant in the ground just yet.   They are still in the shed protected from the elements and bugs.

My excuse….

With the “babying” of the seedlings, new planting, plus school holidays we have been far too busy to work on the new section of the garden.  I think Mr Fresh has some ideas on the structure  so I will wait for his input and help before I get too immersed in doing anything with it. The boys and I visited my parents for a week of the school holidays – if you missed it you may like to take a look at my mum’s gorgeous garden here.


I have planted out the most seedlings into the garden beds plus some seeds such as corn and pumpkin. The full list of what I have put into the ground in the last couple of weeks is below. 

  • Basil
  • Borlotti Beans
  • Beetroot
  • Carrots
  • Capsicum
  • Coriander
  • Corn
  • Eggplant
  • Grape
  • Kale
  • Lettuce
  • Nasturtium
  • Potatoes
  • Pumpkin
  • Rocket
  • Tomatoes
  • Watermelon

We are being attacked by little Slaters at the moment so I have been placing plastic cups, or old seedling containers over all the little new plants. A few of the initial things I planted disappeared overnight… The plastic cups seem to have worked a treat so far (fingers crossed) nothing else has been lost. It also seems to have saved the first of my zucchini plants to go in. It does look a little sad though..

Zucchini Seedling

I get super excited about tomato plants. I love to grow my own and try new varieties. I happily eat them ever day when they are in season and love to preserve them, make sauce, passata, chutney and relish. You may think it is a little excessive for a backyard garden but I can tell you that they do not go to waste, not a single one!

Spring garden planting

This year my number of plants has crept higher than ever before. The varieties I have planted this year are:

  • Beams Yellow Pear
  • Black Russian
  • Cherry Rosa
  • Jaune Flamme
  • Lemon Drop
  • Mortgage Lifter
  • Rouge de Marmande
  • San Marzano
  • Tigerella

There are also a few plants that have self seeded from last year. I am not sure yet what they are. Last year my children removed all of my plant tags/labels so the varieties were unknown (except for those that were obvious such as the Tigerellas and Black Russians). This year the boys have been warned to NOT touch the tags. Do you have the same problem??


Garden Harvest

We have been harvesting lots of artichokes, peas and still more salad greens, broccoli and spinach.  The kale is now at a stage where we can pick it regularly. I have also just planted more after (finally) discovering the joy of kale chips!

Much to the excitement of my 5 year old “Punky” we also picked a tub of carrots. Carrots are his favorite vegetable. He monitors their progress very closely. I have had no success with carrots in the raised beds but they do well in pots. My timing is a little out at the moment but my aim is to continuously raise seedlings to be harvested one pot after another.

Home grown carrots

 To do in the garden this month:

  • Continue to monitor the seedlings and plant them out in the garden.
  • Weed areas between the garden beds
  • Check the progress of the shallots – there seems to be a wide variation in the size that they are growing. I have massive ones with thick stalks and skinny little ones that have barely grown. This is my first season of growing them so I need to find out when to harvest them.
  • Monitor (and destroy – organically of course) the Slaters

Bits and Pieces:

Take a look at the difference in these rhubarb plants. The first one is a plant I picked up at a large hardware store. The second image is of some crowns I collected from a local farmers market selling his rhubarb, and crowns, a few months ago. The entire plant from the hardware store could fit on one of the farmers leaves! An incredible difference. They both receive the same amount of sun, and the small one I have had for three months prior to the others so it has been fertilised one additional time.

Bunnings Rhubarb


Farmers Marker Rhurbarb

The fruit trees and herbs are currently having a glorious growth spurt and I spy fruit developing on the blueberry and strawberry plants.

Fruit Trees

herb garden

Blueberry Plant

The leeks, garlic and onions are looking robust and lush. I have to keep reminding myself that there is still some time to wait until they will be ready to harvest.I am tempted to pull up a few onions as some of them are getting quite large.

I have not had to add any more dirt to mound around the stems of the leeks this month despite the fact that they have grown significantly. They seem to be filling out rather than up which I guess is the objective…


Now that the majority of my garden beds have been planted out with new season plants I am looking forward to watching them all grow and start to produce (if the Slaters don’t get to them…)

This post is part of the Garden Share Collective. Drop by some of the other lovely gardens to see what they are up to this month.

Do you like to plant a variety of the same vegetables or am I the only one a little obsessed with tomatoes?? It is safe to admit it here 😉 


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{ 27 comments… add one }
  • Linda October 7, 2013, 8:47 am

    Hi Kyrsty,
    Thanks for the drink cups idea. I have been using cut down plastic drink bottles, but didn’t start saving them early enough.
    Can I ask what type of carrots you are growing? I was on All Seasons (or is it all year round?), but don’t like the shape, and prefer Chantenay, but don’t like their restricted season.
    Thanks for the “month” – my Beloved likes San Marzano tomatoes, when he can get them. Think he has left his run too late this year.

    • Kyrstie Barcak October 7, 2013, 9:38 am

      I am not loyal with the carrot type to be honest Linda. I think the ones in the picture were Early Scarlett Horn. The heirloom ones and organic seeds seem to have a low germination rate so I have switched to regular seeds now and they work much better. I have also planted Nantes and they grow well.

  • Linda October 7, 2013, 8:48 am

    And, is that a SPOON I see in the Leeks?

  • e / dig in hobart October 7, 2013, 10:18 am

    hello from another garden share collective-r!
    what a beautiful, envy-inducing garden you have! maybe except for the chewed seedling… very heartbreaking. you do so much, i am very envious and inspired.
    more so though – i really need to read your blog between garden share posts – and check out your mum’s garden.

  • Gillian October 7, 2013, 1:53 pm

    Oh lovely to see all your veggies, all so different to what I grow here in tropical north queensland. I love your moms garden, so unusual!

    • Kyrstie Barcak October 10, 2013, 2:19 pm

      Thanks Gillian, that is the great thing about the Collective isn’t it? You get to wander around some lovely gardens in lots of different locations. I love it!

  • lizzie @ strayedtable October 7, 2013, 3:54 pm

    I have over 30 tomato plants in the ground and have another 8 to plant they are black russians. I think they are one of the most versatile vegetables to have in a garden, they can be preserved with such ease. Your garden looks really full of activity and those blueberries look really good.
    I had to google what slaters are, I had never heard of them. Its good to know what other critters there are out in the gardens. Maybe they don’t like Queensland.

    • Kyrstie Barcak October 10, 2013, 2:18 pm

      I will up to 30 by the time I finish planting too Liz and am watching your crops roll in with envy. It will take some time til they fruit…waiting, waiting….waiting…

  • Lisa the Gourmet Wog October 7, 2013, 5:27 pm

    Hey Kyrstie, great garden! I too have a bit of a tomato obsession, can’t wait for them to fruit and we have all our family come over for a passata making day! Your carrots look fabulous and I’m glad your macadamia tree made it in one piece xx

    • Kyrstie Barcak October 10, 2013, 2:17 pm

      I love passata days! I wish my family did that!! I was lucky enough a year ago to go to my friends house when they had their “sauce day” and I helped out. It was fabulous and such a beautiful family event. At the end of the day they had a huge feast out in the backyard on long tables with home made pasta it was fantastic. I think I will have to start my own day with my little boys.

  • Louie October 8, 2013, 7:45 am

    Hi Kyrstie, I love tomatoes as well and we have 8 plants this year which is twice as many as last year but I am looking forward to our excess so that I can make some sauces and chutneys. Will also have a look through your artichoke recipes as I haven’t had much success in the past but are determined to master how to cook with them 🙂

    • Kyrstie Barcak October 10, 2013, 2:15 pm

      Hi Louie, can’t wait to see what you make. Have a great month of gardening!

  • Krista October 8, 2013, 1:46 pm

    I’m so glad the cup idea worked for you!! I was out in my garden for nearly five hours yesterday getting caught up on weeding and planting more flower seeds and a bunch of seedlings. I hope these ones survive whatever creature is bustling in and nearly every seedling, roots and all. Here’s hoping! 🙂

    • Kyrstie Barcak October 10, 2013, 2:14 pm

      Fingers crossed for you Krista. It can feel like a battle sometimes when the bugs come out in force!

  • Melissa Loh October 8, 2013, 11:00 pm

    I was going to ask why you’re using those plastic cups. What are slaters?

    • Kyrstie Barcak October 10, 2013, 2:13 pm

      Hi Melissa, slaters are little grey beetles that roll up into a ball when touched. They look quite cute and innocent but they are terrible pests and when they are around there seems to be LOTS of them

  • Lizzy (Good Things) October 9, 2013, 5:30 pm

    Kyrstie, I love these guides of yours… I feel I am in expert hands when it comes to planning my planting!

    • Kyrstie Barcak October 10, 2013, 2:12 pm

      Thanks Liz, you really should participate as your own garden is divine.

  • Linda October 9, 2013, 9:09 pm

    Hi Kyrsty,
    You were kind enough to say you liked my netting – you should see what I have up now!

  • Linda October 10, 2013, 7:09 am

    Your garden looks so healthy and happy! And so much food!! Well done. I can’t grow carrots to save myself so I’m impressed with yours. I’ll be trying your idea with putting something around seedlings to see how I go. Thanks for the idea.

  • Merryn@merrynsmenu October 10, 2013, 11:55 am

    Your artichokes, I am salivating Kyrstie. They are very impressive and stand alone in the vegetable must have list. Also your rhubarb, carrots, snow peas and a whole garden of leeks! Your entire garden is so healthy. Good luck with the macadamia, I think they like protection from the wind but if it grows as well as everything else, it will prosper magnificently. It is nice to have a selection of different tomatoes, as like lettuces, their flavours vary greatly. Definitely romas for passata and big sweet juicy ones for salad plus tommy tomatoes for lunchboxes. Well done Kyrstie, your garden is a credit to you xx

    • Kyrstie Barcak October 10, 2013, 2:10 pm

      Thanks so much Merryn for your visit and very lovely comments.

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