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Summer Garden Share Collective January 2015

First PeachSummer this year has delivered a series of inconsistent weather conditions to date.  We have received more rain than we received in Spring and cool days that have sent me looking for a sweater to keep warm. This weekend just past we the temperature soar to 43 degrees and then dip back to 24 degrees. The poor plants must be unsure about what they should be doing….Despite the wonky weather the garden is starting to look like a little jungle and is becoming productive with the usual suspects at this time of year – capsicums, tomatoes, zucchini (I’m already putting them over the neighbors fence!), and cucumbers. This post is part of a series of monthly garden updates by The Garden Share Collective. It is made up of a group of gardeners from around the world who share a love of productive gardens.

Summer Vegetable garden The tomatoes have fruited but the fruit has hung and hung and hung and hung on the plants, taking what seems like a ridiculous amount of time to start to ripen. Many of the plants are bending under the weight of unripe fruit.
Tomatoes_Slow to ripen There are plenty of tomato plants so if there is some consistent weather and they start to ripen I expect we will be inundated with them.
Tomatoes Our little fruit trees are looking fabulous. The first peaches are stunning.  There are lots of little Pink Ladies on the apple tree and a few apricots ripening on their tree.
All of the plants in the garden beds are doing well, with much less crowding this year than previous years due to the addition of the upper garden area earlier this year. I am going to let the spaces be spaces – which is HUGE for me! I am kind of itching to fill them but they do need a rest so as I harvest plants that are finished I am leaving the space. In reality we have loads of the essentials for the season – tomatoes, eggplant, capsicum, lettuce, herbs, zucchini and cucumbers.

Vegetable Garden I have harvested five eggplant fruit from the plant that went in first and there are many more flowers that are likely to fruit also. I think I need to come up with some new eggplant recipes pretty fast!
Summer vegetables

I have removed half of the kale plants but will need to cut back or remove the rest soon as they are collapsing on other plants with their weight. We are using less of it now as family meals lighten and are more focused on fresh and raw ingredients. I prefer a salad or spinach in that format to kale.


One of the other highlights in the garden for me this month is the bees are loving the borage that I planted at the end of Spring. They seem to be doing a fabulous job of pollinating the vegetables as they roam the garden beds.

Borage and bees

borage for bees

The pumpkins are growing and climbing their frames with the first fruit appearing on all of them. I will have more pumpkin than I planned as I have had a few random plants self seed and I decided to leave them.

baby pumpkin

pumpkin plant


We have added a miniature pear to the pot that was holding one of the doomed avocado plants that died and two olive trees to large pots that are framing the edge of an area of the garden that has had decking recently completed. They were a Christmas gift from my parents. I have also just added some more lettuce, carrots and some rocket to keep up a constant supply over the next few months. That is all that has been planted this month. I have been focused on tending to the plants that are in the ground.


  • Beans
  • Berries – Blueberries, Raspberries, Strawberries
  • Cabbage – Winter is now done
  • Capsicum
  • Carrots
  • Chilli
  • Eggplant – a steady flow
  • Fennel
  • Herbs – basil, coriander, parsley, chives, mint, sage, thyme, vietnamese mint
  • Kale – a ridiculous amount
  • Lettuce
  • Rhubarb
  • Spinach – too much!
  • Tomatoes – a few
  • Zucchini – three or four a week

Summer Greens

Garden harvest

To Do:

  • Keep on pinching the tomato laterals and winding them onto the strings
  • Monitor water and shade requirements pending the weather
  • Cut back the kale
  • Stir and then add mulch to the garden beds

How is your garden progressing?




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{ 9 comments… add one }
  • Francesca January 5, 2015, 9:23 am

    Good to see you have the green striped zebra tomato going so well. I forgot to plant this one this year. It is one of my favourites. It is a strange season in Melbourne, with a cool Spring followed by a ridiculous heatwave.

  • Tracy January 5, 2015, 9:26 am

    Your garden sounds a lot like mine at the moment. Though I do think yours looks quite a lot neater than mine.
    happy 2015 to you. Hoping the balance between wet and warm weather is just right.

  • Merryn Galluccio January 5, 2015, 10:22 am

    You are going to be inundated with lovely red tomatoes very soon. Those bunches look amazing and you have certainly counterweighted them well. A few hot days you will be looking for ways to use them too. Your zucchini are gorgeous, slice them into rounds and give them a quick fry with minimal olive oil. Then place in a dish and dress with chopped parsley, chilli, garlic and olive oil. Let sit at room temperature for an hour or so before eating. Actually I bet you cook them beautifully Kyrstie. Your garden looks so green and healthy, Happy Gardening throughout this year xo

  • Rachel and Jamie January 5, 2015, 11:11 am

    Isn’t borage wonderful! It also looks lovely in a tall glass of Pimms 🙂 I am envious that you still have kale! Lovely photos.

  • Gillian January 5, 2015, 11:17 am

    Your tomatoes look awesome, and those purple cabbage – gosh you have lots of colour in your harvests, everything looks healthy and delicious. I love to cook eggplant on the barbeque have you tried them that way? Otherwise roast in the oven.

  • Julie January 5, 2015, 11:36 am

    Oh I have tomato envy! How wonderful does your plant look … Your garden looks so tidy compared to my mess 🙂 Your pumpkin looks a treat too .. So nice enjoying home grown.

  • lizzie @ strayedtable January 5, 2015, 2:53 pm

    Those tomatoes are amazing. Mine too are taking longer than usual to ripen. I tend to pick them just when they start to show some colour. This year I waiting is the game but I have to keep an eye on my tomatoes as we have had unusual rain this month and that can tend to swell my tomatoes to bursting. Happy New Year Kyrstie.

  • Kate @rosehipsrhubarb January 5, 2015, 7:47 pm

    Your garden always looks so lush and productive. I like what you say about leaving space. I need to do more of that. My garden is getting far too cluttered.

  • Bek - Bek's Backyard January 6, 2015, 2:41 pm

    What a fabulous mix of produce. I wish I could grow borage; it grows wild in my mum’s garden but each time I try and grow seed or transplant it, it dies. So sad.

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