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Welcome Autumn in the Vegetable Garden

Garden Share Collective March 2015

 

End of Summer Garden Colour

My garden is not yet on notice that Summer has finished. This weekend just past I started to remove some of the Summer plants to make way for new autumn seedlings, however,  overall everything is still producing beautifully and will continue to do so for at least the next month before it starts to look a little worn out and in need of removal.

Abundant Summer Vegetable Garden

The cooler days and a little rain has introduced powdery mildew into the garden. It was spreading incredibly quickly so I have removed and disposed of all infected leaves and one zucchini plant. This has left the garden looking a little bare but it does let more sun shine onto the plants, where previously there was dense foliage encouraging the damp to spread. The little hanging pots and basket in the picture below will now see some of the sunshine and hopefully look a little more lush in the coming weeks.

Pumpkin

Unfortunately, in my big clean up of the garden this weekend I dislodged two pumpkins that were not yet ready to pick and broke a capsicum plant.  The pumpkins were close to being ready so I am hoping that a few weeks in the sun to harden will save them. I am more than a little annoyed with myself…If you follow A Fresh Legacy on Instagram (@kyrstie_afl)  you may have seen this picture already. I would love to see you on Instagram if you use it. I seem to spend a lot of time there lately…Drop by and say hi.

accidentally picked pumpkins

The herbs are looking (and tasting) fabulous at the moment. They are flourishing and are such a pleasure to use in cooking at this time of the year. I wish I had of tracked and recorded my weekly dollar spend this year at the fruit store. Over Summer we have purchased very few items, mostly fruit for the kids school/kinder lunches. All other vegetables this year have come from the garden. Summer vegetables are by far my preferred ones so while we have the space to do the same across the other seasons it does not excite me, or inspire me in the kitchen as much as the variety and abundance of Summer produce. That is the beauty of growing and eating seasonally though is it not?? You appreciate and look forward to the good things each season has to offer.

The tomatoes are still producing beautifully and the eggplant – I will say it….”I am sick of eggplant!” it is glorious, it has been amazingly abundant but I have had enough now and for awhile. Next year I will reduce the number of plants by half. I don’t know what possessed me to plant so many this year. They have gone totally nuts and as you can see from the image below, there are new flowers still coming and not really any signs of them slowing.

Eggplant

Zucchini – if you are a gardener you know that by the end of Summer this become a dirty word…..They are still coming but I don’t find them as difficult to use in a wide variety of meals as I have with the quantity of eggplants we have experienced.

Grow Fresh Zucchini

Tomatoes are continuing to thrive. The plant shown below was planted late but and has just started to produce ripe fruit this month. I can’t leave a tomato plant to develop laterals, I have tried but the whole bushy tomato plant thing drives me crazy so as you can see this one is not being grow entirely on string but I have added a string line for it to continue to grow on and gain support from.

tomatoes trained on string

Tomatoes

The other tomatoes around the various garden beds are producing 300-500 grams per day. I have been dehydrating lots of them for use in cooking the Winter months.  I have also made chutney, tomato sauce and am still enjoying them fresh each day. They will continue for the next couple of months at least. I also have at least 10 new self seeded plants that have popped up in various places. If I get the time I will move them into a sheltered position to see if they develop fruit moving into Autumn.

Planting:

  • Coriander
  • Rocket

Over the coming weeks I am clearing Summer plants that have run their course. I need to fertalise and allow that soil to rest for a short time and then I will begin to plant the seedlings that have bee developing over the past month. I will be planting this month:

  • Fennel
  • Lettuce
  • Onion
  • Spinach
  • Zinnia

Empty garden space

Vegetable Garden bed end of Summer

Harvesting:

I am taking produce to the neighbors as well as to school for the teachers as some days the sight of 5 zucchini and 4 eggplant on the kitchen bench is just too much pressure!

Freshly harvested Summer Vegetables

large backyard Summer Vegetable Harvest

Summer Vegetable Harvest

We are harvesting:

  • Capsicum
  • Chilli
  • Cucumber
  • Eggplant
  • Herbs – basil, chives, coriander, oregano, mint, sage, tarragon, vietnamese mint
  • Kale
  • Lettuce
  • Rocket
  • Strawberries
  • Tomatoes
  • Zucchini

To do this month:

  • Turn over the compost heap and add as much as possible to the garden beds.
  • Push back any dense areas of pea straw to let the soil cool a little
  • Plant Autumn seedlings
  • Fertalise the Summer plants that are still producing well with seasol solution

I hope that you have had an amazing Summer in the garden and are ready to welcome Autumn. This post is one of a series of regular monthly vegetable gardening updates initiated and hosted by Lizzie from Strayed From The Table. A collection of vegetable gardening enthusiasts from around Australia and abroad gather each month to chat about their gardens. You can read other posts via the links at the bottom of this post.

How is your garden going this month? What do you love about Autumn in the vegetable garden?

Here is a little Flipagram I made showing some of my favorite images of Summer this year in the garden and kitchen. I hope that you enjoy it.

Kyrstie

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{ 8 comments… add one }
  • Phuong March 2, 2015, 11:26 am

    Your summer harvests are amazing. And your garden is looking so lush and tidy. How many eggplant plants did you grow? I grew 33 eggplants in 2013 and that was way too many, the goal is 11 this year.

    Just like you, I am much more enamored with the summer garden than the other seasons. The late autumn/fall harvests are usually self-sown lettuces and radishes. (The seed pods from summer radishes like White Icicle are great in stir-fries.)

    • Kyrstie Barcak March 2, 2015, 12:32 pm

      Hi Phuong. I grew 8 plants this year. Wow I think I would have had to open a stall out the front of my house if I had 33! What did you do with them all? Thanks for dropping by.

  • Julie March 2, 2015, 2:32 pm

    Your produce is looking fabulous! Gosh, I’m yet to get one eggplant from my 3 plants. Hmmm I won’t even go down the tomato route. LOL zucchini does become a dirty word by the end of summer. They still taste good though don’t they? Ah powdery mildew – a sure sign that summer is over. 😀

  • lizzie @ strayedtable March 2, 2015, 4:06 pm

    Your harvests remind me of ours last year. Sometimes you get sick of seeing the same veggies over and over again. Zucchini did become a dirty word, I even went to the extreme of dehydrating them. I did see a cool recipe the other day for making them into chips.

  • Jo @Countrylifeexperiment March 2, 2015, 8:41 pm

    I know what you mean by finding zucchinis and eggplants on bench just too much pressure! I feel the same way about our glut of vegetables. I know I should be grateful for all the veges, but sometimes I get over having to deal with them all. Your garden is looking lovely and abundant though!

  • Africanaussie March 3, 2015, 3:01 pm

    All your produce looks so good and healthy. Your garden looks pretty with all the colourful flowers as well. For us up in the tropics winter is when we grow our tomatoes, lettuces etc.

  • e / dig in hobart March 6, 2015, 8:22 am

    reassuring to hear someone else say they ae sick of their summer produce and giving it away left right and centre 🙂 the stripey zukes look pretty and i must get zinnias! do youhave the for colour only, or do they serve to bring bees ito the garden? they are so pretty

  • Kate @rosehipsrhubarb March 9, 2015, 11:16 am

    Your garden is looking fabulous as always. I had a lot of eggplants early in the season but they stopped producing due to hot weather and no rain. I’m hoping that they’ll recover now that it’s cooling down a bit — I’d love a few more.

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