Monday, 24 August 2009

Spring Veggie Seeds Are Planted!

Well the calendar may say we still have another week of winter left, but Mother Nature has over-ruled.  Spring is definately here!  The thermometer hit 35C yesterday, and I reckon was probably nudging 30C today around lunch time.  I had been putting off planting my "sow in spring" veggies in case we got a late frost, but having not really had anything we could call a frost since winter last year, I figured I'd take the plunge.  I've decided to reserve the top veggie patch for berries, so I need to pull my finger out and order the rest of them this week.  The bottom veggie patch however is still full of my winter veg.  There is about 8 varieties of "pick and come again" lettuce, snow peas, sugar snap peas, shelling peas, 3 varieties of broccoli, bok choy, wombok, purple cabbage, leeks, loads of spinach, daikon and a few other things popping up around the place.  Since there is no room there at the moment, I picked up 5 broccoli boxes and some potting mix when I was in town the other day. (Fitting the 5 boxes plus shopping plus 3 super sized bags of potting mix plus 2 kids car seats in the little Pajero was a story unto itself!!)  I know styrofoam is not exactly the eco choice, but at least they are getting recycled.  Right??  I cut them down to

[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="84" caption="Broccoli Boxes make great seed raising trays"]Broccoli Boxes make great seed raising trays[/caption]

about 15cm high and then filled them with the potting mix before planting my veggie seeds.  Here is what I put in:  Beetroot (Chioggia - I love the pink and white rings - they looks so pretty thinly sliced in salad), Cabbage (Bok Choy & Wombok), Capsicum (Lipstick & California Wonder), Carrot (Nantes & a Colour Mix), Sweet Corn (Gladiator F1), Cucumber (Mideast Prolific - a lebanese style cucumber), Daikon (Japanese Radish), Eggplant (Lebanese, Rosa Bianca & Black Beauty), Jicama, Lettuce (Great Lakes, Baby Cos & Buttercrunch), Onion (Mini Purplette & Red Stem Welsh), Pumpkin (an unknown variety from friends & Butternut), Rhubarb (Sydney Crimson), Tomatillo (Purple), Tomatoes (Cherry Yellow Pear, Roma San Marzano, Tommy Toe & Thai Pink Egg), Japanese Turnip, Watermelon (Sugarbaby) and finally Zucchini (Golden).  I covered them all with a light layer of soil and put a piece of cardboard over the carrot seeds to hopefully get a better success rate with germination.  It will be interesting to see how they all go as I haven't had much luck with carrots or onions yet.  I'm really looking forward to the cucumbers and

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="423" caption="Kaffir Lime and its yummy double leaves"]Kaffir Lime and its yummy double leaves[/caption]

zucchini though.  Last year we had only 6 cucumber vines and were picking 10kg of cucumber every week!  They were so sweet and succulent too.  The zucchini fared really well also.  We were picking them at about 10-15cm in length while the flower was still intact and stuffing the flower before cooking the whole thing - zucchini and flower attached.  They were delicious!  There are a few things there that I haven't grown before either - these last 12 months being my first foray into gardening, so it will be interesting to see how they all go.  The fruit trees all look happy enough since planting them in last week.  We have Grapefruit, Kumquat, Dragonfruit, a Green Grape, Pear, Peach, Starfruit, Granny Smith Apple, Kaffir Lime, Tahitian Lime, Meyer Lemon, and Mulberry.  We also have 2 tiny blueberry bushes (twigs really) that are both covered in fruit and the raspberry bush that began as a single small cane last year is huge now and has new runners popping up everywhere.  I think I read you can dig the new runners up and replant them so I might pass a few on to friends.  The passionfruit vine we put in last year is looking lovely and lush so I am hoping for fruit from it this year and we were given another one 2 weeks ago from Monica - the lovely lady who gave us the Naked Neck Chickens.  Speaking of chickens, if the eggs she gave us were fertile, they should be hatching this weekend!!  Very exciting!  I am going to try and make an egg incubator this week with the help of a neighbour who has built one previously just in case they hatch as we will need to incubate the duck eggs that the chooks are sitting on.  Fingers crossed eh?!?

My herbs are all coming along nicely.

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="127" caption="Bay Tree"]Bay Tree[/caption]

The bay tree FINALLY has more than one leaf on it after about 8 months of sitting idle, so it is nice to be able to use it at last ... even if somewhat sparingly!  I am thinking of making a feature herb garden in the middle of the front yard and putting the bay in a nice big terracotta pot smack bang in the middle of all the herbs.  If it ever grows, I think it would look good as a central focus.  All the herbs that I planted 2 weeks ago are coming along nicely.  Most of them (Oregano, Zaatar, Orach, Chamomile, Marjoram, Nasturtium, Lemon Balm, Anaheim Chilli, Garlic chives, basil, Thyme, Parsley, Coriander & Dill) have germinated now and are starting to form their true leaves.  I'll have to get on to Matthew to dig the new garden bed for them.  The Rosella and Pomegranate have also popped up

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="423" caption="Baby Herbs"]Baby Herbs[/caption]

through the soil so I will have to figure out where I am going to put them!  My Borage is looking amazing at the moment as all the flowers have started coming out.  I am going to make some cupcakes this week to celebrate and use the flowers to decorate them.  Might have to have some friends come over for morning tea to share them!

Finally before I go, here are some pretty flower pics from our garden.  Matthew grows the most beautiful Australian Natives.  I really don't understand why people don't put them in because "they want flowers" (as one lady said to us!!)  We have gorgeous flowers all year round.  What more could a girl ask for?  I'd take them over roses any day - plus they bring in all the lovely wild birds too.

Well, that's about all the news from the garden for today, so stay tuned as i will post pics as they (hopefully) grow.

1 comment:

  1. Oh your herbs are looking good. You talk about the spring and getting them planted. Here in the southern USA we are getting near the end of summer. My herbs all did great this year as we had lots of rain and warm but not really hot temps.
    I so enjoy cooking with them.
    Happy Twirls