Saturday, August 13, 2011

Vege garden update - up close and personal...

As you know, I recently planted out the vege garden again, and it's going great guns! So as promised, here is a little update on how it's looking… not quite ready for harvesting just yet, but we'll be there in no time!

When it was planted just over a fortnight ago, this was the overall view from the end:

And here is the same view now - a lot more green in this picture, wouldn't you say?

Here are the peas (sugar snap and snow peas) a fortnight ago:

They have really taken off now and are grabbing nicely onto the little frame I put in for them:

I don't really have too many befores of the other things I planted, so how about some photos just right now - they can serve as future befores :)

The broccoli still has quite a lot more growing to do, but it won't be ready for harvesting for quite a while yet (it grows a lot slower than the leafier veges).  Something is currently have a little bit of fun with the leaves, so I will probably have to spray them this weekend:

The cos lettuce is looking nice and lush, getting ready to become my salad sometime soon!

The iceberg lettuce is really going well - it always does great up here in winter, we had a bumper crop last year. Now that our really cold weather seems to have passed, we are having beautiful winter days at around 22-24 degrees celsius (that's around 72-75 for those reading from the US) and these icebergs love it…. Our favourite thing to do with these is harvest leaves one at a time and make San Choy Bao - its something the 3 of us enjoy harvesting, cooking and eating together, and I'll be sure to share the recipe when we make it!

The shallots are growing well but looking a little yellow - I may cut back on the water for these ones a bit and see if they green up again (I have been watering a lot because all the leafies need it so much).

The beans have had a little growth spurt too and more than doubled their size! They are dwarf beans so won't grow very tall - but judging by these, and the weight that will be on the plants when they start producing beans, I will need to put in some stakes or growing frames for them this week, as they will need some support.

Our little capsicum plants have doubled in size also - except the one in the back right corner there… That one was a present from a friend, but the transportation from her house to mine seems to have given it a bit of a shock, and it's not really growing… Oh well, its alive, so for now it stays :)  Here is our first flower on these, which means capsicums are probably only a couple of weeks away!

All of the herbs are going great, especially the coriander (you might notice that I have already harvested a bit off that …. Couldn't wait! Lol) But parsley and basil are looking good too…

And right up the end are the aloe vera plants…. I planted them there because it’s a shady spot and nothing much seems to grow well there. My stepmum Heather suggested that aloe vera grow anywhere, so that was probably a good place. They are looking a little sad and pale though - I am not watering them directly (as they are a drought tolerant plant) but I think they are getting a lot of water by proxy as I'm attending to the other things in the garden…. Oh well. I have another one growing in a pot on the patio, so if they don't make it, at least I have a back up!

My one epic failure so far is surely the tomato plant…

It looked healthy enough at the nursery, but pretty much the day after I planted, it started to go downhill. One of my work colleagues told me its too early for tomatoes, so I didn't feel too bad…. But then another friend, Sam, came over and said hers are going crazy, with currently 20+ on her plant…. Bugger! I am persevering for now, but I don't like my chances, tomatoes were my epic failure last year also! As a result, I do have an old tomato planter currently gathering weeds, grass and all manner of junk:

Sam said she has some special tomato food that she will bring over next time, so I'll clear the planter out and get it all ready for her next visit, and we can plant the next ones together…. Hopefully her involvement will be the magic touch I need to finally master the tomato!

You might notice in the first photos that I have not planted all the way back to the fence - this was deliberate, and I have two reasons for doing it this way. The first is that at 1m high and 1.2 deep, its very hard to reach the back of the garden, even with a step ladder! The second is that it is impossible for Alex to reach any of the garden on the step ladder, so I tend to put him in the garden and let him trudge around picking things for me or pulling weeds. The bare spot near the fence gives him a nice little pathway that runs the full length of the garden, and also gives him something to hang on to while he's walking - everybody's happy :)

So there you have it! A full update on where we're at with the big vege garden. I'm so excited about how well everything is doing - but I must say, the winter crop is so much easier to grow than the summer crop up here. We have such mild winters (although it was really cold a month or so ago) that it’s a pleasure to be outside enjoying the winter sunshine and getting a good dose of Vitamin D!

And just for fun, I will leave you with a pic of the cute little marigolds I have sprinkled through the garden for no purpose but to repel pests (and look pretty) - sorry about the photo quality (still saving for the DSLR!)

I do also have some baby carrots growing, but for some reason I missed those when taking photos... oh well, next time!

Bye for now :)


  1. Hi Krispy

    You are doing very well with your garden. I would love to have a garden but we seem to have black fingers instead of green. Keep up the good work.

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