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Todays harvest

While tidying up today I’ve harvested a few things to make room for what was growing next to them. 

From left the right, there are baby leeks that looked as though they would be going to seed before fattening up so I pulled them.  About 6 fennel bulbs, they are a reasonable size but have stopped fattening up so will so well in a  lovely braised fennel dish and on the right are chiggioa beetroot, I’ve harvested them at this size as I’d planted them in a bed layed with chicken wire so if I let them get much bigger the wire starts to cut into them.  They are such a lovely striped colour which surprisingly holds well when boiled and they are so sweet yet have the distinctly earthy beetroot flavour.  They are lovely and I find them easier to grow than regular beetroot so will deffinately be growing this again.

There are a few more things to harvest as I tidy up so will post as I go.  Happy gardening.

I’m amazed each day when I go out to the garden at just how much everything has grown and how much food is now available.  I’m slightly overwhelmed at times with the quantities that are ready all at once but am really enjoying searching for new ways to use what we have.  This is a pic of our newer beds with everything growing well.  There are some bits and pieces to do to tidy up some of the crops but I’m pleased with how things are looking at this time of year.

Harvest Tuesday

I’ve been a little busy and the garden has been slightly neglected the last week or so.  We’re still eating veggies from it most nights but I’ve been trying to turn a blind eye to the weeds, the funny black aphids and anything going to seed because once I start I know it’ll be a big job.  I had a couple of hours between jobs this afternoon so thought I’d try and harvest anything that was ready but about to go past its best.

From top left clockwise….there are 4 smallish heads of Great Lakes lettuce, about 3 meals worth of broad beans that I will freeze, a few little strawberries that will be stolen by hubbie, two loose heads of cauliflower, I knew that they were ready but had another and a couple of heads of broccolli to go through first.  I’ve heard that if you cut part way through the stem it will slow their growth so I’ll try this to stagger my harvest in my next lot, these two I’ll blanch and freeze.  A mixture of radishes, some are small as they were grown in the shade of my bean and nasturtium teepees but they taste great, then a couple of rogue spuds that the puppy found while digging underneath the lettuces and a good meal of snow peas, some of the pods are amazingly long and some from my older plants have little peas inside which makes a nice contrast.

As the weather has picked up suddenly a few things have gone to seed, my rocket needs to be resown and my older fennel is trying to seed.  I’d like to try and save some seed from it so will leave a couple of plants but will pull the others up in the next few days.  A few weeks ago I felt as though I didnt have room in the garden for more veggies but as I’ve had this clear out there is plenty of room to plant some other things I guess that this is where the planning comes in!  Although I’m tempted to just resow I need to remember to look after my soil so will spend a bit of time getting that right to make sure my next crop is a success.

Jobs for the next few days – tie my tomatoes, clear my early potato beds, replace rocket and half of mesculun bed, tie back last snow pea plants, plant corn seedlings, weed strawberries and plant out eggplant and capsicum.

Who has time to work?  Happy Gardening.

 

 

Garden tidy up

I’ve spent the last couple of days tidying up in some of the older beds.  It’s easy to keep the new beds looking great as they’re new but the older ones have plenty of weeds, are set up a little strangely and dont have the ‘new factor’ to them!  The back beds are pretty well shaded from the neighbours trees so I’ve kept them full of cooler weather vege, brassicas, bright light beets, broad beans, fennel and lettuces but the veggies are being encroached on by creeping weeds so I’ve had to bite the bullet and get down on hands and knees.

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Things look much better and I’ve even managed to squeeze in some more sweetcorn in the front of this picture where the bare earth is.  The broccolli and cauliflowers to the left are just about ready to some out so another sowing of corn will go there to give me three sowings in the same block bed.  The teepee has snowpeas growing well and you can see past that to the next bed with my leeks and onions.  In the top right are my potato beds with the Maori purple potatoes against the fence on the right.

I like to grow flowers in my veggie garden where I can and just coming out of winter I have yellow and purple violas edging my old beds.  They look lovely and add a pretty touch to salads and ice cubes.  I’m collecting their seeds as the seed pods open so that I can resow them next year.

It took a bit of doing but its such a relief to get rid of the weeds and see what spare space I have for edibles.

Salad anyone?

I only harvested the mesculun patch yesterday and spent the morning at the produce market only to return to a garden full of lettuce!!  What’s going on?  Apparantly its been the coldest October in 60 some years so the plants have all been sulking but this bit of warmth and wet has got them all going, particularly the lettuce. 

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What can I do with it all?  I’ve read about lettuce soup but so far have not had the guts to try it though I hate waste so might have to surprise ‘i’m not a rabbit’ with it for his lunch.  Wish me luck!

Surprise harvest

As is always the way when I go to the garden centre I’m tempted by things that I really dont have anywhere to put.  Today it was capsicums and eggplants.  I’ve sown both of these from seed on numerous occassions in the past 3 months and have not even one plant to show for it.  I do however have a part of the garden saved for them in which I hopefully sowed my last attempt from seed just last week.  I want to have these vege this year so have resorted to buying a punnet of each with the struggle being finding a place in full sun that was not already taken.

In my largest bed there were a couple of ‘volunteer’ potatoes that had been up maybe 6 weeks.  I let them be as free plants are always good but today they were the only choice of what to sacrifice for the greater capsicum good.  They were small and kind of eaten by something, they looked weedy and like I said had only been up a few weeks so I wasnt expecting anything at all.  Much to my pleasure I found these.

 

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A couple of lovely meals worth!  Serendipity: the art of making happy discoveries by accident.  Here’s to more in the coming months.  Happy Gardening.

How amazing the garden looks after couple of sunny days and a few light showers.  Plants that have been sat in the beds for months without even a glimmer of growth have doubled in size in the last few days!  Its fun to walk around the garden in the morning and see the changes.  I was beginning to wonder if, as a novice in the garden, I’d been doing something to my plants to cause them to sulk but as I pull the leaves back and discover head after head of snowy white cauliflower I’m reassured and excited. 

The growth spurt has renewed my motivation to be in the garden and I’ve had a very productive morning weeding the older beds, composting old brassicas and clearing the parsnip bed.  In my ‘first veggie garden’ enthusiasm I planted a small bed of parsnips in February, I have thinned them, looked after them and the tops had grown to over 4 feet high, I will admit to pulling one every now and then just to see how they were doing but other than that they have been left unattended.  Yesterday was Friday and I happily opened my email to read the latest ‘get growing’ newsletter from nz gardener magazine.  There was a question about when to pull the parsnips and the answer…. now, you shouldnt really have planted them when you did they wont do anything but go to seed so pull them out and plant some new for winter. So, I did.  Not the most successful crop by any means but this is all part of the learning experience.  I have sown the remainder of the packet in my new beds for winter, lets hope its better than this lot.

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My salad bed is going nuts, so much so that I’ve resorted to giving bags of mesculun away.  I trimmed the bed two days ago and today couldn’t see where I’d done it before so it got an extreme haircut.  Luckily hubbie is at a bbq tonight so he’s taking a large bowl full of salad, though that still leaves us with two pretty large bowlfuls to work our way through. I love it, especially the mizuna however someone else in the house is making noises about being a man not a rabbit.  I only managed to trim the mesculun, behind that is two rows of chiggioa beetroot that really need a reprieve from the lettuces encroaching from both sides as behind that is a densely sown bed of great lakes lettuce which will deffinately become aquainted with the scissors in the next few days.  Cant complain when things are growing so well.

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The small bare patch in the front is where the radishes have been and gone, really loving growing these at the moment too.  I use chicken wire laid in the bed to protect them and to help with spacing and its been brilliant, I love the colours in the easter egg range so bright.  I’ve since sown a few cucumber seeds in their place, Chrystal Apple and a short Lebanese Cucumber.  Once they get going I’ll put up a trellis at this end of the picture and train them to grow vertically to save some ground space.  Just had a quick look and a few have germinated already so best get building!

I cant believe how much the garden has changed just with a bit of growth, here’s the overall view, cant wait until the beans reach the tops of their teepees and cover the back fence.

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I’m heading back out there! Happy gardening.

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