Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Late Summer garden wander

this bed down our side fence has sweetcorn, french beans, tomatoes and basil

Hello, how's your week going?
We have been having a burst of gorgeous summer weather, nice and warm and sunny, and the garden has been relishing the great growing conditions. 
 I thought I would take you on a little tour of how things are growing in my garden at the moment.
 For those new readers to my blog, I love my garden, and it is my other major hobby along with making things.  
It is basically a food garden with some flowers grown for cutting for the house, I love growing our own vegies and some fruit, the fruit mainly goes to the birds though, so it is less successful.

Since I began my first vegie patch many years ago, my garden has spread and grown as my knowledge and ambitions for the garden grew, until today where it takes up most of our backyard with a lawny area for the boys to hang out in.  I have also got chooks who have a large run connected to the fruit tree area, they have been a lovely addition to our garden, adding their soft clucking and funny antics to the mix.
So anyway, here's what's going on today......


.....carrots growing well, I couldn't resist pulling a few up to see what was going on under ground, they're a bit crooked, but bigger than I expected, so not far off eating size.......




...........this is my sprawling tomatoes, I have since tied all those flopping branches up and it looks much more orderly!!  No ripe tomatoes yet though heaps of green ones, patience is a virtue when you garden!


.......this year I had a go at growing cantaloupes (rock melons) for the first time, I am very happy how they are going, there are lots of melons growing and the vines look very healthy.  We have grown these at our community garden for the past few years and they do really well, so much sweeter than shop bought ones, they are a bit smaller, but make up for it in flavour.  They are not a common thing to grow   in Melbourne as you would think we are too far south, but they actually grow really well over summer here, so I am looking forward to some home grown melons.


....the capsicums are producing many fruits, I planted four different capsicums so we could have colourful salads and so far they have been great!  These were planted in a raised bed full of compost, so it is nice and rich and stays quite moist which I think has helped with the prolific cropping.


........the cucumbers are kicking into gear and starting to be very productive, I picked eight big ones this morning! Now I've got to find something to do with them.


........I have two patches of sweetcorn going this year, I planted them a bit late so they are still a few weeks off, but they are looking good!  


...sunflowers for the bees.......


.......the baby lettuce patch has been excellent value, with many repeat cutting had from a small area.....


 ....I am even harvesting eggs from the food garden!!  I came across a nest that my explorer chookie made under some silverbeet and sage that had gone to seed, now I know why there aren't many eggs being laid in the actual hen house!  It seems the girls like my untidy garden habits, lots of good hiding places to be found.


....more glorious dahlias, they don't add to my food tally, but are an essential part of my summer garden for their colour and the pleasure they give me!


.....here is my explorer chookie, she likes to roam far and wide during her day, I can find her at many different spots scratching around for interesting titbits.


.....the climbing rattlesnake beans have been delicious, but now that the french beans are producing heaps, I am going to save the rest of the rattlesnake beans for seed for next year.  It is hard to buy and very expensive when you do find it!


.....and a bit more colour  from these zinnias!

I have had some disappointments too, my potatoes have not been great and did not produce well this year, and I only got about a dozen onions that fattened up nicely, but never mind, there is always next year to have another go!

Ok that's probably enough for now, sorry about the long post!  

Summer time is the part of the year that it is especially nice to be a food gardener, there are issues with keeping up with the watering, but generally it is a very productive time that rewards the efforts of spring planting.  I know it is incredibly satisfying putting food on the table that has come from your own backyard,  it gives me a real thrill!!  ( I know, I am pretty pathetic!! :) )

Do you food garden?  
Are you a gardener like me? 
Do you get absurdly excited like me when things work well in the garden?
What's growing in your bit of the world ? (Probably not much if you are snowed in!!)


19 comments:

  1. Hola Jules !! Muy lindo tu huerto-jardín , qué ricas ensaladas !!
    Te invito a pasar por mi blog y ver "los gatos monstrui" como le dicen mis nietos. Los tejí siguiendo tu tutorial.
    Muchas gracias por compartirlo
    Un abrazo




    http://cristinalaaldeacountry.blogspot.com.ar/

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  2. I've just started my little garden, having only moved in January. So far I have some seedlings shooting up: watermelon, cucumber, butter beans, spinach and a few no shows yet of chilli and lettuce.
    xXx Helen

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  3. Oh those Zinnias make my heart sing!!!! Just lovely - thanks for sharing.

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  4. Hi, Jules!
    I'm absolutely stunned by your garden's variety! By the way, the vegetable and flowers you grow are pretty much the same as my parents grow at their dacha! carrot, lettuce, zucchini, beans, tomatoes ...oh i miss all these so much!
    as I moved to India, I just HAD to make a small garden too, so right now I grow some lettuce. Also I planted some marigolds, fennel, and planning to saw some beans :)

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  5. Hi I love your garden photos. I've only got back into gardening in the last two years. My sons no longer play football in the garden and so it doesn't get trashed. I love Dahlias, Asters and Penstemons. I also have a little greenhouse where I grow tomatoes and salad. However we are in the middle of winter right now, so there's not much going on. It's great to see your food garden, what a fab harvest you have and your flowers are gorgeous. Thanks for sharing.

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  6. Jules it seems we have similar hobbies both gardening and crocheting. I am right into crocheting floor rugs with fabric strips atm. I just can't get enough. I also love to grow some of our own food. Our corn is going great guns. I have been staggering the planting so we don't end up with a glut. I haven't had much success with cucumbers in the past but I still perservere. Carrots and onions are two of my success stories and I planted some more onions just this morning. Thanks for sharing your lovely garden. Btw I live in sunny Queensland.

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  7. It's bare branches for the most around here... Since two days, a brave little crocus has poked up through the snow and each day the knots on my tiny apple and cherry trees get bigger. They have not yet produced much, as they are young and quite small- as is the garden. But, even on small scale gardening can be fun! We have a veggie patch, roughly a meter squared and each year I do grow some veggies with mixed results. Last year we had a batch of amazingly tasteful carrots, absolutely delicious!
    I have my seeds at the ready and in a week or so I will start to grow some inside.
    It is lovely to visit such a lush and green garden for a change!

    Love from the Netherlands,

    Ilse

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  8. Hi Jules, loved this post. I'm keen to grow more veg this year.Going to try peas and courgettes for the first time. Potatoes usually do well here....must like the rain :0)
    Jacquie x

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  9. Your garden is beautiful! I am a food gardener in the UK, and your post has inspired me for the upcoming season here. Last year it rained so much here (the rainiest year in the UK ever, and that is saying something!) so all our food drowned. Here's hoping for a better here this year!

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  10. If you like basil - interplant it with your tomato plants. They seem to help each other grow (they grow well together as well as tasting good together) and help to deter each other's bugs of choice.

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  11. I'm so impressed by your lovely garden! I have an allotment here in the UK and like Lise am hoping for a better year this year - I think gardeners always do:-) I do get excited when things work well - I grew Dahlias for the first time a couple of years ago (here we generally have to dig them up to overwinter them) and that made me very happy!

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  12. You have such a lovely garden!! I started gardening last year and I am hooked...I LOVE IT! It's winter here but I have started onions, basil, oregano,spearmint and parsley under grow lights. I've also ordered more seeds (veggies, herbs, and flowers) and am waiting for them to arrive any day...so excited! I can't wait for spring. :o) Thanks for sharing your garden with us!

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  13. i love a look around other peoples gardens especially when you're having nice weather and we are having another(!) snow flurry,it gives me something to look forward to. I love veg gardening and hope to make my veg patches bigger this year. Hopefully we get a better summer. I'm not going to grow potatoes this year, I had a very poor crop last year and they take up too much room. Sue

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  14. Lovely sunny pictures, makes me long for sunshine which I am unlikely to get in Scotland in February!
    M xxx

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  15. It's a very productive and beautiful garden Jules. Lovely to see your girls free ranging.

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  16. Okay, I have serious garden evny now :-D

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  17. Hi,
    When I have too many cucumbers I make jars of "sweet cucumber relish", it's much tastier than the store bought green relish.
    It's still winter here in Canada but I can't wait for spring to arrive and work in the garden. There's nothing better than fresh vegetables.
    Claire

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  18. So much growing in your garden NOW I am amazed thought it all grew much later. I'm green with envy at your wonderful array of goodies and chickens as well LUSH xx

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