Sunday, February 23, 2014

The neglected garden - part 1

I have to be honest with you all - I have really neglected the garden this year.  I have loads of excuses:

- It has been very hot (yeah on some days, even a couple in a row)
- There have been loads of family events (sure but no more than is usual for this time of year)
- Henry and I are getting ready for our wedding in April (Hmm. He has still managed to water the garden every day)

Okay I have been lazy.  I mentioned earlier in the year that I am planning to re-design the garden after the summer crops are done (so no cabbage or broccoli this year :( ) and I guess I am using this as an excuse not to do anything.

What this means is that I now have a really over grown garden - lots of work to do and Autumn is just around the corner.  Oh well better try and do a little every week!

Saturday, February 15, 2014

What a whopper!

I can not believe that we found a zucchini this large so early in the season - that is a 40cm ruler! It serves as a reminder to check the beds every day.  Zucchini's this large are not really edible and have a rather woody texture and taste.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Cat wars

Miss Kitty
Our timeshare cats are engaged in a serious battle for our property - or at least two of them are.  The Panther, who appears to be fed by the owners of the house behind us, and Miss Kitty, who is fed by the family over the road from us, have been engaged in a series of midnight scraps for ownership of our land.  (Henry and I are clearly of no consequence).  We are a little surprised (and somewhat impressed) that Miss Kitty has stood her ground, being a quarter of the size and probably about half as smart as The Panther.  I suspect that her advantage is that The Panther is not allowed outside with the same regularity as she is... I guess we wait and see...

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Time to make more preserves

I have been working on my kitchen garden for a little over three years now and I am still amazed by the amount of produce Summer fruit and vegetables bring.  This year I only planted 1 zucchini, and four tomato plants, and I could still feed the whole neighbourhood for the entire season.  So today I am making preserves - specifically my zucchini relish, spicy tomato relish and a tomato sauce for pasta.  I have placed the recipes for these on the relevant pages. I hope that your harvest has been as successful as mine.  Sarah

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

I harvested the corn

Yes I finally did it1  I managed to grow corn.  And it tastes great.  Didn't exactly get a huge harvest - only 5 ears so far - but then again it has been a very unpredictable summer, with a mix of hot and cold, wet and dry days. And the corn was competing with the tomatoes for space.

Having never grown corn before, I wasn't exactly sure what it would look like when it was ready to pick. An ear of corn is pretty much a pointy green bit with some yellow brown fibre sticking out of it.  Which means that it looks rather awfully like the rest of the corn plant.

I had to go right up to the plant and have a bit of a feel around to make sure I wasn't just cutting off bits of the plant (and yes they do feel different - firmer - than the rest of the plant.)

Would I grow corn again?  Maybe.  It certainly didn't involve much effort.  Of the four kernels I planted, 3 of the seedling survived through to harvest and all it took was regular fertilising (same as I give tomatoes) and regular watering.

I will see how I feel next Spring.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Summer heat

We have had some extreme centres this Summer - many days over 40 degrees.  Melbourne has odd temperatures - can be as cool as 20 and as hot as 44 - all in the one week. We had five days of extreme heat, and despite watering the garden every evening, some plants couldn't cope with the heat (including some Australian natives).  So it has been an odd combination of extreme growth, coupled with pulling out the dead and damaged.