Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Garden update July '10

It's been some time since I've done a garden update, and for good reason..everything has slowed right down to a near halt! The weather is cold and our garden is struggling to receive enough sunlight to move things along at a reasonable speed. But still, there is always something to harvest, as the pics below show....

White carrots = seeds that produce white carrots!
There is a funny story to these carrots. I had saved some seed from last year's harvest of multi-coloured carrots (yellow, purple, white and orange..just beautiful!), and after being sown all the way back in March by the wonderful girls from veggie group, I was very excited about the prospect of another such harvest. After the seeds germinated and started to form roots, I pulled a few out to see what colour they were...all white. Around the same time, I went to a lecture on fruit/veggie growing presented by Simon Rickard who was previously the head gardener at Diggers Seeds over at the Garden of St Erth in Blackwood, Vic. I quizzed him about my monocolour carrot crop and he informed me that the seeds grow true to type of the parent plant, so being all collected from a white carrot, the seeds will all produce white babies! Oh. Resigned now to the fact that I won't be receiving any such wonderful coloured carrots on my plate this year, I have been sampling a few...which are only just picking size now...small but still good. And they are still very tasty. SO. If you have received some rainbow carrot seeds from yours truly, please be prepared for a totally white crop of carrots. And they are not parsnips at all, as the husband likes to believe!

This is the carrot bed today...the long shoots poking out are volunteer garlics that were undiscovered and therefore unharvested last year. Alliums and carrots are supposed to be a good match, so I left them in there to do their thing.


The carrot bed, a nice sight in an otherwise bare garden
Leeks are always on the go in the garden, after I received a perennial variety about two years ago. They multiply like you wouldn't believe, produce nice, white tender shanks and aren't fussy where they grow. They are also amazingly drought hardy, which is very handy over the summer months!

Leeks always chug along happily, here amongst some self-sown flatleaf parsely
The continental (flat leaf) parsley is emerging everywhere from wind-blown seeds. I just love cutting a big bunch of parsely to chop and scatter in our dinner!

This lettuce has also been making an appearance lately...I think the seeds came from a food swap trade earlier in the year. I really like it..I want to call it a 'rouge' for some reason...

Lettuce from seed bartered at the food swap
In the greenhouse, things are going slowly, due to the lack of sunlight. After several attempts, the pea, carrot and spring onion seeds have germinated and are making (slow) growth. In the other bed, purple cauliflower, brussels sprouts, lettuce and silverbeet are also making slow progress..

In the greenhouse: peas, carrots and spring onions
Outside the calendula has started to flower and I am harvesting this every few days. I am saving the flower heads to dry, which will be ground up and put into some homemade soap at some stage....

Calendula - for soapmaking
There are also several silverbeet seedlings popping up from self-sown seeds. I love finding them in the garden and often move them to a more suitable spot to continue growing.

Self-sown silverbeet and parsley
The chook dome was also moved about a week or two ago and the exposed bed was sown with some birdseed. I am trying an experiment to see how this works for a green manure crop, that is, if the swamp hens don't eat all the seeds first!
Besides the perennial herbs of sage, rosemary, oregano and thyme, we are also harvesting spring onions and coriander and are also making our way through the Queensland Blue pumpkins and the last of the garlic.

8 comments:

  1. You sound like you've been really busy!

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  2. What an inspiring post, Christine, thank you! Our garden is right in its infancy, so nothing growing yet, but it's great to see what can be! Please tell - where did you get the multi-coloured carrot seeds? Was it from Diggers? And how do the perennial leeks work, do you just cut the tops and leave the roots? Thanks..

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  3. I am interested in where you got your perennial leeks and how they are used also. Your winter garden is so productive. I am looking forward to starting my garden again when we move :0)

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  4. Sounds wonderful! Our garden production is also going very slowly... if we had to survive on what is in there, we'd be eating collards and rocket!

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  5. I'm just wondering - are leeks and parsley companion plants?

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  6. Only a little, frogdancer :o)

    You're welcome, Celia. The carrot seeds did come from Diggers (multi-coloured heirloom, if I remember correctly). No need to cut the leeks, they multiply so generously I just pull the whole shank out and divide the rest.

    Debbie, the leeks came from a local plant market and I have not grown any other variety since!

    I know that feeling, dixiebelle!

    Not sure, daharja, but they seem to be doing well together so I will leave them together until they tell me otherwise. They are both hardy plants and I imagine the parsley would form a good living gound cover/mulch for the leeks.

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  7. i love the pictures and stories about your garden. I would love to have a productive and vibrant garden like yours, but sadly ours is a weed infesed and totally neglected space. Summer garden beds have been left to the weeds. I will just have to garden vicariously through your blog!

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  8. Hi spiceandmore, it really is a quiet time in the veggie patch at the moment and we know weeds all too well! Summer gardening is just so much more productive! Nice of you to pop by :o)

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Hi there, so nice of you to stop by! Thanks for sharing your thoughts, I love hearing what you are up to. Christine x

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