Purple Frost

Find products printed with this artwork via my Pixels and Redbubble stores.

Some have mistaken this for purple cabbage, but it is in fact an heirloom brussel sprout plant I grew in a previous garden, although not too successfully if you count harvest as success (but I’m pretty happy with the photos).

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I’m not sure why the brussel sprouts didn’t form as expected. The leaves are also edible, but they’re a little tougher than something like spinach; I’ve used them in a soup once before (stay tuned).

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They were growing in a pot in the shade over the Summer as I’d planted them too late the season before. I moved them back into the garden when the weather cooled down.

If you have experience or tips growing brussel sprouts, I’d love to hear from you.

Zen Gardening

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It’s the art of doing nothing, at least that’s what I’m calling it. For a few months I’ve been watching the weeds grow taller and taller and remained inside most of the time; too wet, muddy or cold.  I’ve started pulling up the weeds and found things weren’t so bad – the ground is really soft making it easier, plus a few things were still growing from when I’d actually gardened.

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My favourite find was the self seeded coriander, I had coriander going to seed in the pot beside where it is growing now, a handy result for, again, doing nothing. These are doing better than the same seeds I collected and scattered in a different bed.

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End of Summer in the Vegie Patch

The pumpkins under the clothesline taking over – we’ve had to hang everything sideways on the line. Might keep it a bit simpler under there when deciding on the next crop for that space.

We had two very large pumpkin patches from spring last year onwards; one nicely tucked away down the very back of our yard where there is plenty of room to spread, the other patch was under our clothesline (lesson learnt) and completely took over paths, other gardens, the neighbour’s fence, the shed and the lemon trees.  I could not wait to get rid of them, patiently waiting for March 12th (and for the Autumn heatwave to be over), the date of the Harcourt Applefest this year.  My Harcourt resident friend, who also grows heirloom vegies from seed, had a stall for her heirloom seedlings and invited me along;  I made over a hundred bucks on most of those pumpkins that day (still a few left).  My whining and moaning about never growing them again turned to “maybe I’ll just grow them down the back next year..”

 

I grow golden zucchinis almost every year for their delicious buttery flavour. This is the leaf from one of the plants, the plants can grow to about a metre in diameter.

Golden zucchini leaf.

Summer Gardening

Rain.

I’ve never particularly liked gardening in the Summer as I’ve often had plants fry during heat waves or hot winds.  This way of thinking is slowly starting to subside after my 3rd Summer back in Victoria since spending many Summers in South Australia – the driest state in a very dry continent – those hot dry conditions were no picnic.

Despite my lack of organization and my tendency to neglect the garden for several days at a time, plants keep growing and producing food, and we are eating it.  Only tonight I decided to make a batch of tomato soup (I prefer that to preserves) with the basketful we had sitting on the bench, plus some that I picked this afternoon – mostly cherry tomatoes.  I saved some good ones from the fresh picked to give away tomorrow morning, and a few are left on the bench for my breakfast ritual of tomato on toast.  We are struggling to keep up.

Some of the tomatoes we’ve harvested – Daydream, Tommy Toe, Purple Calabash, Black Cherry, Broad Ripple Yellow Currant, Thai Pink Egg… still waiting on Roma tomatoes which were planted later.

Getting in early for Spring

I planted Spring seeds as early as the end of July this year – that’s almost the middle of Winter!  I thought I’d have a go at getting a head start as I’m often sowing or planting late.  They also happened to be a bunch of out-of-date packets I had lying around, some as old as 2013, but I had to see if they’d grow rather than throw them out, so into the dirt they all went, to clean out before my new order of seeds arrived.

I used plastic tubs like mini hothouses, as well as a salvaged old rack on wheels.  My partner wrapped the rack in plastic for me with a front flap that opens or pegs shut.

I found the tubs to be much warmer, which is what counts in frosty weather; while there are some things that are happy in the frost, most Spring veg are not so happy, particularly delicate emerging seedlings.

I had three pots inside on the kitchen window sill, black cherry tomatoes, and they all germinated much quicker than the ones outside, due to being warmer.  Some things took a good month to start showing (and some are still only just germinating, 6 weeks after sowing) so don’t lose faith if your little seeds don’t appear to be doing anything!

Some of the better performers so far are shown in the gallery below.

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