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.

Garden of Eatin’

Chamomile

In the middle of a stinking hot Summer day, in the midst of a heatwave in Australia, you are either in water or inside.  Today I opt for inside and take the chance to share with you some nicer pictures of my garden taken in the last few days, as opposed to the wilting garden trying to make it through the day on the water I gave it early this morning.

Edible Zucchini flower

I grow food and have done for about 20 years off and on.  I’ve been using heirloom variety seeds for a lot of that time, as well as buying seedlings from markets or nurseries when I needed a catch up or head start.  This has been done while renting, and it continues in this home which we moved to in June this year.

This time round I aim to grow all or mostly heirloom varieties, and all from seed.  I have always grown organically and nothing changes there.

 

Saving my trashed seedlings

I had a bunch of old heirloom seeds planted in pots and growing in a makeshift hothouse while waiting for the weather to warm up.  Yesterday the strong Spring winds knocked it over onto it’s back, making a mess of my seedlings.

Of course, on a day like yesterday (37 degrees celcius and howling wind) I wanted to be outside gardening, right in the middle of the day.

Not really, but on spotting my seedling rack lying on it’s back on a trip out to the compost bin, I decided I better inspect the damage…

I almost had a tantrum on seeing this, after all the effort that is put in. Instead I pulled myself together to see what could be saved.

I slowly retrieved one pot at a time, picking up seedlings in handfuls of dirt and placing them carefully in a plastic tub to move to a more sheltered area. Once I had all I could fit in the tub I gave them another drink. 3 tubs later I have a bunch of seedlings doing ok but in need of a new home; thankfully they are mostly big enough to go straight into a garden.

I’m just glad that earlier in the day I selected the seedlings for donation to my son’s school for their vegetable garden. No damage and delivered safely this morning.

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