Friday, September 23, 2011

Mid-September back garden tour

I have shiny new and uncorrupted camera cards so I am back to my old snap-happy self and to celebrate I'm going to share a dozen or so photos from the (mostly) vegie garden out the back of our house.

We've had a few little harvests lately:

There was a lovely big bok choy (growing in a pot with a baby plum tree).

And the experimental Greenfeast peas had enough fat pods on them to be able to cook enough for a side to dinner for three adults and a pea-'loving toddler.

And there are more peas on their way, although the whole plot is starting to look decidedly lopsided now and I don't anticipate it will last much longer.

There were a couple of baby beetroots (not my forte, not yet anyway!)

I was going to throw all these baby beetroot leaves into a stirfry - since the actual roots were so disappointing but I accidentally left them out in the garden overnight on Monday and it absolutely bucketed down that night and the were beaten down into the ground. Still, I thought the photo was too pretty not to share; those colours! Imagine the vitamins in them!

And, as ever, the rainbow chard is still providing loads of leaves for us for no effort at all on my part. It's not quite as vibrantly coloured as it was when the weather was cooler.

We've got more fruit and veg on it's way too.

There's the Aquadulce broad beans, which are taller than my waist. I have dutifully nipped out the top buds of each plant. Apparently if you don't do this they will not set fruit, and I can say that despite all the flowers over a month ago I didn't see a single bean pod until after I'd done the nipping.

The other broad beans - Bunyard's Exhibition, that I sowed much later - are only around a foot tall but producing flowers already. Now, do I do the nipping now, or let them get taller and then nip them? I always feel like I'm making up this gardening gig as I go along!

And for months and months I have been looking at the purple pepino flowers and moaning that they were doing nothing. And then, suddenly, there are at least a dozen fruit! I theorise that the weather had to warm up enough to bring out the pollinators (feral bees, no doubt). I don't know how long they'll take to ripen, and I don't know what they'll taste like (like 'melon,' I've read), and I don't even know if we'll like them but it will be good to find out!

Some of the recent sowings are doing quite well so far and not too attacked by snails, like these daikon which I'm growing in one of my Styrofoam boxes (the carrots have sprouted too, but are too tiny to photograph).

There's beans doing their thing. These might be butter beans, but I can't remember what I've put where (it is written down though!) For some reason, the beans in the pots sprouted weeks ahead of those in the ground. Maybe because the pots are warmer than the ground?

Oh gosh, I can't remember what these are either! Pumpkins? Cucumbers? Zucchini? Eek! It's a pot luck garden! These were sown in jiffy pots and then transplanted.

And just for fun, I've planted lots of red and yellow sunflowers, and 'black' and white hollyhocks along the fence. I'll write a whole post about this soon, I'm hoping.

The red-flowered sunflower seedlings have red stems and leaf veins too. These were planted in toilet paper tubes filled with seed-raising peat (I love that stuff!) I accidentally left the tube poking a bit above the ground but I'm sure it won't matter. Some bugger of an insect has had a nibble on a number of the sunflower seedlings which is a little bit irritating.

These are tiny baby hollyhocks. Some I planted singly, and some in pairs like these two, in anticipation of some natural attrition!

Seems such a shame that nasturtiums are a weedy nuisance when out in public! They are supposed to be total pest magnets in the vegie patch so it seems contradictory to plant them there, but the idea is that you attract the bugs - aphids especially, but also slugs, snails and caterpillars - to the nasturtiums and not to your vegies. However, I seem to have the healthiest, pest-free nasturtiums out there, and my brussel sprouts are absolutely covered in grey aphids and not fit to speak about (or eat, for that matter, might give the old brussels a miss next year)

It's a very exciting time of year, this ever-lovely Spring.

[and, even better, look at this! A new satellite photo of our little house:

It shows my still unfinished path out the front, the new extension out the back, the water tank which, thanks to the big downpours earlier in the week, now has enough water in it that some comes out when you open the tap, and finally no more huge pine tree! Compare it to this photo back in April:

Woohoo, rolling along quite nicely!]

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