Category Archives: growing vegetables

I am a handywoman

Today was fun. My partner and I decided that if we chop down the canopies of our macadamia nut and mulberry trees the veggie patch next to the house would receive much more sunlight. So he climbed the tree and chopped while I pulled the branches towards me so they wouldn’t land on our neighbour’s roof. I cant wait to look at the sky tomorrow.

I made a trellis for my climbing beans and got to use a drill, which was fun. I quite enjoy using a power tool once in a while. It’s nothing fancy but it’s something for the little guys to cling to.

Anyway, I need to clean my blistered hands and make dinner. Fair well, lovelies!

XX Brooke

Garden update

The seeds that I planted on May 19 are coming along nicely. Silverbeet, lettuce, beetroots and tomatoes are a bit leggy. Not too bothered by the silverbeet and lettuce since I’ll just plant them deeper when I put them in the garden, and I kind of like the tomatoes having a long stalk because I can plant them deeper and the stalk will develop more roots, making a stronger plant. That’s my excuse, anyway. I am kind of concerned about the beetroots, though, as I’m not sure if they will develop properly. We’ll see what happens.

Every single plant that had powdery mildew has completely recovered. There is not a sign of mildew or any damage, so this is fabulous.  The tomatoes haven’t completely recovered from the blight but I didn’t really expect them to. They are still growing and producing fruit, and they aren’t getting any worse so I think I may aswell continue to remove badly damaged foliage and spray the plants once a week. There’s no point ripping them out.

The carrot seeds I planted about 3 weeks ago have finally germinated. Lucky for them, too, since I was close to emptying the container and starting from scratch.

I planted some more seeds today, aswell. More broad beans (my first ones have got their first flowers), purple king beans, blue lake beans and rattlesnake beans, strawberry temptation, beam’s yellow pear tomatoes, sweet corn, fennel and some other stuff I cant remember.

Cut worms ate about 80 percent of my capsicums and chillies. I still have about 5 of each so I guess it’s ok. Sort of disheartening that 2 months of love and care can be destroyed in one night by something smaller than my finger, but that’s gardening I suppose.

I shall perservere.

XX Brooke

Slugs and snails and puppy dog tales

For anyone suffering from slugs or snails eating your garden, I suggest trying to mulch it with straw. My bok choy was being absolutely slaughtered by the slimy little buggers and now that I have used straw to mulch them they are looking almost pristine. I don’t know why, but it’s working.

This is the worst plant. The rest is hole-free.

My dogs keep exploring my vegetable beds. I yell at them to get off and they stop, look at me and wag their tails. Then they go and explore the vegetable beds some more, crushing cabbages as they go. Perhaps they are munching on slugs and snails.

XX Brooke

What the heck is going on here?

Look at it! It’s enormous! It looks like it’s EATING ANOTHER FLOWER! Why have all my Rouge De Marmande tomatoes got one enormous flower like this? Does this mean I will get huge tomatoes that eat other tomatoes? Who knows? If you do, let me know. Then we can be in the know together.

In other news, my chilli and capsicum plants are almost ready to go into the ground. This is exciting as it’s taken at least 6 weeks for them to get to this stage. Slightly cold weather means they aren’t growing super fast. Also, I grew them from seeds I nabbed from a capsicum and chilli that I bought at the grocery store so I have no idea what they’ll turn out like. It’s kind of exciting really.

And finally, lookit them, all two of them! My little tigerella tomatoes. OH LOOK AT HOW PRECIOUS THEY ARE!!! Oh joy and rapture! I am going to eat them in a caprese salad. Not right now obviously. They’re only babies, silly.

What veggies have you got to harvest from your garden?

Take care, all.

XX Brooke

The only good thing about weekend rain

Sparkly raindrops!

*Sigh*

I don’t mind the rain, I suppose. It means I don’t have to water the garden. It also means I get to do things like make seed mats… I made carrot seed mats today. For carrots. Carrots to grow.

I also cleaned my house, which I don’t do very often.

But best of all I discovered my Green Mignonette lettuces have germinated! Hooray!

XX Brookie

Identity crisis

My garden has broad beans in it.. they are growing well. They are growing fast and they are green and bushy and lovely. But they only get about 2 hours of direct sunlight a day. Should I transplant them into a sunnier position or leave them where they seem quite chipper? I don’t know! It’s all too much. I would like to take to these damn pine trees with a chainsaw and be done with it. Never have to worry about sunlight again. But I can’t. Stupid rental house.

Look! My first eggplant flower. I think it’s one of those purple and white stripey ones.. or it could be a white one. Or a black one. I don’t know. I should have labelled it but I can see that it is an eggplant..plant. So I didn’t think it necessary. Now I am confused. But thrilled. It’s beautiful!

What a sweet little sweetheart.

The only thing that is producing foods is my chilli. I don’t know what kind it is. Some form of wild chilli I believe. I found it in the garden. The chillies are very soft, tiny and EXTREMELY hot. But the flowers are pretty. It doesn’t seem to exist on the internet, any how.

Another thing, can anyone identify this chive? My mum had it for at least 10 years before she gave it to me. It has flat, strappy leaves rather than the straw leaves that I find in nurseries and people’s homes. It’s got a nice oniony, chivey, non-garlicy flavour.

Here are it’s flowers

I really must get some of those chives with the purple clusters of flowers. They are so so so so pretty… Anyway, I have to go hunt down the news papers my partner hid so I can go and weed-proof the leaf vegetables. Take care.

XX Brooke

Seeds, glorious seeds!

So today I planted a large variety of seeds. I made a seed raising mix from compost, cheap potting mix, vermiculite, and dynamic lifter.

I put the mixture minus the vermiculite in the food processor (I’m odd, but I am the naughty gardener after all) to make it a bit finer since the potting mix was quite chunky and so was the compost. This method has served me well in germination rate but I wouldn’t recommend it for any neat freaks or germophobes out there. A time-consuming task that results in dirt all over my kitchen and a cranky partner but a nice mix that will make me some happy little plants.

I planted the following

Lettuce – Green Mignonette

Tomato – Grosse Lisse

Beetroot – Crimson Globe

Onion – Red Rossa

Silverbeet – Fordhook Giant

Okra – Lady’s Fingers

No pictures because who wants to see a photo of a bucket full of dirt? Not I.

Next week I will be taking a visit to the demolition yard to find some materials to make a nice big container for planting carrots and other root vegetables, because I’m cheap and don’t want to spend a fortune on some fancy container from Bunnings. Oh the excitement! I love thrift stores and tip shops and demolition yards.

That’s all for today.

Take care!

XX Brookie