Thursday, 21 February 2013

A pumpkin in the rose bush?

Today I was just reminiscing about just how big my zuchinni and squash plants got in the garden and how good it was to have lots of fresh zuchinnis to eat before the plague. Then I remembered I planted a few next to the fence because I ran out of space in the garden and wondered what happened to them? The fence obviously didn't do them justice, and even though I planted them at the same time - look at the difference!! Guess position plays a big part in success!!!!

Needless to say the plague has made what was green, yellow and wither and die with not a single zuchinni to show for themselves! 

One funny event in the garden is that a completely RANDOM pumpkin decided to grow by the roses (who knows how that happened!) and the pumpkin decided that in the MIDDLE of the rose bush would be the place for it to grow and live! Guess that's going to be a fun job removing it! Not exactly the easiest of positions!

I've been thinking about what I want for over winter and getting those cauliflower/broccoli seeds planted. I heard that once the weather turns the germination period slows down significantly (around March) and so its really the time to get sowing. Which means for me.. to get thinking and planning!

Not sure what I'll start with - I think I'll give cabbage a miss this year since my summer cabbages were a flop! I'm thinking I'll try brussell sprouts (I've never tried them - so how do I know they are terrible?!) but to be honest I don't think I've ever planted a winter vege garden! What are winter veges? Lots of Asian style veges, carrotts, brassicas, spinach, silverbeet, turnips, sweedes..... they all sound not the most appetising things to eat

I think the biggest challenge wont be growing them, but learning how to use them! 

It's all well and good having turnips grow - but what tastes good with a turnip? Brings back childhood memories of that Enormous Turnip story! Did they all eat turnip for the rest of their lives?? I can't remember the story but don't want my winter supply to be tasteless regrets! 

Another chore I have to do is weed the gardens and get the beds replenished of all the nutrients they need for the next cycle. Do I have any idea how to do this? Not really! Shove a bit of compost and sheep pellets in?! That's about all I have at the moment to use so I'm guessing that's all I'll be doing for the time being. My carrotts were 'claws' due to high organic matter.. so maybe I don't need to do much at all? I'm definatly going to put the gypsum I bought into the beds (to break up the clay) and leave them for a while before I replant. It says its non-toxic... but it never hurts to be cautious! At least my compost has started to look like compost! All those decomposing veges have done well with the compost enhancer and brown matter I've put in. Worth the turmoil of layering it! Now its just not a stinking pile of rotting veges! In fact it dosen't smell at all!

There isn't much left of the summer veges...... I'm going to pull the garlic and onions out soon & get them dried - they are starting to yellow.... and I have high hopes for both! The beans still have a few flowers coming on them and capsicums have about 1 per plant! haha! That's not exactly the HUGE harvest I was hoping for since I love capsicums! One is turning black too.... it probably has something ominous going on!  Maybe I could say its a new rare collectible worth thousands? (yeah right!) 

My tomato plants are more brown than green now! But still the troopers although plagued with disease have produced a steady quantity through the last few weeks and still have some to come. The beefsteak's I planted are FABULOUS! I love the flavour and texture - they are so rich in colour and full of flavour! So much better than the ones in the shops. My challenge over winter is going to be growing one in the greenhouse! Is it possible?!? Sweet 100 cherry tomatoes have had mixed results - some are golf ball sized some are pea sized! They tasted good and have been great for kids sandwiches. 

From left: Tomatoes, onions, capsicums and a few sporadic carrots and basil plants
Oh and can you believe it? A watermelon seed has finally sprouted in the greenhouse!!! Hilarious... it will probably produce nothing.. but I feel an ounce of guilt chucking the little thing out since he's taken all this time to finally make himself known in the world! Maybe I'll let him grow for another few weeks and see what happens!

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