Garden Share Collective: January 2014

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Crookneck Zucchini

It’s the start of another year and I have written my garden goals down in hopes to complete them before the end of the year. December was a cruel month here in Queensland we received only 25mm of rain for the month and 8 of it was while we were away at Woodord Folk Festival. Which was a relief that the veggies would not be well and truly dead after being away from the farm for over a week.  So here we are again with the Garden Share Collective, learning, inspiring and informing more people to grow fresh clean food. At the bottom of this post is this months keen gardeners.

Our main vegetable garden has been wound down slowly these past few months, I have kept the grass long around the beds to hopefully shade veggies, mulched and pulled weeds. With the rain season (fingers crossed) suppose to start this month in the coming weeks I plan to start my seedlings for late January planting. I am feeling hopeful for this years veggie garden, its my main project this year now that I have water tanks.

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Potatoes (left) that sprouted while we were away at Woodford and the second harvest of mung beans (right)

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The silverbeet looking a little worse for wear. I planted this patch out late June from my memory – I have left it in and have neglected it for months as it has looked shabby. The leaves grow then turn brown from the searing heat during the day. It was an experiment to see how long they last and if I could keep them alive with no effort. Looks like I can keep them going a little longer though I will have to still plant a new crop in the coming months.

Below is my poor black russian tomatoes. The heat while we were away a Woodford teamed up with 8mm or rain just destroyed my hopes of having a bumper crop on return. Most of them have exploded from too much rain too quickly, heatburn and my favourite pest in the garden fruit fly. Since arriving home I have taken all the damaged and bad fruit off the trees and now watering every two days to start the process again.

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PLANTING: January seed sowing will include; various beans, corn, cucumbers, zucchini, tomatoes (its late but I live in Qld and frost-free), silverbeet and some random old seeds to see if they come up.

HARVESTING: In December we have harvested: purple king beans (prolific), eggplants, zucchinis, various tomatoes and kale. We also got a couple of pumpkins off the neighbours vine.

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Last January over Australia Day weekend we had over 600mm of rain. It’s hard to comprehend – I know, however it did happen. It gave a growth spurt to everything we had in the garden and our property. Each day I walk down to the chook pen from our shed and noticed that this stump had reshot. Over the course of the year I have watched it grow. I am not sure when it was cut but the stump looks pretty dead to me. Anyways. After having our neighbour Joan who is a horticulturist over she told me it was an avocado tree. I was stoked. So we left it there to see if it would flower and bear fruit. I am now waiting on these pretty little avocados to ripen more so I can pick them. As to what variety they are, I need Joan to pop back over and take a look to see if she knows. All we know it is an old variety as the tree had been there for a very long time.

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Above is my very first sighting of the turmeric I planted in about September. Obviously it thinks its warm enough or the rain has been nice to start growing – finally. I planted a one row of the stuff to see how well it grows here. I also planted a row of ginger which shot up but has died off again due to the ridiculous heat we are having. Hope it comes back to life next time it rains.

Our eggplants have finally slowed down. We picked over 20kilos of them the week before Christmas selling some and well the rest are taking up 1/3 of my fridge space. With the heavy picking I was hoping that they would slow down while we were away and start fruiting again. Some that we left to get bigger have been heat damaged like the one below that has gone yellow, I have many more cases of this through the garden. Also a lot of them have been eaten by bugs.

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Bloody hungarian peppers – We picked these with heavy hands too before we went and NOW look at them. Ridiculous. If only I was a pepper lover – I would appreciate them. They are slightly sweet once ripe but I find them too fiddly to work with and prefer the traditional capsicum. Never again. For those who want seed for them let me know and I will keep some to send out. They are very hardy plants and fruit prolifically.

How sad does my garden look. I took this photo yesterday of one of our sections in the main patch. The dead corn was helping shade the tomatoes. The tomatoes are just struggling with no water, the fennel thinks its winter, the silverbeet well is holding on, the basil gone to seed and the nero and red kale is holding on still. Most of this will be getting pulled out, not sure if it will be this month or next.

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TO DO: FEBRUARY

I am setting myself a task – If I don’t complete it I will be shamed for not doing it hopefully by all of you. I really need to rework my herb garden near the shed. Its looking very dire and needs some much needed TLC. So here it is in its overgrown, weedy, dead state. My plans are to pull out the gooseberry tree that was supposed to provide shade and replace it with more rosemary. Turn the soil where things are dead, mulch and plant out new seedlings. I want to grow oregano – my last lot just died on my last month, healthy sage would be good too, basil, tarragon, thyme and chives. We have some of these things all ready existing in the patch but more is always good.

otherwise its the rest of this month is dedicated to growing seedlings, preparing beds for planting.

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SEED SWAP:

I have plenty of Hungarian Pepper seeds (will need to be dried), Cookneck Zuccinis, Purple King Beans, Mung Beans and Broccoli. I am chasing broad beans, lima beans or other sorts of drying beans.


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GARDEN SHARE COLLECTIVE MEMBERS

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NZ EcochickThe Landrovers Owners Wife
The Gourmet Wog – NSWOur Wee FarmDale Cottage Diaries
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The New Good Life – VIC
Think Big. Live Simply – VIC
Dusty Country Road – VIC
My Yellow Heart – WA

On The Ning Nang Nong – VIC
Country Life Experiment – NSW
Donna Digs – VIC
Poppy Fox  -VIC

Chez Skud – VIC

 

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17 Comments

  1. Hi Lizzie, happy 2014 to you. Your garden looks abundant despite the tricky weather conditions. Those avocados look sensational and the turmeric is fascinating…I look forward to watching it progress!

    I am having somewhat of a vegetable failure at the moment. Low rainfall, high temperatures and some invasive, thirsty gum tree roots are making gardening very difficult to the point that I have lost my focus slightly. I hope to put a blog together about all of this for your next garden share.

    I would love some of those pepper seeds if you have some to spare…shall I email you my postal address? Thanks Lizzie, good gardening.

  2. Such a shame you’re not so keen on the Hungarian peppers. Ain’t that always the way given they’re growing so prolifically!

  3. Hey, I’ve just posted my first garden share, and was wondering if you could add me to the list? My post for this month is at http://chezskud.com/2014/01/05/garden-share-collective-jan-2014/ and I’m in Victoria!

  4. Wow, it’s amazing to see how much is happening in your garden. Down south here (admittedly I’m in the cooler hill country of Victoria) the tomatoes, corn and capsicums aren’t even close to ready yet!

  5. Those Hungarian Peppers, thriving under any conditions!!! Hope the other parts of your garden catch up soon x

  6. Have you tried tepary beans? They are drought hardy and bushy and practically grow in the American desert.

  7. You have had such an abundant harvest Lizzie and wow those avos look fabulous. I look forward to catching up next month. K

  8. Such a great looking veggie patch! I’ve tried growing different varieties of tomatoes and have had all sorts of issues- your black russians will be worth it in the end- they taste divine!

  9. Lizzie, I can’t believe your stump turned into an Avocado tree! Amazing! And 20 kilos of eggplants! WOW! Have you tried grilling the capsicum to see if you like it that way? I love BBQ’ing it, then drizzling it with lots of balsamic vinegar and EVOO 🙂 You should make some sort of pepper relish for the winter months 🙂
    Lets hope January 2014 brings lots of rain (although, not as much as last year!) xx

    • Hi Lisa, I have tried those pesky peppers all ways possible – just not a fan. Never mind. I hope for a standard rain of 20-30mm a week would be good, nothing more or less. wishful thinking I know.

  10. Despite the heat, it all looks wonderful to me. I am as ever, in awe of what you grow, I can only wonder what a freshly picked avocado must taste like, you’ll have a post a very detailed description for us Brits when they ripen! Wishing you a happy 2014!

  11. I think your silverbeet looks okay! The tomatoes are a little sad, but they can be tricky anywhere. Your avocados are definitely healthy and something to look forward too … here they ripen in March, yours might be quicker. I grow madagascar beans, quite like limas but with a purple tinge. The vine is evergreen, it fruits constantly, even though you only get 2 or 3 beans per pod, there are so many pods. It is very healthy (it doesn’t get much attention)and the beans are larger than limas, but very versatile. I will put a picture on my blog tomorrow, stay tuned. (You are welcome to some seeds). Your eggplants next to the hungarian peppers are dynamic and colourful. Wishing you productive gardening and rain 😀

  12. Jo @Countrylifeexperiment

    Thanks again for hosting Lizzie! I find that we always have something growing prolifically that we don’t really like. Our tomatoes haven’t even started yet!

  13. Happy New Year.

    I obviously didn’t get around to GSC this month – well, I would have but I would have cried as I typed and I decided to not be so bleak. We are looking to completely renovate a fair bit of garden, because Northerlies and Powdery Mildew combined with lack of rain and heatwave = heartbreak here.

    However, Oregano has been going great guns!!

  14. Oh I would love to try some of those hungarian peppers. I have loofah, winged bean and long bean seeds if you are interested in any of those. I thought about mung beans, but clearly do not have enough space for them.