Friday, 21 March 2014

21 march 14 week ending report

 Weather has been great mid 20s.
Cleared summer veges out, made mint chocolates,  frozen and pickled chillies,  frozen basil in olive oil ready for pesto,  collected coriander seeds to dry.
Planted cabbage,  cali and broccoli seedlings and sowed mesclun winter greens and mustard lettuce.
Chopped back the front herb garden and chopped neighbour's tree that overhangs front drive.

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

These were planted early November.  I had great plans for the garden this year.  Was made redundant in October, so was going to have a good long break and not look for work until January.  Plenty of time to get the garden looking great.  However great plans never work out and I got a call asking me to work for the Ministry of Education in Wellington.   Working in one city and living in another means not a lot of time left for gardening and I can't get the garden watered during the week, so it's not going to do very well over the summer.
At least I got a bit of planting in before getting the call.  These photos were taken after planting in early November.

Above is broad beans planted in winter.  Got a reasonable crop, have had a couple of meals out of them and have frozen a small bag.  These have now been pulled out and you can see here, have planted cos lettuce, celery, spring onions.

Above is the middle vegetable garden - planted lettuce, pumpkin sown from seed and two cucumbers.
Above is far left vege garden.  Planted capsicum and 3 tomatoes - beefsteak, moneymaker and a raisin tomato. The raisin tom is my experiment this year, you are meant to be able to dry these in the oven and then freeze them so you can have them over winter when toms are really expensive.
above is view across all three beds.
Not shown is the patio.  I have more plants in containers - tomatoes, eggplant, watermelon and courgette and strawberries.  Also this year I planted a lime tree in a container.

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Sept Update

A while since I updated. Not much has happened in the garden. Planted broccoli and cabbage but snails got to them.  I'm growing seedlings indoors - tomatoes, marigold, pepper, celery, coriander, basil, eggplant.
To prove spring is here, weeping crab apple is looking magnificent

Saturday, 28 April 2012

April update

A quiet month in the garden.  The weather has been glorious, but sadly I still can't do much physically so couldn't take advantage of it.  I just started feeling strong enough to do gardening last weekend.  Made the most of it and pulled out all the summer crops.  Pulled herbs out of the herb gardens, new parsley is sprouting away so pulled out the old. 
Have planted brassicas - 2 cabbage, 2 cauliflower and 8 broccoli.  Why so much broccoli?  Hammer Hardware were selling punnets of Green Dragon broccoli.  I had great success with this broccoli 3 years ago, but haven't been able to find it since.  Other varieties have been disappointing.  If all the broccoli grows well, I guess I'll be doing a lot of freezing.
The last of the summer crops to be harvested was the chillies.  The long red ones were jalapeno and the green were from a punnet that were meant to turn red, but never did.   However even green, they still pack a wallop.  The round red ones are from the chilli bush.  These are very hot, I chopped one for a stir fry and my fingers were burning after.  These are now in the freezer.

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

March update

I still can't get out into the garden. Hopefully by next weekend I'll be a bit stronger and can start pulling out some of the dead plants!
In the end I got quite a lot of tomatoes, despite the lack of care and the poor summer we've had in Auckland.  I'm not the only one to be complaining about the lack of toms.
Watermelon was a complete fizzer, not even a berry size fruit!  I got a few cucumbers, again poor summer and lack of care to blame.
However on the upside my jalapenos have been productive - i just had the one plant but got about 8-10 fruit.  The chilli peppers are still green, but have a lot of fruit.  I'll probably pick these next weekend.  Also my new chilli plant described in the last post, now has some of the fruit reddening.  I'm going to try one in a stir-fry tomorrow night and see how hot it really is.

Sunday, 4 March 2012

I can't do much in the garden following my surgery, so having to watch plants collapse and slowly die and weeds take over.  Hopefully in another months time I may be able to do something.

Tomatoes are fruiting at last.  Had some lovely big beefsteaks, but cherry tomatoes are finished.  Have finally got a few cucumbers off the green cucumber plant. Had about 6 altogether.  Watermelon is still disappointing, had flowers, but still no sign of any fruit appearing.

I went to the cafe at Kings Plant Barn and couldn't resist checking out the plants.  I ended up buying a new Chilli that is meant to fruit all year.  It is in a reasonable size pot, so I don't need to do anything with it for a while.  Once I'm strong enough i'll repot it.  It is called Chilli Rocoto Canaria.  According to the label "Tall growing chilli which forms a small shrub.  Fruits all year round.  Medium sized oval fruit ripens to yellow. Very hot." It had a few flowers on when I bought it which are purple. Unusual I think, as the others I've grown had yellow flowers.  It also has a few small fruit on it.  Here is what it looks like.\
The herb garden in front of the house has all gone to seed.  Hopefully the parsley will self-sow, but the rest will need to be pulled out.  At least Maxie seems to be enjoying the parsly

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Heres' an update on how the vege garden is looking today

Below Courgette "Blackjack", has been a good fruiter but has now succumbed to powdery mildew.  Also watermelon "sugar baby" is growing slowly but surely, rhubarb, spring onions

Below: Middle vege bed:  Cucumbers : Mini White and Lebanese,  have both now succumbed to powdery mildew.  I had about 4 small cucumbers off the mini white and have had no lebanese cucumbers.  Also growing slowly are two eggplants : Ophelia and Dok, flowers but no fruit yet. Also growing cos and frilly lettuces and Japanese turnips.  Had great success with the first sowing of  Japanese turnips, so have sown a second round.

Below - Tomatoes and Basil.  Sweet 100 - as always great producer of fruit. Russian Red ,I expected this to be like a beefsteak but is more size of Moneymaker but is tasty and good fruiter.  Beefsteak a rather small beefsteak but is tasty.  Moneymaker, is off to a slow start this year is the last of the tomotoes to ripen fruit - there are plenty on the vine but not ripening, probably the poor weather is to blame.  Sweet basil isn't faring too well this year.  I bought a punnet of 6 plants and a couple have been eaten by something and the remaining aren't growing too well, again possibly a casualty of the weather.

Below - strawberries and Scarlett Runner Beans.  Runner Beans: Have had first crop and some are in freezer for winter.  Is now flowering and fruiting again.  I planted sweetpeas with the beans but these have been overwhelmed by the beans and not seen a single flower.

Mint and chives.  Haven't used the mint since before Xmas.

Below: Patio.  3 tomatoes grown from heirloom variety seed pack.  Not much fruit and none has ripened yet.  One fruit is very oddly shaped- see photo below. Also growing 1 Jalapeno chilli  (below close-up)- so far has a few fruit but only one close to ripening.  From a 6 pack growing wildfire chilli.  And 2 capsicum which have produced a few fruit each - not yet picked.

Close up of flower bed on patio:  Petunias and cosmos