I know, dear readers and my good friend Helen, that I have mentioned my tomato glut in many other posts but I must mention two particular tomato varieties that featured in my vegetable garden this year. Firstly, the miniature yellow pear, which quickly became a triffid and bore fruit throughout December (unusual in Melbourne) and continues to do so. I attempted to weigh the crop but soon tired of this chore- many have been left on the vine as I couldn’t keep up with them.
The next tomato I promised to report on was the black-skinned tomato that my son grew from seeds purchased on eBay. They did eventually turn red and are in no way related to the more desirable Krim or Black Russian but go by the name ‘Indigo Rose’. They are blue tomatoes engineered at the Oregon State University. They are prolific, long keepers and medium-sized but sadly, they lack true tomato flavour so I won’t be growing these next year.
My favourite tomato, Rouge de Marmande cropped poorly this year and the Roma has called it quits already and it is only March! The season has been odd- one very hot spell in December, followed be a cool summer. Even the basil is slow.
The cool summer has meant an abundant supply of strawberries : they have produced continually for months and early self seeding of radicchio, rainbow chard and cavolo nero. You win some, you lose some with each season.
This year Alberto tied up the leeks and spring onions onto stakes. Their seed is now ready. They make great architectural statements in the veggie patch.
I have recycled lots of household junk. This basic clothes airer is used to support cucumber vines. The legs bury nicely into the soil.
I saved my disintegrating pool lounge chairs and turned them into shade houses to protect lettuce seed and young seedlings from drying out. I sow directly into the ground.
And here’s the pillow end of the old pool chair, ready to provide some instant shade wherever it’s needed. No land fill, no tipping fees- just re-purposed junk.
- remove shade cloth from the hooped frames now that the weather has turned mild.
- make more compost
- sow autumn vegetable seedlings, lettuce, carrots, spring onions, brocolli.
- transplant self-sown seedlings as keeping them in the same bed will deplete them of goodness. Crop rotation makes sense.
- remove bird nets from raspberry beds and cut back some of the canes.
- pick all the grapes.
A good visitor to my veggie patch is this little ladybird beetle.
The veggie patch has also benefited greatly from the manure provided by our cows and hens. Here is young Dougie Dexter begging me for another cow lolly ( acorn). I would like to sell him and his cousin Oh Danny Boy but I don’t want them to end up on a BBQ!
Not only does this post from a monthly record of food gardening activities, it also features in the Garden Share Collective, kindly coordinated by Lizzie. Follow the link to see other amazing gardens throughout Australia, New Zealand and United Kingdom.