In the food garden Jan 09

Posted on: January 11, 2009


There’s a zucchini beast in our yard!

If there are any beginner food gardeners out there, I highly recommend planting a zucchini. They must the simplest food plants to grow. Look at this beast! From the minute we put the seedling in the ground it has astounded me daily. I can’t believe how much progress it makes each day. Giant zucchinis grow overnight, literally! And oh my, the zucchinis are packed with such sweet buttery goodness.
The squash haven’t gone quite as well as the mighty zucchini. We are getting lots of little squashes but I think the might have a bit of blossom end rot, and the occasion ear whig gets through the bottom and eats it from the inside. But last year we only got one squash, albeit a massive one that took us over a week to eat.


Remember our no-dig potato patch? Well we just kept on heaping mounds of hay on it so it would continue growing up and give us more potatoes. We’ve decided it’s probably big enough now wouldn’t you say? Yes that’s our dog you can see next to it.

Once there flowers are bloomed we will lift up a bit down the bottom and see if we have some potatoes inside. How exciting!

The rest of the veggie garden is looking a bit barer than last summer, mainly because we’d be away for a few weeks. Summer seems to be running a bit late this year though so I’m still going to put a few things in now and just see how we go.

We have 3 tomato plants on the go this summer – an Amish Oxheart and a couple of Tommy Toes. We bought Diggers seedlings from Bunnings and put them in the ground on Melbourne Cup weekend (I’ve heard Melbournites say to start off seeds on Grand Final Day and then put them in the ground Melbourne Cup Weekend) but I’ve been puzzled why I have heard and seen on people’s blogs, tomato plants falling over with fruit while ours were still just flowering. Anyway we seem to have plenty of green fruit on them now.

Poor things look a little lonely in the beds on their own. There are actually a strawberry plant and a thai basil in there too now, but I am also putting in some bush beans this weekend. I think we overestimated how large the tomato plants would be this year. Last year we underestimated! We pruned them this year, last year when we had no idea what we were doing we didn’t prune them at all and they were huge bush green things but we only had mini cherry tomatoes much later. Much more streamline this year.

I gather tomato growing can be a lot of trial and error, and experimentation and experience that can only be gathered over time. So, I’m glad we have started growing now. By the time I metamorphose into an old Italian grandpa, maybe I too will be an expert.

In this bed we have another Tommy Toe tomatoe, an eggplant and capsicum – both of which we forgot to stake, and then were wondering why they were so short! Ah the wind had blown them side ways so, they are actually larger than they appear. Just might need to put something under the fruit once they start giving us some. They really get blown around in this bed, really much get onto rearranging the beds a little this year and planting a windbreak

Also a thai basil – which tastes just incredible. I have been really diligent with picking off the flowers this year. And some lettuce in the styrofoam box. Fresh salad is amazing. Not until we grew our own did I realise that real lettuce is actually supposed to have a flavour! I always thought lettuce was just water and that was it!


As for the rest of our garden, it keeps on keeping on. The natives have been amazing, they have just looked after themselves since we put in those little tubes last year. I really thought it’d be 5 years til I had something to look at in the yard, but they just hit the ground running.

Can I just give a special plug for the stellar performer, Heliotrope Lord Roberts. It has been flowering consistently since we put it in the ground, and it is the most delightful and handsome of plants. I love the colour of the flowers and the majestic foliage. It’s in need of a prune but I’ll wait til Autumn now. And I’ll be able to use the fabulous Felco secateurs my bro-in-law-to-be gave me, yay!

We were also given a good sized Eureka Lemon tree for Xmas which is in a pot at the moment. We’d like to put it in front of where the water tank will go – which is where the massive potato patch is at the moment. So have to get the water tank in first. Ohhh so many things on our list of things to save for – Bali trip in June, water tank, and of course now… wedding!


6 Responses to "In the food garden Jan 09"

The potato growing is intriguing. We tried a similar process but using an old water drum which ended up staying too damp. Harvesting a drum load of sludgy potatoes was not nice.

May try this way next year though as it seems more manageable. Le us know what the harvest is like.

Lovely to see photos and hear about harvests on a cold winter day.

Because Baltimore, MD, US gradeners have nothing but seed catalogs this time of year, I linked to your blog.

Our zucchini’s are just taking off too and we’ve got oxheart, tommy toes and black russian in too. I think the cooler weather before Christmas stalled them a bit but they are flowering.

[…] and found a giant purple sapphire potato – yippee! Most of the potatoes were at the bottom of the massive stack. As you may recall, my first attempt of potato growing was using the no dig method of growing them […]

Hi… thanks for the pics… I am anxious to get into my garden as well… soil is still rock hard and needs to thaw.

I am curious about your tomato supports. I see you are using wooden stakes…. I have found a “better mousetrap” for my tomato plants (going to plant about 20 this year, assorted varieties) and need a better solution. Found the easiest product at The twist tie supports are built in and seems unbelievabily easy to use..

Best of luck!

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