Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Garden update, sunny Tuesday

The weather has been cold, especially at night, in recent days.  Today is lovely outside and I have been catching up in some weeding (leading to making stinging nettle fertiliser) and it's a good chance to catch up on how it is all going.  There are plenty of leafy green vegetables that are going into my kitchadee daily...

A few weeks ago,  there were gaps in the carrot rows and so I "filled them in with a few more seeds, and here you can see the little plants in the front with their bigger relatives behind.
 This is probably not the best way to grow carrots when one needs to harvest for a market,  but for my own garden and for my own supply of carrots,  this is probably the best way to go.   I will have carrots over an even longer period of time than I'd expected when I planted the original seeds.

The potatoes.....
 .... these plants are the very same ones that I photographed previously.  The dead leaves on the top are the ones that were frost bitten over the last couple of weeks.  There are still plenty of large green leaves to provide carbohydrate for the tubers, so I'll leave them alone for the time being.

The broad beans are looking lovely....
 ...  and the tips of these plants are big enough to be eaten and clipping off the tops doesn't seem to reduce the later production of beans.  I am always watching for the first flowers though....  still quite a way off!

The first of the broccoli have I planted ( some of it should be ready for the upcoming visitors) is looking very healthy.....

 The second planting  (I bought these six plants from the local nursery) are also doing well.....
... they should be ready to eat when the "hungry gap" happens in the spring.

The other baby plants (five of them) rescued from the seedling tray are here.....
 ...  I have just transplanted them today.   These are the "second seeds" that are often in the seed trays with the "best one" and when separated,  these were the one with the torn or broken root system.   I usually save most of them.  I dip them into some seasol,  cut all of their leaves in half and then replant them into the seed tray again. I have often been able to grow more than double the original intended seedlings when conditions are right, and I suspect that that means that none of the seedlings are not too advanced when I first plant them out.   It takes about a month for them (the second batch) to recover,  but then they seem to grow just as well as the "originals."    Their only handicap seems to be the competition from the other seedling,  and once they have a chance,  they grow as well as any other.  Brassicas seem particularly hardy in this respect.

These next two pictures are of self sown plants from last season's herbs that went to seed.   I let them go to seed to attract the predators for an assortment of pests, and the bonus is the huge crop in the following year....  years!  This is Italian flat leafed parsley.....
... and this is coriander....



Other experiments in survival this year include "arthritis plant"   of which there is a single leaf remaining here....
 .... in fact, I have planted my latest sample near the pond (where I am hopeful that it will be just warm enough for it to survive the winter.)  There are a few leaves, spread sparsely among these bulbs. (The bulbs are an asian Arisaema species, of which there are at least two in my garden. They will flower later in the year.)  However,  having had the arthritis plant die out over the past three winters,  I have also put some into pots....
....  ready to re-plant in the spring if I need to.
I plan to do this with a couple of other herbs that I regularly "lose" over the winter...  Vietnamese mint and lemongrass in particular.

I have picked the last green capsicum today....
... tiny,  but amazing that it grew at all at this time of the year!

Back inside.....
... the view from my computer looking through the fly screen to the "back garden" (different from the one above) with bread beans, potatoes, broccoli, leeks, parsley, garlic, sage and an assortment of salvias, my other favourite plants.  It does need a bit of a cleanup down there,  but that will wait until after the next rain.

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