Monday, January 7, 2008

January 2008

31st January

It rained today. Which was quite lovely - the kids and I set out for school and it was drizzling nicely, softening up the ground so the rain will really soak in rather than run off down our hill to the neighbours garden. Five minutes from school and something horrible happened. The heavens opened up and soaked us so severely I had to pop into the school uniform shop and buy my son a pair of new pants {shock}! I was comepletely wet from the knees down, my back was wet - even my hair was wet, the rain was so heavy it went THROUGH my umbrella. My poor little daughter who decided it was fun to walk with her umbrella over her sholder was a lost cause. I could have squeezed her out like a dishcloth. Later on I checked the Bureau of Meterology and between 8.50 and 9.00am our area had received over 8mm of rain! It went on to rain for all of the morning and some of the afternoon. I was expecting a repeat of the deluge at 3.20pm - but alas it stayed dry - Phew!

30th January

While I was watering this morning I discovered the Gladalan White Onions has FINALLY started sprouting. I guess they saw I had bought seed to replace them...

29th January

We have a LOT of carrot seed at the moment so I picked a head of it today and sprinkled it thickly over the Rockmelon patch.

28th January

I thought it would be a really good idea to pull up more couch grass and make garden beds today. After spending the morning pulling up enough couch crass to feed the chooks several times over, I discovered I had weeded a patch only 2m x 1m {shock} It always amazes me that this stuff isn't declared a noxious weed! So out came the hand shredder and I shredded all our old bills I had been hoarding for such an occasion. Hours later I had shredded enough paper to THICKLY cover the (relatively) couch-free area. I then covered this paper in chook poo and a thick layer of straw. I'll water this patch in and let it sit for a month or soo before I plant it out as some of the chook poo was very fresh. Boy was I pooped by the end of it all though!

27th January

Bought some MORE seeds today. I really don't need them - I just can't help myself. Some people wash there hands all day long - me, I buy seeds...

So, anyway, I bought:

* Baby Pak Carrots * Galaxy Mixed Sweetpea * Sugarsnap Peas (I'm sure I already have a packet of these - but better to be safe than sorry) * Early Crop Massey * Gladalan White Onion (to replace the ones that haven't come up in the bottom vegie patch) * Spring Onion

I also weeded along the path where I had planted the Alyssum seed. None of which has seemed to sprout. Plenty of Coriander seed has though {sigh}. So I sprinkled the entire packet of Baby Pak carrots seeds along with half a packet of Dill seeds. Apparently they're companion plants. I just wish something other than darn Couch grass would grow there...

We have started picking our Amish Paste Tomatoes - Yum! I'm glad to see this years crop is doing so much better than last years. I was worried that saving the seed from an inferior crop might cause problems this year. Thankfully my worries were unfounded.

24th January

I pollinated our first pumpkin this morning :D

18th January

I planted the Asparagus and Australian Yellow Leaf Lettuce seeds today into poly boxes.

It rained last night. Lovely gentle stuff, not loads, but it's a start. We are supposed to have a lot more of it in the days to follow :D

I sprinkled last years saved Carrot seed (in anticipation of the billions of seeds I expecting this year) into the Butterbean row. I also mulched the Pink Fir Potatoes - they seem to be taking FOREVER to develop decent sized tubers. The Red Silverbeet also seems to be setting fertile seed now - Phew! So I collected some wet seed and will dry it before I put it into a container for later. I also collected up the pile of dried Oat plants I never got round to seperating the seed from, and popped it all back into the Rose patch - maybe I get round to saving the seed next year {shrugs}. But this year I was just a bit too worried about mould. I found some lovely big King Edward spuds that will be going into today's Asparagus and Potato flan for lunch today - Yummo! :D

17th January

Today I took the kids to Captain Cook's Cottage, and low and behold - they sell Diggers Seeds!! I couldn't resist and bought some Green Asparagus seeds (to replace all the seedlings the chooks ate) and some Australian Yellow Leaf Lettuce. I was amazed at the kitchen garden behind Cook's cottage. For such a small space, they really had crammed it full of edibles. I noticed the Diggers 5 Colour Silverbeet and had to smile :)

I had a wander through the garden when we got home and noticed more dead Rockmelon seedlings. I don't know why they are dying, they seem to do so well and then they just shrivel up and die. There are only 5 or 6 seedlings left. There isn't a lot of Amish Paste seedlings left either. Some look like they are on their last legs - I don;t give them much of a chance...

My hubby wants a new garden project. I suggested a deep litter coop for the chooks to cut down on the stink in extremes of weather. He's decided on an outside oven.

15th January

I have left over
rice from last nights meal. So I'll make Fried Rice, wandering round in the garden I foundpeas, zucchini, cauliflower and a single Purple King bean to add to tonights meal :) While I was out there I dug up some Banana Potaoes for tomorrow. The Parsnip seeds have germinated - then it suddenly occured to me that I needed to dig up the spuds BEFORE I planted seeds - oh well. Speaking of Parsnip seed - I picked LOADS more of the dried seed. Some of which I gave to my MIL. The irony of this seed is that it is very, very hard to germinate originally, but once you have Parsnip established - you ALWAYS have Parsnip - eventually it becomes a weed... While I was there, I tried to collect some Silverbeet seed, but most of it seems sterile. All the seed pods are light and hollow. While only one tenth of it is dry yet, I am hoping and praying that the rest of the seed develops properly. I have no idea why this is happening - I have never, ever had a problem with Silverbeet seed.

I planted my Swede seed today. Some I planted directly into the bottom vegie patch and mulched heavily. Some I planted in a poly box, and some seed I saved for later. I have this terrible fear that I won't have any Swede this year...

Some of the Amish Paste seedlings along the brick wall have died, so I mulched the rest heavily with straw to try and save them. I am watering the plants well, but I suspect the shallow dirt in this vegie garden is why so often plants won't grow here. It always seems to be the barren garden :(

14th January

I FINALLY found some Swede seeds - I was starting to get really worried that I might miss out on growing this delicious vegie this Winter. Already my heart has moved onto the depths of Winter. And the Summer vegies are not even ripe yet - always, always this yearning for the next season, promises of things to comes...

The Pumpkins have started to flower. {whisper} I dare say I might even have a successful crop this year - pumpkin is a plant i have never had much luck growing. Next to the Pumpkins are the Moon & Stars Watermelons - although one plant looks suspiciously like a pumpkin, or another variety of watermelon perhaps? Anyhoo, it definately ain't a Moon & Stars - the anticipation is killing me though!!

13th January

I sprinkled the following seeds into the top vegie patch today:

-Oriental Radish (I'll have to be careful with these seeds - the heat killed the last seedlings I had)
-Red & Green Lettuce
-Loolo Rossa Lettuce
-Great Lakes Lettuce
-Green Cos
-Green Mignonette

The broken tomato branch I planted never took - so out it came! Rotten tomatoes and all. I can feel the Winter planting glut coming on :) I planted Beetroot and Brocolli seed in amongst the Corn in anticipation of the corn coming out in Autumn - now the ground won't be bare at all. Of course, because it was hot, I also planted more Corn into the row - maybe I'll get a stunted batch {shrugs}.

I need more room in my poly boxes for Winter seedlings so I planted out as many seedlings as I could get my hot little hands onto. I planted all my Amish Paste seedlings along the brick wall in the bottom vegie patch. I am hoping the retained heat the wall collects from the morning sun will help keep the Tomatoes alive into Winter. I probably will need to plant something else around them to protect them further from the frosts. The Sweetie Tomatoes (small and stunted that they were because of snail attack) went into the kids vegie patch. Some more butter beans went into the Butterbean row.

I was cutting lemons today and discovered three seeds had begun to sprout insode the lemon - so I planted them! I really have no idea what will happen {shock}

12th January

I felt lazy today so I finally got round to planting my 3 Lazy Housewife beans I got from a seed swap. Here's hoping they're as prolific as Jack's beans :)

10th January

Today I went to check if the Mulberries growing in our local park were ripe. It was expected to reach 41 degrees today (and it did), so we wandered down there at 8.30am to check. There were many berries on the tree, but not many of them were ripe. I picked as many as I could reach - the kids thought it was hillarious when I attempted to climb the tree, the climb resulted in an extra 8 berries :( The tree is maturing very unevenly this year. Most other years the berries ripen within days of each other and by Boxing Day, the tree has nothing to show bar red spattered leaves. Pick the right day to go though and you could pick 5 kilos worth of fruit :D On the way home I found a Banana Passionfruit vine growing over a fence and managed to score a few. Our neighbours vine has just started fruiting (it grows into our yard if he doesn't prune it), so none are ripe yet, and our own vine is a long way off ready.

So this is what I made with my scavenged fruit...

Scavenger's Pavlova

Scavenger's Pavlova

Ingredients

*Wander down to your local park and pick some Mulberries.
*On the way home knick a couple of Banana Passionfruit off a vine growing rampantly over a fence.
*When you get home shoo the Wattle bird out of your Peach tree and pick some on the way in.
*Then wander out the back and scrounge up some eggs.

Method

*For every egg white add 1/3 cup sugar, 1 teaspoon cornflour and 1/2 teaspoon vinegar*

-Pre-heat the oven to it's hottest temp.
-Whisk the egg whites until stiff, add the sugar a bit at a time. When stiff and glossy, add the cornflour and vinegar, mix through
-Line a pizza tray with baking paper and blob on the pav mixture
-Bung the lot in the oven, turning the heat down to 100 degrees as you do
-Bake until crisp and just about to go brown (knowing when this is, is an art )
-While the pav is cooking, peel the peaches and pop them into a pot with some sugar and water and a teaspoon of vanilla essence
-Simmer until it forms a thick sauce and blend with a stick blender
-Take one UHT cream and whisk with sugar and vanilla (to taste). Add two large dollops of vanilla yoghurt and whisk until smooth.
-Take the pav out of the oven and allow to cool. Then top with the cream mixture followed by the peach sauce, then the Mulberries and finally, the Banana Passionfruit.

-Enjoy!

7th January

While I was outside this morning bucketing bath water, I noticed that the Alyssum is starting to germinate. I also discovered that the Tamarillo plant that the frost got in Spring and I had given up for dead (and therefore hadn't watered in a VERY long time) has started sending up new shoots around its base!!!! I am VERY excited :D

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6th January

I finally bought some 7 foot garden stakes today and staked up the Amish Paste Tomatoes. I broke the first plant way down low when I was trying to straighten it. So I planted the whole broken bit into the top vegie patch. At the very least the green tomatoes on it will ripen, but just maybe it will strike and I'll have a whole new plant. I also sprinkled some more Parsnip seed.

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3rd January

I received some Lazy Housewife beans today in the post :D I wasn't expecting them so it was a lovely surprise.

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1st January

It was too hot and I was too hungover to do anything in the garden today. But I did find some ripe Parsnip seed while I was mooching around. So I striped it off and sprinkled it into the Banana Potato row (now that that is dying back) and covered the lot with straw mulch. When I can be bothered I will water it in.

The Garden in January (this photo was taken in the heat of a 40 degree day)

Vegie Patch - January 2008

2 comments:

daharja said...

Hi,

I just discovered your blog (via Linda Cockburn's) and was wondering if you keep any sort of list of what you plant, when, and how successful each variety is.

I've just started to get into gardening for the first time in my life, and am finding that instead of the black thumb my whole family has, I seem to have inherited a green one (presumably from some long-lost aunt the family doesn't talk about from embarassement).

Anyway, cheers and hello.

Garden Nut said...

Daharja,

Hello anf great ot meet you :-D

This blog is the only way I keep track of what I grow and how it goes. Originally I used an Excel Spreadsheet. It listed all my seeds, where they came from, how many I had, when I planted them, how I planted them, where I planted them, days to germination, days to flowering, days to harvest. But I just found it all too 'impersonal' and never updated it properly.