Monday, January 16, 2012

fire and ice aka summer gardening in Melbourne

By the way, blogger tells me this is my 600th post. Who'd have thunk it?

The subversive plot has suffered neglect, golf-ball sized hail and days of scorching heat in the 40c’s over the last few weeks. On my return after Christmas, I was surprised to find I had anything left at all after the hailstorm.

My lazy gardening strategy of letting the tomatoes range with minimal intervention, that served me so well in the 2009 heatwave, continues to pay off. While a small amount of fruit was damaged (especially of the larger sized tomatoes), the majority has survived.

While the tomatoes are staked and pruned haphazardly at best, the strawberries require a little intervention. After watching the first two berries ripen, only to be nabbed by the birds before I could pick them, a couple of dollars of netting was a suitable investment. The old, concertina-style wine rack was also repurposed.

I possibly lost some of the eggplants, as there was a glut of flowers that set over a month ago. But I spied one, hidden at the back growing contentedly. The hail/heat cycle appears to have triggered a second round of flowers.

January 9sqM garden round up

Tomatoes – Burnley Surecrop and two Tommy Toes producing a steady stream of fruit. The perfect amount for a two-person household so far but weather catastrophes willing, there should be a glut in a month or to be roasted, pureed and frozen. I thought I'd lost the two other seedlings planted late, but they're just crowded out by the older siblings.

Strawberries – so many plants but on average only 2 or 3 ripe ones to nibble on each day.

Carrots – thought I’d harvested them all a month ago but found 4 or 5 decent ones this weekend. Still sweet, not woody.

Parsnip – like the carrots I’d thought I’d had the last of them but just spied a lurker this morning.

Silverbeet/chard – most now gone to seed and removed (lots of seed saving first) but a couple of plants soldiering on with new leaves.

Sorrel – looking a bit worse for wear after the hailstorm. Hanging in there, just.

Chives – robust small tuft planted in garden continuing to produce.

Parsley – garden patch gone to seed, after cutting back some edible leaves still usable.

Chilli – having removed my prolific plant when the garden was regenerated earlier in the year, the replacement is flowering but not fruiting as yet.

Tarragon – in a pot competing with weeds, the herb you use least always seems to last the longest.

Mint – has survived in a pot for another year. Thanks to the higher than usual rainfall it’s still lush and green.

Rosemary – stunted bush in a pot, waiting to be strewn on roasted potatoes.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know having a tiny kitchen sucks... but you know what.. I eat fresher food because I cant store food... I live meal to meal... its also helped me keep the amount of 'stuff' I have down...

hearts to you and your lovely man! x

3:19 pm  
Blogger Another Outspoken Female said...

I console myself that my tiny kitchen is bigger than my previous even smaller one. It makes me think twice before buying a kitchen gadget or any food in bulk.
(for those who have no idea what I'm talking about this is from a thread on Carla's blog :)

3:35 pm  
Blogger librarygirl said...

Impressive haul. My husband is in charge of the garden this year and it is looking good. No ripe tomatoes YET ( but loads of green ones).

8:04 am  
Anonymous Jean said...

I was thinking to grow my own vegetables but then I found out that all seeds are GMO. Where can I buy organic seeds? Growing organic product is the best way to invest in the cloudless future.

4:10 am  

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