Monday, 14 June 2010

lessons learned in the garden

big beets

I'm the first to admit that while I hoped that my garden would produce all sorts of wonderful, tasty, home-grown goodness; I didn't delude myself into thinking that it would actually happen. So I am sure that you can imagine my delight now that we are able to harvest some tasty winter vegetables. The beetroots have been making their way into our Sunday roast, baked along-side the potatoes and carrots {delicious} and this lot was destined to be pickled and included in Cam's workday lunches.

broad beans, mini cabbages & de-formed carrots

The middle bed is looking pretty lush for a winter garden. I'm growing broad bean, but am yet to convince myself that I actually want to eat them. I planted the 'broad bean paddock' with a vague idea of making salads {or something} out of the beans when they are small and sweet, and any others that get to big can just stay on the plant and be chopped up and used as green manure... then I read that you can't eat the crop as that defeats the purpose of adding all the nutrients back into enriching the soil. So for the moment I'll just watch then grow and decide when the time comes.

In the middle I have planted six mini-cabbages, which appear to be growing ok... and along the edge are all of the carrot seedlings that I transplanted. An interesting exercise, that in hind-sight was a rookie mistake... apparently, no matter how careful you are when you transplant carrot seedlings, you will always damage the plant resulting in deformed carrots ~

de-formed carrots

um, check!

They do taste ok, but the shapes that come out of the ground are a bit of a worry. So next time that I plant carrots {and trust me when I say that I have not been discouraged by this experience} will be in the form of seed tape. Some strips of newspaper, some flour glue, a bowl of seeds and some tweezers, and my next batch of carrots will be of the correctly spaced direct sow variety.

broccoli...

In the other big bed is my pride and joy {now that the spinach is finished} the broccoli. I grew this from seed, and am suitably impressed by how large it is getting {the other two are a little smaller because I could never decide which one to thin, so they both got to grow and are competing with each other; and I still can't rip one out}.

I am so looking forward to trying this broccoli, as I have spent so much time defending this plant from white cabbage moth caterpillars. Until I harvest the head though, I don't think I will know if I was successful or not, so far I can't see any grubs in there, but as I'm not using any pesticides only cutting it up will show for sure.

lettuce

So still lots of things being learned, even though my garden has slowed significantly during this colder weather, it's nice to see that it's still pretty green and lush out there.