Friday, August 24, 2012

Winter gardening

Our little garden seems to be doing quite well, despite neither of us having anything but an "educated guess" background in horticulture. It appears that novices can indeed grow stuff in their backyard. Huzzah!

We have rocket, lettuce, chives, dill, broccoli, baby capsicum, eggplant, zucchini (see the flowers back there?), kale, spinach, and snow peas in this garden. 

It's a little higgeldy-piggeldy, but I'm going to move the eggplant to the no-dig garden at the back to give the broccoli some room. 

We also have tarragon, rosemary, parsley and mint in the back in pots. We lost an oregano when an overenthusiastic toddler (possibly mine) tipped it out and brought it to me to be watered.

There's also a random tomato bush back there in the ground next to the no-dig garden as a bit of an experiment. My guess is it doesn't get enough sun there, as another one we planted elsewhere is fruiting already.

We even grew beets! That were edible! I had a feeling they might be a bit hit and miss, and I'm reliably informed that beets are indeed difficult to grow. I guess ignorance is bliss in this case, and a willingness to give anything a go. They were delicious, and we had even been harvesting some of the leaves over the weeks prior for salads and things. YUM. The gap in the top photo is where these babies were living.

And if you read this post recently, you'd know we had a super-cool surprise when our garden turned up a whole bunch of delicious mushrooms! Freak weather was helpful in this instance... certainly wasn't anything we did on purpose but a wonderful bonus anyway. We made mushroom lasagna.

So this is how we did it. In the garden Veggie Dad built me for my birthday, we poured some fresh mushroom compost. No soil, just compost. 

Then you smoosh it around a bit and water it.

Then you get excited about A. looking like Justin Beiber, and B. wheelbarrows.

Dance, Justin, dance!!

Then you plant some sad little seedlings that have been waiting around in pots just a little too long for you to get your garden act together.

Hi, tiny broccoli!

Eggplant: Before They Were Famous Edition.

Rocket - it has been doing very well.

And strawberries... a bit of an experiment so we'll see how they go. 

Oh and I got that lemon tree for my birthday!

And I must have been especially well-behaved, as I got a Tahitian lime tree as well. This is gonna be GOOD.

And this is what happens when you plant seedlings in mushroom compost that previously grew tomatoes. Tomatoes will possibly start growing even though you didn't know they were there, and they'll take over and actually start growing tomatoes and you don't have the heart to move them.

So far, so good!


  1. something I learnt about tomatoes is that it's not just sun that ripens the fruit it's the heat in the air! I grow heaps each summer but the Perth sun is relentless & often my fruit were blistering or splitting due to the sun. This year I'm planting in part shade & hoping that'll save them.

    Seems as though you've done great! Dig & learn I say :)

  2. Lovely! :) I'm very jealous about zucchinis - we can grow them from Nov-April here, and tomatoes from Nov-Feb. I'm curious about beets being hard to grow - I used to throw them inbetween the carrot rows to keep the weeds down and would always wind up with garbage bags full of them. That we swapped with a wine reviewer for wine. Win! :)
    Love your garden and Ms Bieber is gorgeous. xo

  3. That's awesome! I wish I had a garden.. I'm in a rental and moving soon so I'm sticking to pots... it's really difficult to grow veggies that way.. plus I get almost zero sun :( Can't wait to move and set up a garden!! At the moment I've got some herbs - parsley and chives, a lemon tree (that needs more sun) some carrot seedlings and just planted some raddish. aand some succulents.

  4. Ah, you learn something new every day! It's always warm in Queensland so we're pretty lucky that tomatoes go so well. I was stumped as to why one of my plants was breezily breeding and the other was sitting there doing nothing! stupid too much shade :)

  5. I live in the land of the Endless Summer! I've been told they need very good soil - so perhaps that's what you have! I also put them in the garden not knowing what to expect but assuming they'd probably take a while. I've got to grow carrots too, but am so impatient :)

  6. I tried growing tomatoes and herbs at my rental and it was a dismal failure. We also lived right in front of the beach, so the salty air killed everything. so sad! You've reminded me I want to plant some radishes.... thank you so much!

  7. Those beets look really good. We have just sown our seeds for our summer crop. I am looking forward to them sprouting.

  8. Looking good! Harvesting your own anything is such a wonderful feeling! How about planting some garlic chives?

  9. We grew heaps over summer! Our tomatoes went crazy, which was fantastic! We had huge amounts of basil but all of our coriander got munched!

  10. yes my basil is going nuts! Methinks its pesto time again :)

  11. what an awesome bonus getting fresh mushrooms!

  12. I even got some more yesterday! Excellent bonus indeed :)