Sunday Gardening: Strawberry flowers, rockmelons, butternuts, and native shrubs

An update on our vegetable garden.

The citrus are coming along very nicely, and the pineapple gauva trees seem to have put down their feet. We ended up with a total harvest of around 35 kg of tomatoes before mowing the summer-fried vines under. As well as eating mountains of insalata caprese and fresh salsas and tomato sandwiches, and giving bags of tomatoes away, we’ve frozen large batches for adding to spaghetti sauces and curries, and have jars of tomato relish/chutney stocking the pantry.

The vegetable garden, which last year was a “slap stuff in randomly and see how it goes”, has been thoroughly tested and is all really quite alkaline, which is not great. This year, we’ll be planning it properly and putting in raised beds. Whee. Despite the suboptimal conditions, as well as the tomatoes, we ate a heap of corn and snap peas and snow peas and beans and spinach and lettuce, and some cauliflower and capsicum and such. We also have a huge jarful of coriander seed, and the parsley and thyme and sage and especially the rosemary seem happy. We did get a fair bit of basil, too, though the lemongrass is a little sad. We’re hoping to expand the herb situation this year. I’d especially like a good solid supply of basil for most of the year, and a good variety of chillis.

Now, the trial strawberry patch, which is under cover in our porch (roofed with that pale plastic corrugated stuff that lets a fair bit of visible light through), is flowering; maybe that will be a productive zone after all.

strawberryflower

strawberryflower2

The volunteer vines out the back in a patch of weedy dust have been producing delicious rockmelons, and there are butternuts coming on. They have developed powdery mildew, so they’re now getting the milk treatment for that.

rockmelons

mixedmelons

babybutternut

butternut1

And lastly, this row of natives by the fence was tiny seedlings less than a year ago, and has found it feet nicely. A grevillea, a woolly bush, and a melalauca:

fencenatives



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5 replies

  1. Oooh I love a nice vegie patch. Am currently sans garden, so making do with living vicariously through everybody else’s. All those tomatoes sound fantastic! There is nothing like a tomato fresh from the vine…

  2. I envy you your vegie patch. Will have to actually do a bit of work and get mine motoring again!

  3. What a fantastic haul!
    My vege garden has been a bit of a write off for the last couple of years – spring has been so dry here in Adelaide and I’ve been too stingy with the watering. How often do you find it needs watering?

  4. Lucretia: We’re on stage 4 restrictions, which here means sprinklers twice a week (on designated days/hours) for 15 minutes – but we haven’t put retic in yet! So it’s hand watered by hose (no restrictions) when it needs it, which is mostly every couple of days. Some of the plants have got fried in the heat but we pretty much accept that anything non-native will die off in mid-summer; so we planted early and got most of the harvest in spring/early summer. If we get around to doing the garden up, we’ll do a second late-summer planting. We were lucky to get a damper/cooler spring than usual here last year, which helped a lot.
    We’re planning to put in some lattice wind-baffles, because it’s so windy here, and we’re hoping that that windbreak and partial shade might reduce the water stress for the vegetables in summer.

  5. I am consumed with envy at your awesome vegie garden!

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