Monday, March 25, 2013

the autumn vegie garden

If things in my little corner of blogging land seemed a little quiet last week, it's because I've been out in the garden at every opportunity.  Sewing seeds, lots of watering, a little (rough) drawing and checking for those first emerging little green shoots. I'm happy to report that there are some.

I feel like it is the first year that I've been able to give the vegie garden the time it deserves (though there could always be more). Its very beginnings, put together with old railway sleepers and concrete bricks from an old barn, were put together by Daniel the winter after we moved here. I remember sewing that first lot of seeds in late spring with great difficulty. I was heavily pregnant at the time with Violet, but I was determined that we would have some Summer vegetables. Fortunately that following month was filled with rain, which is just as well because I was occupied with other things. I have to say that first harvest has been our best harvest to date.

Every other season since has been a rushed affair, as the mother of a toddler or baby always seems to be needed elsewhere. But it's been the best I've been able to manage. This year, there was a little more planning going on, there is more opportunity to be outside, and a little more freedom to get out there to do the watering.

 So for those wondering here is a list of the seeds I put in this year. All are heirloom varieties from The Lost Seed, which is our nearest heirloom seed supplier.

Garlic Sicilian
Garlic Southern Glen
Garlic locally produced
Italian parsley
Cauliflower Green Macerata
Onion Belvedere
Onion Red Brunswick
Carrot Little Finger
Carrot Amsterdam Forcing
Broad Beans
Chicory Witlof
Parsnip Hollow Crown
Radish Golden Helois
Baby Bok Choy
Broccoli Romanesco
Kale Lositano
Lettuce Australian Yellow
Radicchio Palla Rossa
Leek Lungo Della Riviera
Mustard Salad White

There were more seeds, but I sadly ran out of room, so a little garden extension may be in order. Being in a colder climate, things grow slower here in Winter, and many things not at all. It's been an uphill struggle here, but I think I'm learning just a little more with each season.

Already in the garden are a few varieties of cabbage, one year old Tuscan and Russian kale, French sorrel, silverbeet, spinach and chicory. I'm hoping this new selection of cold friendly vegies will be successful.  But this gardening business can be a fickle thing sometimes.

Last night we ate the last mouthfuls of our potato harvest, accompanied by our carrots and squash, all coated well in melted butter. Salad was a mix of shredded beetroot and leaves. Which is what gardening is all about really. Home grown food that tastes like nothing you can get in a supermarket. Those potatoes were something else!

Although this year so far has not been particularly successful, though it has been a case of quality over quantity, there is always hope for bigger and better things in the world of gardening.  Let's hope so.

Have you been in the garden lately?
Do you have gardening plans?
What varieties are you putting in this year?


  1. Garlic in (Glen Large, Monaro purple, Italian white and some gifted organic), Aquadulce broad beans, Ruby Lou potato, Belstar organic Broccoli, Detroid organic beetroot and Greenfeast peas to come from Green Harvest.
    Love your list. Here's hoping for a good season!

  2. That's an impressive list of seeds! I'm cheating this year and buying seedlings (grown fairly locally) to get a head start on the winter. You are so right about the taste of homegrown food, nothing compares :)

  3. I so wish we had garden weather but New England has gotten nothing but snow lately...more predicted for tomorrow ~sigh. It is nice to see your coming along nicely. Thank you for sharing

  4. I've been out in the garden the last couple of days too! It feels great doesn't it? I'm slow off the mark this year since the eye surgery, but to make up for some lost time I picked up some seedlings yesterday. Asparagus, peas, beans, tomato, basil and few for to fill out the front garden to for cut flowers.

    I find it hard to get out in the garden as much as I'd like with a one year old. Emerson crawls off if I put her on a rug and I worry about green ants. She will only sit in a pram for so long. Luckily Sunday afternoons I can usually hand the reins to Dave and disappear into the garden!

    We have strawberries, aubergine, chilli, basil, mint, rosellas, lettuce, silverbeet, rainbow chard, watermelon, tomatoes, shallots, pineapples, sunflowers, potatoes, pumpkin and a sad looking gooseberry and capsicum plant in the patch at present. Can't wait to make more. :)

  5. YES!! i love a vege garden!
    Especially a well organised one (mine usually isn't. at all.)

  6. I need to do some more gardening - especially of the veggie kind though I'm not used to the different ways here in Australia and I have failed miserably so far! Thanks for the inspiration!

  7. Lovely!. Tania, I really like your stone pavers with the plants climbing up between them. Our garden is coming along nicely. I hope we all get good harvests this year.

  8. I'm so impressed and can't wait to plan our veggie garden when we are on acreage. what sort of temperatures do you get through winter? I remember you posted about the snow last year!! I love that book you have, planning out your garden, such wonder!! Have a lovely week Tania x

  9. My vege garden has been completely neglected this past year as i was pregnant & working full time, i didn't have the energy, now my baby girl is almost 6 months old i want to get it up & going again. I told my husband that for my birthday next month i'd like some soil, manure & seedlings. In the past i grew several lettuce varieties, silverbeet, brocolli, cherry tomatoes, pumpkin, carrots, cucumber. I'm not sure what i can grow at this time of year, i'll have to do some research. I'm also lucky enough to have 2 mature mango trees & the biggest avocado tree you'll ever see!

  10. Yep, I've been busy in the veggie garden too. Still need to plant out my onions, leeks and garlic but have a big bed of brassicas happening - though struggling a lot. Pulled the toms out which was a nice relief and now lots of room for other stuff. I love planting from seed, so rewarding. Your mix of plantings sound lovely, Tania. I'll be popping some of those in too, the ones I don't already have in yet. Happy gardening!

  11. Your vegie looks great. Love the tiered levels.
    the vegie garden here is coming along slowly but surely. I'm looking forward to harvesting beans, beetroot and silverbeet.

  12. That is some serious garden! Wow! Well, I am hoping we can flatten out our back garden for some grass and get some raised beds in and get the soil ready for planting next year. Even that will probably be too much for me!


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