Garden Share Collective – September 2013

veggie patch

Another month, another In My Kitchen (to follow) and Garden Share Collective post. Doing these monthly, only reminds me how fast time is flying by. It’s spring!

The Garden Share Collection is just that, a collection of vegetable patches across Australia, New Zealand, England and the US, hosted by Lizzie at Strayed from the Table.

I encourage you to view my previous posts HERE to follow my garden progress throughout the last couple of months.

Regular readers would know, my husband is a horticulturist and works at a busy garden nursery. The first weekend of spring is the busiest of the year. Garden enthusiasts come out in their masses, stocking up on seeds, seedlings, punnets and pots. Compost and fertiliser are sold by the tonnes.

He comes home exhausted, often forgoing his lunch break to serve customers and water plants. I know while the days are getting longer, more hours of sunshine and warmth, I can’t rely on him much to help around our own backyard. This baby’s all mine to manage.

Working from home on my new job means I’m tied to the computer and phone indoors so during my lunch break and once 5pm hits, I’m itching to pop on my gum boots and head outdoors.

I do however have a little apprentice. She too likes to don her gumboots and grab her shovel to help Mummy


potatoes growing in hesham bags

Our Kipfler and Pontiac potatoes are quietly multiplying in their hessian home, it’ll be another month or so before we unearth them and marvel at our crop

Purple Kale plant

Purple Kale plant

Our purple kale plants are in overdrive, producing so much kale we can’t keep up! Kale is on the menu daily and no one’s complaining.

Brussel Sprouts plant

Our brussel sprout plants we sowed from seeds don’t seem to be doing anything! I don’t know if they’re not happy or they’re just taking their sweet time. They’ve been in the ground for 3 months now and were in punnets another 2 months earlier.

peas on lattice

Our sweet peas and broad beans continue to chase the sun.  They’re started producing flowers, peas and beans to follow!

Broccoli plants

broccoli plant

Our broccoli continues to produce broccolini, never quite forming one large head, instead producing masses and masses of broccolini stems. They seem to multiply overnight and like our kale plant, we can’t keep up.  Fortunately the white cabbage moth seen circling the neighbourhood is yet to discover the plants and my crop is completely organic, spray free. Hoots cousin Hooty watches guard.

Silverbeat plant

The pesky possums and bandicoots discovered the silverbeet like I knew they would, munching my crop right down to the stems. Another net was purchased and now protects my patch.


I had a tray of carrot seeds going in my laundry, basking in the suns warmth by the window. All 200 of them survived the cut, turning into seedlings. I planned on planting them out stage by stage over a week but my crazy girl had other plans, tipping the tray upside down. I was on my knees scavenging and saving as many seedlings as possible. They all had to go in the ground, pronto.

It took 4 hours but they were saved! I planted a carrot in pretty much any spare bit of soil I could find.  In the beginning, I ensured they were planted correctly, spacing them out and lowering the plants roots down into the earth as straight as I could to ensure we get correctly shaped carrots. By the 30th or 40th carrot, I was just shoving them in. My back was breaking and I had another 150+ to go. I just hope it was worth the effort and we get a great crop in 12 weeks time!

Grosse Lisse tomato plant

Along with the carrot seeds, we planted some Grosse Lisse tomatoes seeds. We never expected all 32 plants to take off. I couldn’t help but laugh and think of Glenda at Passion Fruit Gardens and her glut from 17 tomato plants. What are we going to do with 32 plants? I think we’ll give some plants away to family and only plant 10 or so plants in the yard. The seedlings are still too young to be transplanted into the ground so we’re still babysitting the tray for now.

Stevia plant

Another throw out from my husband’s nursery was this Stevia plant. The main branch had broken and there was no way this baby was going to sell.  Mr Wog brought it home, fed it and within a couple of days, new leaves had emerged! I will be planting it in my original garden bed over the weekend. I have no idea what to do with the leaves or how to use it. Any suggestions welcome!

baby spinach and rocket plant

lettuce plant gone to seed

Our rocket and baby spinach plants continue to reward us daily with their leaves. We enjoy a rocket, spinach and lettuce salad daily with our dinner. Our coral lettuce plant however has started to go to seed, no matter how many times I snip away the flower stalk, it produces another one overnight. Time to replace the plant with another. They lived for 3 months and provided us lettuce leaves daily so a well-earned retirement is in order.

dolma leaf grape vineOur grape vine has started to leaf up well, I reckon another month and I’ll have enough leaves to make some dolma 🙂

Romanesco Broccoli Diggers Club

I bought a Diggers Club punnet of 6 heirloom Romanesco broccoli plants for $1 at Bunnings recently! I couldn’t believe they were marked down. There was absolutely nothing wrong with the plant, they were only wilting from lack of watering. Surely it would’ve taken the staff less time to just water the plant then write up a sticker with a new price tag and flog it off? My gain! Even more surprising was that Bunnings is selling Diggers Club seedlings. I was under the assumption that this was an exclusive members only club and only available for sale directly though subscription.

Thanks for joining me in another Garden Share Collective series, see you in the garden next month




54 thoughts on “Garden Share Collective – September 2013

  1. You better get those jars ready. You will be preserving ALL summer. I’m planting 2 or 3 tomato plants this summer. I have learned my lesson. I still have about 60 jars of tomatoes in the pantry.

    • Both! He does garden consult, so goes out to back yards, looks at diseased leaves and tries to determine what is wrong, susses out where is the best place to plant according to the sun, shade etc and also stock management 🙂
      He likes to call himself the ‘plant whisperer!!’

  2. I’m so enjoying following the progress of your garden each month. The potatoes in hessian sacks are a good idea… and your lovely smiley apprentice is a great addition to the garden!

  3. As a city person, I can only look at this beauty and think how great it is to have your own fresh vegetables. And to have fresh grape leaves is such a rare treat. The difference between the fresh and preserved in this case is really huge.

  4. Pingback: Garden Share Collective: 2nd September, 2013

  5. Your garden is looking wonderful! I tend to take lots of seedlings over to my neighbor and also friends at mother’s group when I go overboard (as I have done again already). Your little tomatoes are looking great, mine are not quite that far along yet.

  6. I didn’t know Bunnings sold Diggers Club seeds either. I’ll have to suss them out. I must admit, I got half way through your post then went away to google potato sacks so I could plant some of my own! I hope my kale goes as well as yours!

  7. Looks like you are eating very well from your garden. Sorry to hear the possums found your silverbeet, that’s too bad. Your spuds look really healthy, we can’t grow spuds in hessian sacks here in QLD it gets too hot for them unless they are really well insulated on the outside. Glad to spring has hit Sydney too with new foliage and flowers. Don’t forget to keep your seeds from anything that is flowering.

  8. What a garden, Lisa! Good for you! I don’t know about 10 tomato plants, though, unless you know people in need of tomatoes. You just cannot forecast tomatoes. If you only plant three tomato plants, you’ll be lucky to get 6 tomatoes, but, plant 10 tomato plants and you’re sure to get bushels of them. I’m sure you’ll find delicious ways to use them, whether you reap a few or a bushel. 😉

    • Very true John, it’s so unpredictable, though, you just don’t know how the weather will fair. Our Summers can get scorching hot in Sydney, weather in excess of 40 degrees celcius,(104 f) plus humidity. I’d rather plant more and see how many survive the cut 🙂 I’m so looking forward to it though!!

  9. WOW! Lisa, you have such an impressive garden with so much to enjoy. You clearly inherited your husbands green fingers and it seems like your daughter will too.
    Have a happy week ahead and yay for Spring!
    🙂 Mandy xo

  10. Your garden is coming along beautifully and what a cute little assistant you have! I’ve grown stevia from seed this year and have only tried a few things so far- I put a leaf in with a fruit/herbal tea and it sweetened it nicely and I’m experimenting with adding leaves to stewed fruit instead of sugar, I haven’t quite perfected that yet, I’ll let you know how it goes, look forward to hearing your ideas too!

  11. You are certainly dedicated to your carrots! I’m not sure I would have had the willpower to plant them all out… The only way I’d get anywhere neat that number would be to scatter seeds everywhere and hope they grow. Well done 🙂
    Your garden is looking great. Love the purple kale.

  12. What a great garden. I killed off my stevia over winter. You are supposed to be able to boil the leaves and use the resulting liquid to sweeten cakes etc. but I’ve never done it. I was waiting until my plant got bigger!

    My boy destroyed my carrots over the weekend too! Must be something in the air. I was trialling growing some in a polystyrene container and he smashed the container to bits.

  13. Look at the growth on your lemon tree! Your kale is gorgeous as are all of your seedlings. The tomato plants look like exceptionally healthy specimens. What brand are they and where do you get your nets from? Wonderful gardening efforts Lisa, cheers Merryn.

    • Hi Merryn, thank you so much for your lovely comments. I can’t remember the brand of the netting, we threw out the packaging a while back but it’s just bird netting. Most nursery’s and hard ware shops should sell some 🙂

  14. I have kale envy! Actually I have garden envy – love the lattice and your potato sacks. And you’ve inspired me to plant some tomato seedlings. I don’t know why but I’ve not had much luck with tomatoes in the past (even though everyone tells me that they grow like weeds for them) but you’ve inspired me to give them another go. Have enjoyed reading about your garden and look forward to reading your progress next month.

  15. hello from another garden share collective member. and sorry for getting here late!
    i’m envious of that gorgeously varigated kale – never seen it before! so pretty.
    and i can see lots of carrot soup comign up soon…

  16. Pingback: Kale Tabouli | Gourmet Wog

  17. Your garden looks wonderful! Isn’t it great to have some willing little helpers. I admire your patience in rescuing your carrots, well done!

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